Leopoldo O'Donnell, 1st Duke of Tetuan
Don (honorific)
Don, from Latin dominus, is an honorific in Spanish , Portuguese , and Italian . The female equivalent is Doña , Dona , and Donna , abbreviated "Dª" or simply "D."-Usage:...

 Leopoldo O'Donnell
O'Donnell , which is derived from the forename Domhnaill were an ancient and powerful Irish family, kings, princes, and lords of Tír Chonaill in early times, and the chief allies and sometimes...

 y Jorris, 1st Duke of Tetuan, 1st Count of Lucena, 1st Viscount of Aliaga, Grandee of Spain
, (Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

: Leopoldo O'Donnell y Jorris, I duque de Tetuán, I conde de Lucena, I vizconde de Aliaga, grande de España) (January 12, 1809 – November 5, 1867), was a Spanish
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 and statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

. He was of Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 paternal descent, a descendant of Calvagh O'Donnell
Calvagh O'Donnell
Calbhach Ó Domhnaill, anglicized Calvagh O'Donnell , eldest son of Manus O'Donnell, was an Irish King of Tyrconnell of the mid-16th century. He was Rí and Chief of the O'Donnell dynasty based in Tyrconnell in western Ulster...

Rí, or very commonly ríg , is an ancient Gaelic word meaning "King". It is used in historical texts referring to the Irish and Scottish kings and those of similar rank. While the modern Irish word is exactly the same, in modern Scottish it is Rìgh, apparently derived from the genitive. The word...

 of Tyrconnell.

Early life

He was born at Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital , second-most populous city of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands and the 21st largest city in Spain, with a population of 222,417 in 2009...

 a son of Carlos O'Donnell y Anethan (b. 1768) and wife Josefa Jorris y Casaviella, and paternal grandson of José O'Donnell y O'Donnell and wife Marie Anne d' Anethan. He had an uncle Francisco and an aunt Beatriz, married to Manuel Pombo y Ante (1769–1829), and had issue.


O'Donnell was a strong supporter of the Cristinos
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

, and backed the regency of Maria Cristina in the 1830s. When General Baldomero Espartero
Baldomero Espartero, Prince of Vergara
Don Joaquín Baldomero Fernández-Espartero y Alvarez de Toro, 1st Prince of Vergara, 1st Duke of la Victoria, 1st Duke of Morella, 1st Count of Luchana, 1st Viscount of Banderas was a Spanish general and political figure...

 seized power in 1840, O'Donnell went into exile with Maria Cristina, and was involved in an attempted coup against Espartero in 1841. O'Donnell was soon back in power and was sent to Cuba as Captain General in October 1843. He is credited with the massacre of 1844 known as the repression of La Escalera. Thousands of slaves and free-colored people in Cuba ended up in dark dungeons, were tortured and executed in what became known as the 'year of the lash'. In 1854, he made a pronunciamento against the government and was named Prime Minister for a time. He served as War Minister in the Espartero government.
The Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 caused a sharp rise in grain prices due to the blockade of Russia, triggering a famine in Galicia in 1854. Riots over the power loom
Power loom
A power loom is a mechanized loom powered by a line shaft. The first power loom was designed in 1784 by Edmund Cartwright and first built in 1785. It was refined over the next 47 years until a design by Kenworthy and Bullough, made the operation completely automatic. This was known as the...

 spread through Spain, and General O'Donnell intervened, marching on 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...

. Espartero resigned power in O'Donnell's favor on July 14–15, 1856, and Queen Isabella II
Isabella II of Spain
Isabella II was the only female monarch of Spain in modern times. She came to the throne as an infant, but her succession was disputed by the Carlists, who refused to recognise a female sovereign, leading to the Carlist Wars. After a troubled reign, she was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of...

 asked him to form a government as the 44th 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...

. For his new administration, O'Donnell formed the Union Liberal Party, which was designed to cross the traditional Progressive
Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes. Progressivism is often viewed by some conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.The...

, Moderate
In politics and religion, a moderate is an individual who is not extreme, partisan or radical. In recent years, political moderates has gained traction as a buzzword....

, and Carlist lines. O'Donnell attempted to find a "middle way" for Spain with this new party, advocating laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

policies and confiscating church land. He was shortly dismissed after only a few months in power on October 12, and two years of reaction followed. His first government did lay the groundwork for future progress.

In future governments, he was more careful. O'Donnell's two later administrations worked laboriously to attract foreign investment to improve Spain's railroad infrastructure. He failed to achieve much economic growth, however, and spurred industry only in Navarre
Navarre , officially the Chartered Community of Navarre is an autonomous community in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Country, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Aquitaine in France...

 and Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, both of which already had substantial industrial centers. He was a proponent of a new and aggressive imperial policy
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

, aimed principally at expanding Spanish territory in Africa, particularly after French successes in Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

. In the first administration he was twice at the same time the 136th Minister of Foreign Affairs and the 48th Prime Minister of Spain between June 30, 1858 and July 2, 1858, and again as the 138th Minister of Foreign Affairs between October 21, 1860 and January 18, 1863, remaining again solely as Prime Minister until February 26, 1863. His second term as the 53rd Prime Minister started on October 21, 1860.

He took a brief respite from his government in 1860 to command the Spanish army at the battle of Tetuan during its invasion of Morocco
Spanish-Moroccan War (1859)
The Hispano-Moroccan War, also known as the Spanish–Moroccan War, the First Moroccan War, the Tetuán War, or, in Spain, as the African War , was fought from Spain's declaration of war on Morocco on 22 October 1859 until the Treaty of Wad-Ras on 26 April 1860...

, overseeing the capture of Tétouan
Battle of Tétouan
The Battle of Tétouan was a battle fought near Tétouan, Morocco between the Spanish Army of Africa and the Moroccan Army in 1860. The battle was part of the Spanish-Moroccan war of 1859-1860....

. He was rewarded for his abilities in the campaign with the title Duque de Tetuán. In 1866 he repressed a revolt led by General Juan Prim
Juan Prim
Don Juan or Joan Prim, Marquis of los Castillejos, Grandee of Spain, Count of Reus, Viscount of the Bruch was a Spanish general and statesman.-Life:...

, and was subsequently dismissed by the Queen for the brutality of his regime on July 11, 1866.

He was the 103rd Grand Cross
Grand Cross
The phrase Grand Cross is used to denote the highest grade in many orders of knighthood. Sometimes the holders of the highest grade are referred to "knights grand cross" or just "grand crosses"; in other cases the actual insignia itself is called "the grand cross".Alternatively, in some other...

 of the Order of the Tower and Sword
Order of the Tower and Sword
The Military Order of the Tower and of the Sword, of Valour, Loyalty and Merit is a Portuguese order of knighthood and the pinnacle of the Portuguese honours system. It was created by King Afonso V in 1459....



He was succeeded in his titles by his nephew, son of his brother Carlos O' Donnell y Jorris and wife María del Mar Alvarez de Abreu y Rodríguez de Albuerne, Carlos O' Donnell y Alvarez de Abreu
Carlos O'Donnell, 2nd Duke of Tetuan
Don Carlos Manuel O'Donnell y Álvarez de Abreu, 2nd Duke of Tetuan Grandee of Spain, 9th Marquis of Altamira and 2nd Count of Lucena was a Spanish noble and politician who served four times as Minister of State, the name which then received the Spanish Foreign Minister.The Duke was son of Carlos...

 (Valencia, July 1, 1834 – ?), 2nd Duke of Tetuán, 2nd Count of Lucena and also 9th Marquess of Altamira, married in 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...

 on June 1, 1861 to María Josefa de Vargas y Díez de Bulnes (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...

- ?).
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