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ARSENIO MARTINEZ DE CAMPOS (1831-1900)

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Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 139 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ARSENIO MARTINEZ DE CAMPOS (1831-1900), Spanish marshal, senator and knight of the Golden Fleece, was born at Segovia on the 14th of December 1831. He graduated as a lieutenant in 1852, and for some years was attached to the staff college as an assistant professor. He took part in the Morocco campaign of 1859-186o, and distinguished himself in sixteen actions, obtaining the cross of San Fernando, and the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He then returned to the staff college as a professor. Afterwards he joined the expedition to Mexico under Prim. In 1869 he was sent to Cuba, where he was promoted to the rank of general in 1872. On his return to the Peninsula, the Federal Republican government in 1873 confided to General Campos several high commands, in which he again distinguished himself against the Cantonal Republicans and the Carlists. About that time he began to conspire with a view to restore the son of Queen Isabella. Though Campos made no secret of his designs, Marshal Serrano,in 1874, appointed him to the command of a division which took part in the relief of Bilbao on the 2nd of May of that year, and in the operations around Estella in June. On both occasions General Campos tried in vain to induce the other commanders to proclaim Alphonso XII. He then affected to hold aloof, and would have been arrested, had not the minister of war, Ceballos, answered for his good behaviour, and quartered him in Avila under surveillance. He managed to escape, and after hiding in Madrid, joined General Daban at Sagunto on the 29th of December 1874, where he proclaimed Alphonso XII. king of Spain. From that date he never ceased to exercise great influence in the politics of the restoration. He was considered as a sort of supreme counsellor, being consulted by King Alphonso, and later by his widow, the queen-regent, in every important CAMUCCINI 139 political crisis, and on every international or colonial question, especially when other generals or the army itself became trouble-some. He took an important part in the military operations against the Carlists, and in the negotiations with their leaders, which put an end to the civil war in 1876. In the same way he brought about the pacification of Cuba in 1878. On his return from that island he presided over a Conservative cabinet for a few months, but soon made way for Canovas, whom he ever afterwards treated as the leader of the Conservative party. In 1881, with other discontented generals, he assisted Sagasta in obtaining office. After the death of King Alphonso, Campos steadily supported the regency of Queen Christina, and held high commands, though declining to take office. In 1893 he was selected to command the Spanish army at Melilla, and went to the court of Morocco to make an advantageous treaty of peace, which averted a war. When the Cuban rising in 1895 assumed a serious aspect, he was sent out by the Conservative cabinet of Canovas to cope with the rebellion, but he failed in the field, as well as in his efforts to win over the Creoles, chiefly because he was not allowed to give them local self-government, as he wished. Subsequently he remained aloof from politics, and only spoke in the senate to defend his Cuban administration and on army questions. After the war with America, and the loss of the colonies in 1899, when Senor Silvela formed a new Conservative party and cabinet, the old marshal accepted the presidency of the senate, though his health was failing fast. He held this post up to the time of his death. This took place in the summer recess of 1900 at Zarauz, a village on the coast of Guipuzcoa, where he was buried.
End of Article: ARSENIO MARTINEZ DE CAMPOS (1831-1900)
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