John Joseph of Austria

Apr 7, 1629 - Sep 17, 1679

John Joseph of Austria or John of Austria was a Spanish general and political figure. He was the only illegitimate son of Philip IV of Spain to be acknowledged by the King and trained for military command and political administration. Don John advanced the causes of the Spanish Crown militarily and diplomatically at Naples, Sicily, Catalonia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Dunkirk and other fronts. He was the governor of the Southern Netherlands from 1656 to 1659. He remained a popular hero even as the fortunes of Imperial Spain began to decline. His feuds with his father's widow, Queen Mariana, led to a 1677 palace coup through which he exiled Mariana and took control of the monarchy of his half-brother Charles II of Spain. However, he proved far from the savior Spain had hoped he would be. He remained in power until his death in 1679.
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