Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/557

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536
[GENERAL SURVEY
SPAIN


represented by a committee (commission provincial), which is elected annually to safeguard their interests. Every commune or municipality has its own elected ayuntamiento {q.v.), which has complete control over municipal administration, with power to levy and collect taxes. Its members are styled regidores or concejales, and half their number is elected every two years. They appoint an alcalde or mayor from among themselves to act as president, chief executive officer, and justice of the peace. In the larger towns the alcalde shares his reponsibilities with several permanent officials called lenientes alcaldes. The fundamental law of 1876 secures to ayuntamientos, and to the provincial councils, an autonomy which is complete within its own limits. Neither the executive nor the Cortes may inter- fere with provincial and communal administration, except when the local authorities exceed their legal power to the detriment of public interests. This provision of the constitution has not always been strictly observed by the government.

Law and Justice.-Spa.msh law is founded on Roman law, Gothic common law, and the national code proclaimed at the meeting of the ?|prtes at Toro in 1501 (the leyes de Toro).

The present civil code was put into force on the 1st of May 1889 for the whole kingdom. The penal code dates from 1870, and was modified in 1877. The commercial code was put into force on the 22nd of August 1885, the code of civil procedure on the 1st of April 1881, and the code of criminal procedure on the 22nd of June 1882. There is a court of first instance in each of the 495 partidos judiciales, or legal districts, into which the kingdom is divided. From this inferior jurisdiction the appeals go to the 15 audiencias lerritoriales, or courts of appeal. There is in Madrid a Supreme Court, which is modelled upon the French Cour de Cassation, to rule on points of law when appeals are made from the decisions of inferior courts, or when conflicts arise between civil and military jurisdiction. When the law of the 20th of April 1888 established trial by jury for most crimes and delicts, 49 audiencias criminates, one in each province, were created ; these are a sort of assize held four times a year. The administration of justice is public. The parties to a suit must be represented by counsel. The state is always represented in every court by abogados fiscales, public prosecutors, and counsel who are nominees of the Crown.

Religion. — Roman Catholicism is the established religion, and the Church and clergy are maintained by the state at an annual cost of about £1,600,000. The relations between Church and state, and the position of the religious orders, were defined by the concordat of 1851, remaining practically unchanged until 1910. There are ten archbishoprics (Toledo, Madrid, Burgos, Granada, Santiago, Saragossa, Seville, Tarragona, Valencia and Valladolid) and forty- five bishoprics. The archbishop of Toledo is primate. The number of monastic communities is about 3250, including some 600 convents for men and 2650 for women. Most of the religious orders carry on active educational or charitable work. The monks number about 10,000, the nuns 40,000. The immense majority of the people are professed adherents of the Roman Catholic faith, so that, so far as numbers go, Spain is still the most " Catholic " country in the world, as it has long been styled. With liberty of conscience during the Revolution, from 1868 to 1877, the Church lost ground, and anti-clerical ideas prevailed for a while in the centres of repub- licanism in Catalonia and Andalusia; but a reaction set in with the Restoration. The governments of the Restoration showed the Church much favour, allowed the Jesuits and religious orders of both sexes to spread to an extent without precedent in the century, and to take hold of the education of more than half of the youth of both sexes in all classes of society. This revival of Church and monastic influence began during the reign of Alphonso XII., 1877-1885, and considerably increased afterwards under the regency of Queen Christina, during the long minority of Alphonso XIII., the godson of Pope Leo XIII. Spanish codes still contain severe penalties for delicts against the state religion, as writers frequently discover when they give offence to the ecclesiastical authorities. Blasphemy is punished by imprisonment. The bishops sit in the superior council of education, and exercise much influence on public instruc- tion. Since 1899 all boys have been obliged to attend lectures on theology and religion during six out of seven years of their curriculum to obtain the B.A. degree. Canon lav/ and Church doctrine form an obligatory part of the studies of men qualifying for the bar and magistracy. By the constitution of 1876 non-Catholics were only permitted to exercise their form of worship on condition that they did so in private, without any public demonstration or announcement of their services. The same rule applies to their schools, which are, however, numerously attended, in Madrid, Seville, Barcelona and other towns, by children of Protestant families and of many Roman Catholics also. A proposal to abolish these restrictions was made by the government in 1910 (see History, below).

Education. — A law of the 17th of July 1857 made primary educa- tion free for the poor, and compulsory on all children of school age,


originally fixed at six to nine years. It proved impossible to enforce this statute, and the majority of Spaniards are still illiterate, though in decreasing proportion at each census. The primary schools for both sexes are kept up by the municipalities, at an annual cost of about £1,000,000, to which the state contributes a small subvention. The secondary schools, of which there must be at least one in every province, are styled institutes and are mostly self-supporting, the fees paid by the pupils usually cover the expenses of such estab- lishments, which also receive subsidies from some of the provincial councils. Spain has nine universities : Madrid, the most numerously attended ; Salamanca, the most ancient ; Granada, Seville, Barcelona, Valencia, Santiago, Saragossa and Valladolid. There are also a faculty of medicine at Cadiz and a faculty of law at Oviedo. Most of the universities are self-supporting from the fees of matriculations and of degrees. The state also maintains a variety of technical schools, for agriculture, engineering, architecture, painting, music, &c. The whole system of public instruction is controlled by the minister of education and an advisory council. A law passed on the 1st of July 1902 requires that all private schools must be authorized by the state, and arranges for their periodical inspection, for the enforce- ment of proper sanitation and discipline, and for the appointment of a suitable staff of teachers. Among the institutions affected by this law are numerous Jesuit and other ecclesiastical schools for boys, and a Jesuit university at Deusto, near Bilbao, whose pupils have to pass their final secondary examinations and to take all degrees in the state establishments as free scholars. The education of girls has been much developed not only in the state schools but even more so in the convents, which educate more than half the girls of the upper and middle classes. Many girls attend the provincial institutes, and some have successfully gone in for the B.A. degrees and even higher honours in the universities.

Defence. — The Spanish army is recruited by conscription. Liability to service begins with the first day of the calendar year in which the twentieth year is completed. Except in extraordinary circumstances, the war ministers have seldom called for more than forty to sixty thousand men annually, and of this contingent all who can afford to do so buy them- selves off from service at home by payment of £60, and if drafted for colonial service by payment of £80. The period of service for all arms is twelve years — three with the colours,, three in the first-class reserve, six in the second-class reserve, which contains the surplus of the annual contingent of recruits, and is liable to one month's training in every year. The war ministers can, and frequently do, send on unlimited furlough, or place in the first-class reserve, men who have not completed their first three years, and thus a considerable saving is made. Brothers can take each other's place in the service, and eldest sons of aged parents, or sons of widows, easily get exempted. Spain is divided into seven military regions or army corps. The strength of the regular army for many years varied between 85,000 and 100,000 in time of peace, and during the Carlist Wars, 1868 to 1876, Spain had 280,000 under arms, and nearly 350,000 during her more recent wars. For 1899-1900 the figures were only 80,000. The active army is divided into 56 regiments of the line with 2 battalions each, 20 battalions of rifles or cazadores, 2 Balearic Islands, 1 Melilla, 4 African battalions of light infantry, 2 battalions of rifles in the Canaries. The cavalry includes a squadron of royal horse guards, 28 regiments of the line, remount and depot establishments, 4 regional squadrons in Majorca, the Canaries, Ceuta, Melilia. The artillery comprises 12 regiments of field artillery, 1 of horse artillery, 3 regiments and an independent division of mountain guns, and 7 battalions of garrison artillery. The royal engineers are 4 regiments of sappers and miners, 1 of pontooners, 1 battalion of telegraph engineers, 1 of railway engineers with cyclists, 1 balloon corps, and 4 colonial corps. Other permanent military forces are 1075 officers, 1604 mounted and 16,536. foot gendarmes, mostly old soldiers, and 14,156 carabineers, all of them old soldiers. The regular army, at the close of the wars in 1898, had 26,000 officers and about 400 generals, but a law was afterwards made to reduce their numbers by filling only one out of two death vacancies, with a view to reach a peace establishment of 2 marshals, 25 lieutenant-generals, 50 divisional- and 140 brigadier-generals, and 15,000 officers. The total strength of the field army may be estimated at 220,000 combatants. The military academies are Toledo for infantry, Segovia for artillery, Valladolid for cavalry, Avila for commissariat, Escorial for carabineers, Getafe