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Giulio Alberoni

Alberoni, Giulio (jōˈlyō älbārōˈnē) [key], 1664–1752, Italian statesman in Spanish service, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Appointed (1713) representative of the duke of Parma at the court of Philip V of Spain, Alberoni gained influence and ultimately became de facto prime minister. With the princesse des Ursins he arranged the marriage of the king with Elizabeth Farnese. His aims were to strengthen Spain, nullify the Peace of Utrecht (see Utrecht, Peace of), and crush Austrian hegemony in Italy. The expeditions by which he recovered Sardinia from Austria (1717) and Sicily from Savoy (1718) provoked Britain, the Netherlands, France, and Austria to form the Quadruple Alliance. Spain was forced to yield, and Philip dismissed and banished (1719) Alberoni, who retired to Rome. He later became papal legate in the Romagna and in Bologna.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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