From Empire to Republic - Arthur H. Noll

The Continuance of the Struggle for Independence

At the time of the collapse of Hidalgo's insurrection, Ignacio Lopez Rayon was left in command of a remnant of the Army of the Independents that escaped to Saltillo. There he found himself with four thousand men and twenty-two pieces of artillery as the nucleus of an army for a renewed struggle for liberty. Accompanied by Jose Maria Liceaga, he took possession of Zacatecas and made it his headquarters for a while.

From Zacatecas these new leaders sent word to General Calleja that the object of the revolution was to establish a national junta, or congress, which would conserve the rights of the Roman Catholic religion and of Fernando VII., and prevent New Spain from falling into the power of Bonaparte. This explanation was far from satisfactory to Calleja, and he made a military demonstration which forced Rayon from Zacatecas. Rayon next established himself in Zitacuaro, near Valladolid, where he formed a governing board, calling it the "Supreme Junta of Zitacuaro." This board was composed of five members, elected by as many land-owners as could be collected for the purpose, in conjunction with the authorities of the town. Rayon was himself the President; and Jose Maria Morelos, Jose Maria Liceaga, Dr. Verduzco, and Dr. Cos were members.

Previous to this, the insurgents had recognized no authority but force of arms, and their armies existed without any colorable authority whatever. This junta was intended to correct these defects, to give some authority to the military, and to furnish the armies with a systematic plan of attack. It was also expected to regulate the affairs of the "Independents," as they were now generally called, and to unite the people more closely against the Viceroy and Audiencia. Rayon therefore became, to the establishment of civil government in the provinces held by the Independents, what Hidalgo had been, and what Morelos was shortly afterwards to become, to the military conduct of the revolution.

The newly formed junta distinctly recognized Fernando VII. as the sovereign of Mexico, and claimed to govern the country in his name. It claimed an authority in Mexico equal to that of any of the juntas of Spain. Doubtless much might have been gained could all the Independents have united upon some such theory of government as this. It was, indeed, somewhat similar to that which was afterwards embodied in the "Plan" that eventually succeeded. It was scarcely more than a revival, if not actually a survival, of the project of Iturrigaray, as that project is now generally understood. The first principle of the junta was more intimate union with Spain. Events in Spain, however, soon made such a principle untenable, and it was superseded by a principle which involved a separation from Spain, and there was at least one member of the junta who stood out boldly in his refusal to acknowledge a king of any kind or on any terms. The junta's chief importance was in the fact that it served as a nucleus for the subsequent Congress of Chilpantzingo.

Jose Maria Morelos was a greater military genius than Rayon, or any others of his time; and hence he was the logical successor to Hidalgo in the military leadership of the Independents as soon as they could be rallied and reinforced after the battle of Puente de Calderon. He was a Mestizo, and like Hidalgo (whose pupil he had been) a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. He had followed his old schoolmaster into the conflict with the Viceregal government,—starting out with more humane and liberal ideas than those that had prevailed in the earlier part of the conflict, and adhering to them until driven by the conduct of his enemies into an opposite course. He had distinct and clear ideas of the Independence of Mexico; and it was natural that the struggle, as he now prepared to maintain it, should become more definite in its aims, and consequently that it should accomplish more, than those which had preceded it.

Morelos had already fought twenty-six engagements in the south, and had been victorious in all but two of them. In a battle near Acapulco, which he made his first objective point when sent out by Hidalgo in 1810, he defeated a large number of Viceregal troops, and captured eight hundred muskets, five pieces of artillery, seven hundred prisoners, some ammunition, and a large sum of money. It was because of such successes as this, often repeated, that his name has been added by the historiographers of Mexico to their long list of "Heroes of a Hundred Battles."

Among the lieutenants of Morelos was still another patriot-priest, Mariano Matamoros, who is sometimes accredited with even greater military genius than Morelos. Dr. Cos, a member of the Zitacuaro junta, was likewise a priest; so was Nayarete, another patriot-warrior. Later there was a Padre Torres who established an insurrectionary despotism in the heart of the Sierra Madre Mountains, calling it the "Junta of Jauaxilla," where he became a terror alike to Spaniards and Independents. The attitude of these priests in the conflict is remarkable, inasmuch as the revolution was opposed from the first by the leading clergy in accordance with a papal encyclical directing them to oppose all attempts to secure the separation of Mexico from Spain.

A daring plot was discovered in August, 1811. It was no less than a plan to take the person of the Viceroy from the City of Mexico and send him to Rayon at Zitacuaro; there he was to remain in Rayon's custody, and sign such orders as the latter might see fit. This discovery so alarmed the Viceroy that he took steps for the extermination of Rayon and his followers. Rayon being considered the most formidable enemy of Spanish rule in America, General Calleja was sent to Zitacuaro to capture him; but Rayon escaped, together with his junta. Calleja destroyed the town, burned the houses, and killed many of the inhabitants. Prisoners taken at the time were executed.

The junta went to Sultepec, and there Rayon found himself at the head of twenty thousand men, with Manuel de Mier y Teran as his most valuable military assistant. Rayon was a man of unquestioned energy and executive ability. He established foundries in Tlalpujahua for the manufacture of cannon, and factories for the supply of guns and ammunition. He secured some coarse wooden type, and printed in Sultepec the Seminario Patriotica  and the Illustrador Americano  papers (perhaps scarcely more than "broadsides") which upheld the rights of the people and justified the movement for Independence. A paper appeared in the City of Mexico, called El Pensador Americano  in which Carlos Maria Bustamante, an eminent historian of Mexico, echoed the words of Rayon and defended popular rights. It was at great personal risk that Bustamante thus undertook to mold public opinion, and he wrote with such vigor and effect that the Viceroy thought best to suspend the liberty of the press, although it had been guaranteed to the people by the Spanish Constitution and the action of the Regency.

At Sultepec the junta came to be called the "Junta Americana." When driven out of Sultepec, its members took the field in various parts of the country, where the Independent armies met with a discouraging series of defeats. There was finally a bitter disagreement between Rayon on one side and Liceaga and Verduzco on the other, and this caused the influence of the junta to decline.

Spain was still at war with France, and Fernando was still in captivity, when the Cortes at Cadiz adopted a new Constitution, in March, 1812. Fifty Americans had sat in that Cortes, together with one hundred and thirty-two members from other parts of the Empire. By the provisions of this Constitution, the Spanish nation was declared to consist of all Spaniards in either hemisphere. All free men born and residing in the Spanish Dominions, and all those to whom the privileges of citizenship might be granted, were to be included in the term "Spaniards." Spanish citizens alone could vote, or be elected or appointed to civil trusts or offices; and the term "Spanish citizens" included all Spaniards excepting those who were by either parent of African descent. Even these, however, might be admitted to the privileges of citizenship upon certain conditions.

The government of Spain was to be an hereditary monarchy, Fernando VII. being recognized as King. But the royal authority was reduced to little more than a name, and the Regency became a mere show; for the Cortes invested itself with executive as well as legislative powers. The legislative power was to reside in a single body of deputies, and the King was to possess only a limited power of veto upon the enactments of this body. The executive duties were committed nominally to the King, but he was to be aided by a Council of State and act through nine responsible ministers. The application of the laws in civil and criminal cases was to belong to the Audiencias  and courts alone.

The territories of the Empire were divided into provinces, each to be governed by a chief to be appointed by the King and a provincial deputation composed of members chosen biennially by the citizens of the respective provinces. The basis of national representation was to be the same in every part of the Dominions, the number of deputies sent by each province being proportioned to the number of its Spanish citizens.

The Council of the Indies had already disappeared in the course of the political tempest that had swept over Spain. Under the new Constitution, this Council was to be replaced by a ''Minister of the Kingdoms beyond the Seas." The Inquisition was suspended, and the convents and monasteries were dissolved. The press was freed from all restraints excepting such as might be imposed upon it by specific laws.

Generally speaking, though the new Constitution was by no means a perfect one, it was liberal in its provisions, and a long way in advance of anything the Spanish provinces beyond the seas had ever known. It improved the condition of the Indians in some respects, by exempting them from military service and from the payment of the most irksome of the taxes formerly levied upon them. But the Central Government was empowered to delay the extension of the privileges granted under this Constitution in any of the dominions to which it was not considered safe or judicious to apply them at once, and Mexico was liable to be placed in that category at any time at the will of the Viceroy.

Early in 1812, two battalions of Spanish troops, including a famous Regiment of Asturias which had won the title of "The Invincibles" in the Peninsula, came to Mexico, sent there by the Regency of Spain to support the Viceregal government and to assist in reducing the Independents to subjection. The Cortes of Cadiz was furthermore known to be in negotiation with England regarding means for the pacification of the American provinces. The Constitution had been proclaimed in some parts of America before the arrival of the Spanish troops; but in some provinces the proclamation was postponed until after that time, and consequently the Mexicans were suspicious of the concessions made to them therein. They had had a long experience of the falsehood and injustice of Spain, and had little confidence in the sincerity of the Cortes or in the power of that body to maintain the new institutions it had apparently sought to create. Thoughtful men in Mexico felt and expressed distrust, and the more courageous and patriotic of them openly disregarded the new Constitution.

Venegas, the Viceroy, took the view that the new Constitution was in most of its provisions impracticable in Mexico. He proclaimed it, but he soon saw that it was impossible for him to maintain his authority under it, and after two months he began to suspend one provision after another until in a short time nothing remained. He could not, however, revoke the concessions made to the people, and the general effect of his vacillations was to spread the revolution and make it more popular. For though the Mexican people might lack confidence in the ability or even in the intention of the Cortes to secure them their rights, they were ready enough to take the Cortes at its word when it declared what those rights were.

The military exploits of Morelos were checked neither by the publication nor by the suspension of the new Constitution. They included the brilliant evacuation of Cuautla, and the capture of Tehuacan, Orizaba, and Oaxaca, in 1812. The first-named place was a town of about five thousand inhabitants. In some unexplained manner, Morelos had permitted himself to be shut up in this town with several of his brave lieutenants and with not more than three thousand soldiers. General Calleja appeared before the town with twelve thousand men, perfectly equipped and well disciplined. He was certain of success when he attacked the town, on the nineteenth of February. But he was repulsed, and forced to lay siege. The little army within the town suffered all the horrors of siege until the second of May. Attacks were made almost daily during that time, and the conduct of the besieged was marked by the highest heroism.

The evacuation of the place is regarded as an instance of military genius. The soldiers of Morelos formed in three divisions and marched out of the town in the middle of the night, unobserved by the Spaniards until they reached a deep barranca  (mountain gorge) some distance beyond the Spanish lines. The Spaniards then discovered the movement, and made an attack; but the Independents, by a pre-concerted signal, suddenly dispersed to rendezvous elsewhere. The Spanish troops began to fire upon one another in the darkness. So well executed was the manoeuver on the part of the Independents, that only seventeen men were missing at the appointed rendezvous.

After this brilliant retreat, Morelos continued his successes in other regions. In the towns captured by him toward the end of the year, much rich booty was secured. In Oaxaca particularly, sixty cannon, one thousand muskets, and many prisoners, were taken.

In March, 1813, General Felix Maria Calleja del Rey succeeded Venegas as Viceroy. He had been knighted because of his success at the battle of Puente de Calderon, and was now the Count of Calderon. The order for the change in the administration of affairs in New Spain was dated on the sixteenth of September in the previous year,—the date most significant in Mexican history. Calleja was totally indifferent to the provisions of the Constitution of 1812, and continued the pursuit of the Independents, which he had begun in the time of Hidalgo, with such vigor as to gain for himself the title of "The Cruel."

After making the important captures above mentioned, Morelos made a mistake similar to that of Hidalgo, and instead of following up the advantage he had gained and advancing upon the capital with every prospect of taking it, he returned to the scene of his first military operations, besieged Acapulco, and compelled its surrender, in August, 1813. He then called a Congress of Mexicans, numbering forty deputies, from the different provinces under the control of the Independents. This Congress was to combine with the Junta of Zitacuaro, and take steps toward the organization of an independent nation. The deputies were elected by popular vote, and assembled in the month of September, 1813, in Chilpantzingo, about a hundred and thirty miles south of the City of Mexico. Among the members were Morelos, Liceaga, Rayon, Verduzco, Cos, Carlos Maria Bustamante, and other distinguished patriots.

This Congress issued an important manifesto, showing the principles of the revolution at that time. It declared that the sovereignty resided in the people. Spain and America were integral parts of one monarchy, subject to the same king,—equal, and without any dependence upon or subordination to each other. America, because of her fidelity to Fernando, had more right to convoke the Cortes and call together representatives of the few patriots of Spain than Spain had to call from America deputies who were not worthy representatives of Mexico. In the absence of the King, the inhabitants of the Peninsula had no right to arrogate to themselves the sovereign power over these Western dominions, and all orders emanating from such a source were absolutely null and entitled to no obedience. In refusing to submit to an arbitrary power, the American nation was only exercising its proper and inherent rights; and so far from this being high treason or a crime, it was a proof of patriotism worthy of the King's gratitude, and which he would undoubtedly approve if he were on the spot. After what had occurred, both in the Peninsula and in Mexico, since the overthrow of the throne in Spain, the Mexicans were right in demanding such guarantees for the Dominion of New Spain for its legitimate sovereign, free from the intervention of any European people.

After this preamble, the manifesto went on to make the following demands. The European residents of Mexico were to resign the command of the armed forces into the hands of a national Congress, independent of Spain, which was to represent Fernando VII. and secure his rights in Mexico. They might, however, if they so choose, remain as citizens under the protection of the laws, and under a guarantee of safety as to their persons, families, and property. Such Europeans as were then in office were to remain with the honors, privileges, and distinctions thereof, and a part of the emoluments; but they were not to exercise any official functions. The most effective measures were to be advocated with the independence of Mexico in view; and all the people of the land, Creoles as well as Europeans, were to constitute themselves a nation of American citizens, subjects of Fernando VII., bent only upon promoting the public welfare. On such a basis, Mexico would be able to contribute for the prosecution of the war in Spain such sums as Congress might appropriate, as evidence of the fraternal relations existing between Mexico and the Peninsula and as proof of their common aspirations. The Europeans who might desire to leave Mexico were to be granted passports for whatever place they wished, but in such case public officials were not to be allowed any part of their official pay.

An important part of the document was devoted to propositions regarding the prosecution of the war then in progress in Mexico. It was declared to be a war between brethren and fellow-citizens. The two contending parties both acknowledged Fernando VII. as their sovereign. Of this the Mexicans had given proof by swearing allegiance to Fernando, by proclaiming him in every part of the country, by carrying his portrait upon their banners, by invoking his name in their official acts, and by stamping it upon their coinage. The war ought not, therefore, to be more cruel than one between foreign nations. The rights of nations and the rules of war, observed even among infidel and savage people, ought certainly to be regarded among those who were subjects of the same sovereign. The contest, if it were indeed inevitable, should be carried on, as far as possible, in such manner as to be least shocking to humanity. Prisoners of war should not be treated as guilty of high treason, and sentenced to death as criminals for causes purely political. If kept as hostages for purposes of exchange, they should not be placed in irons, but treated each according to his proper condition. By the rules of war, effusion of blood was only permissible in the act of combat. The Spaniards had need to be reminded of this. When the combat was over, no one should be killed, nor should those who threw down their arms or fled be fired upon. They might be made prisoners by the victors. The severest penalties should be meted out to such as entered defenseless towns with fire and sword, or assigned persons to be shot by tenths or fifths, and thus confounded the innocent with the guilty.

Ecclesiastical tribunals were not to interfere in what was clearly and exclusively an affair of the state, and in no way connected with the cause of religion. The Independents avowed their profound respect and veneration for the clergy, and recognized the clergy's jurisdiction in matters relating to their sacred calling. But if the clergy were not restrained in their present inclinations, the Independents would not be responsible for what might result from popular indignation. And if the propositions set forth in the manifesto were not accepted by the Europeans to whom they were submitted, the Independents would be forced to pursue a policy of vigorous reprisals.

Had the offers of this admirable declaration of rights been accepted by the Viceregal government, not only might Mexico have remained to Spain for many years, but the subsequent history of Spain itself might have been differently written. The Viceroy, however, instead of according to the document the courteous consideration it deserved, treated it as a treasonable paper, and had it ceremoniously burned by the public executioner in the Plaza Mayor of the City of Mexico.

The Congress of Chilpantzingo, under date of September 15, nominated Morelos Captain-General of the forces of the Independents, and proceeded to pass decrees abolishing slavery, imprisonment for debt, and the collection of tithes for the support of religious houses. This action indicated some of the abuses existing in the political system of New Spain to which political reformers were beginning to awaken, and foreshadowed some of the reforms which were to occupy the thoughts of publicists at a later period.

The Congress first removed to Tlacotepec, and finally convened in Apatzingan. There, on the sixteenth of November, 1813, it published its formal Declaration of Independence of Spain. "Mexico was declared free from Spanish control, with liberty to work out its own destiny and with the Roman Catholic Religion for its spiritual guidance." The name chosen for the new nation was "The Kingdom of Anahuac,"—under the misapprehension that there had been an Aztec empire of that name before the advent of the Europeans. A Constitution was adopted, liberal in its provisions; and Liceaga, Morelos, and Dr. Cos were named as the Poder Ejecutivo  (Executive Power) to carry it into effect. Both the Declaration and the Constitution had the distinction of being ceremoniously burned in public, by order of the Viceroy, in the City of Mexico and in the principal towns of the country.

The Declaration of Independence made but a slight impression upon the popular mind, for various reasons,—least of all for the treatment it received at the hands of the Viceroy; and the liberal Constitution appealed even less than the Declaration to the Mexicans. For one thing, the fortunes of Morelos had begun to wane. Furthermore, there was lack of harmony in the Congress of Chilpantzingo; nor were the members of the Poder Ejecutivo  wholly of one mind upon political subjects and as to what was best for the welfare of Mexico. Some of the deputies in the Congress of Chilpantzingo desired to establish the traditional colonial system under the Constitution of 1812. Others desired to adopt purely American institutions modeled after those of the United States. The partisan spirit thus rising was marked by great bitterness. There was a similar want of unanimity between Congress and the military authorities of the Independents. But it was news received from Spain at this time that most powerfully affected the fortunes of the Declaration and of the Constitution.

Before the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, in 1814, he had hoped that by releasing Fernando from his captivity and sending him back to Spain he might create divisions in France by which his own interests could be served. He accordingly executed a treaty with his royal captive, and released him. Fernando ignored the Cortes altogether, and sent notices of his release, and of the treaty concluded with Napoleon, to the Regency of Spain. He entered Madrid in May, and began at once to carry out his plans for the reestablishment of absolutism. He rejected the Constitution of 1812, and restored the religious orders to the dominant position they had held before their suspension by that Constitution. He abolished the Cortes, and burned the official records of its proceedings. He re-established the Inquisition, and appointed a Grand Inquisitor, by whom fifty thousand persons were imprisoned and not a few were put to the torture. In pursuance of Fernando's decrees, all adherents of the Cortes were exiled, and all Liberals, Free Masons, and the purchasers of property nationalized under decrees of the Cortes, were relentlessly persecuted.

The news of the return of Fernando to Spain, and of his action in regard to the Constitution of 1812, caused dissension among the adherents of the Viceregal government in Mexico; and the Independents might have profited by taking advantage of these circumstances, had they maintained harmony among themselves. The action of Fernando rendered him persona non grata  to those Mexicans whose "rebellion" had been against what they had regarded as an improperly constituted authority opposed to him, and who had been all the while loyal to him as their King. For they had learned to rebel against absolutism in any form,—against even a king, if he were oppressive. They were furthermore interested in the Cortes to the extent of being committed to some of the principles set forth by that body. But while the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of Apatzingan, and the Poder Ejecutivo  furnished bases of union and government for the Independents, there was such lack of harmony among the Mexicans that they failed to attract adherents. So, though the revolt against Spain was renewed and invigorated, there was no definite purpose set before the revolutionists, and the general result was anarchical, the government of the Viceroy being the more conservative of the two then claiming to exist in Mexico.

Morelos had been anxious to establish himself in Valladolid and make that place the basis of his future military operations. No doubt there was a sentimental regard for his birthplace as an actuating motive in this matter,—Mexicans are apt to be thus moved, and their national history exhibits many similar instances,—though there was also the possibility of being better connected with the Independents of the Provincias Internas, as the region was called in which Guanajuato, Guadalajara, and other important towns, were located. So he set out for Valladolid, just after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, having seven thousand men in his command. Matamoros was able to defeat the Spaniards at Palmar, and to capture the famous "Invincibles" of Asturias. This destroyed the prestige of Spanish military superiority in Mexico, and gave the people some encouragement. But less favorable occurrences were in store for the army of Morelos.

Congress and the Poder Ejecutivo  were forced to flee before the troops of the Viceroy, and Ario was selected as the headquarters of the Provisional Government. Discord continued among the members of this body, and of the Congress. Differences of political opinion caused the death of several prominent Independents at the hands of others. Dr. Cos took grounds upon some subject contrary to Morelos, and the latter promptly condemned him to death. He had worked hard and sacrificed much for the Independents, and in disgust at the treatment he received he now sought reconciliation with the Europeans and with the Church, applied to the Viceroy for pardon for his political derelictions, and spent the rest of his life in the discharge of the duties of his priestly office.

It was evident that another act in the drama of Mexican Independence was about to close. Morelos undertook to make a junction with the troops of Mier y Teran (who was in Tehuacan in the province of Puebla), and to place Congress under the latter's protection. He had but five hundred men with him, and had to traverse sixty leagues of a country of which the Spaniards were in full possession. His dispatches were intercepted, and General Mier y Teran did not learn of his projected movements until too late to extend him aid. Morelos was attacked near Texmalaca, on the fifteenth of November. He ordered an officer to continue his march with the main body of the troops, and to escort the Congress to a place of safety, while he with fifty men attempted to divert the attention of the attacking Spanish troops. He regarded the safety of Congress of more importance to the future of the country than his own life.

Morelos was soon captured, loaded with chains, and taken a prisoner to the capital. There his case was brought before the Holy Office, which, after having been suspended by the Constitution of 1812, had been reestablished in January, 1814, partly for the purpose of combating the "spread of revolutionary ideas in Mexico." His condemnation was a foregone conclusion. It was pronounced on the twenty-sixth of November, and his was the final auto-de-fe  of that tribunal in Mexico, if not in the world. After degrading him from the priesthood, as had been done in the case of Hidalgo, and condemning him to do penance in a penitent's robe, the Inquisitors handed him over to the secular arm. The inflammatory effect his execution might have upon the popular mind if too publicly accomplished was fully appreciated by the Spanish authorities, and the Viceroy had the prisoner removed to a small town in the vicinity of the capital. He was shot, on the twenty-first or twenty-second of December, 1815, at San Cristobal Ecatepec. From the time of his capture he persistently refused to answer any questions regarding his fellow-patriots or their plans. At his execution, after praying for the emancipation of his country, he said: "Lord, if I have done well, Thou knowest it; if ill, to Thy infinite mercy I commend my soul." With Morelos ended the heroic days of the Mexican Revolution.

Congress convened in Tehuacan, attempted to fill the vacancy in the Poder Ejecutivo  caused by the capture and death of Morelos, and then gave its attention to subordinate matters rather than to affairs of state. It voted to each of its members an ample salary, and gave to one of them the management of the public funds. It made Mier y Teran (who was the logical successor to Morelos as Captain-General of the army, and who was more of a statesman than any of the Independents had thus far shown themselves to be) subject to the will of a body of men whom he humorously described as ostentatiously calling each other "Your Most Honorable," while neglecting to transact any public business.

Mier y Teran finally dissolved Congress vi et armis, and put its members under arrest. He justified his action in a manifesto wherein he showed that Congress was inimical to him and was about to deprive him of his military command, which, as he declared, had not been derived from Congress and was not under its control. As Congress at that time had little influence, and had begun to practice the dishonest political methods learned of the Spanish officials and in large measure characteristic of later Mexican office-holders, the step he took was a necessary one, whatever question there might be as to his right to take it. He liberated the members almost immediately, gave each some money, and allowed them to depart from Tehuacan. The incident was, however, fatal to the revolutionary movement then in progress. The various military chiefs were again left without any unifying authority over them, and every man became a law unto himself. This permitted the Spanish forces to crush, one after another, the Independent leaders, and to disperse their bands of followers. The struggle rapidly assumed the conditions of guerrilla warfare.

Mier y Teran was the most influential and prominent member of an Executive Junta which succeeded to the Congress and Poder Ejecutivo, and for a while he was the most active of the military chiefs. But it was apparent that the cause of Independence was languishing. There was no directing power to which the various military chiefs could bow. Each was absolute over his immediate followers, and would brook no interference from another. A combination of any two or more forces was rendered impossible by reason of mutual jealousies and distrust. Their movements, independent of each other, though constantly harassing to the Viceregal government, accomplished no good whatever to Mexico. In fact, the Viceroy was justified in regarding them in the same category with brigands and banditti.

Under these circumstances, many of the wealthy and intelligent people of Mexico began to look to the standard of Spain as the symbol of law and good government, and there was every prospect that quiet would be gradually restored to the land. The people were especially flattered by the policy which Spain now began to adopt, of employing the natives of the country—Creoles and Mestizos—in offices of trust and profit. Antonio Perez, a Mexican priest of learning, talent, and character, was, by way of example, made Bishop of Puebla. This had the effect of reconciling a large number of the inferior clergy who had previously been sympathizers with Hidalgo, Morelos, Matamoros, and Navarete, and the most determined opponents of European domination. The government furthermore employed every means consistent with prudence to secure the allegiance of a large body of native soldiers, and to discipline them; and retained only five thousand Spanish troops in the country.

Meanwhile, however, Calleja's cruelties continued. Matamoros had been executed after being taken prisoner at the battle of Paruaran, in February, 1813. Francisco Rayon, the brother of Ignacio, was executed the day of Morelos' death. Some patriotic women were cast into prison. Galeana, another of the old stock of insurgents, was defeated in battle, taken prisoner, and, in violation of the rules of war, beheaded. These are but examples of the methods by which the bloodthirsty Calleja sought to uphold the Viceregal power, at a time when statesmanship would have accomplished far more than military rigor.

When, in September, 1816, Calleja del Rey was succeeded in the Vireinate by Juan Ruiz de Apodaca, the revolution appeared to have been crushed out. The freebooting expedition of Francisco Javier Mina, a Navarrese sympathizer with the Independents of Mexico, was cut short by his defeat at Venadito, in October, 1817; and his execution followed the next month. This expedition was, in fact, scarcely more than an effort on Mina's part to transfer to Mexico the guerrilla warfare he had carried on in Spain. It failed to awaken any enthusiasm in the people generally. He had set forth as his object the establishment of the Independence of Mexico on a constitutional basis without the separation of the country from Spain.

Excepting for Mina's military operations, Mexico was little disturbed by actual war after the capture of Morelos, until 1820., The policy of the new Viceroy was conciliatory, and did more in a short time to suppress the revolution than all the rigors of Felix Maria Calleja del Rey had done in all the years in which he ruled Mexico with a rod of iron. Some of the Independent leaders accepted the pardon offered by Apodaca, and joined the party of the Viceroy. Only a few patriots suffered imprisonment. Rayon, deserted by his professed followers, was captured and detained in prison in the capital until 1821. In 1828 he was a General, held in high esteem by the people; but he disappeared from view in the later history of the country. Verduzco fell into the hands of the Spanish, and escaped execution only by taking advantage of the general amnesty offered under the Constitution of 1812, when it was reestablished in Spain. Liceaga was assassinated by one of his own captains. Mier y Teran surrendered, and retired to private life. In 1819 the Viceroy reported to the Regency that he would answer for the safety of Mexico, and that there was no need of sending any more troops from Spain.

Nevertheless there were a few scattered military leaders v/ho held out against the offers of the Viceroy and the blandishments of the Constitution of 1812. These were destined to become conspicuous in the subsequent history of the country. Felix Fernandez's adventures in the mountain passes read like a romance. Juan Alvarez, a full-blooded Indian, was operating in the south; and Vicente Guerrero was fighting for the Independence of his country in the region already famous by reason of the military exploits of Morelos.