Miguel Ricardo de Álava

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Miguel Ricardo de Álava
Miguel Ricardo de Alava.jpg
Portrait by George Dawe, 1818
Prime Minister of Spain
In office
14 September 1835 25 September 1835
Monarch Maria Christina
Preceded by The Count of Toreno
Succeeded by Juan Álvarez Mendizábal
Personal details
Born7 July 1770
Vitoria-Gasteiz, Álava, Spain
Died14 July 1843(1843-07-14) (aged 73)
Barèges, France
Military service
Rank Brigadier General
Battles/wars War of the Third Coalition

Peninsular War

Hundred Days

Miguel Ricardo de Álava y Esquivel (7 July 1770 – 14 July 1843) was a Spanish General and statesman who served as Prime Minister of Spain in 1835. He was born in the Basque Country, at Vitoria-Gasteiz, in 1770. Álava holds the distinction of having been present at Trafalgar, and Waterloo, fighting against the British at the former and with them at the latter. [1] [2]

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.

Prime Minister of Spain head of government of Spain

The Prime Minister of Spain, officially the President of the Government of Spain, is the head of the government of Spain. The office was established in its current form by the Constitution of 1978 and originated in 1823 as a chairmanship of the extant Council of Ministers.

Basque Country (autonomous community) Autonomous community of Spain

The Basque Country, officially the Basque Autonomous Community is an autonomous community in northern Spain. It includes the Basque provinces of Álava, Biscay, and Gipuzkoa.

Contents

Alava served as a naval aide-de-camp during the time of Spain's alliance with France but switched sides in 1808 when Napoleon invaded Spain. [1] The Spanish Cortes appointed him commissary (military attaché) at the British Army Headquarters, and the Duke of Wellington, who regarded him with great favour, made him one of his aides de camp. Before the close of the campaign he had risen to the rank of brigadier-general. Later he joined the headquarters of the British Peninsular Army as a military attaché and became a close friend of the Duke of Wellington. During the Waterloo Campaign in 1815, Alava was the Spanish ambassador to The Hague at the court of King William I of the Netherlands, which allowed him to attend the Duchess of Richmond's ball and to be at Wellington's side during the Battle of Waterloo. [3]

<i>Aide-de-camp</i> Personal assistant or secretary to a person of high rank

An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant or secretary to a person of high rank, usually a senior military, police or government officer, or to a member of a royal family or a head of state.

Napoleon 19th century French military leader and politician

Napoleon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader of Italian descent who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.

Hundred Thousand Sons of Saint Louis war

The Hundred Thousand Sons of Saint Louis was the popular name for a French army mobilized in 1823 by the Bourbon King of France, Louis XVIII to help the Spanish Royalists restore King Ferdinand VII of Spain to the absolute power of which he had been deprived during the Liberal Triennium. Despite the name, the actual number of troops was around 60,000. The force comprised some five army corps and was led by the Duke of Angoulême, the son of the future King Charles X of France.

War of the Third Coalition

Álava served first in the Navy, and had risen to be captain of a frigate when he transferred into the army, receiving corresponding rank. He was present as a Marine at the Battle of Trafalgar on board the 112-gun Santa Ana, which was the flagship of his uncle, Admiral Ignacio Álava. [3]

Captain (naval) Naval military rank

Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. The rank is equal to the army rank of colonel.

Frigate Type of warship

A frigate is a type of warship, having various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.

Military ranks are a system of hierarchical relationships in armed forces, police, intelligence agencies or other institutions organized along military lines. Military ranks and the military rank system define among others dominance, authority, as well as roles and responsibility in a military hierarchy. The military rank system incorporates the principles of exercising power and authority, and the military chain of command – the succession of commanders superior to subordinates through which command is exercised – constructs an important component for organized collective action.

Peninsular War

At the assembly of Bayonne in 1808, he was one of the most prominent of those who accepted the new constitution from Joseph Bonaparte as King of Spain. After the national rising against French aggression, and the defeat of General Dupont at Bailen in 1808, Álava joined the national independence party, who were fighting in alliance with the British forces in the peninsula. [3] At the end of January 1810 he was ordered to move to Portugal in order to communicate Wellington the difficult military situation in that they were against the French. During this stay a friendship between Wellington and Alava was created, to the point that the Duke had him remain as delegate of the Spanish forces in the British units. He was promoted to Brigadier by express recommendation of Wellington. [3] He saw action in the battles of Salamanca, Vitoria, Bussaco and at the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, as well as taking part in the storming of Badajoz. [4]

Bayonne Subprefecture and commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Bayonne is a city and commune and one of the two sub-prefectures of the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-western France. It is located at the confluence of the Nive and Adour rivers in the northern part of the cultural region of the Basque Country, as well as the southern part of Gascony where the Aquitaine basin joins the beginning of the Pre-Pyrenees.

Joseph Bonaparte elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte

Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte, born Giuseppe di Buonaparte, was a French diplomat and nobleman, the older brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who made him King of Naples and Sicily, and later King of Spain. After the fall of Napoleon, Joseph styled himself Comte de Survilliers.

Battle of Bailén battle

The Battle of Bailén was fought in 1808 by the Spanish Army of Andalusia, led by Generals Francisco Castaños and Theodor von Reding, and the Imperial French Army's II corps d'observation de la Gironde under General Pierre Dupont de l'Étang. This battle was the first ever open field defeat of the Napoleonic army. The heaviest fighting took place near Bailén, a village by the Guadalquivir river in the Jaén province of southern Spain.

Hundred Days

On the restoration of Ferdinand, Álava was cast into prison, but the influence of his uncle Ethenard, the Inquisitor, and of Wellington secured his speedy release. He soon contrived to gain the favour of the King, who appointed him ambassador to The Hague in 1815. As a result of this, he was present at the Battle of Waterloo with Wellington's staff. [3] Álava stuck close to the Duke during the Battle. Like Wellington, and unlike many of his staff, Álava survived the battle without sustaining any wound although Wellington and his staff were in the thick of the action, with the Duke declaring to Alava: "The hand of Almighty God has been upon me this day". [5] Álava is presumed to have been the only man on the Coalition side who was present at both Waterloo and Trafalgar. [3] [lower-alpha 1]

Ferdinand VII of Spain King of Spain

Ferdinand VII was twice King of Spain: in 1808 and again from 1813 to his death. He was known to his supporters as the Desired and to his detractors as the Felon King. After being overthrown by Napoleon in 1808 he linked his monarchy to counter-revolution and reactionary policies that produced a deep rift in Spain between his forces on the right and liberals on the left. Back in power in 1814, he reestablished the absolutist monarchy and rejected the liberal constitution of 1812. A revolt in 1820 led by Rafael de Riego forced him to restore the constitution thus beginning the Liberal Triennium: a three year period of liberal rule. In 1823 the Congress of Verona authorized a successful French intervention restoring him to absolute power for the second time. He suppressed the liberal press from 1814 to 1833 and jailed many of its editors and writers. Under his rule, Spain lost nearly all of its American possessions, and the country entered into civil war on his death.

The Hague City and municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

The Hague is a city on the western coast of the Netherlands and the capital of the province of South Holland. It is also the seat of government of the Netherlands.

Politician and diplomat

Equestrian statue of the General in the Monument to the Battle of Vitoria (1813), Vitoria, Spain Vitoria - Monumento Batalla Vitoria2.JPG
Equestrian statue of the General in the Monument to the Battle of Vitoria (1813), Vitoria, Spain
Alava (in decorated red uniform) at the Duchess of Richmond's ball in 1815 The Duchess of Richmond's Ball by Robert Alexander Hillingford.jpg
Álava (in decorated red uniform) at the Duchess of Richmond's ball in 1815

On the breaking out of the revolution of 1820, he was chosen by the province of Álava to represent it in the Cortes, where he became conspicuous in the party of the Exaltados, and in 1822 was made President. In the latter year, he fought with the militia under Francisco Ballesteros and Pablo Morillo to maintain the authority of the Cortes against the rebels. When the French invested Cádiz, Álava was commissioned by the Cortes to treat with the Duc d'Angoulême, and the negotiations resulted in the restoration of Ferdinand, who pledged himself to a liberal policy. No sooner had he regained power, however, than he ceased to hold himself bound by his promises, and Álava found it necessary to retire first to Gibraltar and then to England. [3] There, he was given a house on the Duke of Wellington's Hampshire estate Stratfield Saye and introduced to his bank Coutts: "This is my friend, and as long as I have any money with your house, let him have it to any amount he thinks proper to draw for".[ citation needed ]

Trienio Liberal

The Trienio Liberal is a period of three years in the modern history of Spain between 1820 and 1823, when a liberal government ruled Spain after a military uprising in January 1820 by the lieutenant-colonel Rafael de Riego against the absolutist rule of Ferdinand VII.

Francisco Ballesteros Spanish general

Francisco Ballesteros emerged as a career Spanish General during the Peninsular War.

Pablo Morillo Spanish general

Pablo Morillo y Morillo, Count of Cartagena and Marquess of La Puerta, a.k.a. El Pacificador was a Spanish general.

On the death of Ferdinand, he returned to Spain, and espousing the cause of Maria Christina against Don Carlos was appointed ambassador to London in 1834, and to Paris in 1835. Proposed as Prime Minister in September 1835, he rejected his nomination. After the insurrection of La Granja, he refused to sign the constitution of 1837, declaring himself tired of taking new oaths, and was consequently obliged to retire to France, where he died at Barèges in 1843. [3]

Frequent and honourable mention of Álava is made in Napier's History of the Peninsular War, and his name is often met both in lives[ clarification needed ] of the Duke of Wellington and in his correspondence. [3]

Quotation

Notes

  1. Christopher Summerville mentions that the French General Antoine Drouot was also present at both battles, [6] and Bernard Cornwell has pointed out that at least one battalion of French soldiers present at Waterloo had served as marines at Trafalgar. [7]
  1. 1 2 Summerville 2007, p. 4.
  2. Swinton 1893, pp. 124–132.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Chisholm 1911, p. 478.
  4. Arthur Wellesley, "The dispatches of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington...": Volume 10.[ full citation needed ]
  5. Summerville 2007, pp. 4–5.
  6. Summerville 2007, p. 5.
  7. Cornwell 2015, p. 42.

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References

Attribution

Political offices
Preceded by
The Count of Toreno
Prime Minister of Spain
14 September 1835 – 4 October 1835
Succeeded by
Juan Álvarez Mendizábal
Minister of State
14 September 1835 – 4 October 1835