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Maura around 1910

Antonio Maura y Montaner (Catalan: Antoni Maura i Montaner; May 2, 1853 – December 13, 1925) was Prime Minister of Spain on five separate occasions: December 6, 1903-December 16, 1904, January 25, 1907-January 21, 1909, March 22, 1918-November 9, 1918, April 14, 1919-July 20, 1919, and August 13, 1921-March 8, 1922.

Contents

Biography

Born in Palma de Mallorca on the Balearic Island of Majorca, Maura studied law in Madrid. In 1878 he married Constancia Gamazo y Calvo, sister of Germán Gamazo y Calvo. He entered the Cortes Generales in 1881 as a liberal delegate for Majorca, but later joined the Conservative party. In 1886 he held the position of vice president of the Congress of Deputies. As prime minister, he created the Spanish Institute of Provission and he attempted to carry out a reform plan, but this was opposed by the liberals. He fell from power after the brutal suppression of an uprising in Barcelona in 1909, called the Tragic Week. The execution of Francesc Ferrer, who was charged with leading the Tragic Week uprising, provoked a European-wide outcry which contributed to Maura's downfall.

Maura was a hero of a youth movement, the Mauristas, who wanted him as a new head of state of Spain at a time of substantial resentment of King Alfonso XIII. This and Maura's rather messianic attitudes caused him to fall out with the King. Maura later headed coalition cabinets with other parties (1918, 1919, 1921–22), but he did nothing to advance unconstitutional methods. Many of his followers later supported the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera, but he remained aloof from both Primo de Rivera and King Alfonso XIII. Maura had first entered the political arena to fight the "caciquismo" culture which he considered a cancer of Spanish political culture and the main obstacle towards authentically democratic institutions.

When he was Prime Minister, during the reign of Alfonso XIII, he spent summers at the estate of Can Mossenya, historically part of the Royal Charterhouse of Jesus of Nazareth in Majorca, where Chopin and George Sand had also stayed in the previous century. Azorín, who admired him at the time, traveled from the continent to meet him there. The International Foundation Can Mossenya named an entrance to its historic estate "Gate of Friendship - Azorín and Maura" after this encounter.[1]

He was a prolific watercolorist and often painted scenes of nature or old buildings from past eras.

Maura died in Torrelodones, Madrid in 1925.

Descendants

  • Gabriel Maura y Gamazo, (son) 1st Duke of Maura, historian and Labour Minister in the last government of the reign of Alfonso XIII.
  • Honorio Maura y Gamazo, (son) playwright and monarchist deputy killed by leftist militia at the beginning of the Spanish Civil war, 1936.
  • Miguel Maura y Gamazo, (son) Minister of Security in the first government of the II Spanish Republic
  • Luisa Isabel Alvarez de Toledo, 21st Duchess of Medina Sidonia, (great-granddaughter)
  • Jaime Chávarri y de la Mora, (great-grandson) film director
  • Jorge Semprún y Maura, (grandson) novelist, Communist, and Cultural Minister of Spain during the premiership of Felipe González
  • Carlos Semprún (grandson) y Maura, writer and journalist, brother of Jorge. Both Jorge and Carlos have been long-time residents of France as their father was a republican governor who went into exile after the Republic lost the Civil War.
  • Isabel Maura Bermejillo
  • Carmen Maura, (great-niece) actress.

Notes

  1. ^ Friends of Borges at amigos-de-borges.net

See also

External links

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