(born May 17, 1886, Madrid, Spain—died Feb. 28, 1941, Rome, Italy) Spanish king (1886–1931). The posthumous son of Alfonso XII, he was immediately proclaimed king under his mother's regency and assumed full authority at 16. He relished power, and after World War I he moved toward a system of more personal rule, even seeking to rid himself of the Cortes (parliament). He associated himself with the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923–30), but after the latter's fall the freely elected Republicans demanded Alfonso's abdication, and he was forced to leave Spain. His grandson became Spain's sovereign as Juan Carlos I in 1975.
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(born Nov. 28, 1857, Madrid, Spain—died Nov. 25, 1885, Madrid) Spanish king whose reign (1874–85) inspired hopes for a stable constitutional monarchy. Alfonso followed his mother, Isabella II, into exile following her deposition by the revolution of 1868. He was proclaimed king in 1874 and returned to Spain the next year. His reign was marked by unaccustomed tranquillity. The most urgent problems—ending the civil war with the Carlists (see Carlism) and drafting a constitution—were settled in 1876. Alfonso was popular, and his early death from tuberculosis disappointed those who desired a constitutional monarchy.
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(born Nov. 23, 1221, Burgos, Castile—died April, 2, 1284, Sevilla) King of Castile and León (1252–84). He crushed revolts by Muslims (1252) and nobles (1254), and he annexed Murcia after repelling an invasion by Morocco, Granada, and Murcia (1264). He claimed the h1 of Holy Roman emperor (1256), but Gregory X persuaded him to renounce the claim. His second son became his successor as Sancho IV. Alfonso's court was a center of culture, producing an influential law code, the Siete Partidas, and establishing the form of modern Castilian Spanish.
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(born before June 1040—died 1109, Toledo, Castile) King of León (1065–70) and of Castile and León (1072–1109). He inherited León from his father, Ferdinand I, and warred with his envious brother Sancho II. On Sancho's death he inherited Castile (1072); he also occupied Galicia and imprisoned his brother García, its rightful ruler. In 1077 Alfonso proclaimed himself emperor of all Spain. He took Toledo from the Muslims, but his demands for tribute led to the invasion of Spain by the North African Almoravids, and he was defeated at Zallaqah (1086). The Cid became an ally and defended eastern Spain, but Alfonso continued to lose ground against the Berber armies.
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(born 1396—died June 27, 1458, Naples) King of Aragon (1416–58) and of Naples (as Alfonso I, 1442–58). He followed a policy of Mediterranean expansion, pacifying Sardinia and Sicily and attacking Corsica (1420). Taken prisoner by the Genoese (1435) while preparing to attack Naples, he persuaded his captors into an alliance and conquered Naples (1442), to which he transferred his court. He engaged in much diplomatic and military activity in Africa, the Balkans, and the eastern Mediterranean in order to protect his commerce with the East and defend Christendom against the Turks. He died during an assault on Genoa.
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