Miguel Primo de Rivera

Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja, 2nd Marquess of Estella, 22nd Count of Sobremonte GE OIC OSH LCSF OMC OTS KOC (8 January 1870 – 16 March 1930) was a dictator, aristocrat, and military officer who served as Prime Minister of Spain from 1923 to 1930 during Spain's Restoration era. He deeply believed that it was the politicians who had ruined Spain and that governing without them he could restore the nation. His slogan was "Country, Religion, Monarchy." Historians depict him as an inept dictator who lacked clear ideas and political acumen, and who alienated his potential supporters such as the army. He did not create a base of support among the voters, and depended instead on elite elements. His actions discredited the king and ruined the monarchy, while heightening social tensions that led in 1936 to a full-scale Spanish Civil War.[1]

On the death of his uncle in 1921 he became Marquess of Estella. With the support of King Alfonso XIII and the army, Primo de Rivera led a Mussolini-inspired military coup on 23 September 1923.[2] He was appointed Prime Minister by the King. He promised to eliminate corruption and to regenerate Spain. In order to do this he suspended the constitution, established martial law, imposed a strict system of censorship, and ended the turno system of alternating parties.

Primo de Rivera initially said he would rule for only 90 days, however, he chose to remain in power. Little social reform took place, but he attempted to reduce unemployment by spending money on public works. To pay for this, Primo de Rivera introduced higher taxes on the rich. When they complained he chose to change his policies and attempted to raise money by public loans. This caused rapid inflation and—after losing support of the army—he was forced to resign in January 1930. After his death, his son, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, played an important role in the development of fascism in Spain. It was under Primo de Rivera's rule that Francisco Franco was promoted to general, the youngest holding this high rank in Europe.[3]

Miguel Primo de Rivera

Bundesarchiv Bild 102-09414, Primo de Rivera
Primo de Rivera as a senator in 1921
Prime Minister of Spain
In office
  • 15 September 1923 – 28 January 1930;
  • 6 years, 4 months and 13 days
MonarchAlfonso XIII
Preceded byManuel García Prieto
Succeeded byDámaso Berenguer
Personal details
Born8 January 1870
Jerez, Spain
Died16 March 1930 (aged 60)
Paris, France
Resting placeChurch of La Merced, Jerez
Political partyUnión Patriótica
Spouse(s)Casilda Sáenz Suárez
ChildrenJosé Antonio, Miguel, María, Pilar, Ángela, Fernando
AwardsLaureate Cross of Saint Ferdinand
Miguel Primo de Rivera's signature
Military service
Branch/serviceSpanish Army
Years of service1884–1923
RankCaptain general
Battles/warsRif War

Early years

Miguel Primo de Rivera was born into a landowning military family of Jerez de la Frontera. His father was a retired colonel. His uncle, Fernando, was Captain General in Madrid and the soon-to-be first marquess of Estella. Fernando later participated in the plot to restore the constitutional monarchy in 1875, ending the tumultuous First Republic. His great-grandfather was Bértrand Primo de Rivera (1741–1813), 21st Count of Sobremonte, a general and hero of the Spanish Resistance against Napoleon Bonaparte.

The young Miguel grew up as part of what Gerald Brenan called "a hard-drinking, whoring, horse-loving aristocracy" that ruled "over the most starved and down-trodden race of agricultural labourers in Europe." Studying history and engineering before deciding upon a military career, he won admission to the newly created General Academy in Toledo, and graduated in 1884.

Military career

His army career gave him a role as junior officer in the colonial wars in Morocco, Cuba and the Philippines. He then held several important military posts including the captain-generalship of Valencia, Madrid and Barcelona.

He showed courage and initiative in battles against the Berbers of the Rif region in northern Morocco, and promotions and decorations came steadily. Primo de Rivera became convinced that Spain probably could not hold on to its North African colony. For many years, the government had tried without success to crush the Berber rebels, wasting lives and money. He concluded Spain must withdraw from what was called Spanish Morocco if it could not dominate the colony. He was familiar with Cuba and the Philippines; in 1898 he watched the humiliating defeat in the Spanish–American War, bringing a close to his nation's once-great empire. That loss frustrated many Spaniards, Primo de Rivera included. They criticized the politicians and the parliamentary system which could not maintain order or foster economic development at home, nor preserve the vestiges of Spain's imperial glory.

Acción heroica del Teniente Primo de Rivera (Blanco y Negro, 1893)
Lithography of the heroic actions of Primo de Rivera during the First Melillan campaign, 1893

Primo de Rivera went to Madrid to serve in the Ministry of War with his uncle. Renowned for his amorous conquests, he reverted to the carefree days of his youth in Jerez. Then in 1902, he married a young Hispano-Cuban, Casilda Sáenz de Heredia. Their marriage was happy, and Casilda bore six children before her death in 1908, following the birth of Fernando. He later was sent on a military mission to France, Switzerland, and Italy in 1909.

The British historian Hugh Thomas says: "He would work enormously hard for weeks on end and then disappear for a juerga of dancing, drinking and love-making with gypsies. He would be observed almost alone in the streets of Madrid, swathed in an opera cloak, making his way from one café to another, and on returning home would issue a garrulous and sometimes even intoxicated communiqué -- which he would often have to cancel in the morning."[4]

Between 1909 and 1923, Primo de Rivera's career blossomed, but he became increasingly discouraged with the fortunes of his country. Having returned to Spanish Morocco, he was promoted to brigadier general in 1911, the first graduate of the General Academy to receive such a promotion. Yet social revolution had flared briefly in Barcelona, during the Tragic Week of 1909. After the army had called up conscripts to fight in the Second Rif War in Morocco, Radical republicans and anarchists in Catalonia had proclaimed a general strike. Violence had erupted when the government declared martial law. Anticlerical rioters had burned churches and convents, and tensions grew as socialists and anarchists pressed for radical changes in Spain. The government proved unable to reform itself or the nation and frustration mounted.

After 1918, post-World War I economic difficulties heightened social unrest in Spain. The Cortes (Spanish parliament) under the constitutional monarchy seemed to have no solution to Spain's unemployment, labor strikes, and poverty. In 1921, the Spanish army suffered a stunning defeat in Morocco at the Battle of Annual, which discredited the military's North African policies. By 1923, deputies of the Cortes called for an investigation into the responsibility of King Alfonso XIII and the armed forces for the debacle. Rumors of corruption in the army became rampant.

Military establishes dictatorship

Bundesarchiv Bild 102-09103, Madrid, Machtantritt von Primo de Revera
Announcement of the new government in Madrid

On 13 September 1923, the indignant military, headed by Captain General Miguel Primo de Rivera in Barcelona, overthrew the parliamentary government, upon which Primo de Rivera established himself as dictator. In his typically florid prose, he issued a Manifesto explaining the coup to the people. Resentful of the parliamentarians' attacks against him, King Alfonso tried to give Primo de Rivera legitimacy by naming him prime minister. In justifying his coup d'état, Primo de Rivera announced: "Our aim is to open a brief parenthesis in the constitutional life of Spain and to re-establish it as soon as the country offers us men uncontaminated with the vices of political organization."[5] In other words, he believed that the old class of politicians had ruined Spain, that they sought only their own interests rather than patriotism and nationalism.

Although many leftists opposed the dictatorship, some of the public supported Primo de Rivera. Those Spaniards were tired of the turmoil and economic problems and hoped a strong leader, backed by the military, could put their country on the right track. Others were enraged that the parliament had been brushed aside. As he travelled through Spain, his emotional speeches left no doubt that he was a Spanish patriot. He proposed to keep the dictatorship in place long enough to sweep away the mess created by the politicians. In the meantime, he would use the state to modernize the economy and alleviate the problems of the working class.

Primo de Rivera began by appointing a supreme Directory of eight military men, with himself as president. He then decreed martial law and fired civilian politicians in the provinces, replacing them with middle-ranking officers. When members of the Cortes complained to the king, Alfonso dismissed them, and Primo de Rivera suspended the constitution and dissolved the legislative body. He also moved to repress separatists, who wanted to make the Basque provinces and Catalonia independent from Spain. Despite some reservations, the great Spanish philosopher and intellectual, José Ortega y Gasset, wrote:

"The alpha and omega of the task that the military Directory has imposed is to make an end of the old politics. The purpose is so excellent, that there is no room for objections. The old politics must be ended."

Nevertheless, other intellectuals such as Miguel de Unamuno and Vicente Blasco Ibáñez criticized the regime and were exiled.

The dictator enjoyed several successes in the early years of his regime. Chief among them was Morocco, which had been festering since the start of the 20th century. Primo de Rivera talked of abandoning the colony altogether, unless sufficient resources were available to defeat the rebellion, and began withdrawing Spanish forces. But when the Moroccans attacked the French sector, they drove the French and Spanish to unite to crush the defiance in 1925. He went to Africa to help lead the troops in person, and 1927 brought victory to the Franco-Spanish forces. Grateful Spaniards rejoiced to think that decades of North African bloodletting and recriminations were over.

Promoting infrastructure

Primo de Rivera Estella
Portrait of Primo de Rivera

Primo de Rivera also worked to build infrastructure for his economically backward country. Spain had few cars when he came to power; by 1930, it possessed Europe's best network of automobile roads. The Barcelona Metro, started many years earlier, opened in 1924. His economic planners built dams to harness the hydroelectric power of rivers, especially the Duero and the Ebro, and to provide water for irrigation. For the first time, electricity reached some of Spain's rural regions. The regime upgraded Spain's railroads, and this helped the Spanish iron and steel industry prosper. Between 1923 and 1927, foreign trade increased 300%. Overall, his government intervened to protect national producers from foreign competition. Such economic nationalism was largely the brainchild of Primo de Rivera's finance minister, José Calvo Sotelo. While Spain benefited from the European post-World War I boom, its economic growth also came from Primo de Rivera's policies and the order his regime gave the country.[6]

The tranquility was, in part, due to the dictatorship's ways of accommodating the interests of Spanish workers. Imitating the example of Benito Mussolini in Italy, Primo de Rivera forced management and labor to cooperate by organizing 27 corporations (committees) representing different industries and professions. Within each corporation, government arbitrators mediated disputes over wages, hours, and working conditions. This gave Spanish labor more influence than ever before and this might be the reason why the Spanish Socialist Party and UGT were quick to cooperate with the government and its leaders affiliated themselves with the committees mentioned before.[7] Individual workers also benefited because the regime undertook massive public works. The government financed such projects with huge public loans, which Calvo Sotelo argued would be repaid by the increased taxes resulting from economic expansion. Unemployment largely disappeared.

But Primo de Rivera brought order to Spain with a price: his regime was a dictatorship, albeit a mild one. He censored the press. When intellectuals criticized the government, he closed El Ateneo, the country's most famous political and literary club. The largely anarchist CNT was decreed illegal and, without the support of the Socialist Party, the general strikes organised by the organisation were dismantled violently by the army. To suppress the separatist fever in Barcelona, the regime tried to expunge Catalan culture. It was illegal to use Catalan in church services or to dance the sardana. Furthermore, many of the dictator's economic reforms did not actually help the poor as huge public spending led to inflation, which the rich could cope with more easily. This led to a huge income disparity between the wealthy and working classes in Spain at the time.

Despite his paternalistic conservatism, Primo de Rivera was enough of a reformer and his policies were radical enough to threaten the interests of the traditional power elite. According to British historian Gerald Brenan, "Spain needed radical reforms and he could only govern by the permission of the two most reactionary forces in the country—the Army and the Church."

Primo de Rivera dared not tackle what was seen as Spain's most pressing problem, agrarian reform, because it would have provoked the great landholding elite. Writes historian Richard Herr, "Primo was not one to waken sleeping dogs, especially if they were big."

Primo de Rivera chiefly failed because he did not create a viable, legitimate political system to preserve and continue his reforms. He seems to have sincerely wanted the dictatorship to be as brief as possible and initially hoped that Spain could live with the Constitution of 1876 and a new group of politicians. The problem was to find new civilian leadership to take the place of the military.

In 1923, he began to create a new "apolitical" party, the Patriotic Union (UP), which was formally organized the following year. Primo de Rivera liked to claim that members of the UP were above the squabbling and corruption of petty politics, that they placed the nation's interests above their own. He thought it would bring ideal democracy to Spain by representing true public opinion. But the UP quite obviously was a political party, despite the dictator's naive protestations. Furthermore, it failed to attract enthusiastic support or even many members.

On 3 December 1925 he moved to restore legitimate government by dismissing the military Directory and replacing it with civilians. Still, the constitution remained suspended, and criticisms of the regime grew. By summer 1926, former politicians, led by conservative José Sánchez Guerra, pressed the king to remove Primo de Rivera and restore constitutional government. To demonstrate his public support, Primo de Rivera ordered the UP to conduct a plebiscite in September. Voters could endorse the regime or abstain. About a third of those able to vote declined to go to the polls.

National Assembly

Nevertheless, buoyed by his victory, Primo de Rivera decided to promote a body tasked with the elaboration of a constitutional draft. On 10 October 1927, with the king in attendance, he opened a National Assembly. Although they met in the Cortes chamber, members of the regime-appointed assembly could only advise Primo de Rivera. They had no legislative power. In 1929, following guidance from the dictator, the assembly finally produced a new constitution draft. Among its provisions, it gave women the vote because Primo de Rivera believed their political views less susceptible to political radicalism. He intended to have the nation accept the new constitution in another plebiscite, to be held in 1930.

Visita del general Miguel Primo de Rivera al puerto de Pasaia (1 de 1) - Fondo Marín-Kutxa Fototeka
Primo de Rivera (second from right) visiting the port of Pasaia with his navy staff, 1927

Fall from power

As Spaniards tired of the dictatorship, the economic boom ended. The value of the peseta fell against foreign currencies, 1929 brought a bad harvest, and Spain's imports far outstripped the worth of its exports. Conservative critics blamed rising inflation on the government's spending for public works projects. Although no one recognized it at the time, the final months of the year brought the international economic slump which turned into the Great Depression of the 1930s.

When Primo de Rivera lost the support of the king and the armed forces, his dictatorship was doomed. The Spanish military had never unanimously backed his seizure of power, although it had tolerated his rule. But when Primo de Rivera began to inject politics into promotions for the artillery corps, it provoked hostility and opposition. Troubled by the regime's failure to legitimize itself or to solve the country's woes, the king also began to draw away. Alfonso, who had sponsored the establishment of Madrid's University City, watched with dismay as the country's students took to the streets to protest the dictatorship and the king's support for it. A clandestine pamphlet portrayed Alfonso as Primo de Rivera's dancing partner. Yet the king did not have to remove Primo de Rivera. On 26 January 1930, the dictator asked the military leaders if he still had their support. Their lukewarm responses, and his recognition that the king no longer backed him, persuaded him to resign two days later. Primo de Rivera retired to Paris, where he died a month and a half later at the age of 60 from fever and diabetes on 16 March 1930.

Weekblad Pallieter - voorpagina 1925 43 primo de rivera
1925 Caricature of Primo de Rivera by Dutch magazine Weekbland Pallieter


In the early 1930s, as most of the western world, Spain fell into economic and political chaos. Alfonso XIII appointed General Dámaso Berenguer, one of Primo de Rivera's opponents, to govern. But the monarch had discredited himself by siding with the dictatorship. Social revolution fermented in Catalonia. In April 1931, General José Sanjurjo informed the King that he could not count on the loyalty of the armed forces. Alfonso XIII suspended the monarchy on 14 April 1931, leaving the royal family in Madrid. The act ushered in the Second Republic. Two years later Primo de Rivera's eldest son, José Antonio, founded the Falange, a Spanish fascist party. Both José Antonio and his brother Fernando were arrested in March 1936 by the republic, and were executed in Alicante prison by Republican forces once the Spanish Civil War began in July 1936. The Nationalists led by Francisco Franco won the Civil War and established a far more authoritarian regime. By that time, many Spaniards regarded Primo de Rivera's relatively mild regime and its economic optimism with greater fondness.[8]


  1. ^ Ben Ami, 1986; Rial, 1986
  2. ^ Television documentary from CC&C Ideacom Production,"Apocalypse Never-Ending War 1918-1926", part 2, aired at Danish DR K at 22.October 2018
  3. ^ Television documentary from CC&C Ideacom Production,"Apocalypse Never-Ending War 1918-1926", part 2, aired at Danish DR K at 22.October 2018
  4. ^ Hugh Thomas, The Spanish Civil War, p. 17
  5. ^ Richard A. H. Robinson, The Origins of Franco’s Spain – The Right, the Republic and Revolution, 1931–1936 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1970) p. 28.
  6. ^ Commire, Anne (1994). Historic World Leaders: Europe (L-Z). Gale Research Incorporated. p. 1157.
  7. ^ Murray Bookchin (1998) The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years, 1868–1936. Publisher: AK Press
  8. ^ Raymond Carr, Spain, 1808-1975 (2nd ed 1982) pp 564-91

Further reading

  • Ben-Ami, Shlomo. Fascism from Above: The Dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, 1923–1930 (Oxford 1983)
  • Carr, Raymond. Spain, 1808-1975 (2nd ed 1982) pp 564–91
  • Montes, Pablo. "La Dictadura de Primo de Rivera y la Historiografía: Una Confrontación Metodológica," Historia Social (2012), Issue 74, pp 167–184.
  • Quiroga, Alejandro. Making Spaniards: Primo de Rivera and the Nationalization of the Masses, 1923-30 (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Rial, James H. Revolution from Above: The Primo De Rivera Dictatorship in Spain, 1923-1930 (1986)
  • Smith, Angel. "The Catalan Counter-revolutionary Coalition and the Primo de Rivera Coup, 1917-23," European History Quarterly (2007) 37#1 pp 7–34. online

External links

Spanish nobility
Preceded by
Fernando Primo de Rivera
Marquess of Estella
Succeeded by
José Antonio Primo de Rivera
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Richard Swann Lull
Cover of Time Magazine
8 June 1925
Succeeded by
Victor Emmanuel III of Italy
1928 in Spain

Events in the year 1928 in Spain.


The term Alfonsism refers to the movement in Spanish monarchism that supported the restoration of Alfonso XIII of Spain as King of Spain after the foundation of the Second Spanish Republic in 1931. The Alfonsists competed with the rival monarchists, the Carlists, for the throne of Spain.Politically, before 1923, Alfonso XIII and his supporters had generally supported liberal democracy alongside Catholic traditionalism with a minority authoritarian wing as well, including support of Charles Maurras' conception of monarchy. After the overthrow of the monarchy, Alfonsists began to adapt authoritarian elements from Italian Fascism, Action Française, and Portuguese Integralism into their cause.After the overthrow of the monarchy of Alfonso XIII, Alfonsist supporters formed the Renovación Española, a monarchist political party, which held considerable economic influence and had close supporters in the Spanish army. Renovación Española did not, however, manage to become a mass political movement. Alfonso XIII had alienated the Union Monárquica Nacional political party by deposing Miguel Primo de Rivera as Prime Minister. The Alfonsists received little support outside of their clique of well-established supporters, while their rivals, the Carlists, soared to become a mass movement in Spain. Renovación Española cooperated with the fascist Falange party led by José Antonio Primo de Rivera, hoping to coopt it as a tool for the party's objectives. In 1937, the Alfonsists of Renovación Española joined alongside the Falange, the Carlist traditionalists, and CEDA under Francisco Franco's directive to form a united National Movement in the Spanish Civil War, which was known as the Spanish Traditionalist Phalanx of the Assemblies of the National Syndicalist Offensive (FET-JONS).

Alhucemas landing

The Alhucemas landing (also known as Al Hoceima landing) was a landing operation which took place on 8 September 1925 at Alhucemas of the Spanish Army and Navy and, in lesser numbers, an allied French contingent, that would put an end to the Rif War. It is considered the first amphibious landing in history involving the use of tanks and massive seaborne air support.The operations consisted on disembarking a force of 13,000 Spanish soldiers transported from Ceuta and Melilla by a combined Spanish-French naval fleet. The commander of the operation was the then dictator of Spain, general Miguel Primo de Rivera, and, as the executive head of the landing forces at the beach of Alhucemas bay, general José Sanjurjo, under whose orders were the columns of the chief generals of the brigades of Ceuta and Melilla, Leopoldo Saro Marín and Emilio Fernández Pérez, respectively. Among the participating officers, there was the then colonel Francisco Franco who, for his leadership of the Spanish Legion troops, was promoted to brigadier general.

Andrés Amado Reygondaud

Andrés Amado Reygondaud (1886 - 1960) was a Spanish politician and lawyer.

With José Calvo Sotelo he was active in the Ministry of Finance during the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera, and took the overall leadership of the Ministry. It was Amado Reygondaud who was part of the negotiating committee which made an agreement with the Basque provinces.

During the Spanish Civil War, Amado Reygondaud chaired the Finance Committee of the Technical Board of the State under Francisco Franco and would continue later in his first government, formed on February 1, 1938. He was, in fact, the only survivor of the Technical Board to retain his position or survive the Civil War. Amado worked with Ramón Serrano Súñer in drafting the decree that established the new administrative state in February 1938. However, Amado and Serrano Suñer grew increasingly discontented with Franco's government and showed a clear dislike of the Caudillo. Serrano claimed the services at the Technical Board of the State were not regarded highly enough and that they were considered "people without merit".


Compañía de Líneas Aéreas Subvencionadas, meaning 'Subsidized Airlines Company', mostly known as CLASSA, was a Spanish airline based in Madrid, Spain.The airline was established in 1928 as a result of the aim of the military dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera of having a greater state-controlled Spanish airline monopolizing air transport. As had been done with CAMPSA and with CTNE, a monopoly made up by merging the existing aviation companies in Spain was presented as a desirable goal in the general interest. CLASSA's inaugural flight took place on 27 May 1929 between Getafe (Madrid) and Sevilla.

This airline, which ceased operations in the second year of the Spanish Republic, earned a positive reputation for not having had a single air accident during its existence.

Centros Andaluces

The Centros Andaluces ("Andalusian Centers") were cultural associations that existed throughout Andalusia and in other places in Spain and abroad, dedicated to the creation and promotion of congresses, conferences, publications, expositions, library service, festivals, and in general, all activities related to Andalusian nationalism (Spanish: Andalucismo). The first Centro Andaluz was inaugurated October 22, 1916 in Seville, with a speech by Blas Infante. All of the centers in Spain were closed at the beginning of the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera in 1923, but some remained open abroad.

The Centros Andaluces published the magazines Bética and Andalucistas, among others.

Council of the Realm

The Council of the Realm (Spanish: Consejo del Reino) was a corporate organ of Francoist Spain, created by the Law of Succession to the Headship of the State of 1947. Within the institutional complex created to jezequize the regime of Francisco Franco (the so-called "organic democracy"), was the high council that advised the Head of State in the decision making of its exclusive competence. An antecedent of the Council of the Realm is the institution of the same name that appears in the Draft Constitution of 1929 of the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera.


Dictablanda is a dictatorship in which civil liberties are allegedly preserved rather than destroyed. The word dictablanda is a portmanteau of the Spanish words dictadura ("dictatorship") and blanda ("soft"). There is an element of punning in the expression, involved in that blanda replaces dura, meaning "hard".

The term was first used in Spain in 1930 when Dámaso Berenguer replaced Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja as the head of the ruling military junta (or "directorio militar") and attempted to reduce tensions in the country by repealing some of the harsher measures that had been introduced by the latter. It was also used to refer to the latter years of Francisco Franco's Spanish State, and to the hegemonic 70-year rule of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in Mexico, or by Augusto Pinochet when he was asked about his regime and the accusations about his government.

Analogously, the same pun is made in Portuguese as ditabranda or ditamole. In February 2009, the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo ran an editorial classifying the military dictatorship in Brazil (1964–1985) as a "ditabranda", creating controversy.In Spanish language, the term dictablanda is contrasted with democradura (a portmanteau of 'democracia' and 'dictadura'), meaning an illiberal democracy — a system in which the government and its leaders are elected, but which is relatively deficient in civil liberties.

Dictatorship of Primo de Rivera

The dictatorship of Primo de Rivera was the historical subperiod of the Bourbon Restoration in Spain comprising the dictatorial government of General Miguel Primo de Rivera extending from 1923 to 1930, during the wider reign of Alfonso XIII.

Duke of Primo de Rivera

The Dukedom of Primo de Rivera (Spanish: Ducado de Primo de Rivera) is a hereditary title in the Spanish nobility. The dukedom was posthumously bestowed on José Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the Falangist movement, by General Francisco Franco as head of the Spanish state.

Because José Antonio had no children the title devolved to his younger brother Don Miguel and subsequently, for the very same reason, to his nephew Don Miguel Primo de Rivera y Urquijo.

Dámaso Berenguer

Dámaso Berenguer y Fusté, 1st Count of Xauen, LCSF (4 August 1873 – 19 May 1953) was a Spanish soldier and politician, who served 122nd Prime Minister of Spain.

Berenguer was born in San Juan de los Remedios, Cuba, while that island was still a Spanish administrative division.

He enlisted in the army in 1889, served in Cuba and Morocco, and was promoted to general in 1909.

In 1918, he was appointed Minister of War under Prime Minister Manuel García Prieto. From January 1919 to July 1922 he was the High Commissioner of Spanish Morocco, where he used chemical weapons against civilians during the Rif War, saying he used them "with true joy."He was later court-martialled and discharged from the service when it was discovered that he was planning an uprising. He was saved by the coup d'état of Miguel Primo de Rivera on 13 September 1923, then granted an amnesty and appointed military chief of the royal household.

In January 1930, following the forced resignation of the dictator Primo de Rivera, King Alfonso XIII ordered Berenguer to form a government and restore a degree of normality to the country. As prime minister, Berenguer repealed some of the harsher measures introduced by Primo de Rivera, earning his regime the nickname dictablanda ( the toothless dictatorship, blanda meaning soft, – as opposed to the preceding dictadura, dura being the Spanish word for hard) or Parum Mentula. He also faced a number of problems – increasing demands for the abolition of the monarchy; disorganisation among the country's political parties after seven years of repression making the calling of prompt elections an impossible task; labour unrest; and at least one military uprising.

Berenguer resigned as prime minister on 14 February 1931; he was replaced by Admiral Juan Bautista Aznar-Cabañas, under whom he served as Minister of War.

Two months later, Alfonso fled the country and the Republic was declared, during which time Berenguer was imprisoned.

He died in Madrid in 1953.

Eduardo López Ochoa

Eduardo López Ochoa y Portoundo (1877, Barcelona – August 19, 1936) was a Spanish general, Africanist, and prominent Freemason. He was known for most of his life as a traditional Republican, and conspired against the government of Miguel Primo de Rivera.

Juan O'Donnell, 3rd Duke of Tetuan

Don Juan O'Donnell y Vargas, III Duke of Tetuan, Grandee of Spain, III Conde de Lucena, Cavalry Colonel, Director of the School of Military Riding, was born in Madrid in 1864. He was married in 1896 to Dona Maria Diaz de Mendoza y Aguado, of the noble house of Lalain and Balazote, Marquises of Fontanar. He was the son of Carlos O'Donnell y Abréu, II Duke of Tetuan. He served as Minister for War under Miguel Primo de Rivera 1924 to 1928 when he died in office.In 1895, as a lieutenant on the staff of General Martinez Campos, O'Donnell conducted Winston Churchill and Reginald Barnes on their military visit to Cuba. In his memoirs Churchill commented on Juan O'Donnell's excellent spoken English.

Manuel Argüelles Argüelles

Manuel Argüelles Argüelles (10 November 1875 in Madrid – 1945) was a Spanish politician and lawyer. He served as Minister of Finance and Minister of Public Works during the reign of Alfonso XIII. He later served as Minister of Finance during the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera.

María Espinosa de los Monteros

María Espinosa de los Monteros (13 May 13, 1875 Estepona-13 December 1946 Alicante) was a Spanish activist in the struggle for women's civil and political rights. She was founding partner of the National Association of Spanish Women, where she was president until 1924. In 1926, she was appointed by Miguel Primo de Rivera, to the city council of Segovia.

Miguel Primo de Rivera y Sáenz de Heredia

Miguel Primo de Rivera y Sáenz de Heredia, 2nd Duke of Primo de Rivera, 4th Marquess of Estella (11 July 1904 – 8 May 1964) was a Spanish aristocrat, lawyer, politician and diplomat. He was the second son of the dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja and younger brother of the founder of the Falange Española José Antonio Primo de Rivera.

He studied law at Universidad Central de Madrid and called to the bar in Cádiz. Following World War II he was Spanish Ambassador to the United Kingdom and mayor of Jerez de la Frontera (1947–1948).

After his death his nephew Miguel Primo de Rivera y Urquijo (son of his brother Fernando Primo de Rivera y Sáenz de Heredia) assumed the titles of Duke and Marquess.

Miguel Primo de Rivera y Urquijo

Miguel Primo de Rivera y Urquijo (17 August 1934 – 3 December 2018) was a Spanish politician, lawyer and businessman. He was a grandchild of the Spanish Dictator of the same name. He was Mayor of the city of Jerez from 1965 to 1971.. He succeeded his uncle as 3rd Duke of Primo de Rivera and passed down the subsidiary title of Marques de Estella to his son.

Segundo Blanco

Segundo Blanco González (Gijón 1899 – Mexico 1957) was a Spanish anarchist.

He worked as a teacher, but, in his youth, he was persecuted, so he had to work in many different jobs, such as foreman builder. He was studying in night shifts at the same time. During the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera he was responsible for the structure of the Asturias CNT section, and in 1926 he became the General Secretary of the CNT union. That year, he was imprisoned; he was imprisoned again in 1931 and 1934.

When the Spanish Civil War broke out, he presided over the Gijón's War Committee. Later, he became responsible for the Asturias and León Interprovincial Council, inside the Industry Ministry, and he was part of the War Committee, after its transformation into the Asturias and León Sovereign Council.

After the North Front was defeated, he fled to France and arrived to Catalonia. He was the Secretary of the Defense Council inside the CNT's National Committee. In April 1938 he participated in Juan Negrín's government, holding the Education and Public Health portfolio. When the war ended, he went into exile, first to the French city of Orléans, and then to Mexico, where he died in 1957.

Spanish Patriotic Union

The Spanish Patriotic Union (Spanish: Unión Patriótica Española, UPE) was the political party created from above by Spanish dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera, conceived as a support to his conservative dictatorship and integrating political catholicism, technocrats, and the business-owning classes. The party's power was dependent upon the power of its founder and leader, not any popular mandate. Following the dismissal of Miguel Primo de Rivera in January 1930 by King Alfonso XIII, the party was succeeded by the Unión Monárquica Nacional ("National Monarchist Union").

Queen Isabella II
Democratic Sexennium
The Restoration
Second Republic
Spain under Franco
Since 1975
Major conflicts
Key people

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