Francisco Serrano, 1st Duke of la Torre : biography
Don Francisco Serrano Domínguez Cuenca y Pérez de Vargas, 1st Duke of la Torre Grandee of Spain, Count of San Antonio (es: Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, primer duque de la Torre, conde de San Antonio; 17 December 1810 – 25 November 1885) was a Spanish marshal and statesman. He was Prime Minister of Spain and regent in 1868-1869.
Captain-general of Cuba
Serrano assisted Marshal Leopoldo O'Donnell in the military movements of 1854 and 1856, and was his staunch follower for twelve years. O'Donnell appointed him as marshal in 1856 and captain-general of Cuba from 1859 to 1862. Serrano governed that island with success, and helped carry out the war in Santo Domingo. He was the first viceroy to advocate political and financial reforms in the colony.
On his return to Spain, O'Donnell made him Duke de la Torre, Grandee of Spain of the first class, and the 139th Minister of Foreign Affairs, serving from 18 January to 2 March 1863. Serrano risked his life in helping O'Donnell quell the insurrection of 22 June 1866 at Madrid. He was awarded with the Order of the Golden Fleece.
After the death of O'Donnell, Serrano became the leader of the Union Liberal Party. As president of the senate, he assisted Ríos Rosas to draw up a petition to Queen Isabella against her Moderado ministers, for which both were exiled.
Serrano began to conspire with Antoine, Duke of Montpensier, Prim and Sagasta. On 7 July 1868, González Bravo had Serrano and other generals arrested and taken to the Canary Islands. There Serrano remained until Admiral Topete sent a steamer to bring him to Cadiz on 18 September that same year.
On landing he signed the manifesto of the revolution with Prim, Topete, Sagasta, Martos and others, and accepted the command of the revolutionary army. He routed the troops of Queen Isabella under the orders of the Marquess of Novaliches at the bridge of Alcolea. The queen fled to France, and Serrano, having entered Madrid, formed a Provisional Government.
In February 1869, he convoked the Cortes Constituyentes; he was appointed successively as president of the executive, the 57th Prime Minister of Spain, and Regent from 3 October 1868 to 18 June 1869. Serrano ruled impartially, respecting the independence of the Cortes and cabinets. He acceded to their selection of Amadeus I of Savoy as king, although he would have preferred Montpensier.
As soon as Amadeus reached Madrid, after the death of Prim, Serrano consented to form a coalition cabinet, which lasted only a few months. Serrano resigned and took the command of the Italian king's army against the Carlists in North Spain. He tried to form one more cabinet under King Amadeus as the 65th Prime Minister of Spain on 6 June 1872, but resigned on 12 June when that monarch declined to give his ministers dictatorial powers and sent for Ruíz Zorilla. His mistakes led to Amadeus abdicating the throne on 11 February 1873.
Serrano opposed the federal republic, and conspired with other generals and politicians to overthrow it on 23 April 1873. Having failed, he went into exile in France. On the eve of his coup d'etat of 3 January 1874, General Pavia sent for him to take the leadership. Serrano again took the title of president of the executive; he tried to form a coalition cabinet, but Cristino Martos and Sagasta soon quarrelled. His next cabinet was presided over by Sagasta. The military and political unrest continued, and at the end of December 1874, the Bourbons were restored by another pronunciamienio.
During the eleven months he remained in office, Serrano devoted his attention chiefly to the reorganization of finance, the renewal of relations with American and European powers, and the suppression of revolt.
After Alfonso XII ascended the throne in 1875, Serrano spent some time in France. He returned to Madrid in 1876, attended palace receptions, took his seat as a marshal in the senate, and flirted politically with Sagasta and his party in 1881. He finally gave his support to the formation of a dynastic Left with a democratic program defended by his nephew, General López Domínguez.
In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine