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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

Which concurred in the recommendation of the Consejo


Expulsion and suppression of the Jesuits.]

It was not until the reign of Charles III that any effective action was taken against them. While yet king of Naples, Charles had demonstrated his lack of cordiality toward the Jesuit order, and had begun to feel a suspicion, in common with other European monarchs, that the Jesuits might prove to be a danger to the state; in view of the actual power which the Jesuits possessed, it is not to be wondered at that the ultra-absolutist statesmen and kings of the eighteenth century should look upon them with disfavor. In the very year that Charles became king of Spain they were expelled from Portugal, and in the years 1764 to 1767 similar action was taken in France. The accession of Charles was a blow to the Jesuits in Spain, who now lost their influential place at court. Four events of a political character tended to increase the feeling of hostility toward them. One of these occurred in the reign of Ferdinand, when the Jesuits of Paraguay opposed the cession of that territory to Portugal in exchange for Sacramento. The Indians of Paraguay rose in rebellion against the transfer, and it was believed that the Jesuits were in some way concerned. The second of the events was the attempted assassination of the kings of Portugal and France, which was attributed to the Jesuit order on account of the hostility of those monarchs to the Jesuits. Many were of the opinion that Charles might be in danger of a like fate.

In the third place friction arose between Charles and the Jesuits as a result of the former's advocacy of the canonization of Juan de Palafox, a seventeenth century bishop of Puebla de los ?ngeles in New Spain. The Jesuits opposed the king in this matter, and even procured the removal from the palace of the works of Palafox which Charles had given to members of his family. The fourth matter was of far more consequence,--the riots of 1766 at the time when the proposals of Squillace with regard to the modification of Spanish dress were enacted into law. On that occasion there was grave disorder in Madrid, including an attack on the king's guards, a number of whom were cruelly put to death. The king was obliged to yield to the demands of the mob, and a few days later unexpectedly left Madrid for Aranjuez,--a virtual flight, taken as a measure of precaution. Not only in Madrid, but also in Saragossa, Cuenca, Guadalajara, Alicante, Salamanca, Daroca, Tobarra, Mombeltr?n, Murcia, San L?car, Huesca, Borja, San Ildefonso, Azcoytia, Villena, Ciudad Real, Jumilla, Coru?a, Alcaraz, Quero, Las Mesas, Aranjuez, Palencia, and Navalcarnero there were similar outbreaks, and it seemed likely that Barcelona might also give trouble. In fine, there appeared to be an organized attempt at rebellion, and Charles and his ministers believed, or at least pretended to believe, that the Jesuits were behind it. Most probably the order itself did not promote the riots, although several of its members were compromised, but late in 1766 it was formally charged with responsibility by the _Consejo_. In January, 1767, the _Consejo_ proposed the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain. The matter was submitted to a special _junta_, or council, which concurred in the recommendation of the _Consejo_, after which the decision was presented to various ecclesiastical personages, who likewise expressed their approval. It was decided, however,

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