José de Carvajal y Lancaster

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José de Carvajal y Lancaster

José de Carvajal y Lancaster , (born March 19, 1698 in Cáceres , Spain , † April 8, 1754 in Madrid , Spain), was a Spanish statesman who lived under King Ferdinand VI. served as Prime Minister of his country.


Family background, youth and education

José de Carvajal came from a family of the Spanish and Portuguese nobility. His father was Bernardino de Carvajal, conde de Enjarda . José was the fourth of eight children. His mother's name was María de Lancaster y Noroña; she was the 4th Duchess of Abrantes. She had inherited the title of duke from her older brother, José's maternal uncle, Fernando de Alencastre Noroña y Silva , 3rd Duke of Abrantes, Duke of Linares and Viceroy of New Spain .

José's eldest brother, Juan Antonio de Carvajal y Lancaster, inherited the title of duke. He served as Lieutenant General in the Spanish Army and was awarded the title of Marquis of Sarría. Two other brothers and sisters entered the service of the Church.

José de Carvajal was a sickly child who remained withdrawn and liked to read. He studied law at the Bartholomäus College of the University of Salamanca . He remained unmarried throughout his life.

Early career

First he worked as an oidor at the Real Audiencia of Valladolid . He then headed the Chamber of Commerce and Money. Under the protection of Prime Minister José de Patiño y Morales and Finance Minister José de Campillo y Cossío , he began his work in the government administration.

From there he moved to the colonial administration, as a member of the Council of India . He represented Spain's interests at the Reichstag in Frankfurt (Main) . In 1746 King Ferdinand VI appointed him . as successor to Sebastián de la Cuadra y Llarena as Prime Minister of Spain.

Term of office as Prime Minister

After the aggressive foreign policy under Philip V with campaigns in Italy and the naval war in the Caribbean had driven Spain to the brink of ruin, Ferdinand VI pursued. and his government took a more reserved line. In terms of foreign policy, Carvajal sought a neutral position between the rival powers France and Great Britain. Domestically, he pursued a moderate course, which was primarily intended to consolidate the disrupted state finances.

Even if Carvajal's personality and origins were in contradiction to War, Navy and Colonial Minister Zenón de Somodevilla y Bengoechea , the Marqués de la Ensenada , both pursued the same interests and complemented each other in a favorable way.

One of the achievements of Carvajal's reign was the conclusion of the Concordat with the Holy See in 1750.

In his function as foreign minister, Carvajal was also significantly involved in the Treaty of Madrid (1750) . Spain and Portugal re- regulated their borders in South America after territorial disputes over the Colonia de Sacramento and in Paraguay had repeatedly led to armed conflicts on the Río de la Plata ( Spanish-Portuguese War (1735–1737) ).

He also appeared as a patron of the fine arts. From 1751 until his death he was director of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando and he was one of the driving forces behind the construction of the first botanical garden in Madrid.

He published several books: Testamento Político (1745), Mis Pensamientos (1752) and Representación (written 1752, printed posthumously 1787).

José de Carvajal died in office in April 1754.

Web links

Commons : José de Carvajal y Lancaster  - Collection of images, videos and audio files