Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/268

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property was confiscated later and handed over to the authorities.

Here we must leave Spain to fight her own battles.

In the beginning of the new century, Don José de Iturrigaray took possession of the vice-regal seat. He was a man of public spirit, and an excellent ruler. He greatly improved the highroad from Vera Cruz to the capital, built the Puente del Rey, since called the National Bridge, protected commerce, and encouraged home industry. He organized a militia, greatly developed the army, and showed himself devoted to the interests of his charge.

But the audiencia then existing, and many Spaniards, as soon as the news of Napoleon's invasion of Spain reached them, imagined that Iturrigaray, who had thus brought the army to an available condition, had conceived the idea of seizing Mexico, and assuming an independent crown for himself. Acting upon this idea, they rose in revolt, took possession of the palace and seized Iturrigaray and all his family, shutting him up in the fortress of San Juan de Uloa, until opportunity offered to send him back to Spain. An old marshal of the army, Garibay, was made viceroy in his place, but he ruled but a few months, when the central Junta of Spain ordered him superseded by the Archbishop of Mexico. Whatever were the rights of this question, the act of revolt set an example persistently followed in Mexico through the first half of this century. In this experience it was discovered how easy it was to overturn a government; the Mexicans, delighted with their success, wondered why they had never done it before. In