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World of 1898: International Perspectives on the Spanish American War

Práxedes Mateo Sagasta

Photographic history of the Spanish-American War, p. 61.


Práxedes Mateo Sagasta was a Spanish politician born in Torrecilla de Cameros in 1825. His political career started in 1848 while he was at the Engineering School of Madrid. Sagasta, a member of the progressive party, was the only one in the school who refused to sign a letter supporting Queen Isabel II. After he finished his studies, he took an active role in government during the turbulent years of revolution in Spain. He was a man of strong values and the perfect example of a leader for the liberal party. Also, Sagasta was very well known for his excellent oratorical skill.

During the War of 1898, Sagasta was the Prime Minister of Spain and had the misfortune of serving at the moment when Spain had to relinquish its remaining colonies in the New World. Many of Sagasta's political opponents saw his action as a betrayal of Spain and blamed him for the country's defeat in the war and the loss of its island territories after the Treaty of Paris of 1898.