Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/576

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HISTORY]
555
SPAIN


envoy, General Savary, to lure him by specious promises to the frontier, and across it to Bayonne, where he was confronted with his parents and Godoy in a scene of pitiful degradation. Struck and otherwise insulted, he was forced to restore the crown to his father, who laid it at the feet of Napoleon. The old king and queen, pensioned by the French government, retired to Rome; Abdication Ferdinand was kept for six years under strict military of Charles guard at Talleyrand's chateau of Valencay (see ,y ' Ferdinand VII., King of Spain). On the 13th of

May Murat announced to an improvised " junta of regency " at Madrid that Napoleon desired them to accept Joseph Bonaparte as their king.

But Spanish loyalty was too profound to be daunted even by the awe-inspiring power of the French emperor. For the first Joseph t' 1116 Napoleon found himself confronted, not by Bonaparte terrified and selfish rulers, but by an infuriated proclaimed people. The rising in Spain began the popular move- Klag ' ment which ultimately proved fatal to his power.

At first he treated the novel phenomenon with contempt, and thought it sufficient to send his less prominent generals against the rebels. Madrid was easily taken, but the Spaniards showed great capacity for the guerrilla warfare in the provinces. The French were repulsed from Valencia; and Dupont, who had advanced into the heart of Andalusia, was compelled to retreat and ultimately to capitulate with all his forces at Baylen (July 10). The Spaniards now advanced upon Madrid and drove Joseph from the capital, which he had just entered. Unfortun- ately the insurgents displayed less political ability than military courage. Godoy's agents, the ministers, were swept aside by the popular revolt, .and their place was taken by local juntas, or committees, and then by a central junta formed from among them, which ruled despotically in the name of the captive king. In a country divided by sectional jealousies it was impossible to expect a committee of thirty-four members to impose unity of action even in a common cause; and the Spanish rising, the first fierceness of which had carried all before it, lacked the organizing force which alone would have given it permanent success. As it was, Napoleon's arrival in Spain was enough to restore victory to the French. In less than a week the Spanish army was broken through and scattered, and Napoleon restored his brother in Madrid. Sir John Moore, who had advanced with an English army to the relief of the capital, retired when he found he was too late, and an obstinate battle, in which the gallant general lost his life, had to be fought before the troops could secure their em- barcation at Corunna. Napoleon, thinking the work accom- plished, had quitted the Peninsula, and Soult and Victor were left to complete the reduction of the provinces. The capture of Seville resulted in the dissolution of the central junta, and the Peninsula was only saved from final submission by the obstinate resistance of Wellington in Portugal and by dissensions among the French. The marshals were jealous of each other, and Napoleon's plans were not approved by his brother. Joseph wished to restore peace and order among his subjects in the hope of ruling an independent nation, while Napoleon was determined to annex Spain to his own overgrown empire. So far did these disputes go that Joseph resigned his crown, and was with difficulty induced to resume it. Meanwhile, the dissolution of the central junta had given free play to the extremer reforming parties; on the 24th of September these met at Cadiz, which became the capital of what was left of independent Spain.

The Spanish Cortes had never been so entirely suspended as the states-general of France. Philip V., after suppressing the

local institutions of the crown of Aragon, had given Cortes of . .. . , ., ,•.••.,

1810 representation to some of the eastern cities in the

general Cortes of Spain. This body had been

summoned at the beginning of reigns to swear homage to

the new king and his heir, or to confirm regulations made

as to the succession. It sat in one house, and was composed

of the nobles and churchmen who formed the great majority

of procurators chosen by the town councils of a limited

though varying number of towns, and of representatives

of " kingdoms." The Cortes of 18 10 was constructed on


these lines, but with a very important difference in the pro- portion of its elements. The third estate of the commons secured 184 representatives, who were sufficient to swamp the nobles and the clergy. No intelligent scheme under which the representatives were to be elected had been fixed. In theory the members of the third estate had been chosen by a process of double election. In fact, however, since much of the country was held by the French, they were often returned by such natives of the regions so occupied as happened to be present in Cadiz at the time. The real power fell to those of the delegates who were influenced by the new ideas. Unhappily, they had no experience of affairs; and they were perfectly ready to make a constitution for Spain on Jacobin lines, without the slightest regard to the real beliefs and interests of Spaniards. Out of these materials nothing could be expected to come except such a democratic constitution as might have been made by a Jacobin club in Paris. In a country noted for its fanatical loyalty to the Crown and the Church, the kingship was to be deprived of all power and influence, and the clergy to be excluded as such irom Spanish all share in legislation. As though to deprive the Constitution constitution of any chance of being made effective, otl812 - the worst expedients dictated by the suspicious temper of the French convention of 1790 were adopted. Ministers were excluded from the chamber, thus rendering impossible any effective co-operation between the legislature and the executive; and, worst of all, a provision was introduced making members of the Cortes ineligible for re-election, an effective bar to the creation of a class of politicians possessing experience of affairs. The Spaniards were so broken to obedience, and the manlier part of them so intent on fighting the French, that the Cortes was not at the time resisted. The suppression of the Inquisition and the secularization of the church lands — measures which had already been taken by the government of the intruding French king Joseph at Madrid — passed together with much else. But even before the new constitution was published and sworn, on the 19th of March 1812, large numbers of Spaniards had made up their minds that after the invaders were driven out the Cortes must be suppressed.

The liberation of Spain could hardly have been accomplished without the assistance of Great Britain. The story of the struggle, from the military point of view, is told in the article Peninsular War. In 181 2 Wellington determined on a great effort. He secured his base of operations by the capture of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz, and at Salamanca he com- pletely routed the opposing army of Marmont. This victory enabled the English general to enter Madrid (Aug. 12), and Joseph retreated to Valencia. But further advance was pre- vented by the concentration of the French forces in the east, and Wellington found it advisable to retire for the third time to winter quarters on the Portuguese frontier. It was during this winter that Napoleon suffered his first and greatest reverse in the retreat from Moscow and the destruction of his grand army. This was the signal for the outbreak of the " war of liberation " in Germany, and French troops had to be withdrawn from Spain to central Europe. For the first time Wellington found himself opposed by fairly equal forces. In the spring of 18 1 3 he advanced from Ciudad Rodrigo and defeated Jourdan at Vittoria, the battle which finally decided the Peninsular War. Joseph retired altogether from his kingdom, and Welling- ton, eager to take his part in the great European contest, fought his way through the Pyrenees into France. Napoleon, who had suffered a crushing defeat at Leipzig, hastened to recognize the impossibility of retaining Spain by releasing Ferdinand VII., who returned to Madrid in March 1814.

Before entering Spain Ferdinand had undertaken to maintain the constitution of 181 2, and when on the 22nd of March 1814 he reached Figueras, he was met by a demand on Restoratton the part of the Cortes that he must accept all the of Ferdinand VII 1S14 terms of the constitution as a condition of his recognition as king. But Ferdinand had convincing proof of the true temper of the nation. He now refused to recognize the constitution, and was supported in his refusal