Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/580

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
HISTORY]
559
SPAIN


of the Carlist army in Navarre and in the Basque Provinces at the beginning of 1876. The young king himself was present at the close of the campaign, which sent his rival a fugitive across the French frontier, with the few thousand followers who had clung to his cause to the very end.

Directly the Carlist War was over, the government used part of the large army at its disposal to reinforce the troops which The Cuban had been fighting the Cuban insurgents since 1869. insurrec- Marshal Jovellar was sent out to Havana as governor- Won, general, with Marshal Martinez Campos as com- mander-in-chief of the forces. In about eighteen months they managed to drive the rebels into the eastern districts of the island, Puerto Principe and Santiago de Cuba, and induced all but a few irreconcilable chiefs to accept a con- vention that became famous under the name of the peace treaty of Zanjon. Marshal Campos, who very soon succeeded Jovellar as governor-general of Cuba, for the first time held out to the loyalists of the island the prospect of reforms, fairer treatment at the hands of the mother country, a more liberal tariff to promote their trade, and self-government as the crowning stage of the new policy. He also agreed to respect the freedom of the maroons who had fled from their masters to join the Cubans during the ten years' war, and this led to Spain's very soon granting gradual emancipation to the re- mainder of the slaves who had stood by their owners. Marshal Campos was not allowed to carry out his liberal and concili- atory policy, which the reactionary party in the colony, el partido espanol, resented as much as their allies in the Peninsula. Though much of his time and energies had been devoted to the re-establishment of peace at home and in the colonies from 1875 to 1880, Sefior Canovas had displayed Chatties, considerable activity and resolution in the re- organization of the monarchy. Until he felt sure of the early termination of the' struggle with the pretender, he ruled in a dictatorial manner without the assistance of parlia- ment. Royal decrees simply set aside most of the legislation and reforms of the Spanish Revolution. Universal suffrage alone was respected for a while and used as the means to call into existence the first Cortes of the Restoration in 1876. The electors proved, as usual, so docile, and they were so well handled by the authorities, that Canovas obtained a parliament with great majorities in both houses which voted a limited franchise to take the place of universal suffrage. Immedi- ately afterwards they voted the constitution of 1876, which was virtually a sort of compromise between the constitution of 1845 in the reign of Isabella and the principles of the demo- cratic constitution of the Revolution in 1869. For instance, liberty of conscience, established for the first time in 1869, was reduced to a minimum of toleration for Protestant worship, schools and cemeteries, but with a strict prohibition of propa- ganda and outward signs of faith. Trial by jury was abolished, on the plea that it had not worked properly. Liberty of associations and all public meetings and demonstrations were kept within narrow limits and under very close surveillance of the authorities. The municipal and provincial councils were kept in leash by intricate laws and regulations, much resembling those of France under the Second Empire. The political as well as the administrative life of the country was absolutely in the hands of the wire-pullers in Madrid; and their local agents, the governors, the mayors and the electoral potentates styled los Caciques, were all creatures of the minister of the interior at the head of Castilian centralization. The constitution of 1876 had created a new senate, of which half the members were either nominees of the Crown or sat by right of office or birth, and the other half were elected by the provinces of the Peninsula and the colonies, the clergy, the universities and the learned societies and academies. The House of Deputies, composed of 456 members, was elected by the limited franchise system in Spain and by an even more restricted franchise in the colonies, five-sixths of the colonists being deprived of representation. From the beginning of the Restoration the great statesman, who was nicknamed at the time the Richelieu of Aiphonso XII.'s reign, established a system of government which lasted for a quarter of a century. He encouraged the men of the Revolution who wanted to bow to accomplished facts and make the best of the restricted amount of liberty remaining, to start afresh in national politics as a Dynastic Liberal party. From the moment that such former revolutionists as Sagasta, Ulloa, Leon y Castillo, Camacho, Alcnzo Martinez and the marquis de la Vega de Armijo de- clared that they adhered to the Restoration, Canovas did not object to their saying in the same breath that they would enter the Cortes to defend as much as possible what they had achieved during the Revolution, and to protest and agitate, legally and pacifically, until they succeeded in re-establishing some day all that the first cabinet of Aiphonso XII. had altered in the Constitution of 1869. The premier not only approved Sagasta's efforts to gather round him as many Liberals and Democrats as possible, but did not even oppose the return of Emilio Castelar and a few Republicans. He also counte- nanced the presence in the Cortes for the first time of 1 5 senators and 42 deputies to represent Cuba and Porto Rico, including a couple of home rulers. Thus Canovas meant to keep up the appearance of a constitutional and parliamentary govern- ment with what most Spaniards considered a fair proportional representation of existing parties, except the Carlists and the most advanced Republicans, who only crept into the House of Deputies in some later parliaments. Canovas ruled his own coalition of Conservatives and Catholics with an iron hand, managing the affairs of Spain for six years with only two short interruptions, when he stood aside for a few months, just long enough to convince the king that the Conservative party could not retain its cohesion, even under such men as Marshals Jovellar and Campos, if he did not choose to support them.

In the early years of the Restoration the king and Canovas acted in concert in two most delicate matters. Alphonsc XII. agreed with his chief counsellor as to the expediency of keeping military men away from active politics. Canovas boldly declared in the Cortes that the era of military pro- nunciamientos had been for ever closed by the Restoration, and the king reminded the generals more than once that he in- tended to be the head of the army. The king and his prime minister were equally agreed about the necessity of showing the Vatican and the Church sufficient favour to induce them to cease coquetting with the pretender Don Carlos, but not so much as to allow the pope and the clergy to expect that they would tolerate any excessive Ultramontane influence in the policy of the Restoration. In regard to foreign policy, the king and Canovas both inclined to assist national aspirations in Morocco, and jealously watched the relations of that empire with other European powers. This desire to exercise a preponderant influence in the affairs of Morocco culminated in the Madrid conference of 1880. Preponderant influence was not attained, but the conference led to a treaty which regulated the consular protection extended to the subjects of Morocco.

In 1878, in spite of the well-known hostility of his mother to the Montpensiers, and in spite of his ministers' preferences for an Austrian match, King Aiphonso insisted m arr j gge / upon marrying the third daughter of the duke of Aiphonso Montpensier, Dona Mercedes, who only survived xl1 - her marriage five months. Barely seventeen months after the death of his first wife, the king listened to the advice of Canovas and married, in November 1879, the Austrian archduchess Maria Christina of Habsburg. In general matters the king allowed his ministers much liberty of action. From 1875 to 1 88 1, when not too much engrossed in more pressing affairs, his governments turned their attention to the re- organization of the finances, the resumption of payment of part of the debt coupon, and the consolidation of the colonial and imperial floating debts. They swerved from the mild free trade policy which was inaugurated by Sefior Figuerola and by Prim at the beginning of the Revolution, and to which was due the remarkable progress of the foreign trade. This