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Alfonso XIII

Alfonso XIII, 1886–1941, king of Spain (1886–1931), posthumous son and successor of Alfonso XII. His mother, Maria Christina (1858–1929), was regent until 1902. In 1906, Alfonso married Princess Victoria Eugénie of Battenberg, granddaughter of Queen Victoria of Great Britain. An attempt was made to kill the couple on their wedding day, the first of several assassination attempts. Although Alfonso enjoyed some personal popularity, the monarchy was threatened by social unrest in the newly industrialized areas, by Catalan agitation for autonomy, by dissatisfaction with the constant fighting in Morocco, and by the rise of socialism and anarchism. In 1909 the government was widely attacked for the execution of the radical publicist Francisco Ferrer Guardia, following an uprising in Barcelona. After keeping Spain out of World War I, Alfonso, dissatisfied with the functioning of parliamentary government, supported Gen. Miguel Primo de Rivera in establishing (1923) a military dictatorship. At the fall (1930) of Primo de Rivera, discontent was running high. After the municipal elections of 1931 showed an overwhelming republican majority, Alfonso "suspended the exercise of royal power" and went into exile (Apr. 14, 1931). A few weeks before his death in Rome he renounced his claim to the throne in favor of his third son, Juan (see Bourbon, family).

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

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Spanish and Portuguese History: Biographies


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