Espartero, Baldomero, duque de la Victoria, conde de Luchana

Espartero, Baldomero, duque de la Victoria, conde de Luchana

(bäldōmā`rō āspärtā`rō do͞o`kā dā lä vēktō`rēä kōn`dā dā lo͞ochä`nä), 1793–1879, Spanish general and statesman. He fought against the French in the Peninsular War (1808–14) and later against the revolutionists in South America. After Ferdinand VII's death (1833), he supported Isabella IIIsabella II,
1830–1904, queen of Spain (1833–68), daughter of Ferdinand VII and of Maria Christina. Her uncle, Don Carlos, contested her succession under the Salic law, and thus the Carlist Wars began (see Carlists).
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 against the CarlistsCarlists,
partisans of Don Carlos (1788–1855) and his successors, who claimed the Spanish throne under the Salic law of succession, introduced (1713) by Philip V. The law (forced on Philip by the War of the Spanish Succession to avoid a union of the French and Spanish
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 and won important victories in the Carlist War of 1834–39. His agreement at Vergara (1839) with the Carlist general Rafael Maroto virtually ended the war, and he was rewarded (1840) with the title duque de la Victoria [duke of victory]. A member of the Progressive party in the Cortes from 1837, Espartero played an important political role. His opposition to the queen regent, Maria ChristinaMaria Christina
, 1806–78, queen of Spain, daughter of Francis I of the Two Sicilies. The fourth wife of Ferdinand VII, she persuaded him to confirm (1833) the original revocation (1789) of the Salic law to allow their daughter Isabella to succeed him.
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, helped force her to leave (1840) the country. In 1841, Espartero was made regent by the Cortes and became virtual dictator. His ruthless suppression of opposition—notably at Barcelona—soon made him highly unpopular. In 1843 a general uprising drove him from office, and he fled to England. He returned (1848) to Spain but lived in retirement until 1854, when Isabella, whose throne was threatened by a revolt led by Gen. Leopoldo O'Donnell, recalled him to power. O'Donnell, who became his war minister, displaced him in 1856. Espartero later supported King Amadeus, then adhered to the republic, but he recognized Alfonso XII upon his accession in 1875.
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