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Zenón de Somodevilla Ensenada, marqués de la

Ensenada, Zenón de Somodevilla, marqués de la (thānōnˈ dā sōmōħāvēˈlyä märkāsˈ dā lä ānsānäˈħä) [key], 1702–81, Spanish statesman. He was created (1736) marquis for his part in the expedition to Naples that placed King Philip V's son, Carlos (later Charles III of Spain), on the Neapolitan throne. After 1743, when Philip appointed him chief minister, Ensenada virtually ruled Spain. He sought to maintain peace and to regain Spanish independence by avoiding subordination to either French or British policies. He was energetic and able, and his economic, fiscal, and administrative reforms benefited the country. Court intrigues of the British ambassador led to Ensenada's downfall in 1754, when Ferdinand VI arrested and banished him. Ensenada returned (1760) to the court after the accession of Charles III, but was banished again in 1766 because of his friendly attitude toward the Jesuits, who were expelled from Spain the following year.

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

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