Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/156

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136
OLD MEXICO AND HER LOST PROVINCES.

himself briefly Emperor. His generals, notably the irrepressible Santa Anna, who first here comes into view, rose against him, and proclaimed a Federal Republic. Santa Anna, when the opportunity offered, made himself Dictator, and changed the Federal Republic to a centralized republic, and the states to departments. Santa Anna had numberless ups and downs, having obtained possession of the supreme power no less than six times, with intervals of overthrow and banishment.

The Federal Republic was reconstituted in time, with twenty-seven states, one territory and a federal district, pretty much on the model of our own, and it still retains this form, as it is likely to. There is no doubt about the democratic tendency of the people, but perhaps it is something in the impulsive blood of the Latin race which has prevented the leaders from conceiving a republic on the Anglo-Saxon plan. They have been inspired almost without exception by a craving for the sweets of power. Their rampant patriotism has been like the religion of those persons who would die for a cause, but will not live in accordance with the least of its dictates. There seems to have been no conception until lately of that larger patriotism which educates the people in their duties, and constitutes a state of society where the rights of all are guaranteed and people go about their avocations without interference.

III.


Would you recall, by-the-way, what became of Santa Anna? He, who had so indignantly shaken off the yoke of Iturbide, wrote a missive of congratulation, while living in banishment in the West Indies, to Maximilian, and endeavored to take service under him. His aid was rejected, whereupon he turned to Juarez, only to be re-