Alejandro Lerroux

From Academic Kids

Alejandro Lerroux García (La Rambla, Córdoba, 1864 - Madrid, 1949) was a Spanish politician who was the leader of the Spanish Radical Party during the Second Spanish Republic.

He agitated as young man in the ranks of the radical republicans, as a follower of Ruiz Zorrilla. He practised a demagogic and aggressive journalistic style in the diverse publications that he directed (El País, El Progreso, El Intransigente and El Radica).

His populist and anticlerical speechs, as well as his intervention in diverse campaigns against the governments of the Restoration, made him very popular in the average workers of Barcelona, who later constituted the base of a faithful electorate. He was chosen as a deputy for the first time in 1901, and again in 1903 and 1905, in the candidacies of the Republican Union that he had helped to form together with Nicolás Salmerón. The defection of Salmerón to the coalition Catalan Solidarity in 1906 led Lerroux to separate, forming the Radical Republican Party (1908) and headed the struggle against increasing Catalan nationalism. He had to go into exile on several occasions, first to escape condemnation dictated by one of his articles (1907) and later fleeing from governmental repression over the Tragic Week of Barcelona (1909).

After returning to Spain, he accepted to enter the Conjunction Republicano-Socialista, with whom he was elected a deputy again in 1910. Afterwards he was surrounded in a series of scandals that moved him away from his Barcelonian electorate, between corruption accusations (until the point of which there was a change of district, appearing for Córdoba in 1914). Under the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923-30), his party was debilitated by the split of Radical-Socialists of Marcelino Domingo (1929). However, he continued in active politics, participating in the revolutionary committee that prepared the overthrow of king Alfonso XIII and the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic in 1931.

Under the republican regime he regained a leading political role. He was part of the coalition of leftists that supported the reforms of Manuel Azaña's government during the first biennium (1931-33), which he personally served as minister of State (1931). He was elected Prime Minister of the republic on 19 November 1933, mainly because the President could not stomach making José Maria Gil-Robles, leader of the CEDA, prime minister. He sided with the right-wing opposition and became, from 1933-36, part of the conservative majority that acceded to power. He was three times prime minister between 1933 and 1935 and he occupied the distinguished ministerial portfolios of War (1934) and that of State (1935). After distinguishing himself in the repression of the attempted workers revolution of 1934, he was discredited again before public opinion by the scandal of the black market (a case of corruption bound to the business of the game), that completely broke his alliance with the right and even weakened his position within the party. In the elections of 1936 he was not even elected as a deputy, and when that same year the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) exploded, he preferred to place himself out of danger in Portugal. He returned to Spain in 1947.


Preceded by:
Manuel Azaña Díaz
Spanish Heads of State
1933 and 1934-1935
Succeeded by:
Diego Martínez Barrio
es:Alejandro Lerroux
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