Jnan Alvarez Y Mendizabal, a Spanish financier, born in Cadiz about 1790, died in Madrid, Nov. 3, 1853. He was the son of a trader of Jewish descent named Mendez, and in 1808 obtained employment in the victualling department of the French army in Spain. In 1819 he took part in the secret movements which culminated in the revolution of the following year, and subsequently aided the constitutional government in the negotiation of loans. Fleeing to England on the suppression of the revolution, he was imprisoned at the instance of English capitalists whom he had induced to take parts of a loan. After the recovery of his liberty he founded in London a commercial establishment with the aid of funds deposited with him by a friend. He formed the acquaintance of an agent of Dom Pedro of Portugal, and in 1827 negotiated a loan for him. This and other operations gave him an extensive reputation both in England and Spain, which in June, 1835, led to his appointment as minister of finance in the cabinet of Toreno; but he continued to reside in London, where in August he negotiated a loan for the Spanish government. On his return to Madrid he became president of the council. The cortes placed 100,000 men at his disposal, and gave him full authority to bring the civil war to a close.
But he injured the credit of the government by jobbing transactions, increased the public debt, dissolved the cortes (Jan. 27, 1836), insulted the French ambassador, who opposed his influence, and was compelled to resign (May 15). His reappointment as minister of finance (Sept. 11) caused great indignation, and on Aug. 10, 1837, he withdrew from office. In 1841, under Espartero, he was once more minister of finance, but shared his fall in July, 1843. He afterward lived in great splendor for several years in Paris.