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Salvador de Madariaga
Salvador de Madariaga.JPG
Born23 July 1886
Died14 December 1978
  • Diplomat
  • writer
  • historian
  • pacifist

Salvador de Madariaga y Rojo (23 July 1886 – 14 December 1978) was a Spanish diplomat, writer, historian, and pacifist. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and the Nobel Peace Prize.[1] He was awarded the Charlemagne Prize in 1973.


De Madariaga graduated with a degree in engineering in Paris, France. He then went to work as an engineer for the Northern Spanish Railway Company but abandoned that work to return to London and become a journalist by writing in English for The Times. Meanwhile, he began publishing his first essays. He became a press member of the Secretariat of the League of Nations in 1921 and chief of the Disarmament Section in 1922. In 1928, he was appointed Professor of Spanish at Oxford University for three years during which he wrote a book on nation psychology, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards.

In 1931, he was appointed Spanish ambassador to the United States and a permanent delegate to the League of Nations; he kept the latter post for five years. Chairing the Council of the League of Nations in January 1932, he condemned Japanese aggression in Manchuria in such vehement terms that he was nicknamed "Don Quijote de la Manchuria".[2]

Between 1932 and 1934, he was ambassador to France. In 1933, he was elected to the National Congress and served as both Minister for Education and Minister for Justice. In July 1936, as a classical liberal he went into exile in England to escape the Spanish Civil War. There, he became a vocal opponent of and organised resistance to the Nationalists and the Spanish State of Francisco Franco.

In 1947, he was one of the principal authors of the Oxford Manifesto on liberalism. He participated in the Hague Congress in 1948 as president of the Cultural Commission and he was one of the co-founders in 1949 of the College of Europe.

In his writing career he wrote books and essays about Don Quixote, Christopher Columbus, Shakespeare's Hamlet, and the history of Latin America. He militated in favour of a united and integrated Europe. He wrote in French and German, Spanish, Galician (his mother tongue) and English.

In 1973, he won the Karlspreis for his contributions to the European idea and European peace. In 1976, he returned to Spain after Franco's death.

The Madariaga European Foundation has been named after him and promotes his vision of a united Europe making for a more peaceful world. The 1979–1980 academic year at the College of Europe was named in his honour.

Private life

Madariaga with Antonio Jauregui in Oxford, 1972.
Madariaga with Antonio Jauregui in Oxford, 1972.

In 1912 he married Constance Archibald, a Scottish economic historian. The couple had two daughters, Nieves Mathews (1917–2003) and professor and historian Isabel de Madariaga (1919–2014). Constance died in May 1970, and in November de Madariaga married Emilia Székely de Rauman who had been his secretary since 1938. She died in 1991, aged 83.

An Oxfordshire blue plaque in honour of Salvador de Madariaga was unveiled at 3 St Andrew's Road, Headington, Oxford by his daughter Isabel on 15 October 2011.[3]

Selected published works in English

Old European flag design by Salvador de Madariaga
Old European flag design by Salvador de Madariaga

See also


  1. ^ "Nomination Database". Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  2. ^ Stanley G. Payne, Spain's First Democracy: The Second Republic, 1931-1936 (Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1993), 159.
  3. ^ Plaque
Political offices Preceded byNew position President of the Liberal International 1948–1952 Succeeded byRoger Motz