Canalejas y Méndez, José (hōsāˈ känälāˈhäs ē mānˈdāth) [key], 1854–1912, Spanish politician. After holding several cabinet posts, he became premier in 1910. A democratic radical who hoped to reform the Liberal party, Canalejas entered office with a dynamic program that included curbing the power of the religious orders and breaking up the large estates. His firm measures against labor unrest alienated many of his left-wing supporters. Frequently regarded as the most promising liberal statesman of early 20th-century Spain, his career was cut short when he was assassinated by an anarchist.
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