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people took the same oath before the aforesaid ecclesiastic authority. The obligations assumed were to support the Roman catholic apostolic religion; to secure the independence of the empire, preserving to that end peace and union between Europeans and Americans; and to obey Fernando VII., should he adopt and swear to support the constitution to be enacted by the córtes of the Mexican empire. Chiapas was, therefore, the first province of the captain-generalcy of Guatemala to throw off the Spanish yoke; she at the same time separated herself from Guatemala, and manifested her determination to link her future with Mexico. All this was made known September 21st by the comandante-general of Oajaca to Iturbide. The example of Ciudad Real was unhesitatingly followed by the other towns in the province.
We have seen that Guatemala, at her declaration of independence, did not at once accept annexation to the Mexican empire. This course did not suit the rulers and notables of Ciudad Real, who hastened to manifest their displeasure at a meeting held September 20th, and attended by the intendente, ayuntamiento, and other official bodies, prelates, and a large number of citizens.
As a matter of fact, the desire of Chiapas to be detached from Guatemala and annexed to Mexico existed with some strength even before the declaration of independence; and Guatemala having failed to return an answer to the letter from the authorities of Chiapas, announcing her action of the 3d, this neglect had strengthened the notables of the latter in their resolution to recognize no other government than that of the Mexican empire under the treaties of Córdoba. It was also resolved at the meeting not to circulate the declaration of independence which the
45 The act of independence was signed by Juan N. Batres, José Ignacio Larrainzar, José Diego Lara, Julio José Flores, José Nicolás Osuna, Estévan Gordillo, and Lic. José Vives.
40Soon after this act that desire began to assume proportions. Larrainzar, Notic. Hist. Soconusco, 28.
CHIAPAS A PART OF MEXICO.
jefe político of Guatemala had sent. These sentiments were duly seconded by the other cities and
In order to guard against any action Guatemala might take because of the course of Chiapas, at a formal session of the diputacion, presided over by the jefe político, and held on the 22d of October, it was resolved to send to Mexico a commissioner to take the necessary steps, and procure his province's separation from Guatemala, even if the latter should come to be thereafter a part of the Mexican empire."
47 For particulars on the final separation of Chiapas, and incorporation as a state of the Mexican confederation, see Hist. Mex., v. 22-4, this series. The clergyman Pedro Solórzano was the agent appointed under the resolution referred to in the text, and he accordingly repaired to the city of Mexico. Larrainzar, Notic. Hist. Soconusco, 29; Méx. Gaceta Imp., i. 169-73, 270-1, 319-23, 337-9.
UNION WITH MEXICO.
FIRST ACTS OF GUATEMALAN RULERS-INTRIGUES OF PARTIES-THEIR EVIL CONSEQUENCES-GAINZA'S INTRIGUES-INDEPENDENCE IN THE OTHER PROVINCES REWARDS TO GAINZA-TROUBLES IN SALVADOR-DISSENSIONS IN HONDURAS-LOCAL SQUABBLES IN NICARAGUA-PREDILECTION FOR IMPERIALISM-COSTA RICA NEUTRAL-CONDITION OF VARIOUS SECTIONS-SECEDING DISTRICTS OF GUATEMALA-PERPLEXITIES OF THE JUNTA CONSULTIVA-ITURBIDE'S DEVICES-MILITARY PRESSURE-HIS PROPOSALS ACCEPTED-ILLEGAL ANNEXATION-PROTESTS AND RESISTANCE-WAR BEGINS.
AMONG the first acts of the junta at Guatemala was the promotion of two officers who were supposed to be reliable supporters of the late movement.1 Both proved themselves afterward recreant to their pledges, by their hostility to the republican cause.
The cacos were republicans. They strove to rid the country of the antiquated errors and practices, including in their plans the abolishment of the privileges of the clergy, and the restriction of their power, which had been a constant source of injury to the people at large. They wanted the adoption of democratic institutions, in order to place the masses on the level heretofore occupied only by the ruling class. They succeeded in prevailing on the people to take an interest and a direct intervention in public affairs. Barrundia, Molina, and Córdoba led them to the gal
1 They were Lorenzo Romaña, who was made colonel of the battalion of regulars, superseding the Spaniard Félix Lagrava, and Manuel Arzú, who obtained the command of the artillery, with the same rank. Marure, Bosq. Hist. Cent. Am., i. 28.
leries of the junta chamber to witness its acts, and even take part in its deliberations. They attacked Valle for the clause he inserted in the acta of the 15th, to which I have alluded in the preceding chapter. On that point they certainly had a well-founded grievance, but their manner of presenting it resulted in a loss of confidence in the junta, the organization of new parties, and general distraction. The point taken by them, however, was decided in their favor by the junta. But the latter held secret sessions after the 29th of September, significant of sinister purposes.
The other party-formerly constituting the ruling class-scouted the idea of equality. Most of the churchmen had the same feeling; for in joining the movement for separation from Spain their motive had been to shield their menaced prerogatives, rather than love for America or freedom.
On the 18th of September Gainza wrote Iturbide, generalissimo of the so-called empire of Mexico, that his course had been hailed with joy, and that political parties had consolidated on the proposition of independence from Spain; hence he had proclaimed it. And that, since then, amid the transition from one system to another, the minds of the people of Guatemala had been fixed on Iturbide, and they had desired to tender him their congratulations as the liberator of New Spain.3
2A writer of the opposite party asserts that the practice caused much confusion, arising from ignorance. The populace abused the privilege, and had finally to be excluded from the chamber. The same author speaks disparagingly of the three leaders. Mem. Rev. Cent. Am., 7. It is said of them that they often addressed from the gallery petitions to the junta, demanded removals of officials, and had disputes with its members or with Gainza. I have already given some account of Barrundia and Molina. Córdoba had suffered imprisonment and prosecution for being concerned in the revolutionary movements of 1811.
3'Acorde al fin en sus sentimientos, se reunió últimamente en la opinion que debió siempre ser el vínculo estrecho de su voluntad. Así consta del testimonio que acompaño á V. E.' The last sentence must refer to a copy of the acta de independencia. Mex., Gaceta Imp., i. 60-2. And yet, another journal of Mexico, alluding to that letter, after erroneously giving the writer's name as Gabriel Quinia, actually asserted its contents to be that Guatemala, like Chiapas, had submitted to Mexico, party spirit having been powerless to dis
The junta consultiva passed a number of decrees, which were sanctioned by Gainza. Urrutia, the excaptain-general, was tendered his salary and the considerations due his rank and former office if he would formally recognize the independence. He declined with thanks, departing for Habana soon after. At the time of the adoption of the acta, peaceable persons were assured of protection to their persons and property, which pledge was faithfully fulfilled. No opponent of independence was molested. Officials desirous of returning to their country were allowed to do so.5
The junta, which bore the compellation of excelentísima, unanimously appointed Gainza captain-general, with the salary of $10,000 a year, decorating him also with a three-colored scarf, commemorative of the three guarantees. A gold medal was voted to the members of the ayuntamiento, who made the solemn declaration of independence on the 23d of September." Committees were next appointed to study and report to the junta on public instruction, safety and defences, statistics, industry, and finances. José del Valle was instructed to form a plan of government."
Several financial measures engaged the attention of the junta. One of them proposed to levy a duty of ten per centum on gold and silver exported to Spain. This was never strictly enforced. Restrictions to foreign commerce, and monopolies existing under the Spanish government, were abolished. Liberal principles were introduced, including freedom of
turb the peace or general will of the inhabitants! Méx., Noticioso Gen., Oct. 19, 1821.
4 Decree of Sept 20, 1821.
Decrees of Sept. 26 and 27, 1821. They were given two months' extra pay. Mem. Rev. Cent. Am., 6-7.
This act was effected amidst complishment without bloodshed. favored the movement had their Hist. Cent. Am., i. 27–30.
great enthusiasm, and rejoicing at its acPersons then residing in the city who had names inserted in a book. Marure, Bosq.
7 Another committee was to count the population in order to apportion the deputies to congress. Gracias, Cuad. Estad., 28.