Alejandro Lerroux
Alejandro Lerroux y García (La Rambla
La Rambla, Córdoba
La Rambla is a municipality in the province of Córdoba, Spain....

, Córdoba, 4 March 1864/1866 – Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, 25 June 1949) was a Spanish politician
Politics of Spain
The politics of Spain take place in the framework of a parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy, whereby the Monarch is the Head of State and the President of the Government is the head of government in a multi-party system. Executive power is vested in the government...

 who was the leader of the Radical Republican Party
Radical Republican Party
The Radical Republican Party , sometimes shortened to the Radical Party was a Spanish political party founded in 1908 by Alejandro Lerroux in Santander, Cantabria by a split from the historical Republican Union party led by Nicolás Salmerón....

 during the Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....

. He served as Prime Minister of Spain
Prime Minister of Spain
The President of the Government of Spain , sometimes known in English as the Prime Minister of Spain, is the head of Government of Spain. The current office is established under the Constitution of 1978...

 three times from 1933 to 1935 and held several cabinet posts as well.

He agitated as a young man in the ranks of the radical republicans, as a follower of Manuel Ruiz Zorrilla
Manuel Ruiz Zorrilla
Manuel Ruiz Zorrilla was a Spanish politician. He served as prime minister of Spain for a little over ten weeks in the summer of 1871, and again for eight months between June 1872 and February 1873....

. He practised a demagogic and aggressive journalistic style in the diverse publications that he directed (El País, El Progreso, El Intransigente and El Radical).

His populist and anticlerical speeches, as well as his intervention in diverse campaigns against the governments of the Restoration
Spain under the Restoration
The Restoration was the name given to the period that began on December 29, 1874 after the First Spanish Republic ended with the restoration of Alfonso XII to the throne after a coup d'état by Martinez Campos, and ended on April 14, 1931 with the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic.After...

, made him very popular among workers in Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, who later constituted the base of a loyal electorate. He was chosen as a deputy for the first time in 1901, and again in 1903 and 1905, as a member of the Republican Union party that he had helped to form with Nicolás Salmerón. The defection of Salmerón to the Catalan Solidarity coalition in 1906 led Lerroux to form the Radical Republican Party (1908) and headed the struggle against increasing Catalan nationalism
Catalan nationalism
Catalan nationalism or Catalanism , is a political movement advocating for either further political autonomy or full independence of Catalonia....

. 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 in response to the Tragic Week in Barcelona (1909).

After returning to Spain, he agreed to join the Socialist-Republican Conjunction, and he was elected as a deputy again in 1910. Afterwards he was involved in a series of scandals that moved him away from his Barcelona electorate, with corruption accusations forcing him into a change of district, appearing for Córdoba in 1914). Under the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera
Miguel Primo de Rivera
Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja, 2nd Marquis of Estella, 22nd Count of Sobremonte, Knight of Calatrava was a Spanish dictator, aristocrat, and a military official who was appointed Prime Minister by the King and who for seven years was a dictator, ending the turno system of alternating...

 (1923–30), his party was debilitated when its left wing, led by Marcelino Domingo, left to form the Radical Socialist Republican Party
Radical Socialist Republican Party
Radical Socialist Republican Party , sometimes shortened to Radical Socialist Party , was a Spanish radical political party, created in 1929 after the split of the left-wing in Alejandro Lerroux's Radical Republican Party...

 in 1929. However, he continued to be active in politics, attending the revolutionary committee that produced the Pact of San Sebastián
Pact of San Sebastián
The Pact of San Sebastián was a meeting led by Niceto Alcalá Zamora and Miguel Maura, which took place in San Sebastián, Spain on August 17, 1930. Representatives from practically all republican political movements in Spain at the time attended the meeting. Presided over by Fernando Sasiaín , the...

 with the intention of overthrowing King Alfonso XIII
Alfonso XIII of Spain
Alfonso XIII was King of Spain from 1886 until 1931. His mother, Maria Christina of Austria, was appointed regent during his minority...

 and proclaiming a republic.

In the Second Republic

Under the republican regime he regained a leading political role, being appointed prime minister three times between and occupying the distinguished ministerial portfolios.

He was part of the coalition of leftists that supported the reforms of Manuel Azaña
Manuel Azaña
Manuel Azaña Díaz was a Spanish politician. He was the first Prime Minister of the Second Spanish Republic , and later served again as Prime Minister , and then as the second and last President of the Republic . The Spanish Civil War broke out while he was President...

's government during the first biennium (1931–1933), during which time he served as minister of State (1931) and as Minister of Foreign Affairs between 14 April 1931 and 16 December 1931. From 12 September to 9 October 1933 he was Prime Minister.

After the victory of the Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right
Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right
The Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right was a Spanish political party in the Second Spanish Republic. A Catholic conservative force, it was the political heir to Angel Herrera Oria's Acción Popular and defined itself in terms of the 'affirmation and defence of the principles of Christian...

 (CEDA) in the elections of autumn 1933, he again became prime minister, mainly because the President did not wish to appoint CEDA leader José María Gil-Robles
José María Gil-Robles y Quiñones
José María Gil-Robles y Quiñones was a prominent Spanish politician in the period leading up to the Spanish Civil War....

. As such he served from 16 December 1933 to 28 April 1934 and again from 4 October 1934 to 25 September 1935. He also served as minister of war (1934), state (1935) and Foreign Affairs (1935).

After distinguishing himself in the repression of the attempted workers revolution of 1934
Asturian miners' strike of 1934
The Asturian miners' strike of 1934 was a major strike action which took place in Asturias in northern Spain soon developing into armed insurrection against the Spanish government.-Background:...

, he was discredited by the Straperlo
Straperlo was a business which tried to introduce in Spain in the 1930s a fraudulent roulette which could be controlled electrically with the push of a button...

 affaire (a case of corruption bound to casino authorization), 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
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 broke out, he preferred to place himself out of danger in Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

. He returned to Spain in 1947.
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