Espartero, Baldomero, duque de la Victoria, conde de Luchana
, 1793-1879, Spanish general and statesman. He fought against the French in the Peninsular War (1808-14) and later against the revolutionists in South America. After Ferdinand VII's death (1833), he supported Isabella II
against the Carlists
and won important victories in the Carlist War of 1834-39. His agreement at Vergara (1839) with the Carlist general Rafael Maroto virtually ended the war, and he was rewarded (1840) with the title duque de la Victoria [duke of victory]. A member of the Progressive party in the Cortes from 1837, Espartero played an important political role. His opposition to the queen regent, Maria Christina
, helped force her to leave (1840) the country. In 1841, Espartero was made regent by the Cortes and became virtual dictator. His ruthless suppression of opposition—notably at Barcelona—soon made him highly unpopular. In 1843 a general uprising drove him from office, and he fled to England. He returned (1848) to Spain but lived in retirement until 1854, when Isabella, whose throne was threatened by a revolt led by Gen. Leopoldo O'Donnell, recalled him to power. O'Donnell, who became his war minister, displaced him in 1856. Espartero later supported King Amadeus, then adhered to the republic, but he recognized Alfonso XII upon his accession in 1875.
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