Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/299

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time, the independence of his country. His throne was an unsteady one, but the dais erected for it to rest upon became the solid platform of liberty.

Agustin I. took the oath of office before the Mexican Congress, which proceeded to pass decrees establishing the succession to the throne, the titles and forms of address to be held toward the members of the imperial family, as well as their endowments, corresponding to their rank, details which turned out to be of no permanent value.

On the 21st of July, Yturbide and his wife were anointed and crowned in the Cathedral, with all the solemnities and forms which have been observed in Europe on such occasions for centuries.

But the Emperor was not firmly established upon his throne. As soon as they had recovered from their fright and surprise, many of the deputies, who had voted unwillingly with the majority, began to impede the course of Yturbide. All parties who had any reason for discontent made common cause against the Emperor. Signs of dissatisfaction reached Yturbide, who invited the struggle by dissolving Congress. In place of this assembly he established a Junta more under his own control; and, rid of the troublesome Congress, proceeded to issue edicts, and make forced loans to carry on his empire.

Suddenly, on the 6th of December, the Republic was proclaimed at Vera Cruz. Yturbide happened to be in Puebla at the time. He hastened to Mexico, and sent a division of troops to Vera Cruz to defend his title and put down the insurrection.

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was at the head of