« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
$2,000 a year in Spanish gold, according to the classification of the province. The deputation met in regular session in November and April and held such extra sessions as were necessary. The permanent committee represented the deputation when not in session, and acted as an advisory body to the governor in respect to matters which the laws did not impose on the deputation.
The governor of the province, as the representative of the GovernorGeneral, presided over the deputation and permanent committee and acted as the chief executive of the province in all matters. It was his duty to inspect the councils and the municipalities, informing the Governor-General of all cases of negligence or disaffection. He had supreme authority, subject, of course, to the Governor-General. He was responsible for public order, and the military authorities of the province were under his control.
The provincial deputation had charge generally of the public roads, harbors, navigation and irrigation, and all kinds of public works of a provincial character, the charitable institutions and those of instruction, fairs, expositions, etc., and the administration of the provincial funds. The secretary, auditor, and treasurer of the deputation were appointed by the governor of the province on the recommendation of the deputation.
By a decree of 1892 Cuba was divided into three “Regions” under the name of Habana, Matanzas, and Santiago de Cuba. The first one comprised the provinces of Habana and Pinar del Rio, the second Matanzas and Santa Clara, and the third one Santiago de Cuba and Puerto Principe. The “Regions” were under regional governors, who resided in Habana, Matanzas, and Santiago cities, respectively, and were at the same time civil governors of the provinces. The provinces of Pinar del Rio, Santa Clara, and Puerto Principe also had civil governors who were under the authority of the governors of the regions.
The regional governors had a consulting cabinet called “Conseijo Regional," composed of five members appointed by the GovernorGeneral of the island, on the nomination of the regional governors.
The civil governors of the provinces of Pinar del Rio, Santa Clara, and Puerto Principe had the same authority they had prior to the establishment of the regions.
It is said that the regions were formed for the purpose of decentralizing the administration of the island, which had always been carried on in Habana, but this result did not follow, and the change only served, apparently, to introduce further complications.
Valasquez and his successors to the time of De Soto, 1538, were licutenant-governors, with limited power exercised under the supervision of the governor and audiencia of Santo Domingo. De Soto was the first Governor-General, and had nine successors with that title to 1581, when Gabriel de Lujan was appointed Captain-General. This title was continued to the end of the Spanish control, a period of four hundred and six years.
While the Governor-General, as the representative of the Crown, was the civil, military, and political head of Cuba, and as a matter of fact exercised the highest prerogatives of government, his authority in reference to disbursements was limited by the direct appointment of the Crown of the officers intrusted with the collection of the revenues. He was also under the jurisdiction of the audiencia of Santo Domingo, which had authority, on complaint, to examine into his acts, to suspend him and other officials from office, and to make provisional. appointments subject to the decision of the supreme court of Spain on appeal. In 1795 the audiencia of Santo Domingo was transferred to the province of Puerto Principe, when that island was ceded to France.
Up to 1556 the Governors were frequently appointed from civil life, but the military needs of the island, occasioned by the attacks of buccaneers and privateers, suggested a modification. This was made gradually, the office of Governor-General being held by both soldiers and civilians until the year 1716. From that date to 1898 the GovernorGeneral was a general officer of high rank in the Spanish army, in whom were united all civil and military powers.
No change of importance appears to have taken place in the insular government of Cuba until 1812, when Spain became a constitutional monarchy and so remained until 1814, when it was abrogated by Ferdinand. This brief period of constitutional government was not without liberalizing influences in Cuba, and a division was made between the civil and the military powers of the Governor-General. With the abrogation of the constitution of 1812 the Governors of Cuba resumed their former prerogatives and the system of centralization, characteristic of the government, was fully reestablished.
By the revolution of 1820 the constitution of 1812 was again reestablished in Spain, but was set aside in 1823.
By a royal decree of May 28, 1825, “all the powers conceded to the governors of cities in a state of siege” were conferred on the Governor-General. This decree was never revoked, and conferred despotic powers on the Governor-General.
In 1836 the constitution of 1812 was restored, but its provisions were not extended to Cuba, which was to be governed under a special system of decrees, orders, etc.
Associated with the Governor-General and forming part of the public administration of the island were certain special corporations and boards, as of public works, health, charity, and public instruction. By a royal decree of August 17, 1854, the active administrative functions of these boards, etc., were vested in the Governor-General, and they