Olivares, Gaspar de Guzmán, conde-duque de
Olivares, Gaspar de Guzmán, conde-duque de(gäspär` dā go͞othmän` kōn`dā-do͞o`kā dā ōlēvä`rās), 1587–1645, Spanish statesman. He was appointed chief minister on the accession (1621) of Philip IVPhilip IV,
1605–65, king of Spain, Naples, and Sicily (1621–65) and, as Philip III, king of Portugal (1621–40); son and successor of Philip III of Spain.
..... Click the link for more information. , over whom he had earlier gained influence. Honest and hardworking, he fought corruption at the court, prosecuted the unscrupulous ministers of Philip III, and endeavored to restrict the privileges and landed wealth of the church. He repudiated the pacific foreign policy followed 1598–1618 by the Duke of LermaLerma, Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, duque de
, 1553–1625, Spanish statesman, favorite of King Philip III. He became premier upon Philip's accession (1598) and controlled the government for 20 years.
..... Click the link for more information. and sought to reassert Spanish strength throughout Europe. Spain became involved more widely in the Thirty Years WarThirty Years War,
1618–48, general European war fought mainly in Germany. General Character of the War
There were many territorial, dynastic, and religious issues that figured in the outbreak and conduct of the war.
..... Click the link for more information. , resuming the war with the Netherlands (1621), and entered conflicts in Italy. Olivares's aggressive centralizing policy within Spain led to an uprising, supported by France, in Catalonia and to the secession (1640) of Portugal. To obtain funds for his campaigns he resorted to oppressive measures. His unpopularity led to his fall in 1643. Olivares was a patron of the arts and literature and encouraged the painters Rubens, Velázquez, and Murillo and the writers Lope de Vega and Quevedo y Villegas.
See the biography by J. H. Elliott (1987).