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José Canalejas


Prime Minister of Spain
In office
9 February, 1910 – 12 November, 1912
Vice PM Manuel García Prieto
Preceded by Segismundo Moret y Prendergast
Succeeded by Álvaro Figueroa, Count Romanones

Born July 31, 1854(1854-07-31)
Ferrol, Spain
Died November 12, 1912
Madrid, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Political party Liberal Party

José Canalejas y Méndez (July 31, 1854 – November 12, 1912) was a Spanish politician, born in Ferrol. He graduated in 1871 from the University of Madrid, took his Galicia doctor's degree in 1872 and became a lecturer on literature in 1873. He later studied railway problems, but continued his literary work, publishing a history of Latin literature in two volumes. He was elected deputy for Soria in 1881, became undersecretary for the prime minister's department under Posada Herrera in 1883, he became minister of justice in 1888 and finance from 1894 to 1895. He was president of the chamber in the Moret administration, and became prime minister and chief of the Liberal party in 1910. He was assassinated by anarchist Manuel Pardiñas in Madrid on November 12, 1912, while in office.

Canalejas believed in the possibility of a monarchy open to a thoroughgoing democratic policy both in economic and in civil and political matters. Salvador de Madariaga, the liberal historian, argued that the disasters Spain experienced during the 1930s could be traced to Canalejas's murder, given that this murder deprived King Alfonso XIII of one of his few genuine statesmen. Indeed, it is widely believed that Canalejas was able to successfully solve all the problems he faced while in office.

Tomb of José Canalejas in the Panteón de Hombres Ilustres, Madrid.

Biographical external links

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