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Luis González-Bravo y López de Arjona

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Luis González-Bravo y López de Arjona

Luis González Bravo y López de Arjona (Cádiz, Spain, 8 July 1811 – Biarritz, France, 1 September 1871) was a Spanish politician, intellectual, speaker, diplomat and journalist graduated from law school, who served twice as Prime Minister of Spain (UK) or President of Spain (US), from 1843 to 1844 and in 1868. He held other important offices, such as once serving as Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, and twice as Minister of Home Affairs (see: List of Ministers of the Interior of Spain). He was appointed Ambassador of Spain to the United Kingdom in Queen Victoria's rule, and Ambassador of Spain to Portugal. He also occupied three times the post of Spanish Congressman (United States House of Representatives equivalent) or Member of Parliament (House of Commons of the United Kingdom equivalent), for Cádiz, Jaén, and the Canary Islands. He was Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece and Knight of the Order of Charles III. He was a member of the Moderate Party.

Independence of Chile and Peace Treaty

On 25 April 1844, President and Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Luis González Bravo and Queen Isabella II of Spain made the peace negotiations and Treaty to recognise the Spanish American Independence of Chile as a country, for its official recognition by the Spanish Kingdom, called the Tratado de Paz y Amistad, in the government of President of Chile Manuel Bulnes. The signing plenipotentiaries were Luis González Bravo for Spain, and General José Manuel Borgoño for Chile. It was the first Latin American independence peace treaty signed in Queen Isabella II's government since her coronation.

Revolution and Exile

Luis González Bravo was the first stable President or Prime Minister of the Government of Queen of Spain Isabella II of Bourbon's effective kingdom as of her coronation in 1843, and also her kingdom's last President or Prime Minister, 25 years later in 1868. President Luis González Bravo was one of the few politicians who remained consistently faithful to Queen Isabella II throughout her ruling years, standing by her from the beginning of her effective monarchy, to the very last days of her reign in 1868. In September 1868, upon facing the first battle of the revolution (the revolutionary movement was orchestrated since 1866 by the Queen's traitors and conspirators), he advised Queen Isabella II to substitute him in the country's presidency for an experienced army general as President, to better fight the ready to strike armed forces organized against her government. The Queen named Captain José Gutiérrez de la Concha as President of Spain, who only lasted eleven days in power, from 19 September to 30 September 1868, his troops being defeated on 28 September, when the revolution took over the country. Queen Isabella II and González Bravo were offered exile with their spouses and children in France by Emperor Napoleon III. The Queen was exiled in Paris, where she died in 1904. Luis González Bravo lived in Biarritz with his wife and two daughters, and died there from coronary heart disease in 1871. In France, as a last resort to rescue and preserve the Bourbon monarchy in Spain in face of the revolutionary takeover and Queen Isabella II of Bourbon's exile, he supported the Carlists two years before his death. Months later, in 1870, Queen Isabella II abdicated her crown in favour of her first-born son King Alfonso XII of Spain, so as to perpetuate the House of Bourbon dynasty in Spain, which came back into power in 1874 with the Spanish Monarchy Restoration.

Works, Journalism and Intellectual Academies

A talented and prolific columnist, he founded four newspapers in Spain: El Guirigay (1837), La Legalidad, El Contemporáneo (1860) and Los Tiempos. He was also columnist for the newspapers El Español and El Eco del Comercio. A fervent and generous literature supporter, he was poet Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer's patron and benefactor.

In his youth he was the playwright of the play Intrigar para morir (To Intrigue to Die). In 1835 he and Eugenio Moreno wrote the historical novel in four volumes Ramir Sanchez de Guzman, Año de 1072. He was a member of the Ateneo de Madrid (Athenæum of Madrid) since its foundation, and member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences. He became a "C seat" Member of the Real Academia Española de la Lengua (Royal Academy of the Spanish Language) in 1863. Luis González Bravo is considered one of the best Spanish public speakers and orators of all time.

Romance and Son with Isabella II of Spain

President Luis González Bravo and Queen Isabella II had a natural son in late 1858, Cipriano González Bravo (of Bourbon, unofficially). Luis González Bravo insisted on giving their son his surname, even if that meant he would not belong with the official Queen's descendants as opposed to his eleven half-siblings (many died upon birth or prematurely). All other eleven children of Queen Isabella II officially carried her surname "of Bourbon" (de Borbón) coupled with the surname of her alleged homosexual husband, also "of Bourbon", who as recorded by most historians was father to none of Queen Isabella's children, illegitimate as well on their respective biological fathers' side. Queen Isabella II had to marry her alleged gay cousin for strategic political reasons, and thus was forced to bravely seek the perpetuation of her royal blood line succession outside her marriage, to preserve her Bourbon dynasty's furtherance. She was misjudged as promiscuous by many for this, but it was her only choice, since her family's monarch generations had to endure into the future, and she was the Bourbon in her generation responsible for ensuring such continuation. Cipriano González Bravo was safely put in a convent in North Spain in order to pursue a career in the Roman Catholic Church. At the outburst of the revolution, on his parents' orders who feared for his safety, eleven-year old Cipriano was sent off on a ship to Mexico with his priest tutor, to join a convent in Mexico. His tutor caught the plague and died on board in the Atlantic Ocean. As it approached the coast, young Cipriano escaped the ship and his religious destiny, having no vocation for it, and on his own built a life for himself in Mexico in view of his mentor's death. Luis González Bravo died over two years later, with no news of his lost boy.

Cipriano's genetic heritage allowed him to become a successful businessman, philanthropist, and member of the Mexican high society by his own means. In 1910, six years after his mother's death in Paris, he became Vice consul of Spain to Salina Cruz, Oaxaca. Thus, Cipriano's nephew King Alfonso XIII of Spain, son of his late half-brother King Alfonso XII of Spain, learned his whereabouts after 41 years of his Royal Family having no word about his fate, and sent him a bundle of presents overseas to Mexico, inviting him to go back to Spain as Infante of the Spanish Kingdom, his due recognition as the Queen's son. Cipriano thanked him by letter, but stayed in Oaxaca, having his life, home, business, wife and daughter there, where he died years later. He never went back to Europe, it is said, out of resentment towards his mother the Queen, exiled in France for life, and his half-siblings, some deceased by then, some back in Spain since the 1874 Bourbon Monarchy Restoration.

Royal Descendants in Mexico

Cipriano González Bravo married in Oaxaca, Mexico and had one daughter, Josefina González Bravo, a Mexico City renowned fashion designer in her time, who in turn had two children, Lilian and Manuel De Santiago González Bravo. Manuel was a Mexican Under Secretary of Tourism, and a notable architect member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites ICOMOS. He is known for restoring the building of the Mexican Houses of Congress in Mexico City, headquarters of the Mexico Congress (or Parliament of Mexico), called "Palacio Legislativo de San Lázaro", after a fire destroyed it in 1989. Manuel De Santiago González Bravo's first-born twins Paola and Marina De Santiago Haas, descendants and a branch of the House of Bourbon dynasty, await official recognition by their third cousin, King of Spain Juan Carlos I de Borbón (like them, he is great-great-grandson of Queen Isabella II de Borbón), in accordance with Law 11/1981 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978, which recognizes all children and direct line descendants of Spanish monarchs, whether legitimate or natural, to have birth rights. They are the great-great grandchildren of the romantic union between Queen of Spain Isabella II of Bourbon and President of Spain Luis González Bravo.

Political offices
Preceded by
Salustiano de Olózaga
Minister of State
29 November 1843 – 3 May 1844
Succeeded by
The Marquis of Viluma
President of Spain / Prime Minister of Spain
5 December 1843 – 3 May 1844
Succeeded by
Ramón María Narváez
Preceded by
Ramón María Narváez
President of Spain / Prime Minister of Spain
23 April 1868 – 19 September 1868
Succeeded by
President for 11 last days of Queen Isabella II's kingdom: José Gutiérrez de la Concha


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