Sagasta, Práxedes Mateo (1825-1903), Spanish politician, governing president (1870; 1871-1872; 1874; 1881-1883; 1885-1890; 1892-1895; 1897-1899; 1901-1902), one of the most relevant persons in that age and in the political system known as the Restoration. Born in Torrecilla in Cameros (Rioja). His career as civil engineer took him to Zamora where he worked as Director of Public Works, and later became local manager of the Progressionist Party ”Partido Progresista” and leader of the Revolutionary Council “Junta Revolucionaria” in 1854. He was a congressman in the Spanish Parliament (1854-1857 y 1858-1863). In 1866, after collaborating in an attempt of military pronouncement leaded by Juan Prima, he exiled in France. When he returned to Spain, in 1868, after the revolution that same year, he formed part of the provisional government, and became minister of the Government. During the government of Juan Prima he undertook both Secretary Departments of State and Government (1869-1870). During the reign Amadeo I of Saboya he became president of the provisional government (December of 1870), and later of a government that lasted only 6 months (December-1871 to may-1872), and also leader of the Constitutional Party and Minister of the Government during the governing of Francisco Serrano, Duke of de la Torre ( June-July of 1871).
He accepted the Restoration of the Borbonic Monarchy, restored in the person of Alfonso XII, after heading a transitional government (June to December of 1874) after the end of the 1st Republic, but did not participate as Secretary in any of its State Departments. He created the Liberal Fusionist Party (1880), known as Liberal Party, that achieved for the first time Governance in 1881. This party togther with the Conservative Party, took part in the creation of the System of Turns ideated by Antonio Cánovas del Castillo who was the leader of this last party. During his first stage in the power (February-1881 to January-1884), the bases of the legislative reform were established and which he put into practice during his second governing (November 1885-July 1890), period in which the Liberal Party did the principal of his politic program changing conservative ideas of the Restoration: establish the universal suffrage and the freedom of association, reunion, opinion and speech.
In the next turn of liberal government (December 1892-May 1895) made more easy the internal recuperation of the party, getting other important non conservative politicians into the party. In 1897 Cánovas was murdered and Sagasta regained power. He gave Cuba and Puerto Rico political autonomy, but the United States demanded the total independence for Cuba and so declared the war to Spain in 1898 (War Hispano-estadounidense). The result of the confrontation was disasterous and the responsibility had fallen onto Sagasta and his party, and consequently was forced to resign in 1899. He regained power in 1901, and during his last government King Alfonso XIII presided his first Cabinet of Ministers. Práxedes Mateo Sagasta died in Madrid.