Primo de Rivera, Miguel, 1870–1930, Spanish general and dictator. After a rapid and brilliant military career in Cuba, the Philippines, and Morocco, he became governor of Cádiz (1915), then in turn captain general of Valencia, Madrid, and Catalonia. From Catalonia he staged a coup in Sept., 1923, dissolving the Cortes and then establishing, with the full approval of King Alfonso XIII, a military directory. The constitution of 1876 as well as civil liberties were suspended. The military dictatorship was replaced by a civil one (1925); both ruled quite moderately, without the brutalities and extreme repression that characterized later dictatorships. Primo de Rivera ended the war in Morocco (1926), introduced many measures aimed at economic modernization and administrative reform, and launched an ambitious program of public works, but his rule aroused the opposition of anarcho-syndicalists, Catalan regionalists, and all liberals. An uprising in 1929 by the liberals did not succeed, but various political and economic failures of the regime soon led to his resignation (Jan., 1930). He died in exile in Paris.
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