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José Moñino Floridablanca, conde de

Floridablanca or Florida Blanca, José Moñino, conde de (hōsāˈ mōnyēˈnō kōnˈdā dā flōrēˈħä blängˈkä) [key], 1728–1808, Spanish statesman. After the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain (1767), he was sent to Rome as ambassador to obtain the papal suppression of the Society of Jesus. He was ennobled (1773) for the success of his mission. In 1776 Charles III appointed him chief minister. Under Floridablanca, Spanish enlightened despotism reached its peak, but his internal reforms, notably in finance, were beneficial, and the economic life of the country was improved. He made peace and concluded economic treaties with the Ottoman Empire and with Morocco and reached agreement with Portugal, but was reluctantly drawn into war with England during the American Revolution. Floridablanca remained in power after the accession of Charles IV (1788), but his intransigent opposition to the French Revolution (which, it was feared, would provoke war) and the intrigues of the new queen led to his dismissal in 1792. During the French invasion (see Peninsular War), Floridablanca became (1808) president of the Central Junta, but he died shortly after.

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

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