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avoid, and contradictory, not only to his votes when a federal Senator, but also to bills already sanctioned by him as President. The Cumberland road, the Detroit and Chicago road were within the limits of States, while the bill for the improvement of harbors and removing obstructions in rivers was only another branch in the general system of internal improvement. That bill, which was approved April 23d, appropriated for removing obstructions in the Ohio and other interior rivers $85,474; for improving by piers and otherwise the harbors in the lakes $21,607; for improving harbors on the Atlantic $28,507; for piers and breakwaters on the Atlantic $185,010; for the preservation of Plymouth beach
$1,850; for deepening an inland passage between St John's and St Mary's rivers $1,500; for improving the navigation of rivers on the Atlantic $27,688.
The approval of the bill authorizing these appropriations left it still doubtful how far the President felt at liberty to assent to internal improvement bills, and of the exact extent and limits of the principles by which he intended to be governed during the residue of his administration. Some dissatisfaction was excited by the unusual course he adopted, of retaining bills until the next session, and the country looked forward with some curiosity for the further development of his views on this question, at the next session of Congress.
Condition of Country. Invasion from Havana. Defeat and Capitulation of Invaders. Revolution. - Separation of Yucatan. - Abdication of Guerrero. -Bustamente chosen.
THE last important incident recorded in our summary of events in Mexico, for the year ending in July, 1829, was the expedition fitted out against her in the Havana, under the command of General Isidor Barradas; a circumstance which instead of inflicting injury upon the nascent liberties of the Mexicans, was for a time productive of great and important benefits. The sanguine hopes that had been entertained of permanent tranquillity and prosperity under the vigorous administration of President' Guerrero, had already began to fade away; the seeds of disease were too deeply planted, to be eradicated so easily; the finances of the country were inextricably entangled; commerce was still declining, and the revenues were necessarily diminished in proportion. The army, strengthened in power and encouraged in presumption by its agency in the late revolution, had too long indulged in license to yield quietly to the supremacy of civil rule, and but for the approach of dan
ger from abroad to occupy its attention and employ its energies, it is probable that anarchy would soon have triumphed over the fatal weakness of the new administration.
The hopes of the Spanish Government and the royalist party from the invading expedition were soon to be dissipated.
They had calculated largely upon the internal difficulties and dissensions of the Mexicans, and the utter impossibility of defence was strongly insisted on. The celebrated castle of St Juan D'Ulloa was said to be in a state of dilapidation; the Mexican fleet was greatly inferior to that under the command of Commodore Laborde; and the greatest reliance was placed upon the intestine divisions of the country, and the supposed unpopularity of the Government, arising from the expulsion of the Spaniards. But if the means of resistance were feeble, those of the invaders were contemptible, and their measures the most ill-judged and unwise that ever disgraced an incompe
tent commander. The whole but a few hundreds had been left
number of the Spanish army was but little more than 4000; and with this inconsiderable force, they landed upon the shores of Mexico in August, a season of the year when pestilence taints every breeze, to attempt the conquest of a country through which, on account of physical impediments, it is difficult to march a body of troops even when unopposed, and in which they could rely only upon their own resources for supplies and subsistence.
The Spaniards landed at Tampico on the 27th of July; and notwithstanding the alleged weakness of the Government and lukewarmness of the people, the most vigorous preparations were promptly made for their reception. The Congress, in the exercise of its unlimited prerogative, invested the President with extraordinary powers, to be retained until the danger should be at an end; and General Santa Ana at the head of about two thousand men advanced to Tuspacu, distant only 70 miles from the place of debarkation. As soon as he received information of the landing of the enemy, he hastened to meet them at Tampico where he arrived on the 19th of August.
Barradas in the meantime had marched with the greater part of his force, to attack General La Gargia, then occupying Altamiva with about 3000 men, who retreated before him- but he was soon recalled from the pursuit. On the 20th of August, Santa Ana attacked the old town of Tampico, the head quarters of the Spaniards, of whom however
by Barradas for its defence. These, with the sick, offered a stout resistance to the efforts of the Mexicans for a time; but the disparity of numbers was too great and the remnant of the Spaniards were actually in treaty for the surrender of the place, when their General, abandoning the pursuit of La Gargia, arrived by a forced march to their assistance and Santa Ana was compelled to retire. The rest of the month of August was passed in inaction, but every day added to the distresses and difficulties of the Spaniards. The reinforce ments which they expected from Cuba did not arrive; the number of the sick daily increased; and the army of Santa Ana was constantly receiving accessions of fresh troops and of artillery. The result could not be long delayed; and on the 10th of September, General Barradas surrendered upon favorable terms of capitulation. The Spaniards evacuated the citadel, and delivered up their arms, standards and ammunitions, but the officers were permitted to retain their swords; and it was agreed that until the arrival of transports from Havana, the invaders should remain at Vittoria, defraying their own expenses, and giving their parol never to return or bear arms against the Mexican republic.
The success of Santa Ana was hailed by the people with the utmost enthusiasm, and the only effect of the Spanish invasion appeared to be an increase of the power and stability of the Government, by the distinction of a
military triumph. But the gain was only temporary. The reaction of feeling, particularly among the military, was powerful in the extreme, and soon resulted in another revolution, less violent indeed than those which had preceded it, but equally effectual and far more unaccountable.
The state of Yucatan commenced by a declaration against the Federal Government and in favor of a Central Government. The immediate cause of discontent appears to have been the reluctance of Guerrero to resign the extraordinary powers with which he had been invested on the approach of the Spaniards; but it is probable that this unwillingness was only seized upon by his political opponents as a pretext for resorting to violence. Various insurrectionary movements of slight importance occurred in several of the States, of which the Vice President Bustamente is supposed to have been the principal instigator; but no serious apprehensions were entertained by Guerrero and his party until the 4th of December, 1829, the anniversary of the Yorkino revolution of the preceding year. On that day Bustamente placed himself at the head of the army of reserve, stationed in the state of Vera Cruz, issued a proclamation denouncing the abuses and usurpations of the executive, and commenced his march upon the capital to enforce the reform which he alleged to be necessary.
Santa Ana published an energetic proclamation promising to support Guerrero, but before he had reached Salapa, he received news of his overthrow.
Guerrero immediately resigned his extraordinary powers, convoked the Congress, and appealed to them for support. He then left the Capital with a small body of troops to meet the approaching enemy. His departure was the signal for the troops left in the city of Mexico to declare their adherence to the party of Bustamente, and a complete and bloodless revolution was effected on the 22d of December. General Quintanar, at the head of the troops in the Capital, made a declaration of adherence to the plan of Bustamente, urging the assembling of a council of government, and naming three persons to compose it, one of whom was the President of the Supreme Court of justice. At dawn the garrison troops peaceably occupied the citadel, the Acordada, and all the other guard posts except the Palace, from which they were fired upon for a short time, between one and two o'clock, and again from about half past five, A. M. to nine, when that also was taken, after the loss of only ten or twelve men. No disorder took place afterwards, and the shops and public walks were open the same day as usual.
The council immediately assembled, nominated Quintanar and Alaman as associates with Sr. Velez, President of the court of justice, to exercise the Government, and they began their duties that very evening. Guerrero thus placed between two enemies and suspicious of the fidelity of the small number of soldiers who still adhered to him, found himself compelled to adopt the only safe course that remained
to him, by abdicating the Presidency and returning to his estate. His example was immediately followed by Santa Ana and the other leaders of his party, and the provisional Government composed of Velez, Alaman and General Quintanar, assumed the administration of affairs until the arrival of Bustamente. Perfect tranquillity was at once restored to the Capital, and General Bustamente was elected by the army as the temporary successor of Guerrero.
This latest change in the Government is remarkable for the number and variety of the different parties by whose united influence it was effected, and the difficulty of discovering the motives by which some of them can be supposed to have been actuated. Federalist and Centralist, Yorkinos and Escoceses seem to have forgotten all their animosities, and it is impossible to discern in the composition of the triumphant party, any distinctive principle by means of which the incongruities of their co-operation can be explained. Certain it is that the popularity of Guerrero was much diminished even among his own immediate partisans, and that his measures after his elevation to the Presidency, were received with but little favor by the people in general.
The rich were displeased with his decree for the abolition of slavery, which yet was productive of but little benefit to the slaves, whose condition was already but very slightly inferior to that of the citizens. The greatest discontent however prevailed among
the military, and as in all the other Mexican revolutions, the downfal of Guerrero is chiefly to be ascribed to their immediate agency. Its consequence upon the republic, were of no great importance. In fact the revolution cannot be considered as the triumph of one party over another, and not likely to be attended with any results much more striking or permanent, than a change of administration produces in this country or in England.
On the 8th of January, the following States of the Confederation had sent in their adhesion to the new order of things:- Mexico, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Jalisco, Queretero, Puebla, Vera Cruz and Oajaca. Bustamente had appointed the Cabinet already published; and the old ministers had returned to their homes.
The manifesto published by Bustamente at Mexico on receiving the Government, is very long, and promises to conduct everything with the utmost submission to order and the Constitution, speaking of the continued exercise of the extraordinary powers by Guerrero as very improper, and of various improvements in the administration as necessary and required by the public exigencies and the public wish.
The only incident of moment which appeared to grow out of the demonstration of Bustamente, was the separation of the State or province of Yucatan from the confederacy, which was declared by a Federal Act of the Provincial Legislature, signed at Merida on the 9th of November, immediately after the issuing of the