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Floridablanca, Conde de (1728–1808)

Floridablanca, Conde de (1728–1808)

Conde de Floridablanca (b. 21 October 1728; d. 30 December 1808), secretary of state in Spain (1776–1792). As secretary of state, Floridablanca was a conservative reformer and devoted servant of absolutism. After 1776, when he was appointed fiscal (crown attorney), his power and influence over the king, Charles III, were unparalleled, and he was accused of ministerial despotism by his opponents. The outbreak of the French Revolution (1789) horrified Floridablanca, and he tried to prevent revolutionary ideas from entering Spain.

Floridablanca found it impossible to sanction his monarch's approval of Louis XVI's acceptance of the French Constitution. His inability to compromise on this issue resulted in his dismissal from office on 28 February 1792. Retirement in Murcia was interrupted by arrest and confinement to a fortress in Pamplona while his enemies investigated him for abusing his former powerful position.

In 1794 Manuel de Godoy, Charles IV's minister, released Floridablanca and allowed him to return to Murcia. He was recalled to government service as president of the central junta meeting at Aranjuez (1808) but died shortly after the group fled to Seville in the wake of the Napoleonic invasion of Spain.

See alsoSpain; Spanish Empire.


Cayetano Alcázar Molina, El Conde de Floridablanca: Su vida y su obra (1934).

A. Ferrer Del Río, ed., Obras originales del conde de Floridablanca, y escritos referentes a su persona (1952).

Richard Herr, The Eighteenth-Century Revolution in Spain (1958), esp. pp. 239-268.

Antonio Rumeu De Armas, El testamento político del conde de Floridablanca (1962).

Additional Bibliography

Sánchez-Blanco, Francisco. El absolutismo y las luces en el reinado de Carlos III. Madrid: Marcial Pons, 2002.

Stein, Stanley J., and Barbara H. Stein. The Apogee of Empire: Spain and New Spain in the Age of Charles III, 1759–1789. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.

                              Suzanne Hiles Burkholder

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