Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/579

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558
[HISTORY
SPAIN


five years of fairly good government. A successful war in Morocco in 1859 nattered the pride of the Spaniards, and the country began to make real progress towards prosperity. In 1863 the old scene of confusion was renewed. O'Donnell was dismissed. For the next five years the political history of Spain was the story of a blind attempt on the part of the queen to rule despotically, by the help of reckless adventurers of mean capacity, and by brute violence. The Isabella opposition took the form of successive military outbreaks accompanied by murder, and suppressed by massacre. In 1868 the government of Queen Isabella collapsed by its own rottenness. She had even lost the mob popularity which she had once gained by her jovial manners. All men of political influence were either in open opposition or, when they belonged to the Conservative parties, were holding aloof in disgust at the predominance of the queen's favourites, Gonzales Brabo, a mere ruffian, and Marfori, her steward, whose position in the palace was perfectly well known.

In September 1868 the squadron at Cadiz under the command of Admiral Topete mutinied, and its action was the signal for a Revolution general secession. One gallant fight was made for of 1868. the queen at the bridge of Alcolea in Andalusia by Deposition General Pavia, who was horribly wounded, but it of Isabella. was an exce pti oru Gonzales Brabo deserted her in a panic. She went into exile, and her reign ended. The Revolution of 1868 was the first openly and avowedly directed against the dynasty. It became a familiar saying that the " spurious race of Bourbon " had disappeared for ever, and the country was called upon to make a new and a better govern- ment. But the history of the six years from September 1868 to December 1874 proved that the political incapacity of the Spaniards had not been cu r ed. There was no definite idea any- where as to how a substitute was to be found. A Republican party had been formed led by a few professors and coffee-house politicians, with the mob of the towns for its support, and having as its mouthpiece Don Emilio Castelar, an honest man of Republican incredible fluency. The mass of the Spaniards, and however, were not prepared for a republic. Be-

Monarvhical s i(j es them were the various monarchical parties: a s ' the Alfonsislus, who wished for the restoration of the queen's son with a regency, the partisans -of the widower king consort of Portugal; those of the duke of Montpensier; the Carlists; and a few purely fantastic dreamers who would have given the crown to the aged Espartero. The real power was in the hands of the military politicians, Francisco Serrano (q.v.) and Juan Prim (q. v.), who kept order by means of the army. A constituent Cortes was assembled in 1869, and decided in favour of a monarchy. Serrano was declared regent until a king , could be found, and it proved no easy task to find one. Ferdinand of Portugal declined. Montpensier was supposed to be unwelcome to Napoleon, and was opposed by Prim, who had also committed himself to the prophecy that the Bourbons would never return to Spain. Attempts to find a candidate in the Italian family failed at first. So did the first steps taken to find a king in the house of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. When the desired ruler was again sought in this family in 1870, the acceptance of the offer by Prince Leopold proved the immediate cause of the Franco-German War, in which Spain had a narrow Amadeo of escape of being entangled. At last, in August of Savoy 1870, Prince Amadeo of Savoy, second son of Victor accepts the Emmanuel II., consented to become candidate. He Crowa - W as elected on the 3rd of November. On the 27th

  • >f December 1870, on the very day on which the new king

reached Carthagena, Prim was murdered by assassins who were never discovered.

The nominal reign of Amadeo lasted till February 1873. It was a scandalous episode. The Italian prince had put him- self into a thoroughly false position, in which the nearest approach to friends he could find were intriguing politicians who sought to use him as a tool, and where every man of honest principles, royalist or republican, looked upon him as an in-


Regency of Serrano.


truder. The Carlists began to collect in the mountains. Repub- lican agitations went on in the towns. At last a dispute in regard to the officering of the artillery gave the king an honourable excuse for resigning a throne J/J^^gn on which both he and his wife had been treated with the utmost insolence.

The Republicans entered the place he left vacant simply because there was nobody to oppose them. Until January of the following year the country was gi\ en up .

to anarchy. The Republicans had undertaken to /nter/u<fci abolish the conscription, and many of the soldiers, taking them at their word, disbanded. The Carlists increased rapidly in numbers, and were joined by many Royalists, who looked upon them as the last resource. Bands of ruffians calling themselves " volunteers of liberty " were found to defend the Republic, and to terrorize society. A new Cortes was collected and proved a mere collection of hysterical ranters. Three presidents succeeded one another within a year, Pi y Margall, Salmeron and Castelar. Ministries changed every few days. As the Republic was to be federal when finally organized many parts of Spain proceeded to act independently. One party went beyond federalism and proposed to split Spain into cantons. The Cantonalists, who were largely galley slaves and deserters, seized the important harbour of Cartha- gena and the ships in it. The ships were taken out of their hands by the British and German squadrons. The spectacle of anarchy, and the stoppage in payment of taxes frightened the Republican deputies into some approach to sanity. Sal- meron allowed General Pavia to restore order in Andalusia. When he gave place to Castelar, the eloquent Republican deputy, who was left unchecked by the recess, _ . , ,

, ,1 , . 1 1 . . , , ,, Castemr's

threw all his most eagerly avowed principles to ^n presidency. wind, raised a great conscription, and provided the means of reducing Carthagena and pushing the war against the Carlists with vigour. When the Cortes met again in January 1874, the extreme parties voted against Castelar on the 3rd of the month. Hereupon General Pavia, the governor of Madrid, turned the Cortes into the streets, to the relief of all sane men in the country. Serrano was appointed as head of the executive, and was mainly employed during the year in efforts to save Bilbao from falling into the hands of the Carlists. It had now become clear that the restoration of the Bourbons in the person of Don Alphonso, Isabella's son, was the only way of securing a final settlement. His civilian Alphonso agents would have preferred to see him brought in Xl '- King, by a Cortes. But on the 29th of December 1874 1874 ' General Martinez Campos caused him to be proclaimed king at Murviedro by a brigade of troops, and the example there set was followed everywhere. Don Alphonso XII. landed in Barcelona on the 10th of January 1875.

The Restored Monarchy, 1874-igoo. — The first act of Alphonso was a royal decree confirming the appointment of Canovas del Castillo as prime minister. A strong Conservative administra- tion was formed, to which Canovas admitted some men of the old parties of Queen Isabella's reign side by side with men who had played a part in the Revolution before they became his active auxiliaries in the Alphonsist propaganda in 1872 and 1873. This cabinet gave its chief attention for fifteen months to the pacification of the Peninsula, adopting a Con- servative and Catholic policy which contributed quite as much as the great display of military resources to make the Pretender lose adherents and prestige from the moment that his cousin reached Madrid. The Church, the nobility and the middle classes soon pronounced for the new state of things. The Alphonsist armies, led by Marshals Campos and Jovellar, swept the Carlist bands from the right bank of the Ebro to the Pyrenees, and took their last strongholds in the eastern pro- vinces, Cantavieja and Seo de Urgel. Not a few of the Carlist leaders accepted bribes to go abroad, and others put their swords at the disposal of the government for employment against the Cuban rebels. Then all the forces of King Alphonso under Marshal Quesada gradually closed round the remainder