Manuel de Godoy

Godoy, Manuel de (mänwĕlˈ dā gōħoiˈ) [key], 1767–1851, Spanish statesman. An army officer, he won the favor of Queen María Luisa and rose rapidly at the court of Charles IV. The king made him chief minister in 1792, and except for a brief eclipse from power (1798–1801), Godoy ruled continuously until 1808. Godoy joined (1793) the war of the First Coaltion (1793) against revolutionary France, but in 1795 he made peace (the second Treaty of Basel) and was awarded the title príncipe de la Paz [prince of the peace]. The following year he allied Spain with France (Treaty of San Ildefonso) in the war against England (1796–1802), which brought about great economic difficulties as English naval power increasingly cut off Spain from her Latin American colonies. After a brief eclipse, Godoy returned to power in 1801 and commanded the victorious Spanish army in the War of the Oranges against Portugal. His alliance with Napoleon I involved Spain in renewed war with England in 1804 and led to the Franco-Spanish defeat at Trafalgar (1805). The unpopularity of Godoy's corrupt government became acute after Godoy concluded the Convention of Fontainebleau (1807) with Napoleon (see Peninsular War). Prince Ferdinand (later Ferdinand VII) led the opposition and in 1808 was proclaimed king after Charles IV's first abdication. Godoy who was captured and mauled by a mob in Aranjuez, was rescued by the French and sent to France. He died in Paris.

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