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CHAP. had been opened, came to the hall of the Cortes, in the '._ Isle of Leon, with feelings wound up to the highest
pitch, from the wrongs they had so long endured from the selfish and monopolising policy of the mother country, and the free and independent spirit which the breaking out of the revolution in the Caraccas and elsewhere had excited in her transmarine possessions. They found themselves in a highly democratic and vehemently excited assembly, in which the noble name of liberty was continually heard, in which the sovereignty of the people was openly announced, the whole fabric of the new constitution was made to rest on that foundation, and in which the most enthusiastic predictions were constantly uttered as to the future regeneration and happiness of mankind from the influence of these principles. They returned to South America, under the restriction which had been adopted of each Cortes to two years' sitting, before these flattering predictions had been brought to the test of experience, or anything had occurred to reveal their fallacious character. They instantly spread among their constituents encroachments, injustice, and violence to which it is at all times liable, particularly in the progress of revolutions. Such a guard can only be afforded by the establishment of an assembly of the great landed proprietors—like our House of Lords, having concurrent power with the Cortes; and you may depend upon it there is no man in Spain, be his property ever so small, who is not interested in the establishment of such an assembly. Unhappily, in legislative assemblies, the most tyrannical and unjust measures are the most popular. I tremble for a country such as Spain, in which there is no barrier for the preservation of private property, excepting the justice of a legislative assembly possessing supreme power. It is impossible to calculate upon the plans of such an assembly: they have no check whatever, and they are governed by the most ignorant and licentious of all licentious presses-that of Cadiz. I believe they mean to attack the royal and feudal tenths, the tithes of the Church, under pretence of encouraging agriculture; and finding the supplies from these sources not so extensive as they expected, they will seize the estates of the grandees. Our character is involved in a greater degree than we are aware of in the democratical transactions of the Cortes, in the opinion of all moderate, well-thinking Spaniards, and, I am afraid, with the rest of Europe. It is quite impossible such a system can last : what I regret is, that I am the person who maintains it. If the king should return, he will overturn the whole fabric, if he has any spirit; but the gentlemen at Cadiz are so completely masters, that I fear there must be another convulsion." WELLINGTON to Don DIEGO DE LA VEGA, Jan. 29, 1813; GURWOOD, X. 64, 65, 247; xi. 91.
-Om counbreaksewhere ey found nently exliberty was of the people the new conn, and in which nstantly uttered ness of mankind . They returned on which bad been
sitting, before these ght to the test of exo reveal their fallacious among their constituents
the seat of
to Rio Ja
the flattering doctrines and hopes with which the halls of CHAP.
VII. the Cortes had resounded in Europe. Incalculable was the influence of this circumstance upon the future des- 1814. tinies of South America, and, through it, of the whole civilised world. To this, in a great degree, is to be ascribed the wide-spread and desperate resolution of the 1 Comte de vast majority of the inhabitants in the revolutionary con-Trequil...
mont, de test in those magnificent settlements; their frightful deso- l'Anglelation by the horrors of a war worse than civil ; and their Lord Pal
merston, final severance, by the insidious aid of Great Britain, from ii. 265. the Spanish crown.1
In all the particulars which have been mentioned, PORTUGAL was in the same situation as Spain; but in Situation of two respects the situation of that country was more effect of the
removal of favourable for innovation, and her people were more than ripe for revolt than in the Spanish provinces. The royal government family having, during the first alarm of the French inva- neiro. sion, migrated to Brazil, and dread of the terrors of a sea voyage having prevented the aged monarch from returning, he had come to fix his permanent residence on the beautiful shores of Rio Janeiro. A separation of the two countries had thus taken place; and the government at Lisbon, during the whole war, had been conducted by means of a council of regency, the members of which were by no means men either of vigour or capacity, and which was far from commanding the respect, or having acquired the affections, of the country. While the weight and influence of Government had been thus sensibly weakened, the political circumstances of Portugal, and the events of the war, had in an extraordinary manner diffused liberal ideas and the spirit of . independence through a considerable part of the people.
Closely united, both by political treaties and commercial intercourse, with Great Britain, for above a century Its general Portugal had become, in its maritime districts at least, i almost an English colony. English influence was pre
ideas. dominant at Lisbon : English commerce had enriched
ich it is at all times liable, particu
a guard can only be afforded by great landed proprietors-like our ver with the Cortes; and you may in, be his property ever so small, who of such an assembly. Unhappily, in nical and unjust measures are the most ch as Spain, in which there is no barrier ety, excepting the justice of a legislative r. It is impossible to calculate upon the y have no check whatever, and they are id licentious of all licentious presses-that of attack the royal and feudal tenths, the tithes : of encouraging agriculture ; and finding the t 80 extensive as they expected, they will seize
Our character is involved in a greater degree o democratical transactions of the Cortes, in the ell-thinking Spaniards, and, I am afraid, with the e impossible such a system can last: what I regret sho maintains it. If the king should return, he will , if he has any spirit ; but the gentlemen at Cadiz is, that I fear there must be another convulsion.”—
DE LA Vega, Jan. 29, 1813; GUBWOOD, 4, 64, 65,
CHAP. Oporto : the English market for port had covered the hi_ slopes of Tras-os-Montes with smiling vineyards. In
addition to this, the events of the late war had spread,
FERDINAND VII., whom the battle of Leipsic and Character of conquest of France had restored to the throne of his
ancestors, was not by nature a bad, or by disposition a cruel man; and yet he did many wicked and unpardon
y had ey had je native
side by side
hauiet in which
Dporto, almo be. The
had restored to
Sve on the part of the liberal press in Europe. Placed 181
28. restored Ferdinand VII. to liberty, and he re-entered the Ferdinand's kingdom of his fathers on the 20th March 1814, just ten Spain, and days before the Allies entered Paris. This treaty had treatment been concluded with Napoleon while the monarch was Cortes.
* History of Europe, 1789-1815, chap. lxxxvii. $ 71.
tid many wicked and
of Leipsic and 20 throne of his
by disposition a
ed and unpardon
CHAP. still in captivity, and it was a fundamental condition of
-_ it that he should cause the English to evacuate Spain. 1814.
The subsequent fall of the Emperor, however, rendered this
and they even went so far as to prescribe the itinerary he Decree, was to follow on his route to the capital, the towns he 1814; Mar- was to pass through, and the expressions he was to use in tignac, 107; Ann. Reg.' answer to the addresses he was expected to receive. It 68. is not surprising that he turned aside from such task
Scarcely had the monarch set his foot in Spain when Universal he received the most unequivocal proofs of the detestation
in which the constitution was generally held, and the universal hatred at the subordinate agents to whom the Cortes had intrusted the practical administration of government. From the frontier of Catalonia, to Valencia–in the fortresses, the towns, the villages, the fields—it was one continual clamour against the Cortes : “Viva el Rey
unpopularity of the Cortes.