García-Valdecasas and García-Valdecasas, Alfonso

Alfonso-Garcia-Valdecasas

Professor of Civil Law, Spanish lawyer and politician. He was born in Montefrío. His father and brother were also professors of civil law in Granada. He was a friend of Federico García Lorca, somewhat younger than him. He belonged to the group of El Rinconcillo at the Café Alameda. He was one of the university students of the group. Federico dedicated one of his gypsy romances, Thamar and Amnon to him. After the arrival of Falla to the city, he joined the group of the excursionists, along with the musician Antonio Segura Soriano and Manuel Torres López, among others.

In 1931, he was elected deputy in the Republican Cortes for Granada. He was part of the commission that drafted the Constitution of 1931. In 1932, he created the Spanish Front with José Antonio Maravall and María Zambrano, among others.

He graduated in law in Granada in 1923. He received his doctorate at the University of Bologna in 1925. After Italy, he went to Germany to continue his education. He married Maria Andrada-Vanderwilde y Bachoué de Barraute, daughter of the Marquises of Cartagena and had four children. In 1927, he was awarded the Chair of Civil Law at the University of Salamanca and that of Granada in 1931. He was a disciple of Ortega y Gasset and together with him and other professors in 1929 resigned his professorship during the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera in protest against the police raid on the University and the capture of students of the University Federation of School Students (FUE). In 1931, he was elected deputy in the Republican Parliament in Granada. He was part of the commission that drafted the Constitution of 1931. In 1932, he created the Spanish Front with José Antonio Maravall and Maria Zambrano, among others. Later he was part of the Spanish Syndicalist Movement.

From left to right, Alfonso García Valdecasas, Julio Ruiz de Alda and José Antonio Primo de Rivera, at the Teatro de la Comedia in Madrid, during the founding act of the Spanish Falangist party. Photo: Alfonso Sánchez Portela. Reina Sofía National Art Museum.
From left to right, Alfonso García Valdecasas, Julio Ruiz de Alda and José Antonio Primo de Rivera, at the Comedy Theater in Madrid, during the foundational act of the Spanish Falangist party. Photo: Alfonso Sánchez Portela. Reina Sofía National Art Museum

In 1933, he returned to Germany where he was a disciple of Husserl and Heidegger in Freiburg. In March 1933, he began to collaborate with José Antonio Primo de Rivera. He participated in the founding act of the Spanish Falangist party on October 29, 1933 at the Comedy Theater in Madrid. It seems that he was the one who chose the name Falange. He ran in the elections of November of that year for the Bloque de Derechas party as a candidate in Granada, but a few days beforehand, he was replaced in the candidacy by Ramón Ruiz Alonso.

The beginning of the Civil War surprises him in Freiburg. He returns to Spain and joins the national side and in 1938 he is appointed Undersecretary of Education. That year he interceded from Vitoria, where he had his office, for the return of the post of Professor of Drawing at the Teacher Training College in Granada to Hermenegildo Lanz. In 1944, he was removed from all political posts because of his adherence to the cause of Juan de Borbón. From 1940 he held a chair at the University of Madrid.

He participated in the founding act of the Spanish Falagist party on October 29, 1933 at the Comedy Theater in Madrid. It seems that he was the one who chose the name Falange.

He was a procurator in Franco’s Cortes in different periods, member of the Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation, of the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences and of the Royal Spanish Academy. He died in Madrid in 1993.

His most outstanding publications include: Menéndez Pelayo and Spanish Culture, of 1946; José Antonio and Spanish Life, of 1964; Question and Truth, speech of admission to the Royal Spanish Academy, 1965; The Luck of the Book, of 1967 o The Crisis of the Right, Padua, 1972.

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