Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/312

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

throne, and being very strongly supported by the priests were really the dominant party. The third party which sprang up was the Iturbidists, who desired to place their favorite upon the throne, which the plan of Iguala had reserved for Ferdinand de Bourbon. A larger part of the military who had followed Augustine Iturbide in his successes were in favor of the latter movements. The adherents of Iturbide did not, however, feel themselves sufficiently strong to attempt this movement, while the priest or clergy favored the Bourbonists. Thus the growing interests of the different parties daily made a wide gap between them, and daily pointed to the necessity for some strong hand to turn the powerful revolutionary elements into a peaceful channel. In this condition of affairs news arrived from Spain that the Cortez had refused to ratify the treaty of Iguala, near Cordova, which the victor O'Donojo had signed with Iturbide. They thus rendered it impossible for any Spanish-Bourbon to ascend the throne of Mexico.

In the uncertain position in which the Bourbonists now found themselves, they were unprepared to oppose the rapid action of the Iturbidists, who now, May 18, 1822, proclaimed Iturbide emperor, under the title of Augustin I, and forced Congress to ratify the usurpation. Immense sums were voted to maintain the royal dignity, a large army drained the resources of the people, and the emperor, waiving all constitution and consideration, made himself virtually Dictator of Mexico. The reign was, however, a very short one; he was dethroned and expelled from the country for extravagance—luxury, carried to excess, led to the fearful moral deterioration and corruption—also for conspiracy. He was compelled, March 8, 1823, to flee to Italy.

During Iturbide's absence, a provisional government was formed, and Senor Bravo was at the head of it from April 1, 1823, to August, 1823, when the people again became dissatisfied and waged war against one another. The leaders had ordered the doors of the prison pen to be opened to the outlaws and criminals, under the pretence of doing their country