Ramon Maria Narváez

Narváez, Ramon Maria


Born Aug. 5, 1800, in Loja; died Apr. 23, 1868, in Madrid. From 1844, duke of Valencia. Spanish politician and government leader.

An aristocrat by birth, Narváez entered the army at 15. During the 1830’s he took part in military operations against the Carlists and in 1836 became a general. In 1838 he was forced to retire. Siding with the “moderate” liberals, Narváez participated in the November 1838 uprising in Seville against the “progressive” B. Espartero. After the uprising’s failure, Narváez fled first to Gibraltar and then to Paris.

In 1843, Narváez returned to Spain and with support from some elements in the army, occupied Madrid on July 23. Thus he became virtual dictator of Spain until 1851. He led the Moderado Party and several times during 1844–4–5 and again from 1847 to 1851 headed the council of ministers. While Narváez was in power, the antigovernment uprisings of 1844 and 1848 were suppressed, the conservative constitution of 1845 was introduced to replace the constitution of 1837, and Spanish troops were sent to Rome in 1849 to restore the secular power of the pope. In 1851, Spain concluded a concordat with the papacy that strengthened the influence of the Catholic Church in Spain.

After the revolution of 1854–56, Narváez again served as premier in 1856–57, in 1864–65, and from 1866 to 1868. He cruelly suppressed agrarian disturbances in Andalusia during the summer of 1857 and a revolt in Madrid on June 22, 1866.