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a while swept victoriously inland. Mina's force was soon checked, however, at Sombrero, and he himself escaped to the camp of Torres, a revolutionary general sixty miles off. The two endeavored to make way together; but Mina was finally surprised and executed.
Other vagrant rebel leaders fell one by one into the hands of the royalists; but Guadalupe Victoria held out, and concealed himself in the wilds for two years.
The aspect of affairs was now changed by the news of the revolution in Spain and the swearing of Ferdinand VII to the Constitution framed by the Cortes, — tidings of which reached Mexico in April, 1820. The old revolutionists were awaiting the hour, and now, conferring together, they turned, probably not without knowledge, to the old enemy of the cause, Augustin de Iturbide. He on some pretence secured from the viceroy a command in the south, where he was defeated, and it is not sure that he was not willingly beaten, by Vicente Guerrero, who in return received him into his cause, and gave him command of a revolutionary army of five or six thousand men. Iturbide now made to Apodaca the offer of the presidency of the junta, if the viceroy himself would desert the royal cause;
* After a print in William Walton's Spanish Colonies (London, 1810), vol. i., following a portrait owned by Admiral Apodaca.
but the offer was rejected, and measures of resistance were planned. It was, however, too late. The revolution was on its headlong way, and Apodaca gave place to a successor who recognized the cry of independence, and opened the capital's gates to Iturbide in September, 1821. At this juncture the royal standard was nowhere to be seen in Mexico but at Vera Cruz, Perok, and Acapulco, and at all these it speedily fell.
Iturbide in the capital and in possession of power, his influence was exerted to advance his own ambitious schemes. The people were divided
into monarchists and republicans. Congress and Iturbide fell into opposition on the question of supporting an army in the City of Mexico, when Dávila, a leading monarchist, tried to force Iturbide into a counter-revolution. Iturbide, however, chose rather to await his time, though he did not make any progress in coercing congress. In his proclamation issued (1821) at Iguala, the now paramount leader had planned a limited monarchy for the future ; but the republican view was apparently fast overthrowing in the popular mind any monarchical scheme. Iturbide now and
1 This document is in all the collections of of the common books, like G. D. Abbot's Mex. documents of this time. It can be found in some ico and the United States, 248.
After a print in Alaman's Méjico, v. 51. VOL. VIII. – 15
suddenly caused himself to be proclaimed emperor, and congress, lacking a quorum, gave in a forced adherence. In furtherance of the scheme, the new emperor's family was ennobled, and the succession was ordered to be in the line of his descendants.
The republican party was by no means to be quieted by any imperial assumption. Its members were restless. The press teemed. with their discontent. They charged that the decision for an empire was unconstitutional. These recalcitrant views invaded the congress, and it was not long before that body was in open rupture with the emperor, while Santa Anna at Vera Cruz inaugurated an open revolt, and organized an army of libera
tion. He was not, however, gaining ground against Iturbide's general, Echávarri, when certain Masonic influences acted upon this imperial officer, and he was induced to issue a proclamation for the reëstablishment of the National Assembly. He had in this anticipated a popular view of those who now took bold ground for the republic. Even in the capital the defection could not be stopped, and regiment after regiment took up the cry of the Republic, till at last Iturbide gave up the struggle and abdicated. The assembly, which had been slow to gather, finally appointed a provisional government in Bravo, Negrete, and Victoria. Iturbide, being conducted to Vera Cruz, was allowed to embark for Italy. After he had sailed an edict was issued forbidding his return. Ignorant of this last injunction,
* After a print in Alaman's Méjico, iii. 260.
he left Italy for England, where he embarked for Mexico, but soon after landing he was seized and executed. 1
The party now in control were far from being of one mind: some were for a federation of the provinces ; others were for a centralized power in the City of Mexico. They could unite, however, on the exclusion of monarchists, and in this temper a new assembly met in November, 1823, and began to discuss a constitution. This settled, the elections followed, and Guadalupe Victoria was chosen by the Federalists over Nicolás Bravo, the candidate of the Centralists. So the United States of Mexico opened a republican era in Spanish America in 1824.
It was not long before factions began to appear in political circles, and one of the chief moving causes of disturbance in governmental policies became active in a troublous condition of the finances. The old party lines disappeared, and Bravo, who had become vice-president, gathered about him a revolutionary faction. Intrigue and revolt followed the going out of the first president, when Gomez Pedraza succeeded to his office. Still another revolution prospered under Santa Anna (1828), and Pedraza was obliged to fly.
Meanwhile, in 1825, the United States had sent Poinsett as minister to 1 His remains were in 1838 reburied in the Cathedral at Mexico, with solemnities. Cf. Bancroft, Mexico, iv. ch. 29-33.
* From a picture in J. M. Niles' South America and Mexico (Hartford, 1837).
the new republic, and treaties with that country had been signed. About the same time the Spanish government had surrendered the fortress of San Juan de Ulúa, and Spain had slipped at last from her only remaining foothold on Mexican soil. But Spain herself had not yet yielded to the inevitable. A predatory and intermittent warfare was kept up on the sea, until finally, in 1829, Brigadier Barradas was dispatched from Havana with a Spanish fleet. His purpose was to reconquer Mexico; but not long
after landing he capitulated to Santa Anna, and the last great struggle of Spain to maintain her colonial possession came to an inglorious end.
The political changes in the Mexican capital now became wearisome. We read listlessly of a series of ups and downs in which the names of Guerrero, Bustamante, Muzquiz, Pedraza, Farías, and Santa Anna claim honor or are despised with the revolving moons, till in 1836 the federal system is overturned, and under a new constitution the states assume relations of
* After a print in Alaman's Méjico, v. 687. Cf. B. Mayer's Mexico, Aztec, Spanish, and Republican, ii.