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Mexico, Aztec, Spanish and Republican Vol. 1 of 2

Marfil massacre at guanajuato calleja


style="text-align: justify;"> BOOK III.

CHAPTER I.

1809-1810.

LIANZA VICEROY.--AUDIENCIA.--VENEGAS VICEROY.--TRUE SOURCES OF THE REVOLUTION.--CREOLES LOYAL TO FERDINAND.--SPANIARDS IN FAVOR OF KING JOSEPH.--MEXICAN SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR SPAIN.--SECRET UNION IN MEXICO AGAINST SPANIARDS.--HIDALGO--ALLENDE--FIRST OUTBREAK.-- GUANAJUATO SACKED--LAS CRUCES.--MEXICO MENACED.--INDIAN BRAVERY AT ACULCO.--MARFIL--MASSACRE AT GUANAJUATO--CALLEJA.-- INSURGENTS DEFEATED--EXECUTION OF HIDALGO.

THE ARCHBISHOP FRANCISCO XAVIER DE LIANZA, LVIII. VICEROY OF NEW SPAIN. THE AUDIENCIA OF MEXICO, AND VENEGAS, LIX. VICEROY. 1809-1810.

The pictures presented in the introductory chapter to the viceroyal history and in the subsequent detailed narrative of that epoch, will suffice, we presume, to convince our readers that they need not penetrate deeply for the true causes of misery and misrule in Spanish America. The decadence of Spain as well as the present unhappiness of nearly all her ancient colonies may be fairly attributed to the same source of national ruin--bad, unnatural government. A distinguished statesman of our country has remarked that "the European alliance of emperors and kings assumed, as the foundation of human society, the doctrine of unalienable allegiance,

whilst our doctrine was founded on the principle of unalienable right."[51] This mistaken European view, or rather assumption of royal prerogative and correlative human duties, was the baleful origin of colonial misrule. The house of Austria did not govern Spain as wisely as its predecessors. The Spain that Philip I. received and the Spain of those who followed him, present a sad contrast. As the conquest of America had not been conceived, although it was declared to be, in a beneficent spirit, the sovereigns continued the system of plunder with which it was begun. Its results are known. The Americans were their subjects, bound to them by "unalienable allegiance;" vassals, serfs creatures, whose human rights, in effect, were nothing when compared to the monarch's will. This doctrine at once converted the southern portions of our continent into a soulless machine, which the king had a right to use as he pleased, and especially, as he deemed most beneficial for his domestic realm. The consequence was, that, in concurrence with the Council of the Indies, he established, as we have seen, an entirely artificial system, which contradicted nature, and utterly thwarted both physical and intellectual development.

The Indians and creoles of Mexico and Peru, ignorant and stupid as they were believed to be by Spain, had, nevertheless, sense enough to understand and feel the wretchedness of their condition. They cherished in their hearts an intense hatred for their foreign masters. There was no positive or merely natural enmity of races in this, but rather a suppressed desire to avenge their wrongs.

When the French seized Spain, the colonies in America were, for a period, forced to rely upon themselves for temporary government. They did not, at once, desire to adopt republican institutions, but rather adhered to monarchy, provided they could free themselves from bad rulers and vicious laws. This especially was the case in Mexico. Her war against the mother country originated in a loyal desire to be completely independent of France. The news of the departure of Ferdinand VII. for Bayonne, and the alleged perfidy of Napoleon in that city, excited an enthusiasm among the Mexicans for the legitimate king, and created a mortal hatred against the conqueror of Europe. All classes of original Mexican society seem to have been united in these sentiments. Subscriptions were freely opened and in a few months, seven millions were collected to aid their Peninsular friends who were fighting for religion, king, and nationality. The idea did not strike any Mexican that it was a proper time to free his native land entirely from colonial thraldom.[52] But after a short time, the people began to reflect. The _prestige_ of Spanish power, to which we have alluded heretofore, was destroyed. A French king sat upon the Spanish throne. The wand of the enchanter, with which he had spell-bound America across the wide Atlantic, was broken forever. The treasured memory of oppression, conquest, bad government and misery, was suddenly refreshed, and it is not surprising to find that when the popular rising finally took place, it manifested its bitterness in an universal outcry against the Spaniards.


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