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NICOLAS SALMERON Y ALFONSO (1838-1908)

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 82 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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NICOLAS SALMERON Y ALFONSO (1838-1908), Spanish statesman, was born at Alhama la Seca in the province of Almeria, on the loth of April 1838. He was educated at Granada and became assistant professor of literature and philosophy at Madrid. The last years of the reign of Isabella II. were times of growing discontent with her bad government and with the monarchy. Salmeron joined the small party who advocated the establishment of a republic. He was director of the Opposition paper La Discusion, and co-operated with Don Emilio Castelar on La Democracia. In 1865 he was named one of the members of the directing committee of the Republican party. In 1867 he was imprisoned with other suspects. When the revolution of September 1868 broke out, he was at Almeria recovering from a serious illness. Salmeron was elected to the Cortes in 1871, and though he did not belong to the Socialist party, defended its right to toleration. When Don Amadeo of Savoy resigned the Spanish crown on the 11th of February 1873 Salmeron was naturally marked out to be a leader of the party which endeavoured to establish a republic in Spain. After serving as minister of justice in the Figueras cabinet, he was chosen president of the Cortes, and then, on the 18th of July 1873, president of the republic, in succession to Pi Margall. He became president at a time when the Federalist party had thrown all the south of Spain into anarchy. Salmeron was compelled to use the troops to restore order. When, however, he found that the generals insisted on executing rebels taken in arms, he resigned on the ground that he was opposed to capital punishment (7th September). He resumed his seat as president of the Cortes on the 8th of September. His successor, Castelar, was compelled to restore order by drastic means. Salmeron took part in the attack made on him in the Cortes on the 3rd of January 1874, which provoked the generals into closing the chamber and establishing a provisional military government. Salmeron went into exile and remained abroad till 1881, when he was recalled by Sagasta. In 1886 he was elected to the Cortes as Progressive deputy for Madrid, and unsuccessfully endeavoured to combine the jarring republican factions into a party of practical moderate views. On the 18th of April 1907 he was shot at, but not wounded, in the streets of Barcelona by a member of the more extreme Republican party. He died at Pau on the 21st of September 1908.
End of Article: NICOLAS SALMERON Y ALFONSO (1838-1908)
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