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it, he adds that the conspirators counted on him as a fearless man to carry it out, and that his bold language and writings rendered his sojourn in America a constant menace to Spanish interests.
Another and a worse planned attempt at revolution than the one of 1811 occurred in Salvador in 1814. The government quelled it, and the promoters were arrested, Manuel José Arce suffering an imprisonment of several years."
The reader's attention is now called to matters concerning the capitanía general of Guatemala, which occupied the government both here and in Europe immediately before King Fernando's coup-d'état.
Bustamante, evidently hostile to constitutional government, and loath to suffer readily any curtailment of his quasi-autocratic powers, proclaimed, under the pressure of necessity, the national constitution, and permitted elections under it; but between this and allowing the diputaciones provinciales and ayuntamientos free action under the fundamental law, there was a wide chasm. He had no intention of tamely submitting to such innovations, whatever might be said of their merits in the abstract. In the first place; he postponed for three whole months the installation of the diputacion, and when it was installed, refused to honor the event with a high mass and te deum, which would have been the proper thing to do. Such a recognition of the importance of the diputacion might have shaken the faith of the populace in a one-man power. He next insisted on the diputacion having its sittings at the government house, where it would be at his mercy. He treated the body disrespectfully in several ways, and as he could not make
44 Arce began to figure in the rebellion of 1811. After the organization of the federal régime he was the first constitutional president of the republic. Rev. Cent. Am., 3; Salv., Diario Ofic., 1875, Feb. 13.
45 In disregard of the rank and standing of the 'excelentísima diputacion,' he would append only his media firma, or surname, to its decrees and documents, when he should have used his name and surname-a serious breach of etiquette in those times.
END OF BUSTAMANTE'S RULE.
it subservient to his will, tried by all means in his power to destroy its influence and usefulness. In fact, he looked upon it as a mere consultative corporation, whose advice he might ask for or not, as suited his fancy. Lastly, he would not permit the acts of the diputacion to be published; and for the matter of that, there was no liberty of the press.
These complaints were laid before the national córtes" for redress, coupled with a petition that the royal authority should remove Bustamante from office. But grievances were unredressed, and their author continued wielding power in the country several years more. Indeed, this was not to be wondered at. The Spanish government had rarely, if ever, shown inclination to do justice to the ruled against the high rulers it placed over them, or to punish the despotic acts of the latter. Residencias had of late become mere matters of form. If the complainants had wealth and influence at court, they might obtain the recall of the ruler obnoxious to them, but no other punishment. The prestige of authority must be upheld; such was the principle acted upon." Guatemala was finally relieved of Bustamante's hated rule on the 28th of March, 1818.
The people of Central America, like the rest of the Spanish dominions, were soon invited to another view in the political kaleidoscope. Fernando VII., upon
46 The chamber now had but a short time to live. Manuel Micheo had presented his credentials in Jan. 1814, and been admitted to his seat as deputy from Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Luis Aguirre's claim to admission was referred back on the petition of citizens of Chiquimula for his election to be declared null. Córtes, Act. ord., 1814, Jan. 21, i. 487, March 20, ii. 121.
47 Several accusations had been preferred hitherto against Bustamante; all remained unheeded, so far as it ever became known. One more was that of Juan Argüello of Granada, in Nicaragua, who charged the governor with unjust treatment of him in 1814, and demanded his trial and punishment. This case was before the córtes Oct. 20, 1820. But as the second constitutional epoch was so short-lived, Argüello's demand for justice had no better result than preceding ones. A memorial of the ayuntamiento of Guatemala, on the political condition of the province, expressing fear that the harshness extended to men for political opinions might lead to evil consequences, and asking for the pardon of prisoners, was presented March 24, 1814, to the córtes. It was referred to a committee, and that was all the action taken, till the king in 1817 granted an amnesty. Córtes, Act. ord., March 24, 1814, ii. 152; Id., Diario, Oct. 20, 1820, ix. 4.
his release by Napoleon a few months after the treaty of Valençay, returned to Spain without delay, and on arriving at Valencia, issued his manifesto of May 4, 1814, setting aside the constitution, and assuming the authority of an absolute sovereign. He did this with fair promises, which he carried out when and how it suited him. Among many decrees issued by the monarch soon after, which were of interest to Central America, was one enjoining on the archbishop and bishops to see that their subordinates did their duty faithfully, and entertained only wholesome opinions. No associations or leagues were to be tolerated which might lead to a disturbance of the public peace; in other words, liberty and constitutional government were not to be thought of 50 Another decree of June 17th, demanded of the deputies from America having in their possession petitions from their constituents to lay them before the royal government, in order that they might be acted upon. Several measures for the protection of morals and the advancement of civilization were also enacted.
48 Concluded Dec. 11, 1813.
49 Upon the news of the king's acts becoming known in Guatemala, the archbishop and his clergy, and the other authorities, offered thanks to God for his release and restoration to the throne. Juarros, Guat., ii., adv. xii.
50 The pope lent his support with an encyclical letter of Aug. 15, 1814, against freemasonry and other secret societies, which was published June 2, 1815. All persons affiliating in such organizations were required to sever their connection with them. Fern. VII., Decretos, 27-32.
PRESIDENT CARLOS URRUTIA-HIS LIBERAL VIEWS-COLOMBIAN ASSAULTS -SPANISH CONSTITUTION RESTORED-THE GAZISTAS, OR BACOS-THE CACOS JOSÉ DEL VALLE-PEDRO MOLINA-LIBERAL INSTITUTIONSEXTENT OF THE POLITICAL GOVERNMENT-ECCLESIASTICAL ADMINISTRATION-WORK OF AMERICAN DEPUTIES-PARTY EXCITEMENT IN GUATEMALA-URRUTIA DELEGATES HIS POWERS-SUBSTITUTE PRESIDENT GAVINO GAINZA-CHIAPAS AND HER GOVERNMENT-SHE SECEDES FROM SPAIN AND JOINS THE MEXICAN EMPIRE-GUATEMALA DECLARES FOR INDEPENDENCE-JUNTA GUBERNATIVA-CONVOCATION OF A CONGRESS.
SUCCESSOR to Bustamante in the position of governor, president, and captain-general, in March 1818, was Lieutenant-general Cárlos Urrutia,' knight grand cross of the military order of San Hermenegildo, which entitled him to be called excelentísimo señor. It was a difficult position. The country was at peace, it is true, but a political volcano was at work, and no one could foretell when the upheaval of revolution might occur, letting loose the elements of destruction, as had happened in other parts of Spanish America. However, another constitutional term under the Spanish monarch was about being inaugurated, and this fact helped to bring on definitive results.
1A native of Habana, Cuba. He had filled several high offices, the last being that of governor of Santo Domingo. Juarros, Guat., ii., adv. ix.-x.; Salv., Diario Ofic., Apr. 1, 1875, 4.
"Convulsions of nature had been constantly occurring in Quezaltenango during two months, which greatly alarmed the population. On the 17th of Jan., 1818, a hill on the south of the town burst open and threw out enormous quantities of ashes, covering the whole country, even to the distance of 35 leagues, and flames were occasionally seen. Cózar, Carta, in Noticioso Gen., March 16, 1818, 4
Urrutia was a man of experience, with a well-balanced mind, whose political opinions leaned to the side of progress. He would have been well adapted to guide the course of events in Central America had it not been for the infirmities of old age. Guatemala, being as yet under the sway of Spain, was open to attack from the enemies of that government, or at least, to such action as they might adopt in aid of the disaffected portion of the people to secure their country's independence. The latter was the plan of the Colombian insurgents in fitting out a combined sea and land expedition to operate against the ports of Omoa and Trujillo in 1820.3
On the 21st of April the watch-tower at Capiro, in Trujillo, announced the approach of a Colombian flotilla of small vessels from the windward. The garrison, commanded by José M. Palomar, at once made preparations for emergencies. The flotilla, consisting of two brigantines, four large and as many small schooners, one felucca, and one sloop, under Commodore Aury, sailed in at two o'clock, and despatched a boat to shore to demand the surrender of the place within one hour. Nothing further was done on that day, however; but early the next morning the flotilla moved toward the mouth of the Guaimoreto, and after reconnoitering the defences, opened a bombardment with ball and grape-shot on the intrenchment and demolished it, which compelled the defenders to fall back. The assailants landed 400 men and 15 horses, and advanced against the garrison, meeting with a repulse at the fourth parapet. The garrison retreated to the fifth line, at which the enemy was a second time driven back. The vessels fired broadside upon broadside on the shore batteries, which were warmly returned. The bombardment was kept up from nine
The Spanish official account published by the government of Guatemala, May 1 and 13, 1820, and copied in the Gaceta of Mex. of June 17th, same year, has it that the attempt resulted in the discomfiture of the assailants.
The commander's ship hoisted a flag with two blue bars and a white one between them showing an escutcheon.