Aranda, Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, conde de (pāˈħrō päˈblō äbärˈkä ħa bōlāˈä kōnˈdā ħā äränˈdä) [key], 1718–98, Spanish statesman. He distinguished himself at first as a military commander, serving as director-general of artillery and captain general of Valencia and later of Aragón. His aristocratic background and advocacy of enlightened despotism made him ideally suited to play a reforming role in the administration of Charles III. In 1766 he became president of the council of Castile, a position he held with considerable distinction until 1773 when he was dismissed because of his failure to hold the Falkland Islands for Spain. Ambassador to France (1773–87), he was one of the signatories to the Treaty of Paris (1783), which recognized the independence of the United States. Under Charles IV he served briefly as foreign minister (1792), but fell into disfavor because of disapproval of war with France following the French invasion of Spain in 1794. He was one of the main luminaries of the Spanish Enlightenment.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.