Biography of Manuel Ruiz Zorrilla (1833-1895)

Military and prominent Spanish politician. Born in Burgo de Osma (Soria), 22 May of the year 1833, and died in Burgos, on June 13, the year 1895.

After studying law at the Central University of Madrid, Ruiz Zorrilla began his public career in the year 1856, as Commander of the national militia in Soria, against whose disarmament carried out an excellent campaign. Two years later, with the minimum permissible age, he/she was elected Deputy for Soria representing the Progressive Party of Sagasta, contrary to the moderantismo of O'Donnell, charge that repeat continuously. In the Chamber of Deputies, Ruiz Zorrilla worked tirelessly with frequent speeches and interpellations to the Government. As a progressive, he/she defended the democratic idea of the general will, while, curiously, Democrats defended the liberal idea of natural rights of man, i.e., the immediate and total political application, at the same time that progressives of Ruiz Zorrilla advocated an evolution allowing to reach the fullness of the exercise of national sovereignty, without compromising this public order.

Because of its declared and public enmity with the Queen Elizabeth II, who identified with the reactionaries, participated in the pronouncement of the year 1866 of the barracks of San Gil, under the direct orders of general Prim, for whose cause was forced to take the path of exile. On August 16 of the same year, Ruiz Zorrilla participated in the Pact of Ostend, which meant the Alliance between progressives and Democrats, and whose primary objective was the overthrow of Isabel II and convened the Constituent Cortes, by universal suffrage, to decide the political future of the country. In the meeting participated, in addition to Ruiz Zorrilla, general Prim and Sagasta, Becerra and Carlos Rubio.

Ruiz Zorrilla did not return to Spain until the very beginning of the revolution of the year 1868 (La Gloriosa), who led the Liberals to power, taking it an active and decisive part for their accomplishment and triumph. He/She was appointed Minister of public works in the first provisional Government of Serrano . His activity in the Ministry was very important, beginning a legislative reform of liberal orientation: decreed freedom of primary education and other grades; It controlled the artistic heritage of the Church; He/She liberalized the creation of stock exchanges; he/she suppressed the Faculty of theology, leaving religious education in charge of the seminars; He/She urged councils to collaborate in the dissemination of teaching applied to agriculture and industry, through the creation of scientific societies, schools of art and crafts, and basic preparation for adults; said their lectures to the MI6 professors (Sanz del Rio, Salmeron, García Blanco, Giner of the Ríos, Castelar, and etc).

In 1869 he/she joined the Ministry of grace and justice, also with Serrano as interim Regent, where it undertook legislative reforms, renewing the Commission's codes and giving the liberal orientation of the Constitution which had just been adopted. He/She presented numerous projects of law courts, showing signs of his great capacity for work: reforms of Cassation, abolishing the penalty of ring, approval of civil marriage, organization of courts, etc.

After the triumph of the candidacy of Amadeus of Savoy to the Spanish throne, Ruiz Zorrilla, who still retained its monarchist ideology, he/she was President of the Chamber of Deputies and was part of the Commission which went to Florence to communicate the new King his election, being more strong support along with Prim. But upon his return, Ruiz Zorrilla met the news of the murder of Prim, which meant a hard blow for him and for the progressive party itself, since the unexpected disappearance of the leader left the formation without a Chief recognised by all, thus creating the conditions for the later confrontation between the radical faction of Ruiz Zorrilla and the curator of Sagasta. The political landscape was complicated somewhat more with the idea of the King who wanted to create a formula of alternating parties by breaking the coalition.

In the first Government of Amadeo de Saboya, chaired by Serrano, Ruiz Zorrilla took over, again, building portfolio. Once this failed, the King called for Ruiz Zorrilla to form a second Cabinet, which was also doomed to fail by the ongoing clashes between Sagasta and Ruiz Zorrilla. The latter sought to harmonize the new dynasty with a democratic system, approaching the democratic left, while his opponent Sagasta tried to attract to the unionist right. In the summer of the year 1872, Amadeo de Saboya returned to take Ruiz Zorrilla the formation of Government, combining it with the portfolio of the Interior. His direct initiative were due, inter alia, the creation of the Banco Hipotecario, bills of staffing of the clergy and the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico, faced squarely with the body of gunners, conflict that would lead with the abdication of Amadeus of Savoy, on 11 February the year 1873. As a result of such waiver, Ruiz Zorrilla moved away from public life, as the main defender of the King who was, to which accompanied to Lisbon on his farewell trip.

Ruiz Zorrilla returned to the country to the insistent calls from his party colleagues, who looked threatening social revolution which advocated. In August of the year 1874, Ruiz Zorrilla was officially declared Republican and ready to fight to prevent the return of the Bourbons to the Spanish throne, thing that you could not avoid. On 4 February the year 1875 received the limited order of police of abandoning the country, while that was forbidden to settle near the Spanish border, so he/she decided to move to Paris. On 25 August the year 1876, Ruiz Zorrilla published a manifesto in which proposed the Republic as a system of Government, under the Constitution of the year 1869, obliterating everything that might remind a monarchical regime. Such taking of position forcing Ruiz Zorrilla take via conspiracy and political means as the sole military to assert his ideas.

That same year, Salmeron joined Ruiz Zorrilla in Paris to be the reformist Republican party. In May of the year 1877 was prepared the first revolutionary attempt, which took place in Aragon, Catalonia and the Basque country; but the lack of a character with sufficient leadership ability to bring together such a heterogeneous group, did fail the pronouncement, every time that Ruiz Zorrilla lacked that ability to command, because of their status as civil head, making it very difficult to be recognized by military chiefs. Ruiz Zorrilla signed a manifesto in which the Democratic Progressive Party, along with other prominent Republicans, such as Martos and Montero Ríoshas been configured in the year 1880. The own Martos, on behalf of Ruiz Zorrilla in the interior of the country, led a second conspiracy in which managed to have the support of general Serrano, who met with Ruiz Zorrilla in Biarritz, and even financially supported the attempt to overthrow the Bourbon monarchy. The plot ended up being discovered, forcing Ruiz Zorrilla to move to London and leave Paris. The situation of Ruiz Zorrilla was complicated further when there began to be insurmountable differences between the leaders of the party, causing that Martos and others will be collaborating with the regime of the monarchical restoration. Ruiz Zorrilla turned then, against the advice of Salmeron, directing a series of uprisings that finished all of them in absolute failures and that desprestigiaron still more the image of Spanish republicanism: that of Badajoz, which had an impact on the Seo de Urgell and Santo Domingo de la Calzada (1883); Nevada Monte and Santa Colona de Farnés (1883); and the de Villacampa, in Madrid (1886).

The death of Alfonso XII, on 25 November the year 1885, new Government gave way to the Regency of María Cristina and the training carried out by the Liberals led by Sagasta. Ruiz Zorrilla tried to take advantage of the political situation to feed a new movement of Republican insurrection. However, and thanks to the reports supplied by the Spanish consul in Perpignan, the Government faced with regular troops to the liberal revolutionary outbreak, forcing the poor troops recruited by Ruiz ZORILLA to retreat to the interior of the French territory. Ruiz Zorrilla returned to their refuge of Paris completely convinced that the Republican system still did not have the proper social substrate for implant in Spain.

From the year 1892, Ruiz Zorrilla renounced any attempt at armed insurrection as a means to establish the Republic, to exercise political activity together with other Republican sectors parliamentarians, which formed the Union Republican party. New formation gave the centralists of Salmerón, the federalist host of Pi i Margall and progressives of Ruiz Zorrilla and the doctor Esquerdo. Ruiz Zorrilla was elected by his party in the years 1891 and 1893, but refused to take his seat for his precarious health following the death of his wife, María Barbadillo, and that he/she had sworn to never return to Spain as long as a Bourbon on the Spanish throne. Finally, because of his increasingly delicate health, Ruiz Zorrilla reconsidered his position and returned to Spain, settling in the town of Villajoyosa Alicante.

On 16 February the year 1895, through a letter written to the liberal newspaper El País, Ruiz Zorrilla announced his irrevocable decision to withdraw from politics, decision that led to an urgent meeting in the ranks of his progressive party before the need to elect a new President. The split of the party into two factions, is bringing together the right wall and Sun and Ortega, which formed the Liberal Republican party, and the left, grouped around the doctor Esquerdo and Alejandro Lerroux, forming the Progressive Party emerged from the meeting.

When Ruiz Zorrilla moved from Villajoyosa to Tablada (Madrid) for particular reasons, the death you surprised in Burgos, June 13 from 1895.

Bibliography.

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Lopez-cordon, María Victoria. The revolution of 1868 and the Republic I. (Madrid: Ed. Siglo XXI. 1976).

PALACIO ATARD, Vicente. The Spain of the 19th century. (Madrid: Espasa-Calpe Ed.. 1978).