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Práxedes Mateo Sagasta

Portrait of Práxedes Mateo Sagasta
Born July 21, 1825(1825-07-21)
Torrecilla en Cameros, Logroño, La Rioja , Spain
Died January 5, 1903
Madrid, Spain
Nationality Spanish

Práxedes Mateo Sagasta y Escolar (1825-1903), born on July 21, 1825 at Torrecilla en Cameros Logroño, La Rioja, Spain and died on January 5, 1903 in Madrid. He was a Spanish politician who served as Prime Minister on eight occasions between 1870 and 1902 - always in charge of the Liberal Party - as part of the turno pacifico, alternating with the Liberal-Conservative leader Antonio Cánovas. A Freemason, he was known for possessing an excellent oratorical talent.

Being a member of the progressive party while a student at the Engineering School of Madrid in 1848, Sagasta was the only one in the school who refused to sign a letter supporting Queen Isabel II. After his studies, he assumed an active role in government.

Sagasta served in the Spanish Cortes between 1854-1857 and 1858-1863. In 1866 he exiled himself to France after a failed coup, returning to Spain in 1868 to take part in the provisional government which was created after the 1868 Spanish Revolution.

As Prime Minister of Spain during the Spanish-American War of 1898 (during which time Spain lost its remaining colonies), Sagasta agreed to an autonomous constitution for both Cuba and Puerto Rico. Sagasta's political opponents saw his action as a betrayal of Spain and blamed him for the country's defeat in the war and the loss of its island territories after the Treaty of Paris of 1898. Nevertheless he continued to be active in politics for another four years.

SagastaTumba.jpg
Tomb of Sagasta at the Panteón de Hombres Ilustres
in Atocha, Madrid, Spain

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