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Title: South America
Author: Koebel, W. H. (William Henry), 1872-1923
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "South America" ***

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[Illustration: CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS.

_From the portrait in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The gift
of Mr. Pierpont Morgan._

_The painting bears the words "Sebastian Venetus, fecit 1519"._

_A. Rischgitz._]



THE MAKING OF THE NATIONS


SOUTH AMERICA

BY

W.H. KOEBEL

AUTHOR OF "SOUTH AMERICA" IN BLACK'S SERIES OF COLOUR BOOKS, "MODERN
ARGENTINA," "MODERN CHILE," ETC.

WITH THIRTY-TWO FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS FROM PHOTOGRAPHS, ETC., AND MAPS
AND PLANS IN THE TEXT


ADAM & CHARLES BLACK
LONDON       MCMXIII



PREFACE


The history of a continent such as South America, confined to the limits
of a single volume of moderate size, must of necessity contain some
elements of mere survey. Nevertheless, since in no other but a condensed
form could the respective strides achieved by the various nations of
this continent be satisfactorily judged and compared, the author is
encouraged to hope that this small work may fill in one of the most
obvious of the many gaps in the English versions of South American
history. He has endeavoured to lay stress on the trend of the
authorities and peoples in question rather than to emphasize the rigid
succession of Governors and Presidents. In the same way, since space has
had to be considered, it was thought desirable to introduce at any
length only those personalities notable for their actions and intrinsic
influence, leaving in the background those others whose only claim to
the interest of posterity lies in the weight of the office they held.



CONTENTS


CHAPTER                                                   PAGE

     I.  THE CONTINENT IN PRE-SPANISH DAYS                   1

    II.  COLUMBUS                                           14

   III.  THE SPANISH CONQUISTADORES                         26

    IV.  THE DISCOVERY AND EARLY HISTORY OF BRAZIL          36

     V.  THE CONQUEST OF PERU                               47

    VI.  SPANIARD AND NATIVE                                56

   VII.  THE COLONIZATION OF THE SOUTH                      64

  VIII.  THE GOVERNMENT OF THE SOUTH AMERICAN COLONIES      74

    IX.  FOREIGN RAIDS ON THE SPANISH COLONIES              83

     X.  FOREIGN RAIDS ON PORTUGUESE COLONIES               95

    XI.  THE COLONY OF PERU                                110

   XII.  THE COLONY OF CHILE                               121

  XIII.  THE COLONIES OF PARAGUAY AND THE RIVER PLATE      130

   XIV.  THE NORTHERN COLONIES                             142

    XV.  THE LAST DAYS OF EMPIRE                           151

   XVI.  THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE--I                        159

  XVII.  THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE--II                       176

 XVIII.  BRAZIL: FROM COLONY TO EMPIRE                     185

   XIX.  THE EMPIRE OF BRAZIL                              201

    XX.  FROM EMPIRE TO REPUBLIC                           211

   XXI.  MODERN BRAZIL                                     220

  XXII.  THE INDEPENDENCE OF SPANISH AMERICA               228

 XXIII.  THE REPUBLIC OF PERU                              237

  XXIV.  THE REPUBLIC OF PARAGUAY                          245

   XXV.  THE PARAGUAYAN WAR                                255

  XXVI.  THE REPUBLIC OF CHILE                             264

 XXVII.  THE REPUBLICS OF THE RIVER PLATE                  272

XXVIII.  THE NORTHERN REPUBLICS                            283

         INDEX                                             295



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


      PRINTED SEPARATELY FROM THE TEXT.

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS                            _Frontispiece_

                                                  TO FACE PAGE

MANCO-CAPAC COLLECTING HIS PEOPLE FOR THE WORK OF BUILDING
THE CITY OF CUZCO                                            5

DIEGO DE ALMAGRO                                            12

JORGE CABRAL                                                16

COLUMBUS LANDING IN AMERICA                                 37

VASCO DA GAMA                                               44

THE DEFEAT OF THE PERUVIANS OUTSIDE CUZCO                   49

PIZARRO AND ATAHUALPA                                       53

DEATH OF ATAHUALPA                                          60

ATAHUALPA                                                   65

SUGAR-MAKING                                                69

BARTOLOMÉ DE LAS CASAS                                      76

FRANCISCO PIZARRO                                           80

SECTIONS OF A SLAVE-SHIP                                    85

OLINDA DE PERNAMBUCO                                        92

FERDINAND MAGELLAN                                         101

DUTCH VESSELS SAILING THROUGH THE STRAITS OF MAGELLAN      108

DUTCH AND SPANISH VESSELS ENGAGED OFF CALLAO               116

ACAPULCO                                                   125

AN ISLAND PASSAGE OF THE RIVER AMAZON                      144

POTOSI                                                     149

BRITISH WARSHIPS UNDER ANSON'S COMMAND PLUNDERING PAYTA    156

SIMON BOLIVAR                                              164

DON FRANCISCO SOLANO LOPEZ                                 173

PEDRO I., EMPEROR OF BRAZIL                                193

THE OPENING OF THE SENATE HOUSE, RIO DE JANEIRO            196

PALACE AND GREAT SQUARE IN RIO DE JANEIRO                  205

PEDRO II., EMPEROR OF BRAZIL                               208

THOMAS, TENTH EARL OF DUNDONALD, G.C.B.                    261

BERNARDO O'HIGGINS                                         268

STATUE OF GENERAL MANUEL BELGRANO                          277

BRIGADIER-GENERAL BARTOLOMÉ MITRE                          284


PRINTED IN THE TEXT.

                                                          PAGE

MAP OF SOUTH AMERICA, SHOWING THE DISTRICTS OF THE
ABORIGINAL TRIBES AT THE TIME OF THE SPANISH CONQUEST        9

A PERUVIAN CASSE-TÊTE AND A PIPE OF PEACE                   50

THE TEMPLE OF THE SUN, CUZCO                                53

INDIAN HUTS ON THE RIVER CHIPURANA                          54

THE STRAITS OF MAGELLAN, AS KNOWN AT THE TIME OF CORDOVA'S
VOYAGE                                                      91

PEASANTS OF ST. MICHAEL PROCEEDING TO DEL GADO             158

ARMS OF THE EMPIRE OF BRAZIL                               192

ARMS OF UNITED KINGDOMS OF PORTUGAL, THE ALGARVES, AND
BRAZIL                                                     192

CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, RIO DE JANEIRO                        197

SKETCH-MAP OF SOUTH AMERICA                                293



SOUTH AMERICA



CHAPTER I

THE CONTINENT IN PRE-SPANISH DAYS


The discovery of South America stands as one of the most dramatic events
in history. From the time of its occurrence until the present so deeply
has this event impressed itself on men's minds that the previous state
of the Continent has been a somewhat neglected topic. The Incas and
their civilization, it is true, have attracted no small share of
attention to themselves, and the subject has become more or less
familiar to the average English reader through the medium of the work of
Prescott, who has been followed by a number of later writers, many of
whom have dealt very exhaustively with this subject. Yet, after all, the
Incas, for all their historical importance, occupied but a very small
portion of the territories of the Southern Continent. Beyond the western
fringe of the Continent which was theirs by heritage, or by conquest,
were other lands--mountainous in parts, level in others, where the great
river basins extended themselves--which were the chosen hunting and
fishing grounds of an almost innumerable number of tribes.

The degree of civilization, or, more accurately speaking, of savagery
which characterized these as a whole necessarily varied to a great
extent in the case of each particular tribe. Nevertheless, from the
comparatively high culture of the Incas down to the most intellectually
submerged people of the forests and swamps, there were certain
characteristics held in common by all. This applied not only to a marked
physical likeness which stamped every dweller in the great Continent,
but to customs, religious ceremonies, and government as well. Concerning
the origin of the South American Indians interminable disputes have now
raged for generations, but that in the case of all the various tribes
the origin was the same has never, I think, been controverted. The most
common theory concerning the origin of the South Americans is that this
was Mongolian.

This idea would certainly seem one of the most feasible of the many put
forward. Those who have delved sufficiently deeply into the matter have
found many striking analogies in customs, religious ceremonies, and even
in language between the inhabitants of South America and those of
Eastern Asia; and there are even those who assert that the similarity
between the two peoples extends to the designs on domestic pottery. The
majority of those who have devoted themselves to this subject of the
South American aborigines have been obliged to work largely in the dark.
Considering the great extent of the ruins bequeathed by the Incas to the
later ages, it might be thought curious that so few precise data are
available. The reason for this lies in the zeal which the
_conquistadores_ displayed in the stamping out of the various pagan
religions. No sooner had the Spaniards obtained possession of the chief
cities of the Incas than every symbol, image, or, indeed, any object
suggestive of sun-worship or anything of the kind, was smashed into
fragments, and every trace of its significance so far as possible
obliterated.

There is no doubt that in the course of this wholesale destruction a
multitude of objects perished which would have given an historical clue
to much of what now remains doubtful. It is owing to this obliterative
enthusiasm that such scanty historical knowledge exists concerning the
earlier period of the Inca race, and of that highly civilized nation
which preceded the later Children of the Sun.

It is, moreover, largely on account of this vagueness and uncertainty
that some curiously wild theories have been propounded concerning the
origin of the South Americans, and more especially of the Incas. Thus,
in 1843, George Jones, a writer who had indulged in some extraordinarily
enthusiastic researches, published a work the object of which was to
prove that not only the Mexicans, but all the tribes of Southern
America, were the descendants of some old Tyrians who, fleeing from
their enemies, abandoned Phoenicia and, sailing westward, landed in
Central America, some 332 years before the birth of Christ! It must be
admitted that the structure--even though it is purely of the
imagination--thus built up by the fertile author is sufficiently
ingenious, and the number of Biblical data, similarities, and general
phenomena, which he has brought to bear on the subject are impressive,
if not convincing.

Peru was admittedly the richest country of South America, so far as
historical relics are concerned. Yet even here it is difficult in the
extreme to glean any accurate information concerning the actual
primitive inhabitants of the country. Astonishingly little tradition of
any kind exists, and the little to be met with is rendered comparatively
valueless by the vivid imagination of the Indian; thus this period
cannot be considered as historical in the real sense of the word. A
number of relics, it is true, prove the existence of an early form of
civilization, the most numerous being found, as would naturally be
expected when the nature of the country is considered, in the valleys
and the coasts. These relics take the forms of food substances and
kitchen utensils, and are known as "kitchen-middens," and beyond these
rude fireplaces have been found.

In 1874 the skeleton of a tall man was discovered in a volcanic layer
which is supposed to have belonged to a later period. The dwelling in
which it was found showed a distinct advance in civilization. It was
constructed of rocks joined together by means of clay, and roofed with
plaited straw. One of the most notable objects found by the side of this
man was a well-fashioned cotton purse, filled with wheat and other
grain. In various neighbourhoods remnants of pottery and cloth gave
evidence of these later stages. After this it is supposed that a great
invasion of Peru occurred, and that the race which preceded the Incas
took possession of the land.

It will be most fitting to deal first of all with the Incas, the most
highly civilized race of the Continent. The head-quarters of this nation
were to be found in Peru and Bolivia. The capital of the whole Empire
was Cuzco, a town situated at some distance to the north of Lake
Titicaca. Lake Titicaca is generally held to have been the cradle of the
race, and it is in this neighbourhood and on the shores of the lake that
some of the most notable of the Inca ruins are to be met with.

There is no doubt that the great majority of these stupendous monuments
of a former age were not the actual handiwork of the Incas. It is now
considered practically certain that these Incas, themselves enlightened
and progressive, were merely using the immense structures both of
material masonry and of theoretical civilization left behind by a
previous race whom the Children of the Sun had conquered and subdued. It
is not improbable that this race was that of the Aymaras; in any case it
is certain that the Empire of the Incas was not of old standing, and
that they had not occupied the countries they held for more than a few
hundred years before the advent of the Spaniards.

[Illustration: MANCO CAPAC, THE LEGENDARY FOUNDER OF THE INCA EMPIRE,
COLLECTING HIS PEOPLE FOR THE WORK OF BUILDING THE CITY OF CUZCO.]

The Incas possessed a very definite theory concerning the origin of
their tribe. Sun-worshippers, they loved to think that they themselves
were descended from a chance fragment of that terrible and blazing
luminary. Thus their religion had it that the first Inca was a child of
the Sun who came down to earth in company with his sister-wife. The spot
they chose was an island on Lake Titicaca. Here they alighted in all
their brilliancy, and the Indians of the neighbourhood gathered about
them and fell at their feet, receiving them as rulers with infinite
gratitude. This first Inca, whatever may have been his real origin, was
undoubtedly known as Manco-Capac, and his sister-wife was known as
Mama-Oclle. Manco-Capac represented the first of a dynasty of thirteen
Emperors, the last of whom suffered at the hands of Pizarro. Until the
end of their race these Incas had retained a considerable degree of the
sacred character with which tradition had invested the first of their
line. The person of the Emperor was, indeed, worshipped as a demi-god.
Justified by tradition, he had the privilege of marrying his sister. It
is curious to remark here the resemblance in the customs of the Incas
and the Pharaos.

An alternative theory of the origin of the Inca race, although not
authoritative, is worthy of note. W.B. Stevenson, in a work published in
1825, states that a curious tradition was related to him by the Indians
in various parts of Peru. According to this the progenitor of the royal
Incas was an Englishman who was found stranded on the coast by a certain
cacique of the name of Cocapac! The cacique took the stranger to his
home, and the Englishman married the chieftain's daughter. From this
union sprang a boy, Ingasman Cocapac, and a girl, Mama-Oclle. These
were both of fair complexion and hair.

Shortly after the birth of these children their parents died, and the
boy and girl were left in the care of their grandfather, Cocapac. The
nature of this latter appears to have been extraordinarily calculating
and astute. He saw in the children a phenomenal opportunity for the
glorification of his family. First of all he instructed the youngsters
for years in the playing of their parts; then, when adult, he took them
to Cuzco and posted them on the side of a mountain of that important
district. After this he went among the tribesmen, and announced that the
Sun-god had sent two of his children to govern the race as a special
mark of his favour. The Indians streamed out to the point he indicated
as their resting-place, and, sure enough, they found the strangers at
the spot.

To the chagrin of Cocapac, however, the tribesmen refused to accept them
in the light of gods; on the contrary, they condemned the pair as a
wizard and a witch, and banished them from the neighbourhood. Cocapac,
undaunted by this failure, accompanied his grandchildren, and repeated
his performance on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Here complete success
marked the attempt: the young people were received by the Indians with
enthusiasm as the children of their god, and, once established, the
belief spread all round, until it included all the centre of the Inca
Empire, not excepting the once sceptical Cuzco. To quote from Stevenson:

     "Thus," said the Indians, "was the power of the Incas established,
     and many of them have said that, as I was an Englishman, I was of
     their family. When H.B.M. ship _Breton_ was at Callao, some of the
     officers accompanied me one Sunday afternoon to the Alameda at
     Lima. On our way we were saluted by several Indians from the
     mountains, calling us their countrymen and their relations, begging
     at the same time that we would drink some chicha with them."

It is unnecessary to point out the dubiousness of this theory! For all
the obvious difficulties in the way of credibility, the main story has a
certain convincing ring, if for no other reason than the utterly prosaic
attempt at an explanation of the alleged miraculous and mystical episode
of the native mythology.

In the course of time the Inca Empire had sent its wave of influence and
dominion to roll widely to the north and to the south. In the north its
government extended beyond Quito; in the south its progress had been
arrested by the warrior Indians of Southern Chile, the Araucanians on
the banks of the River Maule.

On the whole, the rule of the Incas over the conquered races was
beneficent, and these latter, sensible of the advantages offered them,
were quite willing to weld themselves into the common Empire. Almost the
sole respect in which they showed themselves merciless was in the manner
in which their religious sacrifices were carried out. The Sun frequently
proved himself greedy of human blood, and he was never stinted by his
priests; human life, indeed, in the more populous centres was held
rather more cheaply than is usual among people who had attained to the
civilization of the Incas.

In the Civil Government every symptom of this kind was absent. Indeed,
the methods of the Inca Government, on the whole, were of the benevolent
order; at the same time laws applying to the conduct of the populace
were in many respects stringent, and were wont to be carried out to the
letter. A number of socialistic doctrines were embodied in these strange
constitutions of the past. The work of the people was mapped out for
them, and, although it may be said with justice that no poverty existed,
this very admirable state of affairs was frequently brought about by the
enforcing of labour on the would-be idle.

The lands of the Inca Kingdom from frontier to frontier were divided
into three classes of territory. The first was the property of the
Sun--that is to say, the proceeds of its harvests were applied to the
temples, priests, and all the other requirements of religion. The land
appertaining to the second category was the property of the Royal
Family; and the third belonged to the people. It is interesting to note
in connection with this system of land distribution that in the later
centuries the Jesuits in Paraguay adopted a very similar procedure, and
divided their lands into three sections which corresponded exactly with
those of the Incas. Thus, according to these regulations, every
inhabitant of the Inca Empire was a landowner. This, however, merely in
a limited sense, for, although the land was his to work, he was not
permitted to obtain any advantage from its possession other than that
which he obtained by his own labour, and, as has been explained, the
refraining from work was a heavily punishable offence. When the spirit
in which these laws were framed is taken into consideration, it is not
surprising that no man was allowed to sell his land, a procedure which
would, of course, have rendered the general working of the community
inoperative. The land, in fact, represented a loan from the State which
lasted the lifetime of the agriculturist.

[Illustration: SOUTH AMERICA

SHOWING THE DISTRICTS OF THE

ABORIGINAL TRIBES

AT THE TIME OF THE SPANISH CONQUEST.]

Perhaps the civilization of the Incas and of their predecessors is most
of all evident in the industrial monuments which they have left behind
them. In irrigation they had little or nothing to learn from the most
advanced European experts of the time. Many of their aqueducts, indeed,
showed an astonishing degree both of ingenuity and of labour. The
nature of the country across which it was necessary to construct these
was, of course, sufficiently mountainous to test the powers of the most
capable engineer. The Inca roads, in many respects, rivalled their
aqueducts. From the point of view of the modern highway, it is true that
they may be considered as somewhat slender and unimportant affairs.
Certainly in the absence of any wheeled traffic no surface of the kind
as was necessary in Europe and Asia was to be met with here. Provided
that the road stretched in an uninterrupted length along the peaks,
valleys, and chasms of the rugged mountain country, no question of close
and intricate pavement was concerned, since for the troops of
pack-llamas anything of the kind was quite superfluous. Thus, as
imposing structures, these highways impress the modern traveller but
little. Nevertheless, they served their purpose efficiently, and
extended themselves in triumph over one of the most difficult
road-making countries in the world.

This road network of the Incas spread itself little by little from the
central portion of the Empire to the far north and south; for during the
comparatively short imperial status of the race their rule had extended
itself steadily. They were in many respects a people possessed of the
true colonizing instincts. Their able and liberal Government was of a
kind which could not fail to be appreciated by the tribes which they had
conquered. Indeed, the various sections of these subjugated Indians
appear to have become an integral part of the Inca Empire in a
remarkably short time.

In their conquest the rulers appear to have strained every point to
effect this end. Thus they were not averse from time to time to receive
into their temples new and strange gods which their freshly made
subjects had been in the habit of worshipping. These were received
among the deities of older standing, and were wont to be acknowledged,
and so, after a short while, were considered as foreign no longer.

A nation of which far less has been heard, but which in many respects
resembled the Incas, was that of the Chibchas. The Chibchas inhabited
the country which had for its centre the valley of the Magdalena River.
The country of this tribe, as a matter of fact, is now part of the
Republic of Colombia; thus the Chibchas were situated well to the north
of the Inca Empire. The religion of these people closely resembled that
of the more southern Children of the Sun. Like these others, they
worshipped the masculine Sun and the female Moon, and a certain number
of deities in addition.

The Chibchas have left some ruins of temples behind them, although these
are not of the same magnitude as the Inca edifices. They were an
agricultural people, and, in addition, were skilled in weaving and in
the manufacture of pottery; they were, moreover, supposed to have been
clever workers in gold. The costume of the race showed very similar
tastes to those of their more southern brethren. The men of rank wore
white or dyed cotton tunics, and the women mantles fastened by means of
golden clasps. The warlike splendour of the men was characteristically
picturesque, their chief decorations being breast-plates of gold and
magnificent plumes for the head. They, too, employed as weapons darts,
bows and arrows, clubs, lances, and slings. The fate of the Chibchas
was, of course, the same as that of the Incas. Their bodies decked with
their brilliant feathers and pomp sank into the mire of despond, never
again to attain to their former state.

This very brief study of the Incas and Chibchas concludes the civilized
elements of the Aboriginal South American. To the east of the Andes were
a number of tribes, all of which were, to a greater or lesser degree,
still in a state of sheer savagery. Near the eastern frontier of the
Inca Empire resided such peoples as the Chiriguanos, Chunchos, Abipones,
Chiquitos, Mojos, Guarayos, Tacanas; while to the north were similar
tribes, such as the Ipurines, Jamamaries, Huitotos, Omaguas. These
appear to have absorbed some crude and vague forms of the Inca religion,
and were addicted to the worship of the Sun, but more frequently of the
Moon.

On the east of the Continent, ranging from the territory which is now
known as Misiones in Argentina, and Southern Paraguay to the north-east
of the Continent, were various branches of the great Guarani family, a
nation that some consider should be more correctly known as Tupis, and
whose northernmost section are known as Caribs. It is impossible to
attempt to give an account of the very great number of the tribes which
went to make up this powerful and great nation. Many of these remain to
the present day, and sixteen are still accounted for in the
comparatively insignificant district of the Guianas alone.

It is, indeed, only feasible to deal with the main characteristics of
these various peoples--mostly forest-dwellers. Naturally enough, the
tribesmen were hunters and fishers. The majority were given to paint
their bodies and to pierce their ears, noses, and lower lips, in order
to insert reeds, feathers, and similar savage ornaments. In the more
tropical forest regions the blowpipe constituted one of the most
formidable weapons. Bows and arrows were in general use, the points of
these latter being of bone or hardened wood. The barbs of the spears
were similarly contrived, many of these weapons being beautifully
decorated in the more northern territories. The greater part of these
tribes still remain in the forest districts of the Continent.

[Illustration: DIEGO DE ALMAGRO.

The fellow-_conquistador_ and rival of Pizarro in the conquest of Peru,
and pioneer explorer of Chile.]

In Chile and in the River Plate Provinces an entirely different type of
Indian prevailed; great warriors these, for the most part, who roamed
the plains of the River Plate Provinces, or, like the Araucanians, lived
a turbulent and fierce existence among the forests and mountains of the
far south to the west of the Andes Chain.

It was these Southern Indians who disputed the soil with the Spaniards
with the courage and ferocity that frequently spilled the Castillian
blood in torrents on the mountains or plains. To the end, indeed, they
remained unconquered, and death was almost invariably preferred to
submission to the hated white invaders of their land.

Even here prevailed the socialism which so strongly characterized the
races of the centre and north of the Continent. Despotism was unknown,
and even the chieftain, in the proper sense of the word, had no
existence. In times of war an elder was chosen, it is true, but with the
laying down of the weapons he became again one of the people, and was
lost in their ranks. Such crude organization as existed was left to the
hands of a Council of Elders. There is no doubt that witch-doctors
attained to a certain degree of power, but even this was utterly
insignificant as compared with that which was wont to be enjoyed by the
savage priests of Central Africa.

Taken as a whole, the Indians of Southern America represented some of
the most simple children who ever lived in the lap of Nature.
Unsophisticated, credulous, and strangely wanting in reasoning powers
and organized self-defence, they fell ready victims to the onslaughts of
the Spaniards, who burst with such dramatic unexpectedness on their
north-eastern shores.



CHAPTER II

COLUMBUS


Columbus was admittedly a visionary. It was to the benefit of his fellow
Europeans and to the detriment of the South American tribes that to his
dreams he joined the practical side of his nature. Certainly the value
of imagination in a human being has never been more strikingly proved
than by the triumph of Columbus.

The enthusiasm of the great Genoese was of the kind which has tided men
over obstacles and difficulties and troubles throughout the ages. He was
undoubtedly of the nervous and highly-wrought temperament common to one
of his genius. He loved the dramatic. There are few who have not heard
the story of the egg with the crushed end which stood upright. But there
are innumerable other instances of the demonstrative powers of Columbus.
For instance, when asked to describe the Island of Madeira, he troubled
not to utter a word in reply, but snatched up a piece of writing-paper
and, crumpling it by a single motion of his hand, held it aloft as a
triumphant exhibition of the island's peaks and valleys.

Fortunately for the adventurers of his period, his belief in his mission
was unshakable. It was, of course, a mere matter of chance that Columbus
should have found himself in the service of the Spaniards when he set
out upon his voyage which was to culminate in the discovery of the New
World. He himself had been far more concerned with the Portuguese than
with their eastern neighbours. Indeed, until the discovery of America,
the Spaniards, fully occupied with the expulsion of the Moors from
within their frontiers in Europe, could give but little attention to the
science of navigation.

The Portuguese, on the other hand, had for a considerable period been
specializing in seamanship. From his castle at Faro, on the southernmost
shores of Portugal, where Prince Henry the Navigator had founded his
maritime school, that royal scientist had watched with pride the
captains whom he had trained as they sailed their vessels over the gold
and blue horizon of the Far South, and had exultantly drunk in on their
return the tales of new shores and of oceans ploughed for the first
time; of spices, riches men, and beasts, all new and strange, and, all
appealing strongly to the imagination of the learned Prince, who only
restrained himself with difficulty from plunging into the unknown.

It was with men such as these of Prince Henry's with whom the Genoese
had been brought into contact on his first visit to Portugal. That he
had been received by this set as one of themselves is sufficiently
evidenced by the fact of his marriage with a daughter of Bartholomew
Perestrello. It was naturally, therefore, to the Portuguese Government
that Columbus first applied for the assistance in men and ships which
were to bear him to the land which he so fiercely promised.

As has been said, there is no doubt that Columbus was a visionary who
possessed a large amount of practical knowledge and experience, from
which the indulgence in these visions sprang. That his theories were the
result of something more than the merest speculation is certain.
Maritime legend and lore were rife in Genoa and the Mediterranean, and
certainly abounded in Portugal under the benevolent and strenuous
encouragement of Prince Henry the Navigator. That some vague echoes of
the feats performed by the Norsemen and others who had long before won
their way to the Western Continent had penetrated to these parts of
Europe there is no doubt. Columbus, moreover, had stayed for many months
at one of those half-way houses between Europe and the western mainland,
Porto Santo, and the neighbouring Island of Madeira.

His father-in-law was at the time Governor of the lesser island, that of
Porto Santo. In such a spot as this the requirements of Columbus were
naturally few, and he had gained a livelihood with ease by the making of
maps. His father was a carder of wool at Genoa, and young Christopher,
rebelling at the monotony of this trade, commenced his maritime life
before he was fifteen years old.

It was doubtless while at Porto Santo that Columbus had thought out his
theories, aided by not a little evidence of the material order, such as
floating logs and other objects, which had sailed, wind and current
borne, from the unknown lands across the Atlantic. Columbus, of course,
was not actually the first to feel convinced of the possibility of
gaining India by sailing to the West; the theory had been held by
Aristotle, Seneca, Strabo, and others. The sole mistake Columbus made in
his calculations was concerning the size of the world. He had
overestimated the extent of the Continent of Asia, and underestimated
the extent of the Atlantic Ocean; he seems to have been convinced that a
very few days' sailing to the west of Madeira would bring him to the
shores of India. It was this error in calculation that undoubtedly was
responsible for many long and agonizing hours spent on the actual
voyage.

[Illustration: JORGE CABRAL.

_From a coloured drawing in a Spanish MS. in the Sloane Collection in
the British Museum._]

Columbus's proposals, it is true, were received with a certain interest
by the Portuguese; but for the jealousy of some officials it is very
probable that he would, in the first instance, have seen his cherished
plans carried into effect. As it was, a vessel was secretly fitted out,
and was sent in command of a rival navigator to test the theories of
Columbus. After a while the ship returned, battered and worn, having
discovered nothing beyond a series of exceptionally violent tempests.

This attempt was in any case destined to prove equally adverse to the
fortunes of Columbus. Had it succeeded, he would have undoubtedly been
deprived of the credit which should have been his by right; since it
failed, the venture was considered to have proved the fallacy of
Columbus's theories. When, disgusted with experiences such as these,
Columbus left Portugal and took up his residence near the Court of Spain
in company with this great idea of his, which followed him everywhere,
and was in a sense bigger than himself, he met with an equal lack of
success in the first instance. Queen Isabella was sympathetic, but her
cautious husband Ferdinand showed himself cold. Dreading the utter
destruction of his plans, Columbus determined to wash his hands of the
Iberian Peninsula and its over-cautious rulers and statesmen.

He was actually on his way to England, whither one of his brothers had
already preceded him, when a message from the Court of Spain caused him
to hasten back. It is possible that the Court had been in a haggling
mood, and had given the discoverer credit for a similar phase; at all
events, it was not until his person was almost out of reach that the now
complaisant authorities called him back.

Ferdinand himself had given his consent, although in a grudging fashion.
Isabella, however, proved herself enthusiastic, and it was she who
signed the bargain with the famous Genoese, which gave a continent to
the Royal Family of Spain. The signing of the bargain, however, did not
necessarily end the friction. The authorities were now fully prepared to
recognize Columbus as their messenger to the unknown world; but they
were reluctant in the extreme that the intrepid navigator should be
carried in too comfortable or costly a fashion. In the end Columbus,
conceding that half a fleet was better than no ships, gave way and took
what was offered him. He himself as Admiral was given charge of the
_Santa Maria_, the largest vessel, while two diminutive craft, the
_Pinta_ and the _Niña_, made up this very humble fleet. Nevertheless,
Columbus now had his desire; he had obtained in the main all that he had
asked, although some of it in a lesser degree.

The concessions granted to Columbus for his first voyage were that he
was to be made Admiral of the seas and countries to be discovered, a
dignity which was to descend to his heirs; that he was to become Viceroy
of all those islands and continents; to have the tenth part of the
profits of the total undertaking; to be made sole mercantile judge; to
have the right to contribute one-eighth part of the expenses of all the
maritime ventures, and in return to be given an eighth part of the
profits.

He carried with him a letter from Ferdinand and Isabella to any chance
sovereign whom he might meet, which ran to this effect:

     "Ferdinand and Isabella to King ... The Sovereigns having heard
     that he and his subjects entertain great love for them and for
     Spain. They are, moreover, informed that he and his subjects very
     much wish to hear news from Spain, and send therefore their
     Admiral, Christopher Columbus, who will tell them that they are in
     good health and perfect prosperity."

Prester John, who was still considered to be ruling in some mystical
fashion over an imaginary country, might have welcomed this species of
circular communication. It was certainly wasted on the inhabitants of
Hispaniola, who were considerably more concerned with their own health
and prosperity than with that of Ferdinand and Isabella, and who
certainly had more reason when the adventurers had once landed.

So to a certain extent armed and prepared against any chance that he
might encounter, Columbus set sail from Spain on August 3, 1492.

Much has been said concerning the character of the crews with which he
had been provided. It is true the American natives were destined in the
first instance, by some peculiarly hard stroke of fortune, to make their
acquaintance with Europeans largely through the intermediary of
criminals. It is often held to have been one of the greatest hardships
of Columbus that his ships should have been manned so largely by
desperadoes and malefactors pardoned especially in order to take part in
the expedition. In the peculiar circumstances of his first and
exceptionally daring adventure the nature of his crew became of great
and even of vital importance. It is certain, however, that Columbus
himself obviously suffered no permanent discouragement on account of the
men of his first crew, for he subsequently advocated the transportation
of criminals to the Indies, and, further, urged that any person having
committed a crime (with the exception of those of heresy, _lèse
majesté_, and treason) should have the option of ordinary imprisonment,
or of going out at his own expense to Hispaniola to serve under the
orders of the Admiral.

These edicts were actually brought into force, and although Columbus
some years afterwards bitterly complained of the type of European whom
he found at Hispaniola, there is no doubt that he himself was largely
responsible for their presence. Nevertheless, speaking generally,
Columbus was not alone in being served by this species of retainer, for
the custom, borrowed from the Portuguese, was a general one, and where
volunteers failed, their places were supplied by the dregs of the
prisons. One of the principal charges brought against Columbus was that,
in addition to his alleged maltreatment of his own men, he had refrained
from baptizing Indians, and this because he had desired slaves rather
than Christians. He was accused, moreover, of having made many slaves in
order to send them to Castile. Of course, there is no doubt whatever as
to the truth of this latter charge; but Columbus was not alone in this
respect--indeed, at that time there was no single adventurer who had
penetrated to these new regions without making slaves whenever the
opportunity arose. And it may be said in common fairness to the
individual explorers that no other method was understood, and that this
procedure was considered entirely legitimate.

It is unnecessary to enter here into the troubles and tribulations of
Columbus's first voyage. The details of the men's discontent and of the
leader's courage, persistence, and strategy have been the subject of
thousands of works. The great contrition, moreover, of his mutinous
crew, when after five weeks' sailing they sighted land, and their sudden
admiration and almost worship of the great navigator, afford too
familiar a subject to be dealt with here. Suffice to say that Columbus
took possession of this first land--the island which he believed to form
part of a continent--in the name of the Crown of Castile and Leon,
christening this herald of a new world San Salvador.

For a while the shock of this triumph appears to have deadened all other
considerations, but only for a while. Columbus, like every other
navigator of the period, had gone out in search of glory, and of gilded
glory for preference. The very first thought, therefore, which took
possession of the minds of both the Admiral and his men, when the first
exultation had died away in favour of more practical affairs, was that
of gold. To this end they cruised about the new seas, visiting Cuba,
Haiti (or Hispaniola), and other islands.

After a while Columbus discovered some traces of the coveted metal, but
these to his heated imagination were mere chance fragments of the golden
mountains and valleys which lay somewhere beyond. It was time, he
determined, to seek for further assistance. Leaving a small company of
the Spaniards in the Island of Haiti, the inhabitants of which had
proved themselves friendlily disposed, he sailed for Europe, taking with
him such specimens of the New World as he thought would chiefly appeal
to the Spanish Court. Among this merchandise were samples of the
products of the Western Islands, small nuggets of gold, and human
merchandise in the way of captive Indians.

When his heavily-laden ships arrived in Spain the entire nation broke
out into thunders of acclamation. Queen Isabella received him with even
more than her accustomed amount of graciousness, while the coldness
which had characterized Ferdinand's attitude towards him had now become
altered to fervent enthusiasm.

The Court of Spain, convinced of the value of these new possessions,
lost no time in applying to Pope Alexander VI. for his sanction of their
dominion over the New World. This the Pope granted, drawing the famous
line from Pole to Pole, which was to serve as a dividing line between
the colonies of Spain and Portugal.

Columbus, in the meanwhile, was preparing for his second voyage.
Naturally enough, this was conducted under very different auspices from
the first. It was now a proud fleet which, favoured by the trade winds,
ploughed its way to the south-west, manned by a numerous, influential,
and in many cases aristocratic, company. The advent of this second fleet
to Haiti brought about the first of the innumerable collisions between
the Europeans and the natives of America. Of the garrison which Columbus
had left in the island none remained. There was scarcely a trace,
moreover, of the existence of the rough fort which had been constructed.
The manner of the natives had altered; they received the new-comers with
marked evidences of fear and distrust.

After a while the truth came out. Some members of the European garrison
had taken upon themselves to maltreat the natives, and these, resenting
this, had turned upon their aggressors and slaughtered them to a man,
after which they had burned the fort to the ground. In order to
inculcate the necessary terror into the unfortunate inhabitants a
fearful revenge was wreaked on them by Columbus's men, and the unhappy
people of Haiti paid for their act in floods of blood and tears. This
continued until the Indians became for the time being thoroughly cowed.
Subsequently they were set to work to dig for gold and other metals in
order to enrich the pioneers.

As time went on the natives were ground down more and more, and set to
tasks for which they were temperamentally quite unsuited. Death became
rife among their ranks, and the hardships endured drove them to open
rebellion. The armour and weapons of the Spaniards rendered any attempts
of the kind abortive, and massacres and torturing completed the
enslaving process of the wretched race.

Communication between the New and Old World was at that time, of course,
slow and precarious in the extreme. Nevertheless, tidings of what was
going on in the island of Hispaniola at length found their way to the
ears of Ferdinand and Isabella. To these were added a number of
reports, for the most part fabricated by Columbus's enemies, of the
tyranny of the Admiral and of his ill-treatment of Spaniards of good
birth. Columbus, leaving his brother Bartholomew in charge of the new
dominions, returned to Spain, confronted his enemies, and was able to
refute the accusations brought against him. As regards the allegations
of ill-treatment of the Spaniards this was easily enough disproved; as
regards the Indians the matter was not so simple, for, to do them
justice, Ferdinand and Isabella were keenly anxious to prevent any
tyranny or ill-treatment of their new and remote subjects.

Columbus, having regained the confidence of his Sovereigns, started on
his third voyage in the beginning of 1496. On this occasion he
discovered Trinidad, coasted along the borders of Guiana, and saw for
the first time the Islands of Cubagua and Margarita. In Haiti the
Admiral found a discontented community. His two brothers, Bartholomew
and Diego, had become unpopular with the Spaniards, who were chafing
beneath their authority. The arrival of Columbus caused a temporary lull
in the disputes, but after a while the power of the malcontents grew
steadily, and their accounts of what was to the fore in Haiti, although
wilfully garbled and exaggerated, began to bear weight with the Royal
Family of Spain.

Columbus, in the first instance, had stipulated for the sole command of
the fleets of the New World. This was well enough in theory, but in
practice the concession was almost immediately broken into. Other
expeditions started out from Spain to the New World. Alonso Ojeda, who
had accompanied Columbus on his second voyage, now came out in command
of an expedition of his own. In his company was Amerigo Vespucci, whose
graphic and fanciful account of his own particular doings resulted
eventually in the naming of the entire continent after him. In 1499
Alonso Niño led an expedition out from Spain, followed shortly after by
another commanded by Pinzon. In the meantime Brazil was being explored
by the great Portuguese, Pedro Alvarez Cabral.

To return to Columbus, the glory of the great navigator had now waned.
As the years intervened between the date of his great feat and his less
glorious present, his record became stale and forgotten, while the power
and influence of his enemies grew. In the year 1500 Columbus was sent to
Spain--in chains this time. On his arrival Ferdinand and Isabella,
shocked at this state of affairs, endeavoured to make some minor
reparation to the greatest man of his age. They were nevertheless firm
in refusing to allow him to continue as Governor of Hispaniola and the
new territories, and to this post was appointed Nicolas de Ovando.

This latter took out the first really imposing expedition which had set
sail for Hispaniola. The welfare of the Indians had been strictly
committed to his charge by Ferdinand and Isabella. Numerous humane laws
had been drawn up for the protection of the natives, and these, it was
intended, should be rigidly enforced. Nevertheless, the thousands of
miles of intervening ocean rapidly deprived these of any semblance of
authority, and the misery and mortality of the men of Hispaniola
continued unabated.

Although to a certain extent deserted and discredited, Columbus
determined to make one more desperate effort to draw himself clear of
the oblivion which was now enveloping him. With a fleet of four small
vessels he set sail from Cadiz on May 9, 1502. Perhaps on this occasion
his mortification was greater than ever before. Ovando, the Governor,
would have nothing to do with him. Having suffered shipwreck and
numerous other calamities besides, the great navigator, embittered and
downcast, turned the bows of his ships towards Spain. On landing he
learned of the death of Queen Isabella, the only person of influence who
had shown him a consistent friendship. Realizing now that his influence
and chances had finally departed, he retired into seclusion in the
neighbourhood of Vallodolid, where he died in his sixtieth year on May
20, 1506.



CHAPTER III

THE SPANISH CONQUISTADORES


The pioneer _conquistadores_ of South America afford an interesting
study. Such men as those who took their lives in their hands and sailed
out into the unknown were actuated by two motives--the love of adventure
and the desire of gain. There is no doubt that the second consideration
by far outweighed the first. A man of the period left Spain or Portugal
for the New World for one cogent reason only, to seek his fortune. If he
won fame in the achievement of this, so much the better. Indeed, as a
matter of fact, it was generally impossible to achieve the one without
the other, although this fame might frequently have its shield sullied
and blackened by a number of wild and terrible acts; for circumstances
tended to make the _conquistador_ what he almost invariably became, a
daring being who let the lives of no others stand in the way of his own
interests.

He was not, as was the case with corresponding officials of a later
epoch, sent out on an accurately defined mission for which his
emoluments were definitely fixed and guaranteed by the Home Government.
The _conquistador_ nearly always risked much of his own before he set
sail from his native land. A man was seldom given a Governorship, even
of an unknown region in the New World, unless he showed himself prepared
to finance in part an expedition which should be of sufficient
importance to furnish the new territory with men and live-stock, and
everything else of the kind.

The _conquistador_, in fact, was generally the active partner in an
enterprise which was largely commercial. Sometimes his sleeping partners
were the merchants of Spain; sometimes it was the King himself who
joined in the venture; at others it was both King and merchants who
jointly assisted the pioneer. But it was very seldom that an adventurer
of the kind succeeded in obtaining an important concession unless he
were prepared to subsidize it heavily from his own pocket.

We may instance Pedro de Mendoza. It was the part he had played in the
sack of Rome which enabled this wealthy adventurer to organize the great
expedition which set sail for the Provinces of the River Plate. Here we
have the curious anomaly of the Church being robbed by a mercenary, and
the money obtained by the loot employed in an object which was
ostensibly in the interests of the Church in the New World. In order to
satisfy the public nearer home, it is true that the _conquistadores_
were almost invariably accompanied by priests; but once well without the
jurisdiction of Rome, Spain, and Portugal, they took very good care that
the priests should not interfere in their concerns. Having been accepted
as a guarantee of good faith, their sphere of utility had ended with the
arrival in the New World so far as the _conquistadores_ were concerned.
Many of them became active participants in the wild deeds of the
_conquistadores_. Did they, on the other hand, show themselves desirous
of protesting, the more reckless pioneers made strenuous attempts to
muzzle their eloquence.

When the spirit of the age and the circumstances in which these
adventurers sailed to the South-West are considered, many of the
atrocities committed are less to be wondered at than would otherwise be
the case. It may be taken for granted, in the first place, that the
temperament of these men was sufficiently wild and reckless to cause
them to embark in any extraordinarily perilous enterprise of the kind.
With all they had in the world sunk in the venture, they would move
heaven and earth, and squander countless human beings, before admitting
defeat. The failure of Indian labour meant financial ruin; this was
frequently staved off at the cost of thousands and tens of thousands of
lives. Such characteristics as these were by no means confined to the
Spaniards and Portuguese. We have some terribly vivid examples of it on
the part of the Welzers, the German merchant princes who contracted with
Charles V. to subdue and settle Venezuela. Sir Clements Markham relates
that the first Governor of the new colony, an official of the name of
Alfinger, came out with a strong force in 1530. On his marches he would
employ many hundreds of native porters; these men were chained together
in long lines, each slave having a ring round his neck made fast to the
chain. When one of the slaves was too ill or too exhausted to proceed
any farther, Alfinger had the unfortunate wretch's head severed from his
body, so that the body dropped away from the chain without the march
being hindered. It is difficult to imagine a more callous or atrocious
proceeding than this, but undoubtedly financial considerations lay at
the bottom of it. The thing was done, perhaps, _pour encourager les
autres_, and certainly many a poor staggering wretch marched on mile
after mile, when under ordinary circumstances he would have dropped
exhausted at an earlier stage. Thus the last atom of physical energy was
wrenched by terror from the slaves--a species of economy which, if
worked out wholesale, may have proved sufficiently profitable from their
owner's point of view!

Long even after the passing of the pioneer _conquistadores_ the methods
of the Spanish Court encouraged abuses of authority and many acts of
tyranny. Officials, such as Governors and even Viceroys, were wont to
pay certain sums down for the transference of the tenure of office, and
it was then their task to wring as much from the governed territory as
possible in order that they might retire from the New World to the Old
the owners of vast fortunes.

To expect fair government under conditions such as these was to conceive
human beings on a higher plane than that on which they are wont to be
planned. Indeed, notwithstanding the atrocities and financial iniquities
which were rife throughout Spanish and Portuguese Colonies, to imagine
the various officials as necessarily inhuman and criminal is, of course,
absurd. Many of these were men of talent, and of merciful and gentle
disposition; but in many even of these cases the altogether
extraordinary influence and atmosphere of the Southern Continent ended
by driving them to acts from which in Europe they would have shrunk
whole-heartedly. The dispositions of the men were not invariably at
fault; but the system under which they worked was never anything else.

It is time, however, to forsake generalization, and to return to the
Spanish pioneers who first colonized Haiti, and then set foot on the
mainland itself. In the ill-fated island the drama, begun with the
advent of the Spaniards, was being continued in deeper and bloodier
shades. The royal edicts came pompously out from Spain, commanding that
the welfare of the Indians should be the first consideration on the part
of the Colonial Government; but the thunder of such edicts, worn out by
the voyage, died away ere they reached the island. Ovando, it is true,
made some endeavours to act up to the spirit of these enactments; but in
view of the condition of the labour market and the clamourings of the
settlers it was, humanly speaking, impossible to carry this out.

As time went on both settlers and Governors accustomed themselves to
treat the aborigines rather as beasts of burden than as men, and they
were hunted, slain, or driven to labour with as little compunction as if
they had been pack-mules. The slightest sign of revolt was wont to be
punished by an outlet of blood which left the unfortunate folk cowering
in deeper terror and despair than before. The utter misery of the
Indians may be imagined when the measures they took to free themselves
are taken into consideration, for in the end they adopted the plan of
committing suicide as the only means of cheating the rapacity of their
white oppressors. Native families, and even entire villages, found
gloomy consolation in a self-sought death. Even in this they were not
invariably successful. Perhaps never has the irony of fate been more
strongly illustrated than in the tale that is told of one large
slave-owner and his human chattels.

These latter, having come to the end of their endurance, had determined
to follow the example of so many in the neighbourhood, and to do away
with themselves in a body. The Spaniard, however, received notice of the
intention of these people in time. Hastening to the spot, he came upon
them just as they were preparing to effect their end. He was undoubtedly
a crafty being, this. Proceeding into the midst of the distraught folk,
he called for a rope. This, he explained, was in order that he, too,
might hang himself and thus accompany the Indians to the next world,
where they would thus still remain his slaves. The ruse proved entirely
successful. The credulous Indians became, as it were, horrified back to
life at the idea; they abandoned the attempt upon their lives, and
continued in sorrowful despair to serve their Spanish owner.

In 1509 Ovando sailed back to Spain, and some return was made to
Columbus's family for the part he had played in the discovery of the new
Colonies. His son, Diego, came out, having been endowed with the titles
of Viceroy and Admiral. Thus the Court of Spain had at last conceded
some of the privileges which had been so effectually won by his father.
It is certain enough that the experiences of Diego's generation were
very different from those of his father's. The new Commander took up his
residence in state in Haiti, where he lived with great pomp and style.
The Indians, however, it is said, suffered more under his Governorship
than had been their lot under that of his predecessor.

The tide of conquest was flowing past the islands, and beginning to
spend itself on the continent. In 1508 began the actual colonization of
the Spanish Main. The first territories to which the Spaniards made
their way were those which gave on the Gulf of Darien. Here a companion
of Columbus in his second voyage, Alonso de Ojeda, was given the
district extending from the Cape de la Vela to the Gulf of Uraba, and
this territory was termed the Land of New Andalusia. Another adventurer,
Nicuesa, came as his neighbour, holding the Governorship of the coast
from the Gulf of Uraba to the Cape Gracias a Dios. These two
_conquistadores_, although as jealous of each other as was usual with
almost all these pioneer explorers, joined forces against the Indians,
whom they attempted to subdue by means of an iron hand rather than by a
silk glove. The Indians, however, proved themselves of a very warlike
disposition, and the joint forces of the Spaniards were unable to crush
the power of the aborigines. After a while the leaders were obliged to
withdraw their forces from the district they had occupied.

Some while afterwards Nuñez de Balboa took charge of Uraba. On his
arrival he found that matters on the Gulf of Darien had reached a
desperate pitch. As the fortunes of the Spaniards had waned, the
confidence of the Indians had increased. There is no doubt that the
majority of men would have recoiled from the task which faced Balboa
when he found himself at the head of a number of starving Spaniards,
scarcely able to maintain their precarious foothold in a hostile
country.

Balboa gathered together the despairing remnants, and contrived to put
fresh heart into his men. He then turned to the Indians, and won their
esteem by his considerate treatment. He proved himself, in fact, in
every respect an able and successful leader. It was in 1512 that he set
out on his famous expedition across the Isthmus, and won his way to the
shores of the Pacific Ocean. It was certainly not the least dramatic
moment in the history of early America when Balboa, in a frenzy of joy,
seized the flag of Castile, and, holding it aloft, plunged his body into
the waters of the ocean, claiming it for his King. As was the fate of so
many able men of that period, it was not long before Balboa was
superseded. The fine governmental structure he had built up was very
soon wrecked by his successor and superior, Pedrarias. Friendly
communication with the Indians was ruthlessly broken off. The natives
were chased unmercifully by bloodhounds, and numbers slain.

Balboa, chafing beneath a situation which must have been keenly
distressing to him, was suspected by Pedrarias, and arrested. The
Bishop, Quevado, however, intervened in favour of the single-minded
ex-Governor; a reconciliation of a kind was patched up, and, in order to
strengthen this, Balboa was officially betrothed to the daughter of
Pedrarias--a purely political move this, since Balboa was already united
to the dusky daughter of Careta, an aboriginal chief. There is matter
for the novelist here and to spare; few situations can be found which
hold more possibilities. In this case they led to the death of Balboa,
which would probably have happened irrespective of the strange situation
in which he found himself. The cause, however, was merely renewed
jealousy on the part of the Governor. Balboa had prepared a further
expedition of discovery, so thoroughly, indeed, that the suspicions of
Pedrarias were again needlessly aroused. A mock trial brought about a
real catastrophe, which ended in the beheading of Balboa in 1547, at the
age of forty-two.

In the meanwhile much had been happening in the neighbourhood. Charles
V. found himself in some danger of running short of men in the face of
these tremendous additions to his empire. He farmed out a portion of
these new Colonies, contracting with the Welzers, merchant princes of
Augsberg, in Germany, to take charge of and to extend the settlements in
that part of the continent which is now known as Venezuela.

An official of the name of Alfinger was appointed as the first Governor
of this new settlement. He is said to have practised the most barbarous
cruelties on the unfortunate Indians, some of which have already been
referred to. Alfinger was succeeded by other officials of his
nationality, who are said to have proved themselves somewhat less cruel
rulers. But, on the whole, this colonizing scheme of the Welzers proved
a dreary failure; they had little interest in the permanent occupation
of the country, and sought merely for the gold and precious metals.
Thus, with the knowledge that their occupation would be shortlived, they
forced the Indians to ever more strenuous labours than those to which
they were accustomed even at the hands of the Spaniards. In the end the
country became depopulated. The Welzers shrugged their shoulders, and
admitted that their utility was at an end in that district. With this
the Spaniards took possession of the country once again.

Gonzalo Jimines de Quesada now became prominent as a _conquistador_ in
the territory to the north of Peru, known then as New Granada. Quesada
himself, although he lacked nothing of the courage and determination
(frequently of a merciless order) of the average _conquistador_, was
undoubtedly endowed with certain attributes which were possessed by very
few of these hardy pioneers. For one thing he was scholarly; he had been
given an elaborate education, and knew well how to put it to the best
purposes. Quesada led an expedition up the Magdalena River. He had for
companion Benalcazar. They approached the country from the south,
occupied Popagan and Pasto, and founded Guayaquil. They also penetrated
the Valley of Curacua and Bogotá, and thus traversed the whole Province.
This brought them into contact with the Chibcha Indians. In the end
these unfortunate beings were completely subdued, their civilization
destroyed, and they themselves divided as slaves among the Spaniards.

Quesada, accompanied by a band of mercenary Indians, started on his
journey in order to seek for gold. He was, in the first place, received
in a friendly way by the natives; but in the end these, dreading the
greed which the invaders took no trouble to conceal, attacked them. The
warfare between the Spaniards and the natives commenced, with the
conquest of the natives as the result, as given above. It has already
been explained that many of the characteristics of the Incas and of the
Chibchas were curiously alike. In history this extended even to the fate
of the respective Royal Families. Pizarro slew Atahualpa; Quesada was
even more thorough. For not only did he destroy the Prince of the
Chibchas, but the whole of the Royal Family as well.

These acts do not appear to have lain very heavily on the conscience of
Quesada, if fruitful years be any test. The tough old _conquistador_
lived to the age of eighty, expiring in the year 1579. In 1597 it is
said that his body was taken to Bogotá Cathedral.



CHAPTER IV

THE DISCOVERY AND EARLY HISTORY OF BRAZIL


It still remains a point of dispute between the Spanish and Portuguese
nations as to who was the discoverer of Brazil. There is, moreover,
Amerigo Vespucci. Amerigo Vespucci may be said to have been more
successful in his accounts of his voyages than in the feats which he
actually accomplished. To have succeeded on such slender foundation in
causing an entire Continent to be christened by his name was in itself
no mean performance, and this was probably his greatest claim to
distinction.

Some historians take him more seriously than this. Southey, for one,
appears to accept Vespucci very much at his own valuation, and states
that the honour of having formed the first settlement in Brazil is due
to Amerigo Vespucci.

The Spaniards claim this distinction for their famous seaman, Vicente
Pinzon. Pinzon sailed from Spain in December, 1499. He shaped a more
southerly course than any previous navigator in the Spanish service, and
he appears to have made his landfall in the neighbourhood of Pernambuco.
He went ashore, it would seem, at a spot he named Cape Consolation, and
of this he took possession in the name of the Spanish Crown. His voyage,
however, appears to have had very little practical result, for almost
immediately afterwards he returned to Europe, and no steps seem to have
been taken by the Spanish Court for the colonization of the land which
he had discovered.

[Illustration: COLUMBUS LANDING IN AMERICA.

_From a seventeenth-century engraving._]

The Portuguese, for their part, assert that the territories of Brazil
were first sighted by their great navigator, Pedro Alvarez Cabral. The
discovery was in one sense something of an accident. It was necessary
for the seamen who were setting their course for the East Indies to
steer well to the west, in order to avoid the zones of calms which
prevail in the neighbourhood of the African coast. Cabral appears to
have steered so boldly into the west that he fell in with the coast of
Brazil. This was in 1500. Word of this event was sent to Portugal, and
the enterprising little kingdom, at that time at the height of her
maritime power, made preparations to colonize the country.

The auspices under which the Spaniards and the Portuguese arrived in the
New World were curiously different. The Spaniards were frankly in quest
of gold, and in many cases ransacked the fertile agricultural lands in
search of minerals which were non-existent. The Portuguese, on the other
hand, had no reason to suspect the presence of precious metals in their
new colony, and it was in the first instance for its vegetable products
that the land, so rich in minerals, became famed.

It was only natural that the pioneer Portuguese should have been struck
with the admirable quality of the valuable Brazilian woods. Shipments of
timber were the first to be sent from the new colony to the Mother
Country. It was from this very wood that Portuguese South America took
its name, since much of it, being of a brilliant red colour, was known
in the Portuguese language as "brasa."

Just about this time the Portuguese fitted out the most imposing fleet
which had ever left their shores. It was commanded by one of the
greatest of Portuguese explorers, Vasco da Gama, and was destined to
sail round the Cape of Good Hope to the Indies--the new and marvellous
land of spices. The fleet was worthy of its commander; it was made up of
no fewer than thirteen vessels, and was manned by some 1,200 men.

With pomp and ceremony this imposing Armada sailed away from the blue
waters of the Tagus, and, rounding the sunlit bluff, stood away to the
south. It made the Canaries in the usual way, passed the Cape Verde
Islands, and struck out to the west, lighting on the Brazilian coast in
latitude 17° south--that is to say, not far from the spot where stands
the present town of Bahia. From this point Vasco da Gama sailed
southward, keeping touch with the coast. He eventually established
communication with the Indians, who were, as was usual in these
latitudes, quite naked, their bodies being painted, and who wore great
bones in their ears and in their slit lips and noses.

A criminal, one of the type which seems to have been brought out for
purposes such as this, was landed in order to dwell among the natives,
to test their temper and habits--a somewhat precarious profession this!
After a while the fleet sailed from the place they named Port Seguro,
leaving two of these criminals or _degradados_--professional
pioneers--behind. These "were seen lamenting and crying upon the beach,
and the men of the country comforting them, demonstrating that they were
not a people devoid of pity."

This was the scene which presented itself to the eyes of the more
fortunate mariners as they sailed away. Nevertheless, the criminals seem
to have survived. No small advertisement, this, of the courtesy of the
Indian tribe, for the people composing it must have belonged to one of
the coastal races who afterwards were grimly famed for their ferocity.

As a matter of fact, human instruments of the kind, which, it must be
admitted, were of small merit, played no small part in the colonization
of Brazil. In some respects these unfortunate folk were undoubtedly
useful. They resembled the candles carried by underground miners. If the
candle continued to burn, all was well; but if the candle went out,
there was obviously danger in the air. Quite a number of these human
candles went out in the course of the early Iberian explorations. In a
sense there was sufficient justice in this, since they were criminals
whose offences had been usually those of murder and violence. If,
therefore, they escaped in the first instance with their lives, their
penitence had been consummated, and they were free to take advantage of
the land.

People of this kind had been set ashore to pave the way for their
betters in Africa and in India, and this system was now extended to
Brazil. When friendly relations were once established, it may be
imagined that the influence of these criminals upon the savages was not
of the best. According to Southey: "The Europeans were weaned from that
human horror at the blood-feasts of the savages, which, ruffians as they
were, they had at first felt, and the natives lost that awe and
veneration for the superior races, which might have proved so greatly to
their advantage."

In 1503 the Portuguese sent out an important expedition under Duarte
Coelho. This leader explored the country in the neighbourhood of the Bay
of Bahia. After this he proceeded southwards, and landed men in order to
establish a small colony.

The first really important attempt at colonizing the country was
undertaken by Martin Affonso de Souza. This navigator set out from
Portugal in command of many ships and men. Like Coelho, he struck the
Brazilian coast at Bahia; but, instead of proceeding to the south, as
his predecessor had done, he remained for some while at the spot. It is
said that when De Souza landed he fell in with a Portuguese of the name
of Correia. This worthy is supposed to have formed one of Cabral's
expedition. For some reason or other he was marooned at that place. The
Indians, instead of slaying him, had conceived a great veneration for
this white man, who had, as it were, dropped from the clouds into their
midst. The marooned sailor had become a kind of professional adviser,
whose counsel was sought by the natives on every important occasion.
Many of the early navigators maintain that the comparatively easy
colonization of this portion of the Brazilian coast was due to the
presence of the much-esteemed Correia.

Bahia rapidly became the most important of these early Portuguese
settlements. In the first instance it was, of course, extremely
difficult for the few bands of daring Portuguese to make any practical
impression on the huge slice of coast which had fallen to their share.
The experiences of the first colonists, moreover, were destined to
differ considerably from those of the pioneer Spaniards. The latter had
their field of exploration practically to themselves. The Portuguese, on
the other hand, found rivals in the South Seas almost as soon as the
prows of their ships had pierced the waters. The Dutch eventually were
destined to become by far the most formidable of these; but in the first
instance the chief friction occurred with the French.

Just at this period the Gallic sailors awoke to a strong interest in
Brazil, and the French vessels carried numbers of warlike and industrial
adventurers to the tropical shores. Even before 1530 a French factory
had been established at Pernambuco, but a circumstance of far greater
importance was that these French rovers discovered the magnificent
harbour of Rio de Janeiro, sailed into the narrow entrance between the
lofty peaks, and founded a colony there before the Portuguese had
obtained the opportunity of a permanent footing in that place.

The leader of these troops was Nicolas Durant de Villegagnon, and his
men comprised a number of Huguenots who were abandoning France.
Villegagnon's own character appears to have been complex and curious in
the extreme. He was apparently a true blade of the old swashbuckling
type; he employed religion for such ends as he might have in view at the
moment, regarding its tenets cynically, tongue in cheek. Thus he came
out in command of the Huguenots, ostensibly himself a Huguenot; but his
convictions appear to have changed on various occasions, and he is seen
now as their abettor, now as their oppressor. In the end he clearly
showed himself antagonistic to the convictions of his followers, and
took to denouncing them as heretics. With the exception of this leader,
the circumstances and motives of the expedition were somewhat similar to
those which caused the first emigration of the English Puritans to North
America.

Once established in Rio de Janeiro, the Huguenots succeeded in making
friends with the Indians of the neighbourhood, who became their firm
allies and proved of great assistance to the French in their struggles
against the Portuguese, who came down in force to evict the intruders.
The Huguenots were defeated in 1560 by Mem de Sa, the third Governor of
Brazil; but, although dispersed for a while, the power of the invaders
was by no means broken. Shortly afterwards they came together again, and
succeeded in establishing themselves more firmly than before in the
place. They were again fiercely attacked by the Portuguese, but the
number of islands in the bay afforded excellent points of defence, and
it was not until 1567 that the Portuguese sea and land forces combined
were able to expel the last Frenchmen from the mountains which lay about
the harbour of Rio de Janeiro. This, as a matter of fact, was merely a
foretaste of much of the active and aggressive competition in matters of
colonization from which the Portuguese were destined to suffer.

Before arriving at the subject of the predatory expeditions of the
various nations in South America, it would be as well to consider the
initial methods taken by the early Portuguese settlers. In the first
instance the partition of so vast an extent of territory among so small
a number of colonists was necessarily effected in a crude and tentative
fashion. The great colony was divided into _capitaneas_, or counties,
each of which possessed a coast-line of 150 miles. A Governor was
appointed to each _capitanea_. As was perhaps natural, the powers of
each of these officials, more or less isolated as each was, grew
rapidly--to such an extent, indeed, that the home authorities in
Portugal became anxious to curb the occasional eccentricities of some of
the more despotic of these. In order to effect this, Thomé de Souza was
made Captain-General of Brazil, and was sent out to that country
provided with numerous officials and troops. He established his
headquarters at Bahia, and the size of the town increased in
consequence. In 1572 Brazil was divided into two governmental areas,
Bahia being recognized as the capital of the north, and Rio de Janeiro
as the capital of the southern portion. This division, however, only
lasted for five years. Brazil in the meanwhile was becoming populous,
and had taken its place as the largest among the regular Portuguese
colonies throughout the world.

It was not long before the jealousies between the Spanish and Portuguese
led to various outbreaks and to troubles on the frontiers. From a purely
practical point of view, there is no doubt whatever that such
bickerings were a sheer absurdity, since the territories at the disposal
of both nations were far too great to be effectively dealt with by any
forces which either the Spanish or Portuguese could introduce into the
Continent. As it was, the era was one of moulding and experiments. Even
at the present day it would seem difficult to decide whether many of
these latter have proved themselves definite successes or undoubted
failures. The general conditions of the New World at this period are
well worthy of note.

No doubt South America has been more widely experimented upon in the
colonizing sense than any other Continent. The methods of the Spaniards
and Portuguese were by no means similar throughout. Indeed, the
principles adopted by the four greatest colonizing nations of the
age--the Spanish, the Portuguese, the English, and the Dutch--were all
distinguished from each other by various important features.

The British, where they came into contact with dark-skinned races of
inferior vigour and individual power, made a point of holding aloof, so
far as the more important social points were concerned. Thus in India
and in Africa the gulf between the white and the black has continued
unbridged. The representatives of the British have remained as a
governing race, relying upon the strict justice of their rule for its
preservation. They have refrained from interference in the thousand
jealousies and caste regulations with which the East Indies were, and
are, honeycombed, becoming active only when oppression became barefaced.
These officials, that is to say, have made a point of respecting the
religions of the various tribes, and have even encouraged them to
continue unmolested.

As a result, the Governors, as a body, won the respect, and even the
reverence, of a great mass of the populace, but gained comparatively
little actual and personal affection. They were subjected to the
jealousy of the fakirs in India, of the witch-doctors in Africa, and of
other dusky fanatics who had been accustomed to oppress the rank and
file of the populace before the advent of the European civilization.

The Dutch pursued a policy very similar to that of the English. They
were essentially just in their rule, and they won the wholesale respect
of the subject races. Their methods of governing, however, were usually
more severe than those of the British, and as a rule the discipline they
enforced was considerably stronger. This has been evidenced in Africa
and elsewhere.

The Iberian system of colonization was in general totally different.
Even the Spaniards, far less spontaneously genial than the Portuguese,
encouraged an intimacy between their colonists and the subject races of
a kind unknown in the Anglo-Saxon and Teutonic circles. It is true that
in the first instance the Spaniards slaughtered hundreds of thousands of
natives. But these wholesale killings were on account of no social
convictions; they were merely the result of an overpowering greed for
gold and of too harsh a method of enforcing labour. The colour question,
as between Spaniard and native, scarcely ruffled the social surface of
the colonies. This was not altogether to be wondered at when the
antecedents of these bold Spanish colonial pioneers are taken into
consideration.

A dusky tide from Africa had flooded the half of Spain, and had remained
there for centuries, until the southern Spaniard, who lived in the midst
of Moorish conquerors, tolerantly treated and allowed almost entire
religious freedom, forgot the hostility towards his traditional enemy,
and became oblivious of questions of colour. So much so was this the
case that the Christian services were wont, after a time, to be
conducted in Arabic, a system which evoked horrified protests from
Bishops in other parts. Be that as it may, it is certain that the
Spaniards had, with the sole exception of the Portuguese, been more
concerned with the African races and dark blood than any other nation in
Europe. Thus, once in South America, although the actual helplessness of
the Indians was immediately remarked and taken advantage of, no question
of inferiority from a mere racial point of view arose. The Indian went
to the wall, not because he was an Indian, but because his powers were
less than those of the European who had invaded his lands.

[Illustration: VASCO DA GAMA.

_From a portrait in colour in a Spanish MS. (Sloane, 197, fol. 18) in
the British Museum._]

If this was the case with the Spaniard, it was far more marked in the
case of the Portuguese. In some respects, perhaps, no nation colonized
with quite the same amount of enthusiasm as this. Its pioneers once
definitely settled in the country, whichever it might be, there arose no
question of looking upon the new conquest as a place to be resided in
for a certain number of years and no more. The Portuguese went to the
east and to the south-west to make themselves part and parcel of the
soil of the country they had annexed. To this end they mingled from the
very start with the natives, and inter-married with an entire want of
restraint with the Indian women.

Thus from the very inception of the Portuguese colonial era we are
confronted with a race of half-castes, and we see the forces brought
about by a mixture of blood and climatic conditions working more
powerfully in the Portuguese colonies than in any others. The result
was, in one sense, the formation of a new race, and an almost complete
absence of rebellion and native unrest in those parts where genuine
civilization had been attempted. That the race as a whole lost its
European vigour and its northern principles was inevitable. This was the
price of peace.

The subject is one into which climatic influence enters largely. Many
of the districts of Brazil were not, and are not, in the least suited as
a permanent place of residence for the white man. Were an attempt to be
made to populate such places as these by Europeans, it could only be
done by means of a continual change of inhabitants. That is to say, each
resident, having spent a certain number of years in the spot, must be
succeeded by another in order to preserve the integrity and vigour of
the race.

Portugal, with an extraordinary generosity, flung her handful of white
colonists into the vast lands she had discovered, and hoped by this
means to raise the leaven of the whole. In India, as exemplified in Goa,
the result has met with scant success. In Brazil, however, where the
proportion of white to black was greater, a race of intellect and
culture has been developed, although occasionally subject to the mental
paroxysms of the dwellers in the tropics. In any case it may be said
that the colour question has never existed in Brazil--so far, at all
events, as the Indian is concerned. It was necessarily in evidence to a
certain extent upon the first introduction of the negro slave, but even
here the question has become of less and less importance, until, at the
present day, the negro has in Brazil probably a more congenial
resting-place than anywhere else in the world.

It must never be forgotten that these remarks as regards the Spanish
colonies, and to almost as great an extent as regards the Portuguese,
apply to the general run of the population. The majority of the leaders,
both social and political, in all the South American colonies have been
in the first instance, and have continued, men of good blood, and
generally of ancient lineage, who have floated along with the rest,
until they met with the inevitable current which bore them to the
topmost of the new social layers. And once there, having been found the
most fitting, they have remained.



CHAPTER V

THE CONQUEST OF PERU


The story of Pizarro and the Incas has been told many hundreds of times,
yet owing to the sheer audacity of which its elements are composed it
would seem to retain its interest almost unimpaired. That a mere handful
of men should have banded themselves together to conquer a nation which
counted its subjects by the hundred thousand, and which could claim a
civilization that included great armies, remains almost beyond belief.
The Incas themselves, moreover, were a conquering race, and their troops
had marched to the north and to the south in their thousands, conquering
nations less important than their own, and thus adding to the extent of
the one formidable Empire of the Southern Continent.

Yet the downfall of these armies in this victorious State was achieved
by less than two hundred European soldiers, led by the two fearless
adventurers, Francisco Pizarro and Diego Almagro. These, accompanied by
Hernando Luques, had begun to explore the neighbourhood of Panama in
1524. Every member of the force, it may be taken for granted, had a keen
nose for gold, and it was not long before they came across some treasure
of the kind which determined the leaders to possess themselves the
country where the metal was to be found.

At this period the number of men commanded by Pizarro and Almagro was
fewer even than the band with which they entered Peru. When it came to
the knowledge of the Spaniards that the country of their desire was in
reality so formidable an Empire, Pizarro sailed to Spain in search of
reinforcements, and returned accompanied by his brothers and by a force
of 180 men. It was on Pizarro's arrival in America that the first
serious breach occurred between Almagro and himself. This was brought
about by the arrangements which Pizarro had concluded in Spain, and in
which Almagro considered, doubtless rightfully, he had not been fairly
dealt with by his partner.

After a while a truce was patched up between the pair, and in 1531 an
expedition, carried in three small vessels, set sail for the South. The
troops were landed on the Peruvian coast, and they marched inland,
defeating such small forces as endeavoured to oppose their progress. The
valour and greed of the little army were every day becoming more deeply
stirred by the trophies of gold and silver which they captured as they
went. Fate was fighting strongly in favour of these desperate Spaniards.
No circumstances could have been better adapted to successful invasion
than those which obtained when Pizarro and Almagro entered the country,
although these adventurous spirits knew nothing of this at the time. The
land was divided against itself, for the first time in the comparatively
short Inca history. Atahualpa and Huasca, the two sons of the recently
dead Inca, Huana Capac, were engaged in a fierce struggle for the
throne.

This in itself was something of a shock to the devout subjects of the
Inca race, looking as they did upon the Imperial Children of the Sun as
superhuman beings. It was thus a war of demigods waged by doubting and
diffident mortals. The arrival of the Spaniards increased, of course,
the drama of the situation. At the period of their advent Huasca was
obtaining the worst of the struggle, and, seeing the possibility of
salvation in the arrival of the newcomers, he sent to these beseeching
their help. It can be imagined with what avidity Pizarro seized upon
this pretext to enter into the domestic affairs of the nation. Atahualpa
unconsciously helped to play the fate of the unfortunate Inca race still
further into the hands of the Spaniards. Learning of the warlike might
of the white man, he also sent an embassy of friendship to Pizarro, and
a little later, in 1532, he started out in order to effect his first
meeting with the strangers. This took place at Caxamalca.

[Illustration: THE DEFEAT OF THE PERUVIANS OUTSIDE CUZCO.

_From a seventeenth-century engraving._]

In an evil moment for himself Atahualpa had determined to do his utmost
to impress these foreigners from overseas with the evidence of his
wealth and power. His body was covered with golden plates, armour, and
decorations which shone with a strange brilliance as they flashed back
the rays of the sun from its worshipper. He was attended, moreover, by a
chosen company of nobles, whose adornments, although by comparison less
splendid, were sufficient to cause the Spaniards' eyes to start from
their heads with wonder and freshly-awakened lust.

Had the Inca come as a humble suppliant, the fate of the nation might
have been postponed, if not altogether altered. The appearance of these
resplendent beings signalled its instant doom. As Atahualpa was borne on
his litter of state towards where Pizarro stood expectant in front of
his soldiers, a priest strode forward, and, approaching him, urged him
heatedly to embrace the religion of the Cross.

It is certain that the Inca understood nothing whatever of what was
going on. What might have been his state of mind when he was handed the
breviary is unknown; in any case he flung it to the ground. This was the
signal for the attack on the part of the Spaniards. Drawing their
swords, they flung themselves furiously upon the altogether unprepared
Indians, slaying thousands of their numbers. Pizarro himself, hacking
and striking as he went, fought his way to the Inca's litter of state,
and it was his own hand which dragged the unfortunate ruler from his
golden chair. The next moment he was guarding his captive fiercely from
the chance blows which were rained upon the dusky monarch by the
Spaniards who went charging by. He knew well enough the value of the
Inca alive and captive in his hands. It was for this reason alone that
he warded off the blows which his men would have dealt the fallen Child
of the Sun.

[Illustration: A PERUVIAN CASSE-TÊTE AND A PIPE OF PEACE.

_From "Histoire des Yncas."_]

The main onslaught had now died away. The field of the massacre was
covered with the bodies of the dead and dying Peruvians; the rest had
fled. Pizarro lost no time in improving the occasion from a financial
point of view. A gallant knight, Fernando de Soto, was sent to the
marvellous city of Cuzco--authorized both by the Inca and Pizarro--to
despoil the temples of their treasures. Thus enormous hoards of gold and
silver were obtained from the sacred buildings and from Atahualpa's
loyal subjects as his ransom.

Even here Pizarro showed his want of good faith, for when the treasure
demanded had been given up and amassed, he still retained the person of
the Inca. Matters of policy and personal dislike soon sealed the fate
of this latter. In 1533 he was tried for his life. After a parodied
performance of justice he was executed, although Fernando de Soto and a
number of other Spaniards protested vigorously against the act.

From a purely political point of view it is likely enough that the crime
was profitable; in any case it sent a shock throughout the bounds of the
Inca Empire from which its dusky inhabitants never afterwards fully
recovered. There was now no powerful claimant to the Inca throne. The
wrongs suffered by the race at the hands of the Spaniards need not cover
the fact that the Indians themselves frequently proved capable of
tyrannical and sanguinary acts. Thus on the news of Atahualpa's capture
his enraged adherents had slain Huasca, who by that time had become a
prisoner in their hands.

Pizarro now determined to take an active share in the government of the
country. Placing a son of Atahualpa's on the throne, and having received
reinforcements of men and arms, he marched throughout the Province at
the head of 500 men, carrying with him the puppet King upon whom he
placed great hopes. The latter disappointed these, since he died in the
course of the expedition. In some respects this was doubly unfortunate
for Pizarro, as there now remained one clear claimant to the throne of
the Children of the Sun--Manco Capac, the brother of Huasca.

Manco Capac was by no means prepared to yield tamely to the situation.
For a considerable time very little was effected on either side. The
Incas were slowly recovering from the shocks and tribulations which they
had undergone; the Spaniards, on the other hand, found their attention
occupied by the unexpected arrival of a Spanish expedition commanded by
Pedro de Alvarado. This leader had performed his part in the conquest
of Mexico, and had now hastened to the South in order to ascertain what
chances of enrichment were to be met with in the land, the reputation of
which was now spreading itself abroad. For a while it looked very much
as if open warfare would result between the rival parties. In the end,
however, Pizarro consented to buy the departure of Alvarado, and this
leader retired heavy in pocket. On the whole his visit had not proved
unprofitable to the astute Pizarro, since many of Alvarado's men had
remained in Peru to throw in their lot with him.

Pizarro and Almagro were now left in occupation of the Inca Empire. It
was inevitable that jealousy should arise between the pair, and it was
not long before the situation grew strained. Pizarro, true to his own
interests, had insisted on returning to Spain in order to give an
account of the doings in Peru. Needless to say, he employed the
opportunity to obtain the royal sanction to advance still further his
official position--somewhat at the expense of Almagro, of course. Almost
directly after his return he founded the city of Lima, intending this to
supersede Cuzco as the future capital of the country.

All this while the breach between Pizarro and Almagro had widened. In
1535 the latter, realizing that even the Empire of the Incas was not
sufficiently large to hold the pair of Spanish leaders, determined to
make for the South. The expedition was a tragic one. Almagro, though his
spirit was undaunted, was now aged in years, and the barren country of
the Atacama Desert and the attacks of the hostile Indians rendered the
enterprise a failure from a monetary point of view. Almagro had invested
all his fortune in this, and his affairs now became desperate.

[Illustration: PIZARRO AND ATAHUALPA.

_From a seventeenth-century engraving._]

In the meantime the crafty Pizarro had been permitted to enjoy very
little peace and tranquillity in Peru. Manco Capac had bided his time,
and his Indian subjects, fervently loyal to the sacred dynasty, had
crowded about him in their thousands. The Peruvians now assumed the
aggressive. Thousands of Inca troops scoured the country, and, falling
on remote and unprepared bands of Spaniards, obtained some modicum of
revenge in slaughtering all they found.

[Illustration: THE TEMPLE OF THE SUN. CUZCO.

_From "Histoire des Yncas," Amsterdam, 1737._]

Encouraged by such minor successes, the Inca army advanced against the
main bodies of the Spaniards. Some historians place the numbers of the
native troops at no fewer than 200,000. With astonishing suddenness the
situation became altered. Pizarro found himself besieged in Lima, while
his brothers, shut up in Cuzco, experienced an equal difficulty in
beating off the attacks of the serried native ranks. Had the Spanish
army in Peru been left to its own devices, there is no doubt but that
their doom would have been sealed. The irony of fate, however, chose
this very moment for the return of Almagro. Marching up with his grim
and travel-worn band, he found himself before Cuzco, surveying the
beleaguered Spaniards and the investing Incas.

Manco Capac had gleaned something of the disputes between the European
leaders. He made advances to Almagro, and did all he could to win him to
his side; but Almagro, little cause though he had to love Pizarro,
proved himself stanch. He was in consequence attacked by the Inca
troops, but these he repulsed with heavy losses, and then entered Cuzco
in triumph. Manco Capac himself escaped, and retired to the other side
of the Andes.

[Illustration: INDIAN HUTS ON THE RIVER CHIPURANA.]

Almagro was destined to receive small thanks for his intervention. The
aged _conquistador_ laid claim to the city as part of his own dominions,
and this woke into fresh activity the warfare between himself and
Francisco Pizarro. Almagro, defeated, lost his head, a white and
seventy-year-old head though it was. His fate by no means ended the
tragedies in Peru. The current of sinister events was running here in a
strangely full flood. It was only three years afterwards that Pizarro
himself was murdered by his enemies, the adherents of Almagro's son,
whom they wished to see elevated to the Governorship of the country, an
event which actually occurred, although it proved of very short
duration.

By the time this had come about, the power of the Incas had been broken
for good and all, so far as practical purposes were concerned. Driven
from their temples and strongholds, certain sections of the race
survived, although among them were remarkably few of the noble families
who had formed the salt of the land. Great numbers of the rank and file
of the race met with the fate which was at that time so universal
throughout the country, or rather in its metal-bearing lands. They were
sent to the mines, and, worked and flogged to death, their numbers
diminished with a ghastly rapidity. Some sections, more fortunate, were
at a rather later age set to agriculture, and, forced to somewhat more
congenial tasks than the first workers, they continued to serve the
Spaniards.



CHAPTER VI

SPANIARD AND NATIVE


The collisions with the various peoples of the Continent had now
afforded the _conquistadores_ an opportunity of testing the power of
each. The force of the impact had, it is true, swept into the background
the first peoples with whom they had come into contact; but, as the
scanty numbers of the pioneers filtered across the new territories, they
found that the task of annexation was by no means so easy in every case.

So far as a warlike spirit was concerned, the difference between the
aboriginal tribes of the tropics and those of the southern regions was
most marked. The Incas were, in many respects, a warlike race--that is
to say, they had possessed themselves by force of arms of the country in
the neighbourhood of Lake Titicaca, wresting this from whatever tribe of
the Aymaras it was which, highly civilized, had held the land before
them. This nucleus of empire, once obtained, they had spread to the
south and to the north, and to a certain extent to the east, conquering
all with whom they had come into contact, with the notable exception of
the Araucanians in Southern Chile.

The Chibchas, too, in the far north, whose civilization in some respects
equalled that of the Incas, might be termed a conquering race. They
dominated the north of the Continent, and upheld their empire securely
by force of arms. Yet it is curious that both these nations,
representing the chief civilizing and inventive powers of the Continent,
presented nothing beyond the most futile resistance to the invaders.
Their gods desecrated, their faith outraged, stung to utter fury and
hate, even these passions failed to lead them to a single victory of
consequence, notwithstanding the fact that their tens of thousands of
warriors were faced by no more than a few dozen Spaniards. Disheartened
by the terrifying onslaught of the men in mail mounted on gigantic
horses, they appear to have reconciled themselves with melancholy
submission to a fate which only on two or three occasions during the
following centuries they endeavoured with any earnestness at all to
disturb.

How different were the battles of the south! The Spaniards who found
themselves face to face with the Araucanian Indians, and with those of
the Pampa on the other side of the Andes, had a far more strenuous tale
to tell. The armour which had resisted with such contempt the more
delicate weapons of the Peruvians and of the northern warriors in
general was crushed in and dented beneath the tremendous blows dealt by
the clubs of the muscular and warlike Araucanians, who charged into the
battle with a wild joy that left them as drunk with triumph at the end
of the combat as they had been with their native spirit at the
beginning.

These Araucanians were, indeed, born fighters. In common with the
general run of mankind, it was their lot to be defeated from time to
time. Nevertheless, they repaid the defeats frequently with very tragic
interest; in any case, subdued by force of arms they certainly never
were. Much the same may be said of the Indians of the Argentine and
Uruguayan plains. The aggressive tactics here were by no means confined
to the Spaniards. On the first landing of the _conquistadores_, these
found themselves, after having given provocation in the first instance,
cooped up within the flimsy walls of their new settlements, surrounded
by fierce and vindictive enemies, who charged on them from time to time
with bewildering fury, choosing as often as not for the purpose the hour
just before dawn, which they would make horrid with their warlike cries
and shrill yells. These, too, remained entirely unsubdued to the last.
They had the ill-fortune to be favoured with fewer natural advantages
than the Araucanians. They had neither woodland valleys nor mountains in
which to take shelter in the time of need. They fought on a plain which
was as open as day, and as flat as a table from horizon to horizon. No
crude strategy was possible--at all events, in the daytime--and the
attack of the charging Indians was necessarily visible from a distance
of leagues.

From time to time a certain number of these fierce tribesmen were
captured, but their fiery spirits could brook no domestic tasks, and
when, at a very much later date, some of them were shipped upon a
Spanish man-of-war with the purpose of testing their value as sailors,
they rose in mutiny and slew many officers and men, and, indeed,
obtained temporary control of the ship, until, seeing the uselessness of
further efforts, they flung themselves overboard in a body.

It was the ancestors of such men as these who had in the first instance
disputed the soil with the Spaniards. There is no doubt that, while the
metal-bearing lands fell into the opened mouths of the Spaniards as
easily as over-ripe plums, the maintaining of a foothold in the southern
plains was a precarious and desperate matter. As has been said, the
natural topographical advantages of Southern Chile made the wars here
the grimmest and fiercest of all those waged throughout the Continent.
The mere names of Caupolicán and Lautaro suffice to recall a galaxy of
Homeric feats. The deeds of the two deserve a passing word of
explanation.

It was the Chief Caupolicán who organized the first resistance to the
invaders on a large scale, and who led his armies with a marvellous
intrepidity against the Spaniards. He initiated a new species of attack,
which proved very trying to the white troops. He would divide his men
into a number of companies, and send one after another to engage the
Spanish forces. Thus the first company would charge, and would engage
for awhile, fighting desperately. Then they would retire at their
leisure, to be succeeded without pause by the second, and so on.
According to some of the older historians, it was by this method that
Valdivia's forces were overcome on the occasion when the entire Spanish
army, including its brave leader, was massacred.

The other famous chief, Lautaro, received his baptism of spears and of
fire under the leadership of Caupolicán. Lautaro was probably the
greatest scourge from which the Spaniards in Chile ever suffered. Twice
he demolished the town of Concepcion, and once he pursued their
retreating forces as far as Santiago itself. In an engagement on the
outskirts of this city the victorious chief was killed, and after his
death a certain amount of the triumphant spirit of the Indians deserted
them. But only for a while. The indomitable spirit of the race awoke
afresh, and asserted itself with renewed ardour in the course of the
next series of the interminable struggles.

Compared with all this, the sun-bathed peaks of the centre and of the
north breathed dreams and soft romance. Naturally the temperament of the
inhabitants had tuned themselves to fit in with this. The few savage
customs which had intruded themselves among the quaint rites and
mysticism of these peoples had failed to inculcate a genuine warlike
ardour or lust for blood. Their dreamily brooding natures revolted
against the strain of prolonged strife. What measure of violent
resistance was to be expected from the dwellers on the shores of Lake
Guatavita?

The Lake of Guatavita had been a sacred water of the Indians of Colombia
before the advent of the Spaniards. It was on this peaceful sheet that
the cacique and his chiefs were rowed out in canoes while the people
clustered in their thousands about the mountainous sides of the lake.

When the canoes had arrived at the centre of the lake the chiefs were
accustomed to anoint the cacique, and to powder him with a great
profusion of gold-dust. Then came the moment for the supreme ceremony.
The multitude turned their backs on the lake, and the cacique dived from
the canoe and plunged into its waters; at the same time the people threw
over their shoulders their offerings of gold and precious stones, which
fell with a splash into the waters.

The lake was further enriched after the arrival of the _conquistadores_,
when the natives, tortured and ill-treated in order that gold should be
wrung from them, conceived such a hatred of the metal that they threw
all they had wholesale into the sacred waters. It is said that some
Indians, goaded beyond endurance, taunted their conquerors and told them
to search at the bottom of the lake, where they would find gold. They
had no idea that the Spaniards would actually attempt this, but this the
_conquistadores_ did, and were digging in order, apparently, to drain
the water off when the sides fell in and put an end to the attempt. It
is said that even then they procured a large amount of gold and some
magnificent emeralds.

[Illustration: DEATH OF ATAHUALPA.

The final tragedy as shown in a seventeenth-century engraving.]

As may well be imagined, it was people such as these who suffered most
of all from the violence of the strange, pale beings who had descended
into their midst to subdue them, first of all by means of the sword, and
then by the ceaseless wielding of the more intimate and degrading thong.
Since, notwithstanding all that has been urged to the contrary, the
average Spaniard of those days--even those of his number who had to do
with the Americas--was provided with the ordinary sentiments and
passions of humanity, it was inevitable that in the course of the
oppression and warfare waged against the natives some devoted being
should sooner or later rise up to espouse the cause of the Indians.

This intermediary, of course, was Bartolomé de las Casas, so widely
known as the Apostle of the Indies. There are many who fling themselves
heart and soul into a cause of which they know nothing, and who, from
the sheer impetus of good-hearted ignorance, cause infinite mischief.
The case of Las Casas was different. Before he took up his spiritual
labours he had lived for years at the theatre of his future work, and
understood the conditions of the colonial and native life.

As a matter of fact, Las Casas' mission did not dawn upon him until he
had enjoyed a very considerable practical experience in the industrial
affairs of the New World. His connection with this latter did not begin
with his own generation. He was the son of a shipmate of Columbus, who
had sailed with the great explorer in his first voyage, and who had
accompanied Ovando when that knight sailed out from Spain to take up his
Governorship of the Indies.

It was in Hispaniola, it appears, that Las Casas was ordained priest. In
the first place he lived the ordinary life of the Spanish settler in the
island. In common with everyone else, he accepted a
_repartimiento_--that is to say, a supply of Indian labourers--and was
undoubtedly on the road to riches when, little by little, the
inhumanity of slave-owning became clear to him. To one of his
enthusiastic temperament no half measures were possible. He gave up his
Indians forthwith, allowed his estate to revert to Nature, and began his
strenuous campaign, that had as its object the freedom of the native
races.

By 1517 he had succeeded in attracting a wide attention to his efforts.
Journeying to Spain, he persisted in his cause, and gave the high
authorities of that country little peace until they lent an ear to the
grievances of his dusky protégés. Las Casas was endowed to an unusual
extent with both eloquence and fervour, and both these attributes he
employed to the utmost of his powers in the service of the American
aborigines. Thus he painted the sufferings and the terrible mortality of
these unfortunate people with a fire and a force that left very few
unmoved. Nevertheless, as was only to be expected, he met with
considerable opposition from various quarters where the financial
interests dependent on the New World outweighed all other
considerations. In the end, rendered desperate by this opposition and by
the active hostility which he encountered in these quarters, he
determined to lead the way by the foundation of a model colony of his
own in South America.

He obtained the cordial sanction of the Spanish King to this end.
Nevertheless, when put into practice, the scheme failed utterly. The
reasons for this were to be sought for in the poorness of the soil
chosen and in the intrigues of the white settlers rather than in any
fundamental fault of the plan itself. For all that, its failure came as
a severe blow to Las Casas. After experiences such as these, the
majority of men would probably have given up the attempt in despair. Las
Casas, it is true, sought the refuge of a monastery for a while in order
to recover his health and spirits, which had suffered from the shock.
Once again in possession of these, he returned to the field, and,
undaunted, continued to carry on his work.

This campaign of Las Casas is famous for a curious anomaly. That his
work of mercy should have resulted in the introduction into the
Continent of a greater number of dusky labourers than before appears on
the face of it paradoxical. Yet so it was. For Las Casas, determined
that the mortality among the Indians should cease, advocated the
importation of African slaves into Central and South America. His idea
was that the labours spread over so many more thousands of human bodies
would prove by comparison bearable, and would thus end in fewer
fatalities. It is certain enough that this introduction of the sturdy
negro tended considerably to this end, and that many thousands of lives
were prolonged, if nothing more, by this plan. For all that, it must be
admitted that the venture was a daring one to emanate from the mind of a
preacher who was fighting against the slave trade. But Las Casas, urged
by his own experience, took a broad view, and none even of his
contemporaries were able for one moment to impugn his motives.

Las Casas was as much a product of the period and place as were the wild
and daring _conquistadores_ themselves. The new Continent undoubtedly
exerted a curious influence over its visitors from the Old World. It
seemed to possess the knack of bringing out the virtues as well as the
defects with an amazing and frequently disconcerting prodigality.
Several of Las Casas' biographers have wondered at the reason why the
Apostle of the Indies was never made a saint. Certainly hundreds of
lesser heads have been kept warm by a halo which has never graced that
of Las Casas.



CHAPTER VII

THE COLONIZATION OF THE SOUTH


It was natural that after the first occupation of the New World the
tendency of the explorers should have been to turn their attention to
the south and to the still undiscovered lands. At the first glimpse the
aspect of the Atlantic coast to the south of Brazil gave little promise
of the wealth--that is to say, of the gold--sought by the pioneers,
since its shores were low, marshy, and alluvial.

In 1515 Juan de Solis sailed to the mouth of the River Plate, and landed
on the coast of Uruguay. His party were immediately attacked by Charrúa
Indians, and the bodies of De Solis himself and of a number of his crew
were stretched dead on the sands. This ended the expedition, for the
survivors left the place in haste and returned to Spain.

In 1526 Sebastian Cabot explored the River Plate, and, sailing
up-stream, investigated the Paraná, and discovered the waters of the
Paraguay River itself. In these inland waterways his fleet was met by
that of another pioneer, Diego Garcia. This latter, doubtless from
chivalrous motives, gave the _pas_ to Cabot, and turned the bows of his
vessels down-stream. It was Cabot's intention to establish himself
permanently on the shores of this great river system. Near the present
site of the town of Rosario he built the fort of Sancti Spiritus.
Seeing, however, that his appeals to Spain for assistance remained
unanswered, he eventually abandoned his attempt. There seems little
doubt that he withdrew practically all his forces from the River Plate;
but there are legends of some survivors who remained in the district
after the main expedition had left. Some old historians allege that
these underwent strange experiences and hardships, but the veracity of
such narratives is more than doubtful.

[Illustration: ATAHUALPA.

The last Chief of the Peruvians.]

It was in 1535, the year when Valdivia marched southward from Peru to
conquer Chile, that the conquest and actual colonization of the River
Plate was first seriously undertaken. Pedro de Mendoza, a soldier of
fortune, ventured on the attempt. Mendoza's career as a mercenary
soldier had proved quite unusually profitable even for those days, and
he had acquired a large fortune at the sack of Rome alone. His purse
provided a really formidable expedition.

The voyage to the mouth of the River Plate on this occasion was more
productive of incident than was usual, even in those days of adventurous
pioneers. The halts at Teneriffe and at Rio de Janeiro had resulted in
some dissensions among Mendoza's men, and the execution by the orders of
the Chief of one of his most popular leaders had all but caused open
mutiny at the latter place. Nevertheless, when his forces landed at the
site of the present town of Buenos Aires, they constituted a formidable
company of men, admirably equipped with everything that the science of
the age could devise for the purpose of conquest and colonization,
particularly the former.

Having founded his settlement, Mendoza set himself to deal with the
Indians and to bring them into subjection. In a very short while he
found out that it was a very different tribe of aborigines with which he
had to deal to the peace-loving inhabitants of Peru and the north-west.
The agile, hardy, and fierce Pampa Indians, having once fallen foul of
the invaders, allowed them no respite. Attacked by day and night,
deprived of all supplies of food, Mendoza's troops began to suffer from
exhaustion and hunger, to say nothing of the wounds inflicted by their
enemies.

In the end, the leaders had to admit to themselves that the place was no
longer tenable. Nevertheless, neither Mendoza nor his men had any
intention of abandoning permanently these fertile plains through which
ran the great rivers. The scarcity of minerals in these districts had
now become sufficiently obvious to them; yet even to men in quest of
little beyond gold the extraordinary fertility of the alluvial soil was
not altogether lost. With a courage and pertinacity which does the
adventurers every credit, they determined, instead of abandoning the
river and putting out to sea, to sail far up-stream into the unknown,
and to seek their fortune inland.

Mendoza's expedition first of all established itself for a while on the
site of Sancti Spiritus, Cabot's old abandoned fort, which they now
rechristened Corpus Christi. Shortly after their arrival at the place,
Mendoza himself, who had doubtless suffered many disillusions concerning
the gold and precious stones of these districts, and whose health had
given way beneath the stress of the hardships and of the numerous
precarious situations in which he had found himself, set sail for Spain.
It was to be his fate never to return to his native land, since he died
on his way home.

Juan de Ayolas was now left in command of the Spanish force. He was an
able commander, and a man of determined character, eminently fitted to
conduct an expedition such as this. Without hesitation, the new leader
purposed to make his way farther up the stream. He got together the
ships once again, and, manning them, he made his way from point to
point along the great river system, attacked here and there by the
Indians on the banks, and occasionally challenged by flotillas of
canoes, which boldly came out to assume the aggressive. But in every
case the lesson taught the Indians was a severe one, and, undeterred by
the hostility shown him, Ayolas sailed inland until he came to Asuncion
in Paraguay. At this spot the expedition came to a halt, and the weary
pioneers landed, and immediately became lost in admiration of the
fertile and delightful country in which they now found themselves.

There is no doubt that to the new-comers the country in the
neighbourhood of Asuncion, with its pleasant valleys, rolling country,
and forest-covered hills, must have come in the shape of a relief after
the apparently interminable passage of the plains. It was the spot at
which the pioneer would naturally halt, and endeavour to found his
settlement.

The Guaraní Indians extended but a cold welcome to the daring
adventurers. Their temperament was by nature far less warlike than that
of the savage and intrepid natives in the regions of the coast. These
Guaraní Indians, nevertheless, made some show of aggression, and would
doubtless have been glad to scare away these undesired strangers. Owing
to this, a collision between the two forces occurred; but so crushing
was the defeat of the Indians that they resigned themselves submissively
to the Spaniards, and henceforth became a vassal tribe, lending
assistance to their white masters in both civil and warlike occupations.

Immediately after the victory, the Guaranís were set by the Spanish to
assist in the construction of the new town, which was to be the
head-quarters of the Imperial power in the south-east of the Continent.
Once definitely settled here, the _conquistadores_ set themselves to
extend the frontiers of their dominions, which in the first place were
confined to the neighbourhood of the new town of Asuncion itself.

The tribes in the immediate neighbourhood were now more than merely
friendly: they were actively servile. But the case was different with
the other native peoples, more especially with the Indians in the Chaco,
the wooded and swampy district on the opposite side of the river. These
showed themselves fiercely inimical to the new-comers, and it was seldom
that the Spaniards were without a feud of some kind to suffer at their
hands.

The new colonists had now time to look about them. Much had happened
since they had first landed on the shores of the River Plate, but the
main object of the expedition still remained clear to them. This was the
discovery of a road from the south-east to Peru. Ayolas determined to
take up this fascinating quest in person. Accompanied by a number of
men, he sailed up the river until he came to a spot at which he judged
that an attempt at the overland journey might well be attempted. Leaving
Domingo Martinez de Irala, his lieutenant, in charge of the ships and of
a force of men, Ayolas marched into the forest and disappeared into the
unknown. It was his fate never to return. His company, ambushed and cut
up by a tribe of hostile Indians, perished to a man.

It was months before Irala learned of the catastrophe. In the belief
that his chief was still in the land of the living, he waited with his
ships and men at the point where Ayolas had disembarked, varying his
vigil from time to time by a cruise down-stream in search of provisions.
The news came to him at length, shouted out by hoarse defiant voices
from the recesses of the forest on the banks. For a while the Spaniards
would not believe the surly message of death given by the unseen
Indians. In the end, however, its truth could not be doubted, and Irala
assumed command of the party. Returning to Asuncion, he was unanimously
appointed Governor by the settlers of the place.

[Illustration: SUGAR-MAKING.

A seventeenth-century representation of the whole of the processes of
the manufacture of sugar.

_From "Historia Antipodum."_]

The character of Domingo Martinez de Irala was eminently suited to the
post he now held. His courage was high, his determination inflexible,
and his energy abundant. It is true that, in the same manner as his
colleagues of the period, he was frequently totally careless of the
means employed so long as the end was achieved. Nevertheless, he was in
many respects an ideal leader, and his vigorous personality kept in
check both the ambitions of the Spanish cliques and the dissatisfaction
of the less friendly Indians.

Irala was destined to undergo many vicissitudes in the course of his
Governorship. Very soon after he had been elected to this post it was
his fate to be superseded for a while. Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca,
having obtained the appointment in Spain itself, came out by Royal
Licence to govern the new province of which Asuncion was the capital.
Cabeza de Vaca was essentially a humanitarian Governor, who proved
himself extremely loth to employ coercion and the sword, which means, in
fact, he only resorted to with extreme reluctance as a very last
resource. His courage and determination were evidenced by his overland
journey; for, instead of sailing up the great river system from the
mouth of the River Plate, he brought his expedition overland from Santa
Catalina in Brazil, advancing safely through the numerous tribes and
difficult country which intervened between the coast and Asuncion.

The temperament of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, however, was of too
refined and trusting an order to deal with the turbulent and somewhat
treacherous elements which abounded at Asuncion. After a while a revolt
occurred, brought about probably by the Governor's objection to the
wholesale plundering and enslavement of the Indians by the Spaniards.
The populace turned strongly against the Governor. Cabeza de Vaca was
flung into prison, and sent a prisoner to Spain, after which drastic
procedure Irala was once again elected Governor by the colonists.
Doubtless Cabeza de Vaca possesses the chief claim to sympathy of all
those who had to do with Paraguay at this early period of its existence;
yet at the same time it is impossible to refrain from admiration of the
sheer determination and willpower with which Irala pursued his career.

For years Irala's position remained utterly precarious. He was the
chosen of the colonists, but not of the Court of Spain, which alone
possessed any legal right to appoint a person to so high an office as
his. No exalted personages were more jealous of their privileges than
these. Several times Irala was on the point of losing his Governorship,
but on each occasion the measures he adopted, aided by good fortune,
tided him over the crisis, and left him continuing in the seat of
authority. In the end, after undergoing innumerable anxieties, Irala at
last succeeded in obtaining the Royal Licence for the Governorship of
Paraguay.

All the while his energy continued undiminished, and it was due to him
that the colonization of the country made such rapid strides. The means
by which this end was effected were, from the modern point of view,
entirely dubious, for it was Irala who instituted in Paraguay
_encomiendas_, or slave settlements, into which the natives of the
country were congregated in order that their labour might be employed in
agriculture and similar occupations. This, however, was the ordinary
procedure of the period, and, as historians have already pointed out,
Irala's faults, although serious enough, were really nothing beyond
those of his age. In any case, his name stands as that of one of the
most powerful of the _conquistadores_. During the later years of his
office a comparatively undisturbed era obtained, and he held the reins
of the Paraguayan Government with a firm hand till his death, which
occurred at the age of seventy-one.

On Irala's death, it was only natural that those elements of discord and
jealousy which his strong personality had kept in check should break
out, and cause no little confusion and strife. For a while the
Governorship of Paraguay was sought by many, and the conflicting claims
led to numerous disputes, and even occasional armed collisions. One of
the most notable of the Governors who succeeded Irala was Juan de Garay.
It was this _conquistador_ who was responsible for the second and
permanent founding of the city of Buenos Aires. Garay was a far-seeing
man, who, having established a number of urban centres inland, saw
clearly the importance of a settlement at which vessels from Europe
could touch on their first arrival at the Continent.

So the stream of white men, having been in the first instance swept by
the force of circumstances rather than its own desire from the coast in
a north-westerly direction, began now to roll back towards the coast
once again, without, however, yielding up any of the territories which
it had occupied in the interior.

In 1580 Juan de Garay determined that the supreme effort should be made.
He led an expedition down the stream, and on the spot where Pedro de
Mendoza had founded his first ill-fated settlement he built the pioneer
structures of the second town of Buenos Aires. The wisdom of this move
was evident to all, provided the place were able to withstand the
attacks of the surrounding Indians. In this the garrison succeeded, and
Buenos Aires, having now taken firm root, began the first slow growth
of its development, which eventually made of it the greatest city in
South America.

In the meantime much had been effected towards the colonization of the
land to the west of the Andes. As has been related, Almagro's
unfortunate expedition returned, dejected and diminished in numbers,
from the apparently inhospitable soil in the south. This disaster lent
to Chile an unenviable but entirely undeserved notoriety. Pedro de
Valdivia was the next to venture into these regions. Valdivia naturally
enjoyed several advantages over his predecessor, for he knew now, by the
other's experiences, the dangers and perils against which he had to
guard. In consequence of this his expedition met with considerably more
success than had been anticipated. Marching southward across the great
Atacama Desert, he penetrated to the fertile regions of the land, and
founded the town of Santiago.

All this was not effected without encountering the hostility of the
local Indians, and the inhabitants of the new town carried their lives
in their hands for a considerable while after the foundation of the
city. Perhaps, indeed, no pioneers experienced greater hardships than
did those of Chile. For the first few years of its existence every
member of the new colony became accustomed to live in an unceasing
condition of short rations, and it was on very poorly furnished stomachs
that the garrison was obliged to meet and to repel the attacks of the
natives. In the end, however, the seeds which had been brought by the
adventurers took root and grew. Provisions became fairly abundant, and
the settlements in the neighbourhood of Santiago were now firmly
established.

Valdivia, determined to extend his frontiers, marched to the south. It
was in the neighbourhood of the Biobio River that he first encountered
the Araucanian warriors of the true stock. Here his forces met with a
rude awakening. In discipline and fighting merit the companies of the
Araucanians stood to the remaining tribes of South America in the same
relation as did the Zulu regiments to the other fighting-men of Africa.
A furious struggle began which was destined to last for generations and
for centuries. But at no time were the fierce Araucanians subdued,
although it fell to their lot to be defeated over and over again, as,
indeed, proved the fate of the Spaniards likewise.

Some notion of the tremendous vigour with which these wars of the south
were waged may be gathered from "La Araucana," the magnificent epic
written by Ercilla, the Spanish poet, who composed his verses hot from
the fight, his arms still weary from wielding the sword.

One of the first of the notable Spanish victims in the course of these
wars was Valdivia himself. Attacked by furious hordes of Araucanians and
overwhelmed, the intrepid European and his army perished to a man; while
the Araucanians in triumph swept northwards, to be hurled to the south
again by the next wave of battle which chanced to turn in favour of the
Spaniards.



CHAPTER VIII

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE SOUTH AMERICAN COLONIES


Having now definitely obtained possession of the enormous territories of
South America, it was equally the policy of both Spain and Portugal to
retain the enjoyment of the new lands and of their produce for
themselves alone. In order to effect this, stringent laws were laid down
from the very inception of the colonization of the Continent. In a
nutshell, they amounted to this: none but Spaniards might trade with the
Spanish possessions of South America, and none but Portuguese with the
Colony of Brazil. In the case of the latter country the regulations were
by no means so strictly carried out as in the former. One of the chief
reasons for this, no doubt, was the old-standing and traditional
friendship existing between Portugal and England. With so many interests
in common, and such strong sentimental bonds uniting the pair in Europe,
it was difficult to shut out the English commerce altogether from
Brazil.

In the Spanish colonies the enactments of the Court of Spain were far
more rigorously carried out. Here, since the laws were so strict, the
rewards for their breaking were naturally all the greater. Tempted by
the magnitude of these latter, a great number of the officials made a
lucrative profession of giving clandestine assistance to foreign
commerce in direct contravention of the regulations laid down.

It is rather curious to remark that at the very height of her colonial
commerce, when the riches of South America were pouring at the greatest
rate into her coffers, how little actual wealth was accumulated by the
Mother Country. Indeed, a monumental proof of the inefficiency of her
organization is that, although she bled the filial nations with an
almost incredible enthusiasm, Spain remained in debt. The influx of gold
from her colonies demoralized and ruined such industries as she had
possessed, and such goods as she sent out to South America and elsewhere
were now almost devoid of any proportion of her own manufactures. The
merchandise which she sent to the New World she purchased from other
countries, principally from Great Britain, and the English merchants saw
to it that their profit was no small one. Thus Spain at this period,
from a mercantile point of view, was very reluctantly serving as a
general benefactor to Europe.

All this, of course, was in spite of most extraordinary efforts to
effect the contrary. As early as 1503 the Casa de Contratacion de las
Indias had been established in Spain. This institution was practically
the governing body of the colonies. It possessed numerous commercial
privileges, since it held the monopoly of the colonial trade. These
privileges were continued until as late as 1790.

The Casa de Contratacion, although in many respects a purely mercantile
body, was endowed with special powers. So wide was its authority that to
be associated with this body was wont to prove of enormous financial
benefit. Thus, it was entitled to make its own laws, and it was
specially enacted by Royal Decree that these were to be obeyed by all
Spanish subjects as implicitly as any others of the nation.

So far as the commercial world was concerned, the powers of the Casa de
Contratacion were sheerly autocratic. The institution, in fact, held the
fortunes of all the colonials in its hand. It possessed, in the first
place, the privilege of naming the price which the inhabitants of the
New World should pay for the manufactured goods of the Old. In addition
to this, it lay within its domain to arrange the rates at which the
produce sent from the colonies was to be sold in the Spanish markets.
From this it will be evident that, commercially speaking, its powers
were feudal.

It was inevitable that frequent evils should have sprung from the
inauguration of a system such as this. It became almost a religion to
every Spanish official and trader to batten upon the unfortunate
colonial, quite regardless of the fact that the pioneer settler was
being strangled during the process. Since the hapless dweller in South
America was not allowed to bargain or haggle, and was forced to take
whatever was graciously sent out to him at a rate condescendingly fixed,
it frequently happened that this latter was five or ten times the
legitimate price.

The disadvantages endured by the humble oversea strugglers, however, did
not end here, for their own produce received the coldest of financial
greetings in Europe, and the prices realized from these frequently left
the agriculturalists in despairing wonder as to whether it was worth
while to continue with their various industries. Added to all these were
further regulations which proved both irksome and costly to the men of
the south. Twice a year the Casa de Contratacion sent out a formidable
fleet from Cadiz, escorted by men-of-war. It was this fleet which
carried the articles of which the colonials were in urgent need. Now,
the main settlements of the Spanish merchants and officials, as
distinguished from the colonial, were in Panama and the north, and it
was largely in order to benefit these privileged beings that the
ridiculous regulations were brought into force which made the fleet of
galleons touch at the Isthmus of Panama alone. By this means it was
insured that these goods should pass through the commercial
head-quarters, and leave a purely artificial profit to the Spaniards
concerned, instead of being sent direct to the various ports with which
the coasts of the Continent were now provided.

[Illustration: BARTOLOMÉ DE LAS CASAS.

"The Apostle of the Indies," who took up the cause of the much afflicted
natives of South America.

_From the portrait in the Bibliothèque Nationale._

_A. Rischgitz._]

In these circumstances it was necessary for colonial merchants and
traders from all parts of South America to journey to this far northern
corner in order to carry out their negotiations, and to attend to the
fresh transport of the wares. The hardships and the added cost brought
about by regulations such as these may be imagined, and, as was only to
be expected, a system such as this recoiled upon the heads of those who
were responsible for its adoption.

Occasionally circumstances arose in connection with these official
fleets which bore with almost equal hardship upon Spaniard and colonial
alike. Thus, when the English, Dutch, and French buccaneers took to
harassing the South American coast in earnest, there were periods when
the galleons of the Indies were kept within their harbour for a year and
more. Then the Spaniards went perforce without the South American gold,
and the colonial's life was shorn of the few comforts which the wildly
expensive imported articles had been wont to bring.

The home authorities invariably appeared loth to take into account the
possibility of human enterprise. It was not likely that the colonials
would submit tamely to such tremendous deprivations as those intended by
Spain. Foreign traders, moreover, notwithstanding the ban and actual
danger under which they worked, were keenly alive to the situation, and
to the chances of effecting transactions in a Continent where so
handsome a profit was attached to all commerce. The result was the
inception of smuggling on a scale which soon grew vast, and which ended
in involving officials of almost all ranks. The Governors of the various
districts themselves were usually found perfectly willing to stand
sponsors for all efforts of the kind, and, viewing the matter from the
modern point of view, they are scarcely to be blamed for their
complaisant attitude.

Here is a narration written in 1758 of the manner in which these
transactions were carried on. The author, referring to it in an account
of the European settlements in America, asserts that the state of
affairs was one likely to prove extremely difficult to end--

     "While it is so profitable to the British merchant, and while the
     Spanish officers from the highest to the lowest show so great a
     respect to presents properly made. The trade is carried on in this
     manner: The ship from Jamaica, having taken in negroes and a proper
     sortement of goods there, proceeds in time to the place of a
     harbour called the Groute within the Monkey-key, about four miles
     from Porto-Bello, and a person who understands Spanish is directly
     sent ashore to give the merchants of the town notice of the arrival
     of the vessel. The same news is carried likewise with great speed
     to Panama, from whence the merchants set out disguised like
     peasants, with their silver in jars covered with meal to deceive
     the officers of the revenue.... There is no trade more profitable
     than this, for their payments are made in ready money, and the
     goods sell higher than they would at any other market. It is not on
     this coast alone, but everywhere upon the Spanish Main, that this
     trade is carried on; nor is it by the English alone, but by the
     French from Hispaniola, and the Dutch from Curassoo, and even the
     Danes have some share in it. When the Spanish Guardacostas seize
     upon one of these vessels, they make no scruple of confiscating the
     cargo and of treating the crew in a manner little better than
     pirates."

From all this, the shortcomings of the Spanish attempts at a protective
system are sufficiently evident.

In view of the hostile reception extended to them in all parts of the
Continent by the Spanish officials, it was only to be expected that
foreigners, whenever they had the opportunity, should have rendered a
whole-hearted assistance to this business of smuggling. Moreover, since
there was seldom peace between the Portuguese and the Spaniards, the
former were only too glad to foster this trade, and thus defeat the
object of the Spanish authorities, and incidentally line their own
pockets. It was all the more difficult for the Spanish Colonial
Government to maintain a consistent attitude when the introduction of
the slaves, on whom the welfare of so many districts depended, was in
the hands of foreigners.

This state of affairs applied in a far lesser degree to Brazil, since
that country was frequently able to obtain its human consignments in
Portuguese vessels from its fellow-colony of Portuguese West Africa. The
Spaniards, on the other hand, were dependent upon other nations for the
importation of their slaves, and they were from time to time accustomed
to grant special licences for this purpose. It was the reverse of likely
that men of a temperament which urged them to raid the African shores in
search of their human quarry, and to sail their black cargoes through
the tropics, would abstain from making the fullest and most general use
of an opportunity thus offered, as the Spanish officials invariably
found was the case to their cost, and occasionally, as has been said, to
their profit!

The rivalry which characterized the relations between Spain and Portugal
did not fail to be carried across the ocean, nor, when transferred to
the colonies of either nation, did the mutual jealousies grow less
bitter. Indeed, scarcely had the colonization of Brazil and of the
Spanish territories commenced in earnest when the struggle between the
two nationalities began.

The area of the strife, fortunately, was confined. The enormous
territories of tropical Brazil forbade anything in the nature of
thorough exploration on the part of the few and slender bands of the
pioneers, to say nothing of any attempt at expansion. It was in the
south, where the narrow strip of Brazil projected itself downwards into
the temperate latitudes, that the desire for aggrandizement raged. The
Portuguese considered that the natural southern frontier of their great
colony was the River Plate. The Spaniards, having already possession of
the northern bank, fiercely resented any such pretension, with the
result that the Banda Oriental, by which name the Republic of Uruguay is
still locally known, as well as the southern part of the Province of
Paraguay, became the scene of many battles. It may be said that the
warfare between the two nations continued here, with but rare and short
peaceful interludes, for centuries.

The fortified town of Colonia, on the north bank of the Uruguay River,
represented one of the chief bones of contention. Its possession
constituted a strategic advantage of no small importance, and Spanish
and Portuguese flags waved alternately over its shattered ramparts. The
situation was accentuated by the characteristics of the inhabitants of
the Portuguese city of São Paolo. These people, who lived in the town
loftily placed upon its rock, had acquired for themselves, almost from
the inception of the colony, a somewhat sinister and reckless
reputation. The Portuguese and half-breeds here, their vigour unimpaired
by a temperate and bracing climate, would sally out to the west and to
the south on slave-raiding expeditions, which they conducted with
extraordinary ferocity and enterprise. Matters of boundaries and
frontiers possessed no interest whatever for these Paolistas or
Mamelucos, by which latter name the swashbuckling members of this
community were better known.

[Illustration: FRANCISCO PIZARRO.

The Conqueror of Peru.

_From an engraving after the original portrait in the Palace of the
Viceroys at Lima._

_A. Rischgitz._]

In the first instance, these forays were responsible for comparatively
little friction, since the number of Indians near at hand was as
plentiful as the neighbouring white men were rare. When the nearer land
became depopulated, however, it began to be necessary to extend the
expeditions farther afield from São Paolo, and it was then that the
Mamelucos came into contact with the growing numbers of the Spanish
settlers, and with the Indians who now resided beneath the protection of
the Spanish power. When the Jesuit missionaries arrived in Northern
Uruguay and in Southern Paraguay their advent had the effect of
embittering the feud between the frontiersmen; for the Jesuits, forming
the Indians into companies of their own, withdrew them still farther
from the onslaughts of the Paolistas. These latter determined at all
costs to capture and to drive back their gangs of slaves, became more
and more emboldened, and pushed forward to the south and west well into
the Spanish territories, harrying the missionary settlements, and laying
waste the countryside.

For years the Guaraní Indians, unarmed, were helpless in the face of
such attacks. Eventually, however, the influence of the Jesuits obtained
permission from the Court of Spain for these latter to be provided with
firearms, and after this the Indian regiments, trained and disciplined,
offered such effective resistance to the Mamelucos that these were
forced to cease their slave-raids.

In 1574, when the importation into Brazil of negro slaves from West
Africa had become a regular affair, the demand for slaves on the part of
the Paolistas naturally became less active. Even with this item of
discord removed, such intervals of peace as were patched up between the
rival Powers were of short duration. The fertile and temperate lands to
the north of the River Plate still remained in dispute, and although the
Spaniards succeeded in retaining the possession of the bulk of these,
there were times when the Portuguese penetrated as far as the waters of
the great river, and in the end they managed to detach several of the
most northerly districts from Spanish control, and in adding these to
their own colonies.

It was consistent with the curious irony of fate which seemed to direct
the operations of the Continent at that period, that while the
Portuguese and Spaniards, actual lords of the soil, were at daggers
drawn, the foreign seawolves, who had been gathering together, surveying
with longing eyes the fold of riches so rigorously banned from them,
were now making preparations for active aggression. But the history of
the expeditions on the part of these formidable rovers is worthy of more
than one chapter to itself.



CHAPTER IX

FOREIGN RAIDS ON THE SPANISH COLONIES


Had the laws of the Indies been differently framed, there is no doubt
that the hardy sailors and reckless buccaneers who plundered these
coasts would have had no existence, and that South America would have
remained unprovided with much of its grim romance. As it was, Spain, by
her imperious policy of "hands off," had flung a challenge to every
adventurer of the other nations throughout Europe.

During the earliest periods of its colonization the reports from the New
World were naturally somewhat nebulous in character, and the Spanish
authorities themselves saw to it that as little authentic news as
possible should be allowed to filter beyond their own frontiers. This
policy succeeded for a while in restraining the undesired enterprise of
the rival peoples who were, so far as South America was concerned,
groping in the dark. This phase was naturally only fleeting. At the
first evidence of a desire on the part of the other nations to
participate in the benefits accruing from South America, the Spanish
Court thundered forth threats and edicts.

Thus on December 15, 1558, King Philip II. decreed that any foreign
person who should traffic with Spanish America should be punished by
death and confiscation of property. The edict was emphatic and stern,
and contained a clause which deprived the Royal Audiences in Spanish
America of any powers of dispensation in the execution of these
penalties:

     "If anyone shall disobey this law, whatever his state or condition,
     his life is forfeit, and his goods shall be divided in three parts,
     of which one shall go to our Royal Treasure, one to the judge, and
     one to the informer."

It is, of course, notorious that the distance which separated the
colonies from the motherland prevented the enforcing of many laws,
whether good or bad, and that the Spanish-American local
expression--"The law is obeyed but not carried out"--was common to
nearly every district. At the same time, the mischief caused by decrees
such as these may readily be imagined. A rich bribe to an informer was
in itself an incentive to the stirring up of mischief where frequently
none was intended. Such official bribes as these, however, were wont to
be more than counteracted by the private inducements held out by many of
the foreign adventurers and traders themselves, and after a while a
great number of the officials found it very much to their profit not
only to wink at the wholesale commerce and smuggling that was being
carried on, but even actively to promote it and to participate in its
benefits.

This method of keeping Spanish America as the close property of the
Crown was one which grew more and more difficult to preserve as time
went on. In the first place the authorities had merely to cope with the
foreign seamen and the fleets of adventurous traders who were
determined, at all costs, to win their share of financial profit from
these golden shores. After a while, with the growing population of the
Continent, a new situation asserted itself, and the influence of the
colonists themselves had to be considered.

[Illustration: SECTIONS OF A SLAVE SHIP.

Typical of the small vessels employed in taking African slaves to South
America. The hundreds of negroes were packed between decks in the
incredible fashion shown in the sectional views.]

In order that the full financial profit, as it was then understood, of
the colonies should continue to be passed on to Spain, it was essential
that the colonists should continue a negligible factor. The permanence
of this state of affairs could only be affected in one way: it was
necessary that no equipment such as would provide independence of
thought or action should be allowed to be at their service. Books, of
course, were considered as one of the most mischievous potential engines
of the kind. The Spaniards determined that none of the learning of their
country should pass into the colonies. A certain number of volumes were
permitted to cross the sea, it is true, but these were of the species
that might be readily understood by a child of a few summers, and were
ridiculously inadequate to the most ordinary intellect of adults in
civilized regions. These themselves were subjected first of all to a
close inspection on the part of the Inquisition in Spain. After this
they had to pass the Board of Censors appointed by the Council of the
Indies. Even here the precautions did not end, for on their arrival in
the colony they were once again inspected as a safeguard, lest any
secular matter or work of fiction should by any chance be overlooked and
suffered to remain.

In short, the policy by which the motherland endeavoured to retain for
her own benefit the riches of her colonies was undoubtedly one of the
most benighted ever conceived by a European nation. It amounted to
nothing less than a consistent checking and deadening of the
intelligence of her sons oversea in order that their atrophied senses
should fail to detect the true manner in which they were being shorn of
their property and privileges.

On the other hand, in conformity with the same theory, superstition was
encouraged to an extraordinary degree. The Royal Seal, when it arrived
from Spain, was greeted as though it were a symbol of Deity, and the
royal audience would chant an oath to obey it as implicitly as though
it were a command of God. Every conceivable care was taken to foster
this frame of mind throughout the colonies, and, since the intellectual
occupations were religiously kept to themselves by the officials, it is
not astonishing to find how far this method succeeded, and for how long
it continued. Thus, even as late as 1809, when a portrait of King
Ferdinand arrived at Coquimbo, the oil-painting was received with the
honours accorded to a symbol of Deity. A special road was made for it
from Coquimbo to La Serena, the capital of the province. This task
occupied many days. Volunteer citizens filled up the holes, made wooden
culverts, and, in fact, acted as enthusiastic road repairers, in order
that the portrait might suffer no discomfort. When it was judged that
the highway was sufficiently repaired, the portrait set out upon its
astonishing journey. It was surrounded by cushions and placed in a
flower-filled carriage. The inhabitants kneeled as the picture passed,
and when it had been placed in the cathedral, salvos of artillery
sounded, and the people shouted in delirious joy. The occasion,
moreover, was marked by a fête which lasted three days.

All this, however, is anticipating by some centuries the period under
review. In the first instance, largely owing to the ignorance concerning
the New World which prevailed in other parts of Europe--which ignorance
had been greatly fostered by Spain--the Spaniards succeeded in retaining
the undisputed possession of their portion of the Continent for nearly
three-quarters of a century. Then came the first of the maritime
swallows, which made many dismal summers for the Court of Spain. In 1565
Drake voyaged to the Guianas on the Spanish Main. He was followed by
Hawkins, Raleigh, and a host of others, including the Dutch navigators.

These hardy seamen, it must be said, had in the first instance proceeded
to the Continent with the idea of engaging in legitimate trade. In
justice to the many desperate acts which the majority subsequently
committed, it must be remembered that in the case of the early
collisions, they only let loose their guns when they found themselves
attacked by the Spanish authorities in the distant ports, or intercepted
on the high seas by the guardian fleets of Spain.

An experience or two of the kind sufficed to rouse the hot blood of the
seamen. Knowing now that they were braving the anger of the King of
Spain, they determined to continue in this undaunted, even, if
necessary, "to synge his bearde," as, indeed, was accomplished on one
notable occasion. So they continued their voyages to these ostensibly
closed coasts of South America and the general run of the territories
known at the time as the West Indies. Frequently they found riches in
the venture, sometimes disaster and death. The former proved an
incentive to these breathless voyages, with which no dread of the latter
fate could interfere.

It would be as well to refer briefly to the careers in South America of
a certain number of the most notable of these early adventurers. One of
the first was Sir John Hawkins, who set out in 1562 with three ships:
the _Salomon_, the _Swallow_, and the _Jonas_. Having touched at
Teneriffe, he then landed at Sierra Leone, "where by the sworde and
other means" he obtained some 300 negroes. He shaped his course to the
west, and sailed with his cargo to the Spanish Indies.

Notwithstanding the stern official prohibitions, Hawkins succeeded in
trading with the residents at Port Isabella, in Hispaniola, and the tall
sides of his vessels, empty now of their dark human freight, soon held
an important cargo of hides, ginger, sugar, and pearls. So successful
was he, indeed, that he added two more ships to his flotilla and sent
them to Spain. This daring procedure was intended as something in the
light of a challenge and of a proof of his good faith in his right to
barter in Spanish South America--a right, he claimed, which was ratified
by an old treaty between Henry VII. and the Archduke Philip of Spain.

The Spanish officials, doubtless open-mouthed at this somewhat subtle
and startling confidence of Hawkins, promptly confiscated the vessels by
way of definitely proving it ill-founded. Notwithstanding this, Hawkins
was more than satisfied with the cargo brought home by his three
original ships, and two years later he set out again, accompanied by the
Earl of Pembroke and the Earl of Leicester, with a larger fleet than
before.

On this occasion he again visited Africa, collected a cargo of slaves,
and endeavoured to trade with the Spaniards, more especially in
Venezuela. This time the expedition found the authorities, warned by
threatening prohibitions from Europe, in a less enterprising mood.
Hawkins, persisting in the attempt, succeeded in bartering a certain
number of slaves for hides, gold, silver, pearls, and other commodities.
After a while the Spanish officers attempted to interfere and to put a
stop altogether to the traffic, on which Hawkins, ever a friend to free
trade, gathered his men together and marched down to the market-place,
incidentally firing off guns, which procedure destroyed the last
scruples of the inhabitants, and an important exchange and barter now
took place. Thus the triumphant Hawkins returned with a second valuable
cargo to England.

In 1567 Hawkins was accompanied on his next voyage by his young cousin,
Francis Drake. The incidents of this voyage strongly resemble those of
the previous ones. Negroes were collected in West Africa, and were
disposed of in Spanish America, notwithstanding the protest, whether
genuine or simulated, of the officials. The ending of the voyage,
however, was destined to introduce a tragic note. On the way home the
small English expedition fell in at the Port San Juan de Ulloa with a
great Spanish fleet. In the first instance the mutual overtures were
friendly, and hostages were exchanged on both sides. In the end,
however, the English force was, without warning, attacked by the
Spaniards as they lay at anchor. The majority of the men who had gone on
shore were slain, and those who remained on the ships were assailed by
overwhelming numbers. After a strenuous tussle with the Spaniards, Drake
in the _Judith_, followed some time afterwards by Hawkins in the
_Minion_, got away. The condition of Hawkins's crew, unprepared as was
this ship for the voyage, was pitiful. A lengthy spell of contrary winds
served to accentuate the terrible dearth of provisions which prevailed.
The following is a contemporary account of some of the incidents. The
vessel had wandered about the ocean

     "tyll hunger inforced us to seek the lands for birdes were thought
     very good meate, rattes, cattes, mise and dogges, none escaped that
     might be gotten, parrates and monkayes that we had in great prise
     were thought then very profitable if they served the tourne one
     dinner."

The return home in this instance was truly a sorry one, for the
survivors had left not only gold behind them, but the corpses of so many
brave comrades.

On the whole, the exploits of Hawkins were considerably overshadowed by
those of his young relative, Sir Francis Drake, who had begun to
adventure on his own account in 1570, and who haunted the Spanish
Indies, determined to avenge the treatment he and his comrades had
received at San Juan de Ulloa. He ransacked Nombre de Dios and
Cartagena, explored the Gulf of Darien, made friends with the Indians
who inhabited the place, and captured many Spanish merchantmen,
repulsing the attacks of the Spanish men-of-war.

Drake now crossed the Isthmus of Panama, and--the first foreigner to
accomplish the feat--set eyes on the Pacific Ocean, in which he swore to
cruise before he had finished his career. Here, moreover, having failed
to capture one royal treasure convoy, his good fortune led him to meet
with a second, and the gold and silver borne by the laden mules became
the property of himself and his men.

Drake started out on his next voyage in 1577, and fulfilled his purpose
of breasting the waters of the Pacific; for, after various adventures on
the east coast of the Continent, he sailed through the Straits of
Magellan, and found himself in the ocean that, until then, had been
traversed by Spanish vessels alone. His arrival came as a bolt from the
blue to the Spaniards, who had not dreamed of the possibility of the
invasion of the Pacific, the waters of which they had grown to consider
as sacred to themselves. The alarm spread like wild-fire along the whole
length of that great coast. All the while Drake cruised up and down,
capturing and destroying wherever he might. Indeed, of all the
adventurers of this period, Drake was the one whose name conveyed the
greatest terror to the Spanish colonists. This was evident in all parts
of the Continent. Thus the impetuosity of his attacks and incursions in
the neighbourhood of the Guianas and Venezuela was sufficient utterly to
startle and dismay the unfortunate Spaniards.

[Illustration: THE STRAITS OF MAGELLAN.]

The taking of Caracas in 1595 showed him as not only an able leader,
but as an extraordinarily gifted tactician. It was in the course of this
attack, by the way, that the fine old hidalgo, Alonso Andrea de Ledesma,
mounted his horse, and, shield on arm, lance in rest, charged full tilt
single handed against the English force, who would have spared him had
he permitted it. But his onslaught was too impetuous for that. All the
invaders could do for the gallant old knight was to give him an
honourable and reverent burial.

After a while, Queen Elizabeth herself now lending open support to the
adventurers, Drake's expeditions became more and more daring, and, until
he died of fever at Porto Bello, his personality was one which gave
sleepless nights from time to time to responsible persons on the coasts
of the great Continent.

The name of Raleigh, "poet, statesman, courtier, schemer, patriot,
soldier, freebooter, discoverer, colonist, castle-builder, historian,
philosopher, chemist, prisoner, and visionary," is, of course, from the
romantic point of view, principally associated with El Dorado, and his
quest of the magic and imaginary land of gold. It was for this reason
that Raleigh's dealings with the Spaniards in South America were more
circumscribed than those of many of his colleagues. Led to the belief,
both by his own fanciful convictions and by the legends brought him by
the Indians, he had conceived El Dorado as situated somewhere in the
Guianas, and thus his operations were chiefly confined to this part of
the world and to the neighbourhood of the Orinoco River.

Raleigh's quest, on paper, certainly sounds one of the most fascinating
and entrancing of those undertaken in the great Continent. That which
the average reader hears of less are the fevers, noxious insects, heat,
and the general climatic hardships and perils involved in one of the
most tropical of all countries, to say nothing of the brushes with the
Spaniards; for Raleigh, courtier, poet, and philosopher though he was,
was no more gentle in his dealing with his enemies than any other
freebooter of his period.

[Illustration: OLINDA DE PERNAMBUCO, NOW PERNAMBUCO.

Attacked by Dutch war vessels.]

In the end Raleigh returned from the Orinoco laden with no gold, but
with heavy tales of the countless booty which he had failed to obtain,
and in the existence of which he implicitly believed, as his spirited
defence against the charges of his disappointed critics and would-be
profit-sharers proves.

Once again, after many years, and after he had endured many wrongs,
hardships, and imprisonment in England, Raleigh succeeded in 1617 in
making his way to Guiana. His health had now become shattered, and he
found himself unable to explore the Orinoco River in person, with the
result that the absence of his powerful and charming personality, which
had effected so much in these regions in the past, was much felt, to the
disadvantage of the expedition. A portion of his forces made its way
inland; but it was attacked by the Spaniards, and young Walter Raleigh,
the only son of the explorer, was slain. On this occasion the party
actually discovered four gold refineries. Spain, however, had increased
the strength of her position in this neighbourhood enormously, and the
expedition failed.

Raleigh, broken-hearted at the death of his son, returned to England. He
had procured no gold; all that he had won for himself was the enmity of
Spain, which, in the end, through the instrumentality of King James I.,
cost him his head. So much for some of the most important of the early
English adventurers in the seas which the Spaniards claimed as their
own.

To refer to the whole company of notable buccaneers in detail is
impossible, although so many others, from Cavendish to Sharpe, Davis,
Knight, and the rest, are worthy of note. There were, moreover, the
Dutch freebooters, such as Van Noorte, de Werte, Spilsbergen, and
others, as Jaques l'Ermite, François l'Ollonais, and Bartolomew
Portugues, who ransacked and burned every town which failed to resist
their fierce onslaughts, from the Gulf of Darien in the north all round
the coast to the Pacific Ocean on the west.



CHAPTER X

FOREIGN RAIDS ON PORTUGUESE COLONIES


The rivalry which had existed between the Portuguese and the French in
the early days of Brazilian colonization has already been referred to.
With this exception, the first era of the Colony of Brazil was
comparatively peaceful--that is to say, the Portuguese, proving
themselves of a more liberal temperament than the Spaniards, did not
suffer from the fierce aggressions of the English and the Dutch to the
same extent as did their Castilian neighbours. In 1580, however, the
situation altered itself abruptly--in a most unpleasant fashion so far
as the Portuguese were concerned.

In that year Portugal became subject to Spain, and thus the Portuguese
Colonies were now controlled by Spain. As a result of this Brazil had to
undergo the enmity of the English and the Dutch in addition to that of
the French. This latter was now of comparatively old standing. The
forays and raids of the French had, indeed, continued almost without
cessation, Pernambuco and Paraiba being two of the chief spots attacked.
In many of these incursions the French were assisted by the natives,
with many tribes of whom they had succeeded in establishing good
relations. In the course of time, however, it became evident that the
French, like the British, were to be feared in these neighbourhoods
rather on account of their raids than for the danger of a permanent
settlement.

Until 1580 several English expeditions had proceeded to Brazil, and had
succeeded in trafficking with the Portuguese in complete amity. One or
two of the English are even said to have established themselves near
Bahia in the quite early days of the colony, and to have lived on good
terms with the Iberian lords of the soil. Afterwards, through the
instigation of the European officials, this cordiality became lessened,
and in 1580, as has been said, the nations proceeded to open warfare in
South America.

In 1582 Edward Fenton visited the coast of Brazil, and was attacked by a
Spanish squadron. One of the latter vessels was sunk, and a decided
victory was obtained by Fenton, who, after this, put out to sea. This
was the first hostile action undertaken by the English on the Brazilian
coast.

In 1591 Cavendish came to raid the various settlements. He ravaged many
places, and eventually came to Espiritu Santo, where he landed a force,
which, through bad generalship, was much cut up by the defenders of the
place. Cavendish after this left the coast, and died on the way home to
England--some say of a broken heart.

In 1595 James Lancaster's expedition arrived off Brazil. Lancaster had
been brought up among the Portuguese in Europe. He understood their
temperament, and was thus especially well equipped to command an
enterprise such as this. After taking a number of prizes on the high
seas, he fell in with another expedition commanded by Captain Venner,
and the two forces united, Lancaster remaining in chief command. The
English fleet now sailed for Recife. In this port they discovered three
large Dutch ships, which permitted them to attack the port without
interference. Lancaster, who displayed admirable generalship, landed his
forces. These surrounded and captured Recife, and the English found
themselves masters of a large amount of booty. Lancaster, who was a
tactician as well as a fighter, now made terms with the Dutch, and
offered them freight to take to England on terms which caused the Dutch
ships to abandon their attitude of benevolent neutrality in favour of an
active alliance.

Shortly afterwards a squadron of five vessels hove in sight; these
proved to be French. By presenting them with a gift of Brazil wood,
Lancaster won these to his cause as well. So now a fleet of three
nations--English, Dutch, and French--were simultaneously occupied in
plundering Recife. Against this force the Portuguese could do little.
Fire-ships and blazing rafts were sent down the river by the garrison
who had taken refuge inland; but these attempts were frustrated, and,
after some few weeks spent at Recife, Lancaster sailed away with his
rich plunder, and the gathering of the hawks dispersed. It is worthy of
note that Lancaster exhibited a trait sufficiently rare in his comrades.
He apparently remained content with his booty, and determined to enjoy
it, for he does not appear any more in the character of a buccaneer.

The Dutch now gave serious attention to South America, and a West India
Company was formed in Holland for no other purpose than to capture and
exploit Brazil. The first fleet, commanded by Jacob Willikens, sailed
from Holland in 1623. Both the authorities in the peninsula and Brazil
had received warning of what was threatening, but no adequate steps
would seem to have been taken for the defence of the colonies. The Dutch
fleet anchored off Bahia, where a force was landed, which succeeded in
obtaining possession of the town. The Dutch were welcomed by the
European Jews, who had taken up their abode in that place, and also by
the negroes, both of whom appeared to live in dread of the Inquisition.

The Portuguese themselves, in the first instance, fled to the woods,
under the impression that the raid was merely temporary, and that a day
or two would see their waters free of the marauding bands, and would
restore the sacked town to its rightful owners. When it became evident
that the Dutch were fortifying the town and meant to retain possession
of it for good, the national spirit of the Portuguese proved equal to
the occasion, and Bishop Marcos Teixeira, after assuming the garb of a
penitent, took command of the army, and hoisted the crucifix for his
standard. The Bishop proved an able commander, and the Dutch were
closely invested in Bahia, finding themselves unable to stir outside
their fortifications.

In the meanwhile the news of the capture of the capital of Brazil had
produced a tremendous shock in the peninsula, and the greatest fleet
which had ever sailed south was prepared to assist Bahia. Dom Manoel
Menezes commanded the Portuguese section of the forces, which consisted
of 4,000 men in twenty-six ships, while Fadrique de Toledo commanded the
Spanish fleet of forty sail, which carried 8,000 soldiers.

On March 28, 1625, this formidable array of vessels appeared off Bahia.
The Portuguese colonists had continued to besiege their captured
capital, and the Bishop, who had striven and fought nobly, died, worn
out by too great exertions. At the sight of the Iberian fleet, the
Brazilians made a fresh attack upon the capital with enthusiasm, but the
rash attempt was repulsed with great loss.

Several encounters now took place, and the Dutch sent out fire-ships by
night in the hope of destroying their enemy. The attempt, however,
failed, and in the end the French and English mercenaries in the Dutch
service, becoming tired of the struggle, worked their influence in the
cause of surrender. Shortly after this occurred, a powerful fleet of
Dutch ships, under Baldwin Henrick, came in sight, but on seeing the
Spanish standards flying instead of the Dutch, sailed away to the north.
Had it remained, it would undoubtedly have gained a decisive victory,
since the Iberian forces were in much confusion. The Dutch prisoners
were honourably treated, and in the end returned to Holland, where they
met with a somewhat contemptuous reception on the part of their
fellow-countrymen.

In 1627 the Dutch West India fleet fell in with a Mexican treasure
fleet, captured this in its entirety, and the enormous wealth thus
gained gave great impetus to the enterprises of this kind. The Dutch now
raided the north of the Continent, and in 1629 prepared an important
expedition against Pernambuco. Fifty vessels sailed from Holland for
this purpose. The force landed under the Dutch commander Wardenburg, and
commenced operations in earnest. First the town of Olinda, and then the
neighbouring town of Recife, were captured, after very severe fighting.
It was some while, however, ere the position of the Dutch became secure,
and even the short passage between the twin towns could only be effected
in circumstances of great danger and difficulty, owing to the raids of
the investing Portuguese.

Soon after this the Dutch captured other neighbouring ports, such as
Nazareth and Paraiba. The dominion of Holland in Northern Brazil now
appeared assured. At the same time the counter attacks of the Portuguese
were ceaseless, and the leaders of the Dutch garrisons in South America
made representations to the Netherlands in favour of reinforcements and
a commander of real note. In response, Prince Mauritz, Count of Nassau,
was sent out to take supreme control of the Dutch ventures on Brazilian
soil. A personality more fitted for this particular purpose could
scarcely have been lighted upon. For Prince Mauritz was not only a brave
soldier, but a tactful and chivalrous enemy; indeed, his figure stands
out in glowing colours in this campaign among the woods of the far
southern coast, and the continuance of the Dutch dominion was no doubt
largely due to his individuality. His arrival with nearly 3,000 men
inspired the worn soldiers of Holland with new confidence. Ceará was
captured, and São Jorge da Mina was attacked and taken as well.

In his few moments of leisure Count Mauritz gave his attention to the
improvement of the town of Recife, Olinda being now utterly destroyed,
as a result of the numerous battles of which it had stood as the unhappy
centre. He drained the marshy ground, and planted it with oranges,
lemons, and groves of coconut-trees, thus embellishing the country in
the neighbourhood. Very little leisure was permitted for undertakings of
this kind, for the Portuguese, persevering in their determination to
regain their coastal territories, persisted in their attacks whenever an
opportunity offered. A certain number, whose patriotism was less dear to
them than their purses, consented to traffic with the Dutch, and the
Jews upheld with enthusiasm the interests of the new-comers in this
matter; but the Portuguese, on the whole, remained steadfast to their
ideals, and refused to have any dealings with the intruders.

By this time the Dutch had every right to consider themselves as likely
to remain the permanent possessors of Northern Brazil. The circumstance,
as a matter of fact, which was destined seriously to disturb their
dominion came in the light of a totally unexpected happening. Throughout
the history of South America, when its lands were the colonies of
Spain and Portugal, events in the European Peninsula had nearly always
been echoed in the Southern Continent. The event, of course, which had
so great an influence on the affairs of both Brazil and the Spanish
possessions was the revolt in 1640, when, after her eighty years'
captivity, Portugal freed herself from the Spanish yoke.

[Illustration: FERNÃO DE MAGALHÃES (FERDINAND MAGELLAN).

Who first discovered the passage to the Pacific named after him.]

In the north of the colony the new situation led to a somewhat curious
and paradoxical state of affairs. The Dutch had overrun Northern Brazil
for the sole ostensible reason that it was a possession of Spain. Now
that Portugal had freed herself from Spain, and that Brazil in
consequence was once again a purely Portuguese possession, all reason
for the Dutch occupation of the coast of Brazil was at an end. In Europe
the situation was this: The Dutch and the Spaniards had been for
generations at deadly enmity, while the rivalry between the Portuguese
and the Spaniards had induced a hostility rather less deadly, it is
true, but, nevertheless, sufficiently keen for the purposes of war.
Thus, with the freedom of Holland from Spain, and with the liberation of
Portugal from Spain, the situation of the two, once vassal countries,
was identical. They had an interest in common in preserving themselves
from the rapacity of Spain.

This was all very well in Europe, but in South America matters worked
out very differently in actual practice. The Dutch were now firmly
established in Northern Brazil, having their headquarters at the town of
Recife, or Pernambuco. It was not in human nature to give up the fruits
of their conquest merely because the Portuguese had driven out the
Spanish officials from their territories in Europe. The situation from
the point of view of Holland was simple, and could be put in a nutshell.
The Dutchmen were willing enough to enter into friendly relations with
the Portuguese, but not at the cost of the Brazilian possessions of the
Dutch West Indian Company, which had been especially formed for the
purpose of acquiring these.

Count Mauritz of Nassau had proved himself an able administrator, and it
was now the turn of the Dutch to intrigue where before they had fought
openly. In June, 1641, an agreement was negotiated in Europe between
Portugal and the United States of the Netherlands, which concluded a
truce for ten years. A year was allowed in order to carry this
intelligence to the Dutch commanders in South America and elsewhere. In
order to cement this new friendship, the Dutch further agreed to supply
Portugal with arms and ammunition to aid in the common fight against
Spain.

The Brazilian policy of Holland was, however, quite different from that
proposed in Europe. Instructions were sent to Count Mauritz of Nassau
ordering him to continue in the command, to extend the sphere of the
Dutch dominion, and, if possible, to capture Bahia. These instructions
were largely due to the belief held in Holland that Portugal would be
unable to maintain her independence for any length of time.

When the news of the truce was first brought to Count Mauritz at Recife,
all the outward marks of festivity and great rejoicings were exhibited.
A general fraternization ensued, and the late enemies and temporary
friends regaled each other at various banquets. Thus Paulo da Cunha, the
Brazilian patriot, upon whose outlawed head the Count had put a price of
500 florins (to which da Cunha had retorted by placing a price of 2,000
cruzados upon the Count's), was now invited to feast with Nassau, and
the two entered into an intimate and rather chaffing discussion upon the
respective prices they had put upon each other's heads.

Very shortly, however, the Brazilians found reason to suspect the
sincerity of the Dutch professions of friendship. A Dutch fleet sailed
north, captured São Christovão, and in other places seized a number of
Portuguese vessels. The Portuguese now found themselves in something of
a dilemma, owing to the very fact of the independence they had won.
During the Spanish dominion the ports had been manned by the Spaniards
as well as by the Portuguese. This, of course, was no longer the case.
Bahia, for instance, had now lost a great part of its garrison. The 700
Spaniards and Neapolitans who had served there were honourably treated
by the Portuguese, and were sent on their way to Europe, but were
captured by the Dutch ere they had left the coast.

The Dutch aggression, as a matter of fact, was not confined to South
America. A Dutch force of 2,000 regular troops had entered São Paul de
Loanda, the capital of Angola. The loss of this important Portuguese
possession on the west coast of Africa produced a direct effect on South
America, for it was from here that the Brazilians had imported all their
African slaves. Thus the whole of this traffic passed entirely into the
hands of the Dutch for the time being. Mauritz of Nassau went the length
of suggesting that the territory of Angola should become an appendage of
that of Dutch Brazil, as the two were bound so closely by this traffic!
The Dutch had also captured the Island of St. Thomas. In that place,
however, the climate avenged the Portuguese to the full, and the
mortality among the Dutch from fever in this island was appalling.

The Dutch in Brazil now sent an expedition to the north to obtain
possession of the Province of Maranhão. They captured and plundered the
capital, pillaging churches and ransacking the sugar factories. The
Governor, Maciel, appears to have behaved very badly, and with no
little treachery towards his fellow-countrymen. Nassau, when Maciel
surrendered, treated him with contempt, and imprisoned him. The
situation had now become grimly farcical. In Europe the Dutch were
supplying the Portuguese with arms and stores, and acting in general as
their allies; while in Brazil the two nations were openly at war, and
the Dutch were sending hostile expeditions in all directions!

Just at this period, indeed, the ambition of the Dutch appeared to swell
to the highest point. Count Mauritz determined to push his conquests far
to the south, and had even prepared an expedition for the capture of the
Spanish town of Buenos Aires; but the attempt was frustrated by the
hostility of the Portuguese and Indians nearer home. All this time, of
course, Dutch fleets had been harrying the Pacific coast, and the Dutch
had actually obtained a footing in Southern Chile, although this was not
destined to prove permanent. With the extension of their boundaries,
however, it was but natural that the difficulty of preserving their
dominion should increase.

In Maranhão, freshly conquered as it was, rebellion broke out almost as
soon as the Dutch had established themselves. Desperate fighting took
place in the neighbourhood of the capital, and many barbarities were
committed on both sides. The Dutch Governor, in a fit of exasperation,
delivered twenty-five Portuguese to the savages of Ceará, and sent fifty
to the Barbadoes to be sold as slaves. The English Governor, however,
after he had received these latter on shore, set them at liberty, and
administered a severe reproof to the agent who had offered white men for
sale in this way. Owing to happenings such as these the bitterness
between the two races increased.

In the end Maranhão was regained by the Portuguese, and the Fort of
Ceará itself was surprised by a force of Tapuya Indians and its garrison
massacred. These occurrences were ominous, and the turn of the tide
seemed to have set in. Prince Mauritz of Nassau now sent in his
resignation, and, after leaving everything in a state of complete
preparedness, set out for Europe, accompanied by no fewer than 1,400
persons all told, a force which could ill be spared from Brazil at that
period. Among them were a few Indians who were taken to Holland to
demonstrate to the inhabitants of that country the accomplishments of
their countrymen, and the nature of the new subjects.

Nassau had governed the captured territories in a liberal and
imperialistic spirit, and his personality had been popular to a certain
extent even among the Portuguese. His absence was severely felt, and the
policy of the West India Company, in itself parsimonious and somewhat
petty, undoubtedly suffered much from the want of his presence; for
during the time that he was in power he had restrained the excesses of
his own people, and used no little tact towards the Portuguese. His
rank, moreover, counted not a little in winning their esteem. The new
authorities had not the influence over the soldiery that Prince Mauritz
had enjoyed, and lacked not only experience but judgment.

Shortly after this Dirk van Hoogstraten, a Dutch officer, offered his
services to the Portuguese, and various other symptoms portended a break
up of the organization of the Dutch West India Company. Several attempts
at insurrection took place in the neighbourhood of Recife itself, and
the methods of the Dutch in repressing these became increasingly harsh.
Some of the malcontents were hanged, and in several cases their hands
were lopped off before death.

The Brazilian patriot, João Fernandes, now became very prominent, and
the Dutch in consequence began to be more and more harassed. The woods
in the neighbourhood of the town sheltered numbers of discontented
Portuguese and Indians, who had collected stores and weapons, and had
hidden themselves in the recesses of the forests until the time came for
them to sally out for the attack. Several expeditions sent out by the
Dutch to break up these bands were unsuccessful. The Portuguese either
eluded them, or the Dutch fell into the ambushes prepared for them, and
suffered loss without being able to retaliate.

Every month the Portuguese grew stronger in numbers, and attacks were
now frequent on the Dutch isolated settlements, many of which were
captured and the inhabitants massacred. The Portuguese were determined
to surrender none of the advantages which the nature of the country
offered them, and thus the warfare still remained of a guerilla order,
and upon the sallying out of a formidable Dutch force, the Portuguese,
with their Indian allies, would disperse in the dense forests, and come
together again when the Dutch had concluded their march.

The retaliatory methods of the Dutch served to enrage the Portuguese
beyond all bearing. The Council of the Dutch West India Company issued a
proclamation to the effect that all women and children in the towns,
whose husbands and fathers were rebels, were to be evicted from their
houses and left to fend for themselves. The idea seems to have been that
these people would flock to the insurgents and thus hamper their
movements. The result was that the unfortunate women and children were
exposed to the mercy of the weather and the forests.

João Fernandes had now collected a formidable number of men, and,
posting these about nine leagues to the westward of Recife in a spot of
great strategic advantage, he awaited the Dutch advance. One thousand
five hundred Dutch troops, aided by a number of native auxiliaries, came
on to the attack. Three times they advanced and drove the Portuguese and
their Indian allies some way up the hill on the sides of which they were
posted, but each time the Dutch lost more and more men from the ambushes
in the thick cane-brake which covered the ground. In the end the Dutch
retired, having suffered very severe casualties. It is said that 370 of
their force were found dead upon the field. Beyond this a number died on
the retreat, while many hundreds were wounded. The Portuguese assert
that their army consisted of 1,200 whites, aided by about 100 Indians
and negroes. This fight had very important consequences, since it
enabled the Portuguese forces to arm themselves with the weapons left on
the field by the dead and wounded Dutch.

During all this time the authorities at Bahia had remained quiescent,
since officially no state of war existed, and in the eyes of the
Government the Dutch were supposed merely to be quelling some
revolutionary movements ere they departed for Europe! Now the time came
for this farce to be ended, and the Governor of Bahia sent troops to the
north to join the insurgents in their struggle against the Dutch. The
traitor Hoogstraten now definitely joined these forces, and the whole of
the country south of Recife fell once more into the hands of the
Portuguese. During this period the bitterness between the two armies was
still further accentuated by the massacre of Portuguese by the Tapuya
Indians at Cunhau. This atrocity, as a matter of fact, was perpetrated
on the initiative of the Indians alone, but at the time the
Dutch--unjustly, as it turned out--were blamed for it. This circumstance
induced retaliation, and eventually caused many barbarous acts to be
done on both sides.

After the fortunes of war had fluctuated on various occasions and the
Dutch had alternately been defeated, received reinforcements, and become
temporarily victorious again, the war came to an end. The Dutch
consented to withdraw entirely from Brazil, to surrender Recife and all
the remaining forts which they possessed, as well as the Island of
Fernando de Noronha. In return they were granted an amnesty, which was
extended to the Indians in their service.

Arrangements had been carried almost to a conclusion when the Dutch
showed themselves prepared to continue the campaign in South America.
This threat of renewed aggression had the effect of increasing the
liberality of the Portuguese terms. The ensuing negotiations were
considerably assisted by Charles II. of England, who, about to marry
Catherine of Portugal, strongly took up the cause of the Portuguese in
South America, and announced to the Dutch his intention to ally his
forces with those of the Portuguese, and, if necessary, proceed to
extremities. These representations of Charles were taken up by France
and Portugal, and the Dutch, as a result, decided to waive some of their
wilder claims. Before, however, the treaty was finally concluded, it was
found necessary to pay certain sums in the nature of a ransom to the
Dutch. These consisted of 4,000,000 cruzados, in money, sugar, tobacco,
and salt, which were to be paid in sixteen annual instalments. All the
artillery taken in Brazil, which was marked either with the arms of the
United Provinces of the Netherlands or of the West India Company, were
to be restored to their former owners.

[Illustration: DUTCH VESSELS SAILING THROUGH THE STRAITS OF MAGELLAN.

_From a seventeenth-century engraving._]

Thus, although Portugal may be said in one sense to have cooped the
Dutch up within a narrow strip of remaining territory, and to have
been on the point of expelling them from Brazil by the sword, actually
the withdrawal was only effected by the payment of this heavy ransom. As
Southey has it: "The Portuguese consented to pay for the victory which
they had obtained."



CHAPTER XI

THE COLONY OF PERU


With South America now definitely settled, we may glance at the various
provinces which constituted the Spanish American Continent. For a long
while after the first establishment of the Spanish dominion the
divisions between the various districts remained far fewer in number
than was later the case. South America may be said to have been
partitioned off in the early days into four main divisions. The
northernmost of these was commonly known as Terra Firma, and comprised
New Granada and the neighbouring districts. This area is now occupied by
the Republics of Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador.

To the south of Terra Firma the Viceroyalty of Peru extended itself,
bordered on the south by the Province of Chile; while to the east,
occupying the remainder of the Continent as far as the Brazilian
frontier, and stretching over the fertile plains to the south, was the
great Province of Paraguay, which included the territories now contained
in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and part of Bolivia.

Seeing that the head-quarters of the Colonial Government was vested in
Peru, it would be as well to deal with this portion of the Continent
first. Peru constituted in the first place the sole Viceroyalty, and
subsequently the senior Viceroyalty, of Spanish South America. Lima, its
capital and the seat of government, took care to distinguish itself
from any other colonial city of the Continent. Certainly no other town
possessed such buildings and architectural decorations as those of which
Lima could boast. The home of the Viceroy, it was a city of pomp,
processions, and stately movements. These, as a matter of fact, were by
no means out of place, when the great importance of the spot from a
governmental point of view is considered. Every matter of consequence,
in whatever province it may have had its origin, was referred for
settlement to Lima, and it was here that the Viceroy and his Court gave
judgments, the effects of which were echoed thousands of miles away.

Of all the Viceroyalties in the world, that of Peru was undoubtedly the
proudest during the earlier Spanish colonial period, for the holder of
the high office governed not merely a country, but the greater half of a
vast Continent. Seeing that the colonial policy of Spain invariably
tended to pit one of her subordinate Powers against another in order to
avoid the acquirement of too much authority on the part of any special
person, it was only natural that the authority of the Viceroy, although
great, was not supreme even in his own dominion. There were matters
which had to be referred to the Court of Spain, but even in these the
importance of Lima remained in one sense unimpaired, for Lima then
became the mouthpiece of the Continent, and it was through her officials
that the case was presented for the deliberations which pursued their
leisurely course in Europe.

The palace of the Viceroy represented, naturally, one of the chief
buildings in the capital. Impressive as was the authority of this high
official, he was wont to live even his private life in great state. As a
rule he would set apart a short while in the morning and afternoon for
the personal reception of petitions. There were, of course, numerous
public functions in which it was his duty to take part. Thus, on the
arrival of any new laws or decrees from Spain, the Viceroy was
accustomed to proceed to the Council Hall, where these were delivered to
him. He would then salute the documents by kissing the King's signature
and by laying the paper on his head.

Many of these Viceroys were notably honourable men, who refrained from
taking a greater share than was necessary in the financial arrangements
of the New World. At the same time, the opportunities for
self-enrichment during the five years' tenure of office were quite
unusually numerous. Not a few of the occupants of this post took
advantage of these, and the extravagant manner of their subsequent life
in Spain upheld to the full the popular tales which were current
concerning the fabulous wealth of the Americas.

To go back to the early days of Peru, the inception of this colony, as
has been said, was attended by even more violent disturbances than those
common to its neighbours. We have already seen how, each the victim of
strenuous jealousies, Almagro was executed at the instance of Pizarro,
and how Pizarro himself a few years later was assassinated by the
adherents of the dead Almagro's party, who now succeeded in raising to
power his son, the younger Almagro.

This, however, by no means ended the era of catastrophe and chaos into
which the great but youthful colony of Peru was now plunged. Very
shortly after the death of Pizarro, Cristobal Vaca de Castro arrived in
Peru on a mission from the Court of Spain to investigate the causes of
the disturbances and warlike rumours which had reached the Mother
Country. De Castro found himself in opposition to the younger Almagro,
and a battle was fought. Almagro's forces were defeated, and he himself,
although he escaped for a while to Cuzco, was captured and executed.

In 1543 Blasco Nuñez Vela, the first Viceroy appointed by Spain, arrived
in Peru, where he found de Castro in charge of the Government. Nuñez
Vela's methods proved themselves arbitrary in the extreme. Scarcely had
he landed when he sent an abrupt command to de Castro to resign his
post, and to place himself forthwith in attendance on the new Viceroy.
This action roused the anger of the Pizarro faction. Its adherents
revolted and established themselves at Cuzco.

It was precisely at this moment that a totally new factor in the way of
officialdom presented itself in Peru. With the advent of the Royal
Audience, a court of judges, newly founded and sent out from Spain, the
situation grew still more wildly complicated. The Royal Audience, its
dignity and unanimity shattered by the turmoil in the midst of which it
found itself, divided its forces equally on either side. A battle was
fought between the Viceroy and the forces of Gonzales Pizarro, in the
course of which the latter obtained a decided victory, and Blasco Nuñez
de Vela was slain.

Having witnessed an almost continuous process of downfall of the various
authorities, it is only natural that the sense of loyalty to Spain
should have become somewhat obscured in the minds of the Peruvians. As a
result, many of the colonists now urged independence of government, and
begged Gonzales Pizarro to accept the throne of Peru.

Spain, judging that the matter had gone too far to be dealt with by any
force but one of a magnitude which would have been inconvenient in the
extreme to dispatch to so great a distance, now had resource to
diplomacy. An ecclesiastic, Pedro de la Gasca, famed for his subtle
methods and diplomatic strategy, was despatched to the disturbed colony.
Gonzales Pizarro refused to acknowledge this new official, although a
command to this effect was impressed upon him by a letter sent by the
King of Spain.

The rupture was now complete. In the first instance the loyal troops
were decisively defeated by Gonzales Pizarro; but very shortly
afterwards the deep methods of La Gasca bore fruit. He was joined by
troops from Chile, and by numerous forces from various other districts,
while Pizarro's men began to desert him, continuing the process until
the bold leader was left practically alone. Seeing there was no help for
it, Gonzales Pizarro surrendered, and was in turn beheaded.

It is curious to remark that in these early and disturbed days of Peru
no single leader was left to die a natural death. A second Viceroy,
Antonio de Mendoza, was now appointed. He proved himself an able ruler,
but, unfortunately, he died before he had occupied his post for two
years. A further epoch of rebellion now followed, until Don Andres
Hurtado de Mendoza, Marquis de Cañete, was sent out from Spain to occupy
the Viceroyalty. It was undoubtedly due to the strong rule of this
important noble that affairs in Peru promised to settle themselves
definitely. After his death, however, in 1561, his successor, Don
Zuñiga, Count de Nieva, was assassinated almost as soon as he took
possession of his post.

It was during the government of one of Zuñiga's successors, Toledo, that
the young Inca, Tupac-Amaru, was executed in the great central square of
Cuzco. The horror which this act is said to have instilled in the minds
of the Indians is indescribable. The race had now sunk into a permanent
state of melancholy.

All this while Spain had been unceasing in her demands for gold and
silver, and it was necessary to work the mines strenuously in order to
satisfy the greed of the Mother Country. As time went on, indeed, the
difficulties which lay in the path of a conscientious Viceroy tended to
increase rather than to diminish. It is true that the country did not
now depend entirely for its prosperity upon its gold, for the valuable
drugs and other natural products were now obtaining some recognition,
and the cereals and general agricultural growths introduced from Europe
were now becoming of genuine importance. Other matters, however, were
beginning to cause deep anxiety to the ruling Powers. The buccaneers had
now made their appearance in the Pacific, and the alarm spread by their
presence frequently caused an entire cessation of trade. The jealousies,
moreover, between the Spaniards and the colonials tended to increase, as
the arrogance of the former grew and the resentment of the latter
deepened.

True to her policy to discourage any attempt at authority on the part of
the colonists, Spain had continued strenuously to refuse to appoint any
but Spaniards to the highest posts. No single Viceroy, for instance,
from first to last, was American born, although the holders of this high
office included in their numbers four grandees, two priests, one Bishop,
one Archbishop, three licentiates, and a number of military officers.

After a while, as was only natural, the tendency arose to split up the
main areas of colonial government. Thus, in 1718, the Viceroyalty of
Santa Fé de Bogotá was established, and in 1777 that of Buenos Aires.
Neither of these innovations had occurred a day too soon. With the
growing population and the increasing political and commercial
importance of the Continent, the strained machinery with which it had
been attempted to govern all matters from a single centre had broken
down and become useless so far as the remoter provinces were concerned.
In the course of the settlements and of the industrial progress, such as
it was, the claims and rights of the aborigines had become a negligible
factor. Indeed, from any but an industrial point of view, the existence
of the descendants of the Incas had practically been ignored.

In 1632 a minor revolution of Indians occurred, which resulted in a
quaint species of naval engagement on Lake Titicaca, with the native
_balsas_, or rafts, posing as diminutive battleships. In 1661 there was
another outbreak. This was organized by Antonio Gallado, who succeeded
in gaining possession of the town of La Paz, in which neighbourhood the
Spanish authority became almost extinct for three years.

It was not until 1780, however, that the Spaniards met with the first
really serious shock of Indian insurrection since the first extinction
of the power of the Incas. This belated attempt was destined to be the
last. The revolution had its origin in the system of forced labour
which, despite the warnings and commands that from time to time were
received on the subject from Spain, was continued to be imposed on the
Indians.

In addition to this the unfortunate people were made to suffer further
wrongs sufficient to rouse the most meek to rebellion. Thus by the laws
of the Indies officials were appointed to provide the Indians with goods
at certain prices. This system became abused to the point that the
Spanish officials would distribute as much of these goods as they
thought fit among the Indians at a price arbitrarily named by
themselves. In consequence of this the impoverished folk were obliged to
pay enormous and unfair prices for goods of which they were probably in
no need of whatever, and did not desire.

An intelligent Indian, José Gabriel Condorcanqui, determined on a
desperate effort to alleviate the condition of his people. Condorcanqui
had received a far more generous education than the majority of his
fellows, and had studied at the College of San Bernardo, in Cuzco. He
spoke the Castilian tongue perfectly, and was thus enabled to hold a
minor official post in the Spanish service. Claiming descent from the
Royal Incas, he subsequently added the name of Tupac-Amaru to his own.

[Illustration: DUTCH AND SPANISH VESSELS ENGAGED OFF CALLAO, THE PORT OF
LIMA.

_From a seventeenth-century engraving._]

It was on November 4, 1780, that Tupac-Amaru, by which name he was now
universally known, made his first move. Gathering some trusty men about
him, he captured a Spanish _corregidor_, Arriaga, and, charging that
official with offences against the Indians, caused him to be executed.
On this the Indians flocked to their new defender's standard, and he was
soon at the head of 6,000 men. Tupac-Amaru now determined on an
extensive campaign. After an attack on Cuzco, he marched with 60,000
Indians to besiege La Paz itself, while the isolated Spanish forces were
overwhelmed in all directions.

La Paz succeeded in resisting the desperate onslaught of the Indian
army, and the tide of fortune now turned against the Inca leader. After
a battle waged in the open, he was captured and put to a horrible death.
His tongue was torn out by the executioner; each of his limbs was
attached to a horse, then, the four horses being furiously driven in
different directions, his body was torn into four portions. It was in
this way that the unfortunate Tupac-Amaru died, the last of the Inca
race who attempted to assert the rights of his people.

With the exception of rare revolts such as these, and of the periodical
onslaughts which the buccaneers of all nations made upon the Pacific
ports, it is a little remarkable to consider how few dramatic episodes
took place during the colonial era in Peru. It is true that one or two
events occurred deserving of note. Thus, in 1551, the University of San
Marcos was established at Lima, and was the first institution of the
kind to be founded in the New World. In 1573 occurred the first
_auto-da-fé_, followed by numerous other such grim ceremonies, for Lima
was naturally the head-quarters of the Inquisition. In 1746 the capital
suffered from a terrible catastrophe, being visited by an earthquake
which shattered the senior city of the Continent, while at the same time
a great tidal wave swept away the port of the capital, Callao.

Beyond this one Viceroy succeeded another; the mines continued to be
worked, and, in response to the incessant clamourings of Spain, the
miners were flogged and driven willy-nilly to their unwelcome task. As
time went on the relative importance of Peru compared to the
neighbouring States tended to diminish rather than to increase. The most
profitable and most easily worked of the then known gold and silver
mines had been practically denuded of their treasure. There were others
in plenty, but these were more remote, and the difficulty of
communication which then prevailed was sufficiently great to render
impossible any attempt at a remunerative working of these. With the
decrease in the working of minerals greater attention was now paid to
the pastoral and agricultural industries, and with the growth of these
the value and importance of the neighbouring countries increased vastly.
This state of affairs was at length acknowledged by the Court of Spain,
and was emphasized in 1776 when Buenos Aires was made the seat of a
Viceroyalty, and was thus released from the last shred of supervision on
the part of the Peruvian officials.

We are now approaching the stage of the War of Independence. This, in
Peru, as elsewhere, was heralded by the newly-acquired liberal spirit of
the colonials, which, in spite of repressions and precautions on the
part of Spain, could no longer be kept in check. It is true that in
Peru, the chief centre of Spanish officialdom in the Continent, these
manifestations were rather slower in asserting themselves than in the
neighbouring countries, but this was inevitable when the extent of the
moral influence employed by the numerous officials, and the active
discouragement exerted by the important garrison of the Spanish
headquarters of the Continent, are taken into consideration.

Curiously enough, the history of one of Peru's last Viceroys is
permeated with an atmosphere of romance in which the careers of his
predecessors were almost entirely lacking. Ambrose O'Higgins, the most
striking figure of all the lengthy line of Viceroys, had started life as
a bare-footed Irish boy. He is said to have been employed by Lady
Bective to run errands at Dangan Castle, Co. Meath. Through the
influence of an uncle in Spain, a priest, the lad was sent to Cadiz.
From there, having in the meanwhile become familiar with the Spanish
tongue, he proceeded to South America, landed in Buenos Aires, and then
travelled westwards across the Andes, arriving in safety on the Pacific
coast. Here he appears to have adopted the profession of an itinerant
trader, journeying to and fro through the territories of the Viceroyalty
of Peru and the Government of Chile. His career during this period of
his existence was unbrokenly humble, and certainly the adventurous
Irishman himself, even in his wildest moments, could scarcely have
possessed any inkling of the marvellous future which awaited him.

The first step in this direction was made in one of his excursions to
the south, when by a fortunate chance he obtained an opportunity to
demonstrate his inherent warlike qualities in the battles against the
Araucanian Indians. Having once got his foot upon the official ladder,
O'Higgins never stepped back. The Home Government of Spain appeared to
regard his career with a benevolent interest. He obtained the rank of
Colonel; from this he was promoted to that of Brigadier-General, and
was made Count of Balenar. A little later he was made Major-General, and
in 1792 he attained to the rank of Captain-General of Chile, and the
title of Marquis of Osorno was conferred upon him. Two years later he
was promoted once again, this time to the rank of Lieutenant-General.

The progressive policy of O'Higgins occasionally brought him into
collision with some of the more retrogressive officials; but the
strength of his character appears to have prevailed throughout, and it
is certainly to the credit of Spain that it singled out and upheld so
courageous and broad-minded an official.

O'Higgins's greatest office, however, was still before him. In 1796 he
was created Viceroy of Peru, and thus became the highest official
throughout the New World. No fairy story has ever produced a more
startling study of career and contrast than that which had fallen to the
lot of the erstwhile bare-footed Irish boy.

The remarkable history of the family of O'Higgins, however, does not end
even here. Ambrose O'Higgins was undoubtedly the most brilliant Viceroy
who had ever served Spain in the New World. The candle of this high
office, as it were, flamed up in a great, but transient, flicker ere it
was for ever extinguished, and it was O'Higgins who fed this flame. With
the passing of Ambrose O'Higgins we are confronted with the next
generation of his family. As the father had done in the interests of
regal Spain, so did the son in the service of the southern patriots.
Bernardo O'Higgins, indeed, was destined to accomplish yet greater
things in the cause of the Independence of South America. Ambrose
O'Higgins was one of Spain's last Viceroys; his son Bernardo became one
of the first Presidents of the New Republican World.



CHAPTER XII

THE COLONY OF CHILE


In Chile, as has been said, the conquest of the land was effected under
far more strenuous circumstances than those which applied to any other
part of South America, with the exception, perhaps, of the coasts in the
neighbourhood of the estuary of the River Plate. In the early days of
Chile it is literally true that the colonists were obliged to go about
their labours with a handful of seed in one hand and a weapon of defence
in the other. It was owing to this constant warlike preoccupation that
the early cities of Chile were of so comparatively mean an order, for,
harassed by continuous Indian attacks as they were, the settlers could
find no leisure to devote their energies to anything of a pretentious or
even reasonably commodious order in the way of town-building.

In the north of the Continent the enervating climate, facile conquest,
and easy life had naturally tended to atrophy the energy of the
Spaniards. In Chile, on the other hand, the constant and fierce
struggles of the warlike natives, the hardships and frugal living, and
the temperate and exhilarating atmosphere, tended not only to preserve
the energy, but even to increase the virility of the settler in the
south.

It is true that in the central provinces of the country, where the
Indians were less numerous and less warlike than the Araucanians of the
south, a certain number of the natives were distributed into
_encomiendas_, and set to work at enforced tasks, but the number of
these, compared with those which existed in the centre and north of the
Continent, remained utterly insignificant. As to the Araucanians
themselves, their indomitable nature absolutely forbade an existence
under such conditions.

It was not only with the aborigines of their new country that the
Spanish settlers in Chile had to contend. Nature had in store for them a
species of catastrophe which was admirably adapted to test their
fortitude to an even greater degree. Thus in 1570 the newly-founded city
of Concepcion was brought to the ground by an earthquake, and some
eighty years later the larger centre of Santiago became a heap of
smoking ruins from the same cause. Indeed, throughout the history of
both the colonial and independent eras Chile has been from time to time
visited by such terrible calamities as these. In every instance,
however, the disaster has left the inhabitants undismayed, and new and
larger towns have risen upon the sites of the old.

Chile, probably owing to the comparatively limited area of its soil, was
never raised to the rank of a Viceroyalty; nevertheless the Governorship
of the province was, of course, one of the most important on the
Continent. After the death of Valdivia on the field of battle, Francisco
Villagran was elected as chief of the new colony. At the period when he
assumed command there had come about one of the most severe of the many
crises through which the young colony was destined to pass. The
Araucanians, emboldened by their victories, now pressed on to the attack
from all sides with an impetuosity and confidence which proved
irresistible. The south was for the time being abandoned, and the
Spanish women and children were hurriedly sent by sea to Valparaiso,
while the harassed army retired towards the north.

Presently Lautaro, the famous Araucanian chief, at the head of his
undefeated army, marched in the track of the retreating Spaniards, and
threatened Santiago itself. But for an access of over-confidence on the
part of the natives, it is likely enough that the Spanish power would
have been completely swept from Chile. Villagran, returning to the
capital with reinforcements, found the investing Araucanian army in a
totally unprepared condition. Some were carousing, many slept, and in
any case the majority were drunk, a state to which, as a matter of fact,
these southern Indians were only too prone at all times. Villagran,
perceiving his opportunity, fell upon the demoralized native army, and
defeated them utterly with great slaughter. Lautaro himself, the flower
of the Araucanian warriors, perished in the ensuing struggle.

Villagran had thoroughly deserved this success, which had crowned one of
the most exhausting periods of the terrific struggle. He possessed, in
the first place, many fine qualities as a leader, and was one of the
toughest, bravest, and most honest of the _conquistadores_.
Unfortunately for himself, these qualities did not appear to suffice in
the eyes of the highest Spanish official in South America. Shortly after
his victory Villagran was superseded by Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza, son
of the Viceroy of Peru. Mendoza possessed many good points; at the same
time, he had to a full degree many of the faults which characterized so
great a number of the Spanish noblemen of the period. Thus, he was
unduly arrogant and autocratic towards his comrades of inferior rank,
flinging Villagran into prison on his first arrival in the country as
the result of little beyond a whim. On the other hand, it must be
admitted that Mendoza spared no endeavours to conciliate and treat with
kindness the Araucanian Indians.

Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza had some reason for his arrogance. At twenty
years of age, when sent by his father to Chile at the head of his force,
he had already distinguished himself by his bravery, and, according to
one biographer, had already fought in Corsica, Tuscany, Flanders, and in
France. Even in that age there were not many who could boast of having
effected all this when still in their teens. It was little wonder that
he was high-spirited, wilful, and impetuous. Ercilla represents him as
very ardent in battle, sometimes fighting himself, sometimes urging on
his soldiers, always in movement. At the time of the Araucanian invasion
he addressed his troops in the most humane terms. One of his sayings was
to the effect that--"An enemy who surrenders is a friend whom we ought
to protect; it is a greater thing to give life than to destroy it."
Sentiments of this kind were doubly commendable when, judging from their
rarity, they could scarcely have been popular.

Notwithstanding his good intentions towards the Araucanians, Mendoza
soon found himself involved in a struggle to the death with the now
hereditary foes of his race, for the southern Indians--maintaining their
reputation--proved themselves implacable, and would hear nothing of
compromise. After many fierce battles, in the course of which fortune
ebbed either way, Mendoza succeeded in capturing Caupolicán, who was
tortured to death, an episode which caused a short lull in the fevered
activities of the Spanish forces.

In 1560 Mendoza was abruptly ordered by King Philip II. of Spain to
surrender his post as Governor to Francisco Villagran. That fine old
_conquistador_ was now worn out in body and a wreck of his former self.
The furious combats with the Araucanians broke out afresh, and continued
unabated. A series of disasters shattered the spirit of Villagran, and
sent him to his grave. Following this came the usual succession of
Governors, and the unbroken continuance of the Indian wars, victory
and disaster alternately succeeding each other to an extent which would
prove monotonous if an attempt at description were made.

[Illustration: ACAPULCO, ON THE PACIFIC COAST.

One of the chief points of sailing of the great East Indian trading
galleons of Spain.

_From a seventeenth-century engraving._]

There is only one instance, I believe, of a white man having gained the
complete confidence of the Araucanians, and this did not occur until a
century after the two races had first come into contact with each other.
It is said that in 1642--thirty-nine years after the town of Valdivia
had been captured from the Spaniards and destroyed--Colonel Alonzo de
Villanueva, who had been sent to the south with the object of regaining
possession of the city, effected this without bloodshed by the
employment of an extraordinary amount of tact and patience. He landed at
a point a little to the south of Valdivia, and boldly made his
appearance quite alone among the astonished warriors. He remained with
them for two years, when, having won their respect and confidence, he
proposed that they should appoint him their Governor at Valdivia,
explaining that by this move they would effect a reconciliation with the
Spaniards, and, in consequence, obtain many material benefits. The
Araucanians readily fell in with the idea, and in 1645 Valdivia was
rebuilt, and was again populated. Undoubtedly in the middle of the
seventeenth century time was of very little value in Chile, and in any
case it would seem that to effect so brilliant a result at so little
cost was worth the two years' wait!

In 1577 Sir Francis Drake made his appearance in the Pacific, and was
the pioneer of the adventurers who were to follow in the wake of his
keel. Thus new anxieties were added to the minds of the Chilean
officials, although it must be said that the colonists, when they once
became accustomed to the visits of these foreigners, gave them an
increasingly friendly reception, notwithstanding the hostility evinced
towards them by the Spaniards. It was not long before this new and grim
type of visitor increased in numbers and grew cosmopolitan.

The Dutch, always on the look out for a weapon with which to flog their
enemies the Spaniards, had managed to glean intelligence of the
successful warfare which the Araucanians in Southern Chile were waging
against the Spanish troops. When the news of the separation of Portugal
from Spain reached Holland, the position of that country's forces in
Brazil became automatically somewhat unsettled--at all events in theory,
and finally in practice. It was then that the idea occurred to them to
establish settlements in equally fertile and less tropical climates.

A squadron was fitted out by the Dutch navigator, Brouwer, and in 1642
it sailed into the Pacific Ocean, and the troops effected a landing on
the Island of Chiloe. Here they succeeded in inflicting a defeat upon
the Spanish forces. It was now the policy of the invader to establish
friendly relations with the Araucanians. Before long they persuaded a
number of the chiefs to enter into an alliance with them; this brought
about, they prepared to establish themselves permanently in the south of
Chile.

First of all they erected a fort at Valdivia without encountering any
opposition on the part of the natives. After this they began to trade;
but they permitted their lust of gain to outweigh their discretion. So
eager did they show themselves to obtain gold in exchange for weapons
and other objects coveted by the dusky races, that the Araucanians
became suspicious, and in the end awoke to the fact that the presence of
the Dutch in their country was due to precisely the same causes as had
attracted the Spanish. Disillusioned, they withdrew their hastily
extended friendship, and retired to their own haunts, lending a passive
rather than an active resistance to those strangers with whom they still
remained on outward terms of friendship. The relations, however, became
more strained when, on the rare occasions when the two races came into
contact, the Indians refused to supply the Dutch with provisions. This
policy of the Araucanians won them their object, for in the end the
Dutch, unable to subsist without the supplies for which they depended on
the Indians, were forced to relinquish their settlements and to abandon
the country.

An English expedition, with more peaceful intent, under the command of
Sir John Narborough, set sail from England towards the end of 1669, and
arrived in Valdivia in 1670. On this occasion the hands of the Commander
were strictly tied, since he had received implicit injunctions not to
fall foul of the Spaniards; thus, when he endeavoured to trade with the
Indians, the Spaniards took prisoner his lieutenant and three of his
men, whom they detained.

Sir John, it is said, contemplated rescuing his men by force, but the
fate of the unfortunate Sir Walter Raleigh, according to some ancient
historians, stayed his hand, and he reluctantly sailed from the coast,
leaving these four members of his crew prisoners of the Spaniards.

Rolt, who published a "History of South America" in 1766, has a rather
curious account of the methods by which the inhabitants of the town of
Concepcion in Chile carried on their business with the Indians.

     "There is a beneficial trade carried on by the inhabitants of the
     city of Conception, with the Indians behind them, who trade with
     the Spaniards in a very peculiar manner, though they have never
     negociated a peace with Spain. These Indians are called Aucaes, and
     inhabit the mountains, where they retain the primitive customs and
     manners of their ancestors. When a Spaniard comes to trade with
     them, he addresses himself to the Cacique, or Chief, who, on
     perceiving a stranger, cries out, _What, are you come?_ The
     Spaniard answers, _Yes, I am come._ Then the Cacique says, _Well?
     What have you brought me?_ The merchant answers, _A present._ And
     the prince replies, _Then you are welcome._ He then provides a
     lodging for the merchant near his own, where all the family go to
     visit the stranger, in expectation of some present; and, in the
     meantime, a horn is sounded to give notice to the Indians who are
     abroad that a merchant has arrived. This soon assembles them
     together about the merchant, who exhibits his treasure, consisting
     of knives, scissors, pins, needles, ribbands, small
     looking-glasses, and other toys, which the Indians carry away,
     after settling the price, without getting anything in exchange;
     but, after a certain time has elapsed, the horn is sounded again,
     by the direction of the Cacique; when the Indians immediately
     return, and punctually perform their respective engagements, the
     goods they deal in being cattle, skins of wild beasts, and some
     gold; but they bring very small quantities of the latter, as they
     are sensible how dear the possession of that metal cost their
     ancestors and their neighbours."

In the various treaties which were engineered from time to time between
the Spaniards and the Araucanians, one of the most important clauses
which the Spaniards invariably endeavoured to insert was to the effect
that the Indians were to oppose to the utmost of their power by force of
arms the founding of any foreign colony in the territories occupied by
them. Thus the attitude of the Araucanians towards foreigners was apt to
depend to some extent on whether they happened to be at peace or at war
with their Spanish neighbours. It was owing to this, moreover, that the
European adventurers found themselves attacked when they had very little
reason to fear an onslaught. One of these instances occurred in 1638,
when the natives murdered the survivors of a shipwrecked Dutch crew.
There were times, on the other hand, when the enmity between the Indians
and the Spaniards induced the former to render every assistance to the
rovers who came, whether by accident or design, to their coasts. It is
certain that the accounts of these foreigners retailed by the Spaniards
to the natives were not of a nature to render the intruders popular in
the eyes of the dusky southern dwellers.

During the chief part of the colonial era the town of Valdivia, in
Southern Chile, was employed as a sort of convict station for the white
criminals of Peru and Chile, and incidentally for a number of persons
whose sole crimes were of a political order. These prisoners were
employed in the erection of the fortifications of the spot, and the
ruins which still exist attest the solidarity and the extent of the
buildings. A large annual sum was wont to be allotted for the
maintenance of these fortifications, and for other objects connected
with the sustenance of both the prisoners and the garrison. It seems to
have been necessary to expend only a very small proportion of this sum
on the objects for which the allowance was originally intended, and from
its enormous financial opportunities the post of Governor of Valdivia
was one of the most sought after of any on the west coast of South
America.

The later colonial era of Chile, like that of Peru, is very little
concerned with dramatic episode, with the exception, of course, of the
raids on the part of foreigners which took place from time to time along
the coast. Yet it is curious to remark that in Chile, at the same time
as these buccaneers were burning, plundering, and fighting, other
vessels, more especially those of the French, were carrying on a trade
in peace with the various ports of the state. This commerce, moreover,
continued growing steadily, and the influence of the foreigners upon the
Chileans in time became marked, and was largely responsible for the
broad-minded views which prevailed among the colonials.



CHAPTER XIII

THE COLONIES OF PARAGUAY AND THE RIVER PLATE


We have seen how the Spaniards, having in the first instance attempted
without success to establish themselves in Buenos Aires, had made their
way up the great river system to Asuncion, and, having become firmly
settled there, had in the end extended their dominions to the south
again, and had founded the town of Buenos Aires for the second time. In
the early days of these particular settlements, notwithstanding this
extension to the south-east, Asuncion remained the capital of the
province, which was known as that of Paraguay. The two currents of
civilization, the one advancing from the south-east, and the other
proceeding from the north-west, at length met in the territory which is
now occupied by the north-western Territories of Argentina.

It may be said that Argentina of to-day was colonized from three
directions--the first by means of the River Plate and its tributaries,
the second by the passage of the Andes from the west, and the third by
an advance from the direction of Bolivia. Thus the north-western section
of present-day Argentina had become, as it were, the centre towards
which all the Castilian forces were converging.

As time went on, the balance of importance tended to assert itself in
the direction of Buenos Aires. Little by little the city of Asuncion,
although remaining notable from the administrative point of view, became
of less and less standing as a commercial centre. That which
undoubtedly helped to retard the progress of Asuncion was the almost
continual strife which prevailed in that town between the Jesuits and
the members, not only of the laity, but of the rival clergy as well. The
Jesuits, moreover, were the reverse of popular with the Spanish
landowners of Paraguay, for the reason that the missionaries had
collected together the Indians in self-supporting communities and towns,
thus depriving the colonists of the enforced labour which they now
looked upon as one of their rights.

These Jesuit settlements in Paraguay have been too fully dealt with to
need anything in the way of an elaborate description here. Let it
suffice to say that the famous communities were in many respects
socialistic. The land, for instance, throughout the mission areas was
held for the common good, and its produce was wont to be divided into
three parts--one of which was devoted to the Church, the second to the
State, and the third to the private use of the Indian agriculturalists.
It is now generally conceded that, in consideration of the gross,
sensual, and totally unintelligent human clay with which the Missionary
Fathers had to deal, their efforts were astonishingly successful. At the
same time, the labours of these Jesuits were carried on largely in the
dark--that is to say, fearing the influence of the white man upon their
converts, they refused admission to their land to any Spaniards. This
method, as has since been proved, was fully justified by the colonizing
circumstances which prevailed at the time; nevertheless, it was only
natural that it should have provoked a deep anger on the part of the
Spanish settlers, in whose eyes these missions of the Jesuits had as
their chief end the enriching of the pockets of the Order at the expense
of those of the colonists.

Towards the middle of the seventeenth century matters reached a crisis
in Asuncion. The newly-appointed Bishop, Don Bernardino de Cardenas,
showed himself most actively opposed to the works of the Jesuits in
Paraguay. An open hostility soon manifested itself between the two
powers, and the strife grew more and more bitter until, not only the
entire body of the clergy, but the Governor, the officials, and the
laymen were involved as well. Whatever were the faults which the Jesuits
may have committed in Paraguay--and to what extent these have been
exaggerated is now patent--it is quite certain that Cardenas was a being
totally unfitted to be invested with the dignity and responsibility of a
Bishop's office.

It is true that his eloquence in preaching was superb; this, however,
undoubtedly arose rather from an acutely developed artistic sense than
from any profound religious convictions. Cardenas, in fact, showed
himself upon occasions hysterical and wayward to a point which was
absolutely childish. This peculiarity in a person holding so important a
position as his naturally produced utter confusion in Paraguay.
According to Mr. R.B. Cunninghame Graham, these were some of the methods
by which the Bishop in the end utterly scandalized the more sober of his
congregation:

     "The Bishop, not being secure of his position, had recourse to
     every art to catch the public eye: fasting and scourging, prayers
     before the altar, two Masses every day, barefooted
     processions--himself the central figure carrying a cross--each had
     their turn. Along the deep red roads between the orange gardens
     which lead from Asuncion towards the Recoleta on Campo Grande, he
     used to take his way accompanied by Indians crowned with flowers,
     giving his benediction as he passed, to turn away (according to
     himself) the plague, and to insure a fertile harvest. Not being
     content with the opportunities which life afforded, he instituted
     an evening service in church in order to prepare for death."

These, however, were only some of the milder uses to which the Bishop
put his histrionic talents in order to prove his claim to sainthood.

The fortunes of Cardenas varied considerably, but on the whole his
extraordinary versatility kept him afloat in the public estimation. He
at one time, however, very nearly incurred the popular resentment owing
to his having taken up the body of a suicide, and caused it to be
interred in holy ground from the force of a mere whim. The uproar
consequent on this he managed to overrule, and having got the better of
Don Gregorio, the Civil Governor, the Bishop actually elected himself
Governor in his place, and now became supreme in Asuncion, from which
place the Jesuits were forced to flee in haste to their establishments
in the country.

Each side now brought endless charges against the other, and in the
middle of the wordy warfare the validity of Cardenas's appointment to
the Bishopric was questioned. Nevertheless, Cardenas succeeded in
retaining his office, and after a while issued a declaration
excommunicating the entire Order of the Jesuits, after which, having
sworn to the people that he possessed a Decree from the King of Spain,
he issued an order commanding the expulsion of the Jesuits from
Paraguay. This was carried into effect at Asuncion, and the College of
the Order was sacked and gutted by fire. Outside the boundaries of the
capital, however, this command had no effect whatever, and the great
settlements of the Jesuits far away in the forests were totally
unaffected by any mandate given at Asuncion.

The Bishop had now gone too far in his policy of aggression. The High
Court at Charcas summoned him to appear before its tribunal at once, and
to give his reasons for the expulsion of the Jesuits and his appointment
of himself as Governor of Paraguay. At the same time a new Governor,
Don Sebastian de Leon, was appointed to Paraguay. Cardenas determined to
resist. He raised an army, and, claiming Divine inspiration, promised
his followers an undoubted victory, and ordered them to supply
themselves with cords in order to bind the prisoners which should fall
to their share. The rival forces met just outside Asuncion. The
unfortunate troops of Cardenas found no use for their cords, since,
totally defeated, they fled in haste. Judging mercy to be most
seasonable at this juncture, the new Governor commanded his men to march
to the capital, but to desist from pursuing the defeated forces.

In the meanwhile Cardenas had lost no time. Realizing his complete
defeat, he had fled secretly to Asuncion. Arriving there ahead of Don
Sebastian de Leon's forces, he had dressed himself in his finest robes
and seated himself on the throne of the cathedral. It was there that Don
Sebastian de Leon found him when he entered.

The new Governor acted with supreme courtesy; he kissed the Bishop's
hand, and ceremoniously requested him to spare him the baton of the
civil power. In silence Cardenas complied with his request, and then
retired, accompanied by his retinue. After this Asuncion knew him no
more. Naturally the days of his supreme power were over, but he was
still provided with an ecclesiastical office. He was made Bishop of La
Paz, a benefice he continued to hold until his death.

Owing largely to their situation, these provinces in the south-east of
the Continent continued from time to time to elude some of the stricter
regulations and restrictions which were supposed to be applied to the
whole Continent. Thus at the end of the sixteenth century the
Governorship of the River Plate was entrusted to Hernando Arias de
Saavedra, who is more familiarly known as Hernandarias. He was the first
colonial-born subject of Spain to be gratified by such an honour. The
appointment, as a matter of fact, was somewhat remarkable, as without a
doubt it was strictly against the spirit of the Laws of the Indies,
which utterly forbade any appointment of the kind to be entrusted to a
colonial-born person.

Hernandarias, it must be said, makes one of the most remarkable figures
of all the high officials of the River Plate. He proved himself a
strenuous warrior, and, anxious to extend his frontiers, he carried on a
tremendous warfare with the fierce Indians of the Pampa. The Governor,
moreover, was gifted with no little foresight and practical common
sense. Finding it impossible to establish a footing among the implacable
natives of Uruguay, he caused a number of cattle, horses, and sheep to
be sent across the great river, and to be let loose among the rich
pastures of that country. He knew, he said (and it was not long before
the future proved him right), that this land would one day be the
property of the Spaniards, and thus these cattle which he sent over
would, when the time came, be found to have multiplied themselves to an
infinite extent, which, of course, fell out as he had anticipated.

Hernandarias, moreover, led an expedition to the south, and endeavoured
to take possession of Patagonia. Here, after various disasters, he
inflicted a severe defeat on the Indians; but few definite steps towards
the practical colonization of the far south appear to have been taken at
this period.

Hernandarias, enthusiastic soldier though he proved himself, by no means
confined his energies to the arts of war; in statesmanship his ideas
were progressive. Having once subdued the wilder Indians, he led the way
to peaceful co-operation. According to Señor J.M. Estrada--

     "Hernandarias devoted his whole soul to the development of a
     species of colonization which he terms the spiritual
     conquest--that is to say, he inculcated into the country the
     Christian spirit of discipline, civilization, and concord. He awoke
     the soul of the savage, and turned his instincts in search of
     better things than he had known. He closed the barracks of the
     soldiers and opened the Colleges of the Missionaries."

In some respects Hernandarias's tenure of office resembled that of
Irala, for, although unanimously elected by the colonists, in whose eyes
he was estimated at his true value, the official ratification of Spain
of his appointment was many years in forthcoming, the principal reason
for the delay being, of course, due to the fact of his colonial birth.
On several occasions his government was interrupted owing to this, and,
indeed, Hernandarias may be said to have ruled for various distinct
periods. It was only on November 7, 1614, that he received the definite
appointment as Governor from the Court of Spain.

It was at this period that the Government of the River Plate was
separated from that of Paraguay, Buenos Aires being made the capital of
the former, while Asuncion remained the capital of the latter. This
process of subdivision was continued until, at the period when the
Viceroyalty of Buenos Aires was constituted, it consisted of the
provinces of Paraguay, Tucuman, Cuyo, the River Plate, Santa Cruz de la
Sierra, and Charcas.

The value of these River Plate provinces was now become apparent to
Spain. Lacking in minerals though they were, these south-eastern
territories of the Continent were now exporting an amazing quantity of
horns, hides, tallow, and other such produce of the pastoral industry.
So abundant, indeed, had become the wild herds of cattle which roamed on
the plains of the alluvial country that a stray buccaneer or two landed
a force with the object of collecting horns and hides.

At a later period a French adventurer of the name of Moreau endeavoured
to establish himself permanently on the Uruguayan shore for this
purpose. He had already fortified himself, and had collected a
considerable store of hides, when he was attacked by the Spaniards and
driven from the spot. He returned to attempt the venture for the second
time, but his force was again defeated, and on this occasion he lost his
life.

The Indians in these provinces had now become expert horsemen. They,
too, possessed their share of the enormous quantities of live stock with
which the country abounded; but if from drought or any other such cause
the numbers of their animals grew uncomfortably diminished, they would
raid the European settlements, and, taking the colonists by surprise and
slaughtering without mercy, would sweep the country-side clear of live
stock, and scamper away to their own haunts at top speed.

Thus the hatred between the natives and the colonials grew ever more
bitter, and weapons, ambushes, and massacres constituted the sole means
of communication between the two. These Indians of the open plains
proved themselves formidable enemies, and, utterly merciless as they
showed themselves to the vanquished, they rapidly became a continual
source of dread to the pioneers living in the remoter settlements.

In 1767, when the order was received from Spain to expel the Jesuits
from the Spanish colonies in South America, the expulsion took place
unattended by any untoward circumstances in such places as Córdoba,
Corrientes, Montevideo, and Santa Fé. In these places the buildings that
had been devoted to the objects of the Order were ransacked, and,
unfortunately, many valuable collections of books and similar objects
were destroyed.

The authorities regarded with more hesitation the carrying out of the
orders from Spain in the province of Paraguay. Many tens of thousands
of Indians formed part of the Jesuit settlements, and the influence of
the Company was supreme throughout all the territories which now
constitute North-West Uruguay, South-East Paraguay, and South-West
Brazil.

Don Francisco de Paula Bucareli y Ursua, the Governor of Buenos Aires,
marched north in order to effect the eviction. Bucareli's few companies
of troops would, of course, in actual warfare have stood no chance
whatever against the numerous Indian regiments which the Jesuit missions
now possessed. Bucareli relied on his gifts of tact and diplomacy, of
which he gave no small evidence during the negotiations which ensued. As
it turned out, the employment of neither of these qualities, nor of the
troops which he brought with him, proved necessary, for the Jesuits
expressed themselves ready and willing to comply with the order, and,
having obeyed it, they were escorted to Buenos Aires. From thence they
were sent by ship to Europe, and the great social structure they had
erected fell forthwith to the ground.

The districts which had formerly been occupied by the mission Indians
became after a while practically depopulated, and the Portuguese,
remarking this state of affairs, decided that the moment was favourable
for aggression. Thus, in 1801, Portuguese troops from the town of San
Pedro advanced against the Spanish port on the western shore of the Lake
Patos, whilst others advanced towards the River Prado.

The majority of these invaders appear to have been more or less of the
freebooting order. One of the most notable bodies was commanded by José
Borges do Canto, who assembled a small army of forty men, which he armed
at his own expense. Learning that the Indians, bereft now of their
Jesuit Fathers and discontented with the Spanish rule, would take the
first opportunity of rising against the Spaniards, he determined to
push on towards the site of the old missions.

At San Miguel the band of desperadoes came across an entrenchment manned
by Spaniards. These, entirely deceived as to the real importance of the
force which attacked them, retired after the exchange of a few shots,
and capitulated on condition of permission to retreat unmolested. This
was granted, but the retiring Spanish garrison was almost immediately
afterwards taken prisoner by another roving Portuguese body. It was some
while before their protests caused them to be liberated.

In the end the Portuguese obtained possession of much territory by means
of this invasion, including that of the seven famous missions of San
Francisco Borja, San Miguel, San João, San Angelo, San Nicolau, San
Laurenço, and San Luiz.

We arrive now at an event which exercised an even greater influence on
the destiny of South America in general than was suspected at the time.
This was the invasion of the River Plate Provinces by the British.
Undoubtedly, one of the prime causes of this invasion was the presence
of the famous South American patriot, Miranda, in England, and the
antagonism which existed at the time between Great Britain and Spain.

Urged by Miranda, Pitt determined to lend active military assistance to
the South American colonists. Many of these were now openly
demonstrating their sense of discontent, yet none, it must be said, had
so far shown any inclination or desire to go to the length of taking up
arms against the Mother Country. It was, nevertheless, entirely on this
latter supposition that the British forces sailed for the River Plate.

The first expedition consisted of some 1,600 troops, under the orders of
General Beresford, which were transported to Buenos Aires by a fleet
under Admiral Home Popham. On June 27, 1806, Buenos Aires was captured.
The Viceroy, Sobremonte, demonstrated remarkably little warlike ardour,
fleeing in haste before the advancing British. A French naval officer in
the service of the Spanish, Don Santiago Liniers, organized an army of
relief at Montevideo, to which all the South American volunteers,
officers and troops, flocked. The local forces, now powerfully
recruited, crossed the River Plate, attacked Buenos Aires, and won the
city back for the Spanish Crown on August 12. Admiral Popham,
notwithstanding this, remained in the River Plate with his fleet, and,
having blockaded the estuary, received reinforcements from the Cape of
Good Hope. By means of these the town of Maldonado was captured. A
little later more important bodies of British troops arrived on the
scene. Commanded by General Auchmuty, these attacked Montevideo, which
fell into the hands of the invaders on February 3, 1807.

Determined to pursue its operations in this quarter of the world, the
British Government now despatched General Whitelocke with a formidable
army to the River Plate. Twelve thousand of the finest British troops
were now established at Montevideo preparing for the expedition which
was to bring Buenos Aires within the British Empire. The attempt,
however, failed completely, and a terrible disaster ensued, the cause of
which is imputed entirely to the crass folly of Whitelocke, who sent his
regiments to march through the streets of the town, to be shot down in
hundreds by the determined defenders congregated on the housetops.

In many instances the result of this extraordinary piece of strategy was
mere slaughter, since the British troops, many of whom had been charged
to use nothing beyond the bayonet and to refrain from firing, could
adopt no retaliatory measures whatever. In the circumstances total
defeat was inevitable, and at the end of the engagement the General
found himself a prisoner in the hands of the South Americans. On this
Whitelocke signed a treaty agreeing to evacuate the River Plate
Provinces altogether, and within two months not a British soldier was
left in Buenos Aires and Montevideo. On his arrival home Whitelocke
underwent a court-martial, and was cashiered with well deserved and
bitter censure.

Apart from the extraordinary incompetence--to call it by no worse
name--shown by General Whitelocke, there is some doubt as to whether the
British would have succeeded in permanently retaining possession of the
territory they had captured. For one thing, their expectations that the
colonials would join them were not realized. The inherent loyalty of the
South American to the motherland forbade any such move at the time.
Nevertheless, it is freely acknowledged that this English expedition
played no small part in the ultimate liberation of South America, since
it was owing to the invasion that the South Americans, deserted by their
Viceroy, had only themselves on whom to rely for the expulsion of the
expeditionary army. From the force of no initiative of their own, they
had been left to their own resources, and had found that their strength
did not fail them. Amid the doubts and hesitations of later days the
knowledge of this played an important part.



CHAPTER XIV

THE NORTHERN COLONIES


It is, to a certain extent, difficult for one familiar with the South
America of to-day to realize the New Granada of the Spanish colonial
period. From Guiana westward along the northern coast was an extensive
and, for the most part, unexploited stretch of territory, devoid of such
arbitrary boundaries as characterize it to-day, and limited only on the
north and west by the sea, and on the south by the Portuguese colony of
Brazil and the great Spanish territory of Peru. Venezuela, Colombia, and
Ecuador, and the sharply defined limits these names represent, are, of
course, modern creations, comparatively speaking. For centuries the
landward boundaries of Spanish New Granada remained shadowy, indefinite
limits. There was a Viceroyalty of New Granada, so named from the
resemblance between the plains around Bogotá and the _Vega_ of the
Moorish capital, and there was a Captain-Generalship of Venezuela. New
Granada was estimated as comprising all the country between 60° and 78°
west longitude, and between 6° to 15° north latitude. In this was
included Venezuela, under which name was comprised an extent of
territory far less important than is at present the case.

As has been related, Ximines de Quesada, together with Benalcazar, the
Governor of Quito, conquered the district of Bogotá, and founded that
city in 1538. After this followed the banishment of Quesada by the
Spanish authorities, his return and his wise rule of the country--over
which he was appointed Marshal--from 1551 onwards. Later, after his
appointment as Adelantado, he devoted three years of toil and an
enormous amount of wealth to the quest of El Dorado. Three hundred
Spaniards, 2,000 Indians, and 1,200 horses set out on this quest; 24 men
and 32 horses only returned. The costly myth of El Dorado, from the
earliest days of its conception, was insatiable in the matter of human
lives.

Quesada died, like one or two other great figures of medieval times, of
leprosy, after having founded the city of Santa Aguda in 1572. He left
behind him a will in which he requested that no extravagant monument
should be erected over his grave--a rather superfluous request as it
turned out, since he also left debts to the value of 60,000 ducats! The
city of Bogotá holds his remains, which were conveyed to that city after
his death.

The value of New Granada in the eyes of Spain lay in its being the chief
emerald-producing centre of the world. The _conquistadores_ of Peru had
met with emeralds, and had gathered the impression that the real emerald
was as hard as a diamond, a belief which led them to submit all the
green gems they found to the test of hammering--with disastrous results
to the stones. The loss occasioned by this procedure was intensified by
the fact that for a long while it was found impossible to discover the
mine from which the Incas had procured their emeralds. It was not until
the discovery of New Granada that the source was revealed from which the
stones had been obtained. The wealth of the land did not end here. From
Popayan and Choco, provinces of the north-west, "placer" gold was
obtainable in fairly large quantities by the simple expedient of
washing. Thus, on the whole, New Granada promised the Spaniards ample
supplies of the minerals which they coveted, and which they sought
without intermission.

By reason of these things the Spanish Government, ever fearful of undue
colonial strength, came to the conclusion that the Viceroyalty of Peru
was quite powerful enough and wealthy enough without these newer
possessions. In the year 1718 the limits of the Viceroyalty of New
Granada were defined, rendering the tract of land which now forms the
republics of Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador, quite independent of the
Peruvian Viceroyalty; for, notwithstanding the fact that the Peruvian
authority had every claim to the retention of the inland province of
Quito, that also was assigned to the newer government.

The conquests of Quesada and Benalcazar had established centres of
Spanish influence, but they had not gone far towards organizing the
control of the country. Consequently, the establishment of a central
authority at Bogotá, independent of all but the Spanish Crown, was a
decidedly advantageous move. As was the case elsewhere in the Continent,
one of the chief evils requiring stringent treatment was that of
smuggling. It was said, for instance, that in the early days half the
great gold output of the colony was smuggled abroad by way of the Rivers
Atrato and Hacha. The first Viceroy of New Granada caused forts to be
erected on these and other streams, with a view to stopping the illegal
traffic, and this measure mitigated the evil which nothing--in view of
the half-settled state of the country--could quite subdue.

So little under control was the greater part of New Granada, that the
good results of establishing a separate Viceroyalty only became apparent
slowly. The conquest of the Chibchas, effected as it was with all the
refinements of cruelty familiar to the _conquistadores_, had added
fierce resentment to the natural racial antipathy already existing in
the savage tribes of the country, and communication between provinces
and towns was difficult in all cases, while in many it was altogether
impracticable. There remained numerous bands of roving savages, fierce
and predatory, to render travel unsafe; and though the efforts of the
missionaries and others brought gentler ways to some in course of time,
the whole of the colonial era was characterized by the presence of
utterly fierce and vindictive bodies of aboriginals, while sufficient
reprisals were indulged in by the Spaniards to keep alive the flame of
hostility.

[Illustration: AN ISLAND PASSAGE OF THE RIVER AMAZON.

_From the "Narrative of a Journey from Lima to Para, 1836."_]

There is something in the transportation of the European to tropical
climates and the control of an inferior race which, in certain
circumstances, appears to loose and to intensify all the most cruel
instincts and desires of which humanity is capable. In reckoning up the
racial contests in New Granada, reader and historian alike must give the
aboriginal his due. He was by no means the gentle savage such as he is
frequently depicted. Indeed, many of his native customs were completely
brutal. Nevertheless, it is necessary to debit against the invader
numerous excesses and deeds of cruelty directed against the inferior or
subject race. And since popular feeling, which ranges on the side of the
oppressed to-day, was undoubtedly on the side of the oppressor during
the earlier centuries, there can be little doubt that the ferocity of
the Indians of New Granada, and their hesitating acceptance of the
missionary's doctrine, were not without excuse.

Although the soil of New Granada offered endless possibilities to the
colonists, the cost of transport and the difficulties attendant on this
necessary commercial operation rendered agriculture in the interior of
little importance as an industry. Each settlement grew sufficient for
its own needs, and no more. Other factors in the slight use made of the
rich soil were the natural indolence and the improvident habits of the
people--habits not yet quite eradicated, since at the present day
Venezuela, although it possesses some of the richest and best
maize-growing lands in the world, still imports maize from the United
States. From the creation of the Viceroyalty onward, attempts were made
by the Spanish authorities to make the people industrious and thrifty,
but these met with scant success.

The power and character of the aboriginal tribes may be estimated from
the fact that, up to the end of the colonial period, Spanish authority
in the immense territory of Quito was only exercised over a valley,
formed by two spurs of the Andes, which reached some eighty leagues in
length, with an average breadth of fifteen leagues. At the beginning of
the eighteenth century a number of towns were established by Catholic
missionaries on the Atlantic coast and on the rivers emptying into the
Gulf of San Miguel; but the Indians destroyed them all, and remained so
little dominated by the white race that a treaty of peace, concluded
between Spaniards and native chiefs in 1790, contained a clause by which
the Spaniards consented to abandon all their forts in Darien.

Beyond these there were other foes to be feared, quite as grim and even
more dangerous. In 1670 the famous buccaneer, Captain Morgan, destroyed
the castle of San Lorenzo at Chagres. This, of course, was in addition
to his feat of capturing and burning the town of Panamá. Ten years later
another party of buccaneers captured the city of Santa Maria, in
consequence of which the mines of Cana were closed in 1685.

Towards the end of the seventeenth century William Paterson established
a Scottish colony on the Bay of Caledonia, at Puerto Escoces, but the
venture scarcely proved a success. Ill-fate seems to have pursued most
of the attempts at settlement in New Granada while the Spanish rule
lasted. Yet the town of Santa Fé de Bogotá flourished, and has continued
to flourish to this day, so that no less an authority than Mr. R.B.
Cunninghame Graham has described it as the chief literary centre south
of Panamá.

The town is set at the foot of the hills, facing a vast plain, and
towards the end of the colonial period was represented as a city of
3,250 families--a population of upwards of 16,000. It was the centre of
archiepiscopal authority, with jurisdiction over the Dioceses of
Cartagena, Santa Marta, Panamá, Caracas, and Quito. The route from
Bogotá to Europe lay by way of Cartagena, 300 miles distant from the
capital.

Next in order of importance was Quito. The immense province was--and is
at the present day--made up for the most part of dense jungle growth,
alternating with marshy and desert stretches, with nomadic tribes
inhabiting the more open areas. The city of Quito itself, set in
perpetual spring, is considered one of the most beautiful spots in the
world, almost its only drawbacks being the tremendous violence of the
tropical storms to which it is subject, and occasional earthquake
shocks.

The poverty of the mines of Quito freed the Indian inhabitants from
mining labour, a form of industry which, under Spanish rule, depopulated
so many native centres. In consequence of this Quito was reputed to be
the most thickly populated province of South America. Various
manufactures were pursued, and there were several towns with populations
of over 10,000. The products of the land were exchanged for wine, oil,
and other extraneous products, but so inefficient was the colonial
administration that in 1790 Quito was one of the poorest of South
American cities.

The article of chief value--for rubber had not then come into
prominence--was the _quinquina_, or cinchona bark, at first considered
peculiar to the territory of Loxa, but subsequently found to exist at
Bogotá, Riobamba, and many other parts of New Granada. It was first
introduced to Europe by the Jesuits in 1639, and after its use had been
established at the Spanish Court in 1640, it commanded a price of 100
crowns a pound. In these circumstances _quinquina_ was, as a matter of
course, subject to adulteration and substitution--practices which
brought their own reward, since the quinine of Loxa, at one time
considered of the highest quality, fell into disrepute when the
gatherers in that province mixed with the real article the bark of other
trees. Perpetually increasing demand led to more careful search for
supplies, and the New Granada of the colonial era owed almost all its
prosperity to the exports of the famed bark, for the output of minerals
dwindled almost to vanishing point.

The Captain-Generalship of Venezuela was chiefly noteworthy for the
Spanish settlements on the Orinoco, where over 4,000 Spaniards were
contained in a dozen or so of villages rather indolently engaged in
cattle raising. Together with tributary Indians, the settlers made up a
total population of nearly 17,000, with over 70,000 head of cattle among
them. Their trade was with the Dutch of Curaçoa, who supplied goods in
exchange for cattle, hides, and tobacco.

Caracas was then, as it is now, the head-quarters of the colony, which
was separated from the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1731. Three years
previously--in 1728--some merchants of Guipiscoa obtained exclusive
trading rights with Caracas, conditionally on their putting an end to
the trade with Curaçoa, and landing all cargoes at Cadiz. So
successfully did they fulfil these conditions, and to such an extent did
they increase the development of the colony, that it was deemed
necessary to separate it from New Granada, and form an entirely new
administration.

[Illustration: POTOSI, IN BOLIVIA.

The famous centre of the silver-mining region which supplied the Spanish
Empire with bullion for three centuries.

_From a seventeenth-century engraving._]

Yet the climate, or some obscure effect of the mingling and
cross-breeding of conquerors and conquered, seems to have paralyzed
human effort in these colonies of the northern coast. The land was
something of an earthly paradise, and men were tempted to doze in it
rather than to develop its resources. The cacao of Venezuela takes first
place in the markets of the world, and has done so since its initial
cultivation there; but not one-tenth of the area available for the
growth of the bean has ever been utilized.

Caracas itself, earthquake shaken from time to time, was never--even in
the most favourable periods of colonial rule--a flourishing city, but
rather a centre of trade for scattered settlements. The town could claim
little literary or educational movement to mark it as the capital of a
potentially rich country. It was concerned, moreover, with scarcely a
trace of the social and erudite development that characterized Bogotá
almost from the time of its foundation by Quesada. In so far as it had
to be, Caracas existed, but there its ambition ended.

Except for some isolated centres, this was true of the whole of New
Granada and Venezuela. Under Spanish rule the Viceroyalty and its
dependent Captain-Generalship formed a great area into which Spaniards
had come to hunt for mineral wealth, and while that wealth was
obtainable there was a vast amount of activity. The aborigines, save for
the Chibcha race, numbered among them some of the lowest types on the
Continent, and where gold or emeralds or other valuable minerals were to
be obtained these unfortunates were pressed into service, or rather into
slavery.

When the minerals were exhausted, enterprise ceased. Sufficient
cultivation for material needs--an easy matter in this productive
land--was carried on, and in certain districts a definite amount of
cacao growing was practised. For the rest, little was achieved, while
farther south development was proceeding along the lines which have
brought into being the great republics of to-day.

Then Venezuela gave to South America Simon Bolivar, and the storm of
revolution which swept the Continent shook these northern dependencies
into transient wakefulness and energy, until the great day of Boyaca
dawned, and New Granada and Venezuela, as Spanish colonies, ceased to
be. Fit or unfit as they might have been for self-government at the
time, these peoples set out to make histories as independent States, and
the Spanish colonial era, having lasted over two and a half centuries,
came to an end.



CHAPTER XV

THE LAST DAYS OF EMPIRE


We have now arrived at the most critical of all the periods which
Spanish South America has undergone in the course of its history, the
decade or so which preceded the actual outbreak of the revolutionary
wars. In order to arrive at a just appreciation of the situation it is
necessary to realize that, although the policy of Spain had consistently
demonstrated itself as discouraging towards learning and progress in
every direction, to such an extent had the population of the colonies
grown that this task of repression of the intelligence of a Continent
had now become Herculean and altogether beyond the powers of the
moderately energetic Spanish officials.

Despite every precaution, the colonists had succeeded in educating
themselves up to a certain point; moreover, a number of them, flinging
restrictions to the wind, had now begun to travel abroad, and had
visited European centres. These sons of the New World had adapted
themselves admirably to the conditions of Europe. They had been received
by notable personages in England and France, who had been struck with
the intelligence and ideals of the South Americans. These latter, for
their part, had benefited from an exchange of views and from
conversations concerning many subjects which were necessarily new to
them. With an intercourse of this kind once in full swing it was
inevitable that the regulations of Spain should automatically become
obsolete and, in the eyes of the Americans, ridiculous.

In South America itself, nevertheless, the social gap between the
Spaniard and the colonial continued entirely unbridged, and the contempt
of the European officials for the South American born was as openly
expressed in as gratuitous a fashion as ever. Indeed, as the
opportunities for education broadened for the colonists, it would seem
that their Spanish alleged brethren affected to despise them still more
deeply--no doubt as a hint that no mere learning could alter the solid
fact that their birth had occurred without the frontiers of European
Spain.

The ban upon mixed marriages continued, and neither Viceroys, Governors,
nor high officials might lead to the altar any woman born in America,
however beautiful she might be, and however aristocratic her descent. A
few minor privileges had been accorded to these oversea dwellers, it is
true. A system of titles had been instituted throughout the colonies,
for instance. By means of this it was hoped to pander to the vanity of
the Americans, and to bring into being a new tie of interest which
should cement the link between the Old and the New World which was
proving so profitable to Spain.

As a matter of fact, none took the trouble to grant these titles in
return for merit or service; it was necessary to buy them and to pay for
them. Their grandeur was strictly local. Thus a Marquis or a Count in
Lima or elsewhere in the Southern Continent would have been crassly
unwise to leave the shores of South America, for once in Spain his title
fell from him like a withered leaf; he became plain "Señor" and nothing
beyond, for in Spain these colonial distinctions were a matter for jeers
and mockery. What remained, therefore, for the poor local noble but to
hasten back to the spot where his nobility held good! It was better to
bask as a Marquis in the sunshine of the south than to be
cold-shouldered as a plebeian in stately Castile.

Commercial and more material distinctions which favoured Spain as
against her colonies remained equally marked. Bartolomé Mitre has
appropriately explained the situation which preceded the Revolution:

     "The system of commercial monopoly which Spain adopted with respect
     to America immediately on the discovery of the Continent was as
     disastrous to the motherland as to the colonies. Employing a
     fallacious theory in order that the riches of the New World should
     pass to Spain, and that the latter country should serve as sole
     provider to her colonies, all the legislation was in the first
     instance directed to this end. Thus in America all industries which
     might provide competition with those of the Peninsula were
     forbidden. In order that this monopoly might be centralized, the
     port of Seville (and afterwards that of Cadiz) was made the sole
     port of departure and of entry for the vessels carrying the
     merchandise between the two continents. In order to render the
     working of this system doubly efficacious, no commercial
     communication was permitted between the colonies themselves, and
     the movements of all merchandise were made to converge at a single
     point. This scheme was assisted by the organization of the galleon
     fleets, which, guarded by warships, united themselves into a single
     convoy once or twice a year. Portobello (with Panama on the other
     side of the narrow isthmus) was the sole commercial harbour of
     South America. Merchandise introduced here was sent across the
     isthmus and down the Pacific coast, and eventually penetrated
     inland as far as Potosi. To this place the colonists of the south
     and of the Atlantic coast were obliged to come in order to effect
     their negotiations, and to supply themselves with necessities at a
     cost of from 500 to 600 per cent. above the original price. These
     absurd regulations, violating natural laws and the rules of good
     government, as well as the colonial monopoly, could only have
     emanated from the madness of an absolute power supported by the
     inertia of an enslaved people.... When Spain, enlightened by
     experience, wished to alter her disastrous system of exploitation,
     and actually did so with sufficient intelligence and generosity, it
     was already too late. She had lost her place as a motherland, and
     with it America as a colony. No bond, whether of force, affection,
     or of any other interest, linked the disinherited sons to the
     parent country. The separation was already a fact, and the
     independence of the South American colonies merely a question of
     time and opportunity."

What would have happened had the position of Spain herself in Europe
remained unimpaired is idle to conjecture, but it is practically
certain, with the new light which was now beginning to flood the new
Continent, that the struggle for independence would have been postponed
for a few years only.

The first herald of the great struggle for liberty which was to ensue
was Francisco Miranda. The character of Miranda resembled not a little
that of Bolivar. Both men were of exalted and enthusiastic temperaments;
both were skilled in the arts of oratory and the management of men, and
both possessed a visionary side. For each the situation in the New World
formed an ample and, indeed, justifiable field.

Long before the first outbreak of hostilities in America Miranda had
played the part of stormy petrel in other continents. Born in Venezuela,
he had the advantage of a wider knowledge of the world than many of his
compatriots; he had already taken an active part in the struggle between
North America and Great Britain, and he had joined with Lafayette in the
territories of the then British Colonies in order to assist the
revolutionaries in their campaign.

No ill-will appears to have been borne him by the English for the part
he played in this war; for some while afterwards we find him residing in
England, and corresponding with many prominent men of the period. He is
said to have gained the friendship of Fox, and it may have been due to
his efforts, whether direct or indirect, that Canning gave such
whole-hearted support to the South American cause. As has already been
said, it was largely due to Miranda's persuasions and
assertions--somewhat premature and optimistic though these eventually
proved themselves--that the various British expeditions sailed for the
River Plate. The result was disastrous in every respect save that it
lent to the colonials a new confidence in their own powers. In any case
Miranda's good faith and honour were unquestionable, although at a later
period he appears to have fallen somewhat under the suspicion of his
fellow-patriots.

It was not long before the efforts of Miranda began to be seconded by
those of other distinguished and high-spirited South Americans. Simon
Bolivar, the liberator himself, accompanied by a tutor, was sent by his
parents to gain an intimate knowledge of Europe and of the polite arts
of the Old Continent. Here he had plunged himself into Latin classics
and the French philosophy, and his remarkable personality is said to
have created no small impression upon those with whom he came into
contact. Venezuela has every right to be proud of the fact that,
although the seeds of liberty had already been sown throughout the
Continent, and especially in the River Plate Provinces, they first
sprouted into material activity in Venezuela, for Bolivar, having been
born at Caracas, could claim Miranda as a fellow-countryman, or rather
as a neighbour, since theoretically, in the colonial days, all South
Americans were fellow-countrymen.

It is certain that during this early European tour of Bolivar's he had
already become strongly imbued with the idea of freeing his country and
Continent from the rule of Spain. At one period of his travels he was
at Rome, and he is said to have chosen the holy city as the spot in
which to swear a solemn oath to take his share in the liberation of his
native land--an oath which, as history proves, he fulfilled in generous
measure, since the first desperate fights in the north of the Continent
were conducted on the patriot side under his auspices and those of
Miranda.

In the face of all the trials and injustices which they had undergone,
it is important to remember that the temperament of the South Americans
was one which urged them strongly to remain loyal to the Mother Country.
Although it had now become evident that a rupture was inevitable, the
colonists viewed the snapping of the ties which bound them to Spain with
reluctance and unease. As fate would have it, it was the situation in
Europe which arose to solve the difficulty, and to remove the last doubt
from the breasts of the South American patriots. The news of catastrophe
after catastrophe filtered slowly through from the peninsula to the
colonies. The Napoleonic armies had overrun the country; the Corsican's
talons were now fixed deeply in its soil, and the rightful Sovereign had
abdicated while the throne was being seized upon by Joseph Buonaparte.
Then came the news of a Spanish _junta_, formed as a last resource to
organize a defence of the harassed country; after this followed tidings
of dissensions among the numbers of these defenders themselves, of the
formation of other _juntas_, and, in fact, of the prevalence of complete
desolation and catastrophe and of the wildest confusion.

In the midst of the reports and rumours, contradictions and
confirmations which followed one another at as great a pace as the
methods of communication of the period would allow, there came at last
definite proofs of the chaos which reigned in Spain. An envoy arrived
in Buenos Aires, sent by Napoleon in his capacity of Lord of Spain, in
order to announce the fact to the colonies, and to open up negotiations
for future transactions. Almost simultaneously arrived another envoy--a
special messenger this, sent from the Junta of Seville, who claimed that
Spain still belonged to the Spaniards, and that the Junta of Seville
represented Spain.

[Illustration: BRITISH WARSHIPS UNDER ANSON'S COMMAND PLUNDERING PAYTA
(NORTHERN PERU) IN 1741.]

In one direction the colonial authorities were enabled to act without
hesitation. Napoleon's envoy was sent packing back in haste to where he
had come from! The messenger from the _junta_, on the other hand, was
received with every consideration; but his presence failed to dispel the
doubts from the minds of the South Americans. For the downfall of Spain
was now patent to all, as well as her impotence, not only to maintain
communication with her colonies, but to move hand or foot to free
herself from the grasp of the French.

The situation as it now presented itself would have been sufficiently
bewildering even in the case of colonies who had enjoyed fair treatment
on the part of the _Madre Patria_. Amid the chaos which prevailed in
Europe it was practically impossible to discover in whose hands the
actual authority lay in Spain. The Spanish King, his rival Prince,
Joseph Buonaparte, the Junta of Seville--all these reiterated their
claims to the supreme authority. The storm of contradictions and
disclaimers ended by proving clearly to the colonists what was actually
the case. In Spain no single supreme authority existed. This in
consequence lay with themselves.

From the moment that this became clear the passive submission to the
local royal garrisons and to the powers of Spain set above them began to
give way to active protests. In ordinary circumstances these would
probably have continued for some while, and efforts would have been made
to avoid the actual resort to arms. So fiercely, however, were the
first claims to their rights on the parts of the colonists resented and
opposed by the Spanish officials that the South Americans, disgusted and
embittered, threw caution to the wind, drew the sword in turn, and met
force by force, while the flare of battle burst out from the north to
the south of the great Continent.

[Illustration: PEASANTS OF ST. MICHAEL PROCEEDING TO DEL GADO.]



CHAPTER XVI

THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE--I


The analogy between the first invasions of South America by the
_conquistadores_ and the campaign of liberation undertaken by the South
Americans of a later age is curious to remark. The _conquistadores_
undertook three separate invasions: the first in the north; the second
in Peru, and subsequently Chile; the third in the Provinces of the River
Plate. In the struggle of the South Americans against the Spanish
forces, the field of war was divided into precisely the same categories.

Bolivar, Sucre, Miranda, and their colleagues blew up the flames of
strife and kept them alive in the north; Belgrano, San Martin, Guëmes,
and their comrades maintained the fight in the River Plate Provinces;
while the Chilean O'Higgins and his companions accompanied the great San
Martin in his march from Argentina westwards over the Andes to Chile.
From there, having freed the province, the liberating army turned
northwards into Peru, eventually to fuse with the stream of patriot
forces which was flowing down from the north with the same purpose in
view.

Since both Miranda and Bolivar had played such important parts before
the outbreak of the revolution, it will be well to deal first of all
with the progress of the wars in the north. It was in Caracas that the
plans and projects of independence were matured. When the outbreak in
the south took place, Caracas girded up its loins for war, and Bolivar
and Miranda took the field beneath the banner of independence. In no
place were the fortunes of war more varied than in the north, and the
campaign was destined to last fourteen years before the Spanish power in
the old kingdom of New Granada was finally broken.

It is impossible here to go into the full details of the campaigns. In
the first place, the patriots, although they fought desperately,
ill-armed and undisciplined as they were, suffered numerous reverses
from the Spanish veterans who garrisoned the northern districts. More
than once the flames of revolution seemed to all practical purposes
extinguished, and Bolivar and his lieutenants, fugitives from the field
of strife, were obliged to continue their plans in other lands, among
these places of refuge being some of the British West Indian Islands.

Even here the patriots were by no means safe from the vengeance of
Spain. Various attempts were made to assassinate Bolivar. On one
occasion a dastardly endeavour of the kind was within an ace of being
successful. Bolivar had sailed to Jamaica in order to obtain supplies
for the patriot forces. His presence in the island was noted, and some
Spaniards bribed a negro to enter the house where he was staying and to
slay him as he lay asleep at night.

The murderous black succeeded in penetrating to the room where the
General usually slept. A figure lay upon the bed, and this the assassin
stabbed to the heart; but it was not that of the Liberator. It was his
secretary, who had died in his stead.

Bolivar, however, was not a man to be deterred from his plans by
attempts such as these. He was possessed of a high courage, and was by
no means averse to distinguish himself on the battle-field from the rest
in the matter of costume. At Boyaca, for instance, he donned a jacket
and pantaloons of the most brilliant scarlet and gold, thus attracting
an amount of attention on the part of the enemy which was sufficiently
perilous in itself.

The British did not long delay in taking an active interest in the
struggle for independence, and very soon volunteers came flocking to the
assistance of these northern districts of South America. Two separate
British legions fought for Bolivar. One had been raised in England, and
was commanded by General English; the other, formed in Ireland, was led
by General Devereux. Some corps of native Indian troops, it may be
remarked, were officered by the British, and there was, moreover, in the
patriot service a battalion of rifles composed entirely of British and
German troops.

At first it appears that a marked spirit of distrust manifested itself
between the native patriots and the British; but very soon a mutual
admiration cemented a friendship between the two races. The English
volunteers found it difficult to display their true mettle in the early
days of the war. They suffered very severely on their first landing,
since they were unaccustomed to the climate, and found themselves unable
to accomplish the long marches made by the patriots. In a short while,
however, they grew used to the country and its ways, and then their
feats, instead of meeting with a certain amount of derision, provoked
the enthusiastic admiration of the Columbians.

It is certain that the campaign was no kid-glove one. Some of the
marches were attended by almost incredible hardships and sufferings. It
was, for instance, necessary in some districts to ford rivers in which
the perai fish abounded. This fierce little creature, as is well known,
is capable of tearing off a formidable mouthful of human flesh at a
single bite, and this it never fails to do when the opportunity offers.
Many severe wounds were caused among the British ranks by these
ferocious fish, and it may be imagined that in the first instance
experiences of the kind were as startling as they were disconcerting.

General Paez was one of the chief heroes of the north. His career was to
the full as adventurous as that of any other revolutionary leader. He
enlisted in the first place as a common soldier in the militia of
Barinos, and was soon after captured by the Spanish forces. His
execution, together with that of all the other prisoners, was ordered,
and would have taken place on the following day but for some
circumstances which enabled him to give his captors the slip.

The manner of his release was afterwards frequently recalled with no
little awe by the superstitious. At eleven o'clock at night the alarm
was given that the Royalist forces were about to be attacked by the
patriots, whose army had been seen advancing. The Spaniards retreated in
a panic, and Paez and his fellow-prisoners effected their escape. The
following morning, when the Royalists had recovered from their alarm,
they could find no enemy within a radius of fifty miles. This incident
was put down by the populace to the intervention in his favour on the
part of the host of departed spirits known as the "ejercito de las
animas."

Paez was extremely popular among his men, the hardy Llaneros of the
northern plains, born horsemen and fighters, corresponding in many
respects with the famous Gauchos of the south. Paez himself was a
magnificent horseman, and wielded the lance, the characteristic weapon
of the Llaneros, to perfection. He was thus doubly beloved of his
troops, since it was these qualities, of course, which appealed to them
more than the military strategy of which he gave such marked evidence.
On one occasion, when accompanied by very few of his own troops, Paez
rode up to a powerful body of Royalist cavalry. When quite close to the
enemy his men turned their horses as though in sudden terror, and
galloped away, hotly pursued by the Royalist horsemen. When Paez
considered that he had drawn these sufficiently far from their camp, he
turned upon them and cut them up in detail.

His most extraordinary feat, however, was the capture of some Spanish
gunboats on the River Apure by means of his Llanero cavalry. This is an
account of the feat as given by an eye-witness who was attached to the
British Legion:

     "Bolivar stood on the shore gazing at these [the gunboats] in
     despair, and continued disconsolately parading in front of them,
     when Paez, who had been on the look out, rode up and inquired the
     cause of his disquietude. His Excellency observed: 'I would give
     the world to have possession of the Spanish flotilla, for without
     it I can never cross the river, and the troops are unable to
     march.' 'But it shall be yours in an hour,' replied Paez. 'It is
     impossible,' said Bolivar; 'and the men must all perish.' 'Leave
     that to me,' rejoined Paez, and galloped off. In a few minutes he
     returned, bringing up his guard of honour, consisting of 300
     lancers selected from the main body of the Llaneros for their
     proved bravery and strength, and, leading them to the bank, thus
     addressed them: 'We must have these _flecheres_ or die. Let those
     follow Tio who please' ('Tio,' or 'uncle,' was the popular name by
     which Paez was known to his men), and at the same time, spurring
     his horse, pushed into the river and swam towards the flotilla. The
     guard followed him with their lances in hand, now encouraging their
     horses to bear up against the current by swimming by their sides
     and patting their necks, and then shouting to scare away the
     alligators, of which there were hundreds in the river, until they
     reached the boats, when, mounting their horses, they sprang from
     their backs on board them, headed by their leader, and, to the
     astonishment of those who beheld them from the shore, captured
     every one of them. To English officers it may appear inconceivable
     that a body of cavalry, with no other arms than their lances, and
     no other mode of conveyance across a rapid river than their horses,
     should attack and take a fleet of gunboats amidst shoals of
     alligators; but, strange as it may seem, it was actually
     accomplished, and there are many officers now in England who can
     testify to the truth of it."

It will be evident from exploits such as these that the Venezuelans were
fortunate in their leaders.

After a while Simon Bolivar, the Liberator, began to see that the
materialization of his lifelong ideal was now no longer a matter of the
dim distant future. The struggle had been severe, and the fortunes of
war had proved fickle at the beginning. At one period it had seemed that
even Nature had fought against the South American cause. At Barquisimeto
an earthquake had shattered the barracks of the soldiers of the
Independence, and many hundreds of troops were crushed beneath the
ruins.

The moral as well as the material effect of this disaster was serious in
the extreme. Miranda, moreover, although able, had proved himself an
unfortunate General. In the end he was captured by the Spaniards, and
died in captivity in Cadiz. Even when the tide of battle had definitely
turned against the Spaniards, their desperate straits induced them to
desperate measures, and the fortitude of the patriots continued to be
put severely to the test. One of the most dreaded Spanish moves, for
instance, was the freeing of the slaves and the arming of these against
their late colonial masters.

So embittered became the struggle that prisoners were put to death on
both sides, and many terrible massacres ensued in consequence. A number
of other prominent patriot leaders now came forward to assist Bolivar
and his comrades, among these being Nariño, who proved himself
victorious in many fights against the Royalists. At length, in 1821,
Bolivar and Paez effected a junction of their forces, and marched to
meet the Spanish army. On June 24 the Battle of Carabobo was fought,
which resulted in the complete defeat of the Royalist troops.

[Illustration: SIMON BOLIVAR, "EL LIBERADOR" (AS A YOUNG MAN).

Liberator of the Northern States of South America from Spanish Rule.

_From an engraving by M.N. Bate._

_A. Rischgitz._]

This Battle of Carabobo was one which had far-reaching effects in
Venezuela. In preparation for this fight Bolivar's army was formed in
three divisions. The first, commanded by General Paez, contained the
Cazadores Britannicus, or British Light Infantry, numbering 800 men, and
100 of the Irish Legion. This division, with the local troops, was of
3,100 men. The second, commanded by Cadeno, consisted of 1,800; and the
third, led by Ambrosio Plaza, was composed of the Rifles, a regiment
officered by Englishmen, and other regiments, in all 2,500 men.

The army had suffered terrible privations, and, in crossing the River
Aparito some time before the battle, many men, including a number of
Englishmen, had actually perished from the attacks of that terrible
fish, the perai. Mention has already been made of this fish, which, no
bigger than a perch, is provided with teeth which will tear the flesh
from the bones in a few seconds. It was from the attacks of flocks of
these that the unfortunate men had succumbed.

Just before the battle Bolivar rode along the front of his army, and it
is said that the English gave him three "hurrahs" that were heard a mile
off. After this, nevertheless, the attack was postponed until the next
day, and during the interval the rain came down in tropical sheets. The
Spaniards fought with extreme gallantry, and the battle was waged in the
most determined fashion on both sides before victory definitely
inclined to the patriot forces. The English took a very prominent share
in this battle, losing no less than 600 out of 900 men.

Bolivar had now all but fulfilled the oath he had sworn years before in
Rome. The Battle of Carabobo proved one of the most decisive of the
campaign. Its conclusion marked the end of the Spanish occupation of the
north. Bolivar had now cleared his own country of the Spaniards, and was
free to turn his attention to Peru.

In the south-east of the Continent the struggle for liberty was far less
prolonged than that in the districts of the centre, west, and north. It
may be that the wide, open, agricultural plains had infused into the
dwellers of Argentina an inherent sense of independence which had
continued to flourish and grow, notwithstanding the dominion of the
Spaniards. In any case, it was here that the revolt was, if not more
enthusiastic, at all events more rapid.

Since 1776, moreover, the date when the provinces of the River Plate
were exalted to the condition of a Viceroyalty, a certain freedom of
intercourse had obtained which had been utterly lacking before. The
trade of the country had expanded, and imports from Europe were now
permitted access to the River Plate without first being subjected to the
supervision of Panamá or Peru. When the struggle began, it found the
Argentine patriots enthusiastic and prepared.

On August 21, 1808, an act of fealty was sworn to Ferdinand VII. This,
nevertheless, met with disapproval on the part of many Argentines, who
desired the establishment of a _junta_ similar to that of Seville. The
party in favour of this increased rapidly in strength, and shortly
afterwards the Viceroy, Liniers, resigned. Although he had to a certain
extent the support of the patriot party, his position in the face of the
complicated situation had become extremely difficult. He was succeeded
on July 30, 1809, by Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros. The latter lost no
time in giving proof of liberal intentions. He opened the ports to
English vessels, and the commercial situation of the country, which had
been deplorable, improved immediately.

In the meanwhile some revolutionary outbreaks at Chuquisaca and La Paz
were suppressed by the Royalist troops with a brutality and wanton
slaughtering which roused a storm of indignation in Buenos Aires.
Cornelio de Saavedra, one of the patriot leaders in the capital,
succeeded, however, in preventing an open rising, since this would
undoubtedly have been premature.

A secret society was now formed in Buenos Aires, counting in its ranks
Belgrano, Nicolas Rodriguez Peña, Manuel Alberdi, Viamonte, Guido, and
others. From this nucleus the regiment of _patricios_ was formed, and
was commanded by Cornelio de Saavedra. The chief object of this society
was the foundation of an adequate representative Government. To this end
its members worked towards the abolition of the Viceroyalty and the
formation of a new species of Constitution. On May 22, 1810, a great
meeting was held at which it was resolved that the authority of the
Viceroyalty had expired. On this it was proposed that a junta should be
created. Confusion, dispute, and intrigue followed; but the mind of the
people was made up, and its will was no longer to be denied.

The Viceroy, de Cisneros, reluctant to oppose the now strongly expressed
popular will, on May 25, 1810, resigned his office in the presence of an
immense multitude. From this day the independence of Argentina is
officially counted, for on the spot a _junta_ was established. Its
members were Saavedra, Belgrano, Alberdi, Castelli, Azcuenaga, Matheu,
Larrea, Paso, and Moreno.

While all this was occurring in Buenos Aires, strong Royalist sympathies
continued to prevail in the provinces. Montevideo, too, showed itself
hostile to the new Government. From this base the Royalists were able to
strike at the new republican head-quarters at Buenos Aires, and on
February 18 a Spanish fleet sailed to the spot and blockaded the
capital. The patriots now made their first important move. A force of
1,200 volunteers, commanded by Ocampo and Balcarce, marched against
Córdoba, where Liniers and Concha were in command of the Royalist
forces. These latter were defeated and their leaders executed. Flushed
by its success, the Argentine army then invaded Peru. A little later
followed the victory of Suipacha, after which all the country in the
neighbourhood declared itself openly for the revolutionists.

Belgrano, in the meanwhile, led an army into Paraguay. He had
confidently expected the adherence of the inhabitants of that country.
These, however, remained loyal to the Crown, and Belgrano, defeated, was
obliged to retire.

Operations were now begun against the Spanish troops in Uruguay. These
were conducted by Belgrano, and in a very short time practically the
entirety of the province was in the hands of the revolutionists.
Montevideo alone, held by its strong Spanish garrison, continued to
resist. The town was closely invested on its landward side. Very soon
after this, unfavourable news from Peru caused the Argentines to abandon
their aggressive attitude; an armistice was declared so far as
Montevideo was concerned, and the South American forces retired from
Uruguay.

The news from the north, indeed, was sufficiently serious. After the
victory of Suipacha a truce had been agreed upon by Castelli, who was in
command of the patriot forces. This he had observed loyally, but
Gueneche, the leader of the Spanish troops, had proved himself less
scrupulous. Without warning, he had attacked the Argentine army at
Huaqui, and had obtained a decisive and sanguinary victory, at the end
of which the 800 Argentines who survived had been obliged to retire in
some confusion to Potosi.

Gueneche now in turn took the aggressive, and, advancing, he crushed the
revolution at Cochabamba, and now prepared his forces for serious
invasion. These reverses of fortune were not sufficient to discourage
the ardour of the inhabitants of Buenos Aires. For that the idea of
independence had become too strongly engrafted in the young nation; and
on February 18, 1812, the blue and white of the Argentine flag was
decided upon to the sound of enthusiastic acclamations.

A month later Belgrano took over the command of the army in Peru in
order to make a stand against the threatened invasion. In the first
place he found caution necessary. The Royalists, flushed with victory,
had recaptured the towns of Salta and Jujuy, and Belgrano retired for a
while in the face of their advances. The forces under the Spanish
General, Tristán, followed him.

This was Belgrano's opportunity. Falling upon the Royalist army, he
completely defeated it in a battle at Tucumán, and the Spaniards
suffered a heavy loss in men and munitions of war. Belgrano, then in
turn advanced and made once again for Salta. In the neighbourhood of
this town the Argentine flags were carried into battle for the first
time, and their presence was welcomed as a favourable omen, for the
victory remained with the patriot forces. Belgrano showed himself
generous as a victor by liberating the great majority of his prisoners
on parole, which, it is regrettable to state, large numbers of the
Spaniards broke.

This victory completely changed the situation in the south-east. The
patriots were enabled to resume the aggressive; their armies were sent
across once more into Uruguay, and Montevideo was again besieged.

In the meanwhile a certain amount of rivalry had made its appearance
among the intellectual patriot leaders in Buenos Aires. The rival
parties were headed respectively by Saavedra and Mariano Moreno. Moreno
eventually retired from the _junta_, and was offered the post of
Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain. This he accepted, but died on
his voyage to Europe. The party he had formed, however, continued in
being after his death under the name of Morenistas. The period, of
course, was one of experiment, and just at this moment numerous forms of
government were essayed, and the pattern of the constitution frequently
changed.

On March 9, 1812, occurred an important event in the history of
Argentina. On that date José de San Martin arrived in Buenos Aires in
the British frigate _George Canning_. With him came Carlos Alvear and
Matias Zapiola, whose names were likewise destined to become famous in
the annals of the Republic. On their arrival there was established in
Buenos Aires a branch of the now important secret society originally
founded in London, the "Gran Reunion Americana." This branch was
christened the "Logia de Lautaro," and exercised much influence on the
affairs of the revolution.

San Martin was empowered by the Government to raise a force of
horse-grenadiers, which subsequently became famous. In this regiment was
Alvear in the capacity of Sargento Mayor, and Zapiola as Captain. There
was plenty of work for the newly-constituted forces. San Martin's
regiment was employed, in the first place, in the endeavour to restrain
the river-raiding expeditions which the Royalist fleet was undertaking
from its base at Montevideo. The mischief effected by these incursions
to the patriot forces was very great. On February 3, 1813, however, San
Martin dealt the Spaniards a severe blow in the neighbourhood of
Rosario. Here he surprised a landing-party and defeated it utterly. This
was San Martin's first victory, and it very nearly proved his last, for
he had his horse shot under him and all but lost his life.

While this was going on in Argentina, the fortunes of war in Peru had
again veered from a favourable to a perilous condition. On October 1,
1813, the Argentine army was badly defeated at Vilcapuyo, and in the
same year it was again defeated at Ayouma. On this the Spaniards, seeing
that their star was again in the ascendant, resumed possession of
Chuquisaca and Potosi.

San Martin was now sent to take charge of operations in Peru. On the
Argentine side the campaign had in one sense degenerated, since the
diminished numbers of the Republican forces now restricted them to
guerilla fighting. This species of warfare, as a matter of fact, suited
the hardy Argentines admirably, and under such brilliant leaders as
Martin Guëmes, Ignacio Warnes, and Juan Antonio Alvarez de Arenales,
their feats had kept the Royalist forces fully occupied. San Martin, on
his arrival, immediately realized the advantages of this species of
resistance, and encouraged it to the utmost. By this means alone was an
invasion staved off.

At the beginning of 1814 Montevideo was still in the hands of the
Spaniards, who continued to command the estuary of the River Plate and
the great river system generally. Ominous news arrived from Europe. An
important Royalist expedition, it appeared, was being prepared in Spain.
The outlook for the patriots was serious. A Council of State was called
in Buenos Aires, consisting of nine members, of which Alvear was the
most prominent. It was agreed that, so long as the Spanish fleet
commanded the home waters, there was very little chance of driving their
garrisons from the ports. It was resolved to establish a patriot fleet,
which should sweep the seas clear of the Royalist vessels.

Three small vessels were in the first instance obtained--the _Hercules_,
the _Zefiro_, and the _Nancy_. The command of these was given to an
Irishman, William Brown, who lost no time in displaying his fitness for
the post, and who, indeed, played the part of a lesser Cochrane. With
his insignificant force he vanquished the Royalist fleet and captured
the Island of Martin Garcia and blockaded Montevideo. On land General
Alvear took charge of the investing patriot forces. Montevideo could now
look for no assistance from the sea, and on June 20, 1814, after having
suffered many hardships, the garrison capitulated, and with the collapse
of its gallant defence ended the power of Spain in the River Plate.

San Martin was then appointed Governor of Cuyo, with his head-quarters
at Mendoza. The situation in general was serious. Outside Argentina and
Uruguay the Royalist cause had held its own, and in many districts had
triumphed. It was said that the Spanish expedition of 15,000 men was on
the eve of embarkation in Europe, and even in the victorious River Plate
Provinces dissensions between Artigas, the Uruguayan leader, and rival
Generals had resulted in civil war.

It was undoubtedly necessary to obtain some recognition of the
Constitution in Europe. To this end Rivadavia and Belgrano proceeded to
the Old World and sought the assistance of various countries,
particularly that of England. On May 7, 1816, they arrived in Europe.
The harassed statesmen of Argentina had, after consideration, decided
that the best means of avoiding anarchy was to establish a monarchy. The
emissaries of the New World offered the throne to Don Francisco Paulo,
an adopted son of King Carlos IV. These negotiations and others which
succeeded them broke down and Belgrano returned to Buenos Aires.
Rivadavia went to Madrid, where he was not permitted to remain. A little
later Belgrano became possessed of the somewhat extraordinary idea of
crowning a member of the family of the Incas. This naturally enough met
with ridicule, and was rejected.

[Illustration: DON FRANCISCO SOLANO LOPEZ.

Third Dictator of the Republic of Paraguay.

_A. Rischgitz._]

But this is to anticipate. While all this was occurring, the struggle in
Peru had continued to show the fickleness of the fortunes of war.
Rondeau had been appointed General-in-Chief of the Army of Peru; he,
however, had proved himself a General of slow movements, and suffered
several defeats. He also fell out with Guëmes, and a battle ensued
between the two sections of the Argentine forces. In this Rondeau once
again suffered defeat at the hands of the Gauchos. A belated peace was
now made up between the leaders, and Guëmes was suffered to continue his
brilliant campaign unchecked.

In 1816 Puyrredon was elected dictator of Argentina, which now took its
place as an independent State. The new Republic had now time to look
beyond its own frontiers. Its eyes turned first of all to the west,
where the Chileans were still struggling against the garrisons of Spain.
Events had not favoured the patriots on the western side of the Andes,
and a number of the most prominent men had fled eastwards to Argentina,
O'Higgins and many others establishing themselves at the town of Mendoza
for the time being. There, unfortunately, a certain amount of jealousy
had broken out between the Chilean leaders, for the existence of much of
which there is no doubt that the Carrera family was largely responsible.

The three brothers Carrera were very notable personalities in the war
of independence in Chile. In 1811 Don Juan José Carrera, who had
attained to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel of Hussars in Europe,
returned to his native country to take part in its defence. He appointed
himself Colonel of the National Guards, made his eldest brother, José
Miguel, a Colonel of the Grenadiers, and his younger brother, Don Luis,
Colonel and Commander of the Artillery. In 1812 Bernardo O'Higgins
joined Carrera, who at first made him Lieutenant-Colonel of the Line,
and afterwards promoted him to the rank of Brigadier-General. In 1813
the three Carreras, with a number of other officers, were captured by
the Spaniards, and O'Higgins assumed command of the army. When the three
Carreras recovered their liberty a dispute occurred concerning the chief
command, and the forces of the opposing parties actually came to blows
on the Plain of Maipú, where an action was fought, and where O'Higgins
was made prisoner. After this a reconciliation was brought about.

There is no shadow of doubt that a number of these patriot leaders may
be ranked among the host of great men, sometimes on account of their
qualities as leaders, sometimes for their statesmanship, but in almost
every instance for their genuine patriotism. Nevertheless, there have
been very few historical characters or temperaments which have been more
difficult to estimate from contemporary accounts of their actions and
motives. Jealousy entered very freely into the patriot ranks, and the
various chroniclers, however honestly they may have written, and however
deep their convictions may have been, were inevitably swayed to a very
great extent by this.

Thus a partisan of the Carreras would have been a strange being,
according to the lights of these times, had he been able to discern a
spot of goodness in the personality of San Martin, and the admirer of
the heroic Cochrane would have had no higher opinion of the Argentine
Liberator. The reverse of the medal was, of course, shown by San
Martin's adherents, who might safely have been trusted to miss no defect
in Cochrane, or in any other of his party. This condition of affairs
prevailed throughout, and extended for the length and breadth of the
Continent. Bolivar, Sucre, and everyone of note, was a hero to his own
followers, and more or less a villain to the rest of the allied, yet
rival, parties. As a rule these prominent leaders suffered rather than
gained from the situation, since the calumnies of the period are more
abundant than the laudations. It is only now that the history of the
early nineteenth century is beginning to be written calmly and
dispassionately, and as a result the participants in the great deeds of
that epoch appear, with justice, greater to the modern world than they
did in the eyes of their contemporaries.



CHAPTER XVII

THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE--II


It was at Mendoza that the famous Argentine General, San Martin,
recruited the army destined for the campaign of Chile. In 1817
everything was prepared, and with an army of 4,000 men San Martin set
out on one of the most extraordinary military marches that history has
known. Indeed, his passage of the Andes is considered as unique by
numerous military experts.

The advance of San Martin was not altogether unexpected by the Royalist
forces, whose spies kept the Spanish commander informed of this latest
move on the part of the patriot army. General San Martin, becoming aware
of this, repaid these spies in their own coin. Taking them, as it
seemed, into his confidence, he informed them of the route he was about
to take, and when the time came chose another and a parallel pass.
Hastening down the tremendous rocky walls of the western side of the
Andes, San Martin engaged the Spanish forces and won an important
victory at Chacabuco. The Royalists, under General Osorio, rallied and
made a last desperate stand; but their forces were decisively and
finally defeated on April 5, 1818, at Maipu, and this action resulted in
the definite liberation of Chile.

San Martin was now the hero of Chile, and was begged to accept the
protectorship of the new Republic. His deeds on land were rivalled by
those of Admiral Cochrane on sea. The gallant Irish sailor was at the
time busily occupied in sweeping the Pacific Ocean clear of the Spanish
vessels, and in performing those extraordinary feats of valour for which
his memory is famed. Unfortunately, misunderstandings between the pair
eventually resulted in open enmity between Cochrane and San Martin. This
became accentuated when the campaign was undertaken in Peru, when San
Martin, not content with his victories in Chile, led his armies for the
liberation of the north into Peru itself, and into the head-quarters of
the remaining Spanish power.

It was in Peru, then, that the dispute between Cochrane and San Martin
broke out in a public fashion. Its origin in this instance was a
difference of opinion concerning the measures to be taken for the
capturing of Callao Castle. The impetuous Irishman was for storming the
place at once. The prudent San Martin, on the other hand, was desirous
of bringing about the surrender without bloodshed. The latter had his
way, but was subjected to some criticism, since a number of Royalist
soldiers who escaped were enabled to carry on the campaign in the
interior.

The second and more violent dispute broke out on San Martin's refusal to
pay the fleet out of the funds in Lima. On this Lord Cochrane took
forcible possession of a large sum of money at the Port of Ancon, thus
widening still further the already grave breach between the two. Once or
twice, indeed, it was a mere chance which prevented an outbreak of
active hostilities between the sea and land forces. Fortunately for all
concerned, matters were not destined to reach such a pass. This,
however, is somewhat in advance of the period with which we are dealing,
and it will be necessary to return for a short while to Peru in its
colonial state.

In Peru, during the last few years of the Spanish régime, the Royalist
authorities, bending to the urgent necessity of a concession to public
opinion which might enable them to retain their power for a little
longer, published some periodical papers, which, although of course
strongly biased in their intelligence in favour of the Royalist cause,
nevertheless gave a more or less accurate account of many of the events
which had passed into hard and fast history. Thus the inhabitants of
Lima were enabled to learn of the establishment of the Republics in
Colombia, Buenos Aires, and Chile.

In 1812, moreover, the Inquisition had been abolished. Of this, Lima had
been the head-quarters in South America from the day of its first
institution. Here a similar stern and merciless procedure to that in
other parts of the world was carried on. Indeed, the capital of the
senior Viceroy was in every way the most reactionary spot in South
America. In 1812, when it became known that the Cortes of Spain had
abolished the Inquisition, a number of Peruvians entered the premises of
the Holy office in order to inspect them. According to one who took part
in it, the visit was unexpectedly exciting, for, on ransacking the
documents, many of those present found their own names marked down as
those of future victims. The sight of the torture-room inspired very
different feelings in the breasts of the Limanians, and the sight of the
iniquitous instruments enraged them to the point of destroying much
within the building. Many trophies and relics were carried away as
momentoes of the occasion. The following morning, however, the
Archbishop proceeded in state to the cathedral, and declared all those
excommunicated who had taken, and were retaining, any object belonging
to the Inquisition. By this means a certain proportion of the objects
were recovered.

Nevertheless, during its latter days--doubtless from a presentiment of
the nearness of its end--the methods of the Inquisition had become
comparatively softened. Thus, when at the beginning of the nineteenth
century an old fortune-teller, accused of witchcraft, was made to stand
penitent in the chapel of the tribunal, and one of the secretaries read
out a list of the wretch's misdeeds, the result was very unusual for
anything connected with so justly dreaded an organization. For the old
fortune-teller, doubtless tickled by a recital of his feats, burst into
loud laughter, in which he was joined by the majority of the spectators.
It is said that the Viceroy Castelfuerte, when summoned before the
Inquisition, obeyed the mandate; but he brought with him his bodyguard,
and stationed two pieces of artillery outside the building of the
tribunal. After this he entered, and, placing his watch on the table,
told the Inquisitor that, unless they finished their business with him
in an hour, the place would be battered to pieces. In the face of this
information the interview terminated almost immediately.

It has been frequently brought against the inhabitants of Lima that,
while in almost every other part of the Continent the Americans had
already freed themselves, or were fighting with that object, they had
remained in a more or less passive state. Yet this condition of affairs
was practically inevitable when it is considered that Lima was the great
stronghold of Spain, filled to overflowing with Spanish officials and
military officers. It is certain enough that, had Lima been captured in
the first place by the insurgents, the Royalist resistance in all the
other colonies would inevitably have collapsed immediately; but it did
not in the least follow that because Buenos Aires, Santiago, and other
towns had become the seats of Republican Governments, that the movement
should influence the mainspring of Spanish authority at Lima.

The Spaniards of Lima were reputed, for that reason, the haughtiest of
any in the Continent, and their manner towards the Criollos continued as
overbearing as ever during the first stages of the revolution. It is
said that when the reinforcements came from Spain--as, for instance,
when in 1813 the regiment of Talavera arrived--the behaviour of these
Spaniards became more arrogant than ever. This attitude proved in the
end to be possessed of a disconcertingly slender foundation. As a matter
of fact, the troops which arrived from Spain during this period were for
the most part composed of very indifferent material, both officers and
men bearing the worst of characters, since every efficient soldier was
urgently required in the Mother Country at that time.

Numbers of the Spanish troops themselves at this stage gave many signs
of insubordination, more especially when, as occasionally occurred,
their pay was delayed; and on two occasions a widespread mutiny was only
staved off by the intervention of the Viceroy. Nevertheless, the
exultation of the Spanish civilians reached its most fevered height in
April, 1818, when the news of Spanish victories over the Chileans were
succeeding each other at short intervals. According to contemporaneous
historians, the Spaniards formed themselves into groups in the streets,
and mocked and insulted every Criollo who had to pass them by. So
arrogant was their conduct that no Criollo who valued his self-respect
dared to enter a coffee-house in which a group of these Spaniards was
assembled. The total news of the defeat of the Spanish General Osorio at
Maipú came as a thunderbolt, and the shocked and humbled Spanish had to
make the most of an altogether unexpected and painful situation.

W.B. Stevenson has an interesting account of the contrast which obtained
at this period between the state of affairs in Lima and in Santiago:

     "The contrast between the society which I had just quitted in the
     capital of Peru and that which I here found in the capital of Chile
     was of the most striking kind. The former, oppressed by proud
     mandatories, imperious chiefs, and insolent soldiers, had been long
     labouring under all the distressing effects of espionage--greatest
     enemy to the charm of every society--the overbearing haughty
     Spaniards, either with taunts or sneers, harrowing the very souls
     of the Americans, who suspected their very oldest friends and often
     their nearest relations. In this way they were forced to drain the
     cup of bitterness to the last dregs, without daring by
     participation or condolence to render it less unpalatable, except,
     indeed, they could find an Englishman, and to him they would
     unbosom their inmost thoughts, believing that every Briton feels as
     much interest in forwarding the liberty of his neighbour as he does
     in preserving his own. In Lima the tertulias, or chit-chat parties,
     and even the gaiety of the public promenade, had almost
     disappeared, and _quando se acabara esto?_--'When will this
     end?'--was constantly ejaculated.

     "In Santiago every scene was reversed. Mirth and gaiety presided at
     _paseos_, confidence and frankness at the daily tertulias.
     Englishmen here had evinced their love of universal liberty, and
     were highly esteemed. Friendship and conviviality seemed to reign
     triumphant, and the security of the country, being the fruit of the
     labour of its children, was considered by each separate individual
     as appertaining to himself; his sentiments on its past efforts,
     present change and future prosperity, were delivered with
     uncontrolled freedom; while the supreme magistrate, the military
     chief, the soldier and the peasant, hailed each other as
     countrymen, and only acknowledged a master in their duty or the
     law."

As has already been explained, it was inevitable that the struggle which
was taking place in Peru, the Viceroyalty, where was now centred all the
remaining Spanish power of the Continent, should have been more
prolonged than that in Chile, and far more so than had proved the
contest in the provinces of the River Plate. So far as Lima was
concerned, the result was not so long in doubt. Finding his hold on the
capital no longer tenable in the face of the advance from the south of
the victorious army, the Viceroy evacuated the town on July 26, 1821,
and the patriot forces, entering the city, proclaimed from that place
the freedom of Peru.

General Bolivar, in the meanwhile, having now cleared the northern
countries of the Spanish troops, was marching down into Peru, and thus
the stream of liberators from the south came into contact with those of
the north. An historical interview was held at Guayaquil on July 26,
1822, between the two greatest men of the Continent of that time, San
Martin and Bolivar. The details of this interview have never been made
public, but what occurred may be surmised more or less accurately from
the knowledge of the characters of the two men.

In one sense Bolivar's horizon was wider than that of San Martin. For
practical purposes, indeed, there is no doubt that this horizon of the
northern liberator had extended itself to a somewhat dangerous and
impracticable degree. His dream was a federated South America--a single
nation, in fact, which, save for the great Portuguese possession of
Brazil, should extend from Panamá to Cape Horn.

Bolivar's enthusiasm on this point refused to be curbed at any cost--at
all events, at this period. It must be admitted that he did not take
into full consideration the differences which climatic influences and
the varying degrees of racial intermarriage had worked in the
populations of the several provinces. Thus the ethics of the northern
and equatorial countries had become widely different from those in the
southern and temperate zones. Nevertheless, such was Bolivar's faith in
the destiny of South America as a whole that he would have flung the
entire mass together, and left it to work out its complicated will.

San Martin, as the representative of what might be termed, in one sense,
the European States of the River Plate and Chile, was keenly alive to
the defects of this plan. It is certain that the two theories were
discussed in the course of the momentous interview between San Martin
and Bolivar, and it is equally certain that San Martin realized that,
holding such divergent views from those of his colleague as he did,
friction between the leaders would in the circumstances become
inevitable. He determined, therefore, on a piece of self-sacrifice which
has few rivals in history. At the moment when he had achieved his
triumph, and when the inhabitants of three powerful new countries were
waiting to salute him with a thunder of acclamation, he laid down his
office, unbuckled his sword, travelled quietly to Chile, and from there
he crossed the Andes to Mendoza in a very different fashion to the one
in which he had come on the occasion when he had commanded the army of
liberation. From Mendoza he crossed the plains of Buenos Aires, and from
there he took ship to Europe.

It is generally supposed that he never again returned to his native
country. This, however, was not the case, since he once again sailed
back from France with the idea of watching the progress of the land he
loved so dearly. Perceiving, to his sorrow, that the country was
temporarily lost in complete anarchy, he sailed to France again without
having descended from the deck of the ship which had borne him out.

The remaining embers of the war had now become localized, and it was
obvious that Spain was at her last gasp. Bolivar came down with his
armies from Quito to Peru to complete the task of the destruction of the
Spanish garrisons. In 1824 the Battle of Junin was fought, which
resulted in a striking victory for the South Americans. The patriot
forces on this occasion made a particularly gallant fight, and the
brilliant cavalry charge made by Suarez is said to have been largely
responsible for the victory.

Bolivar then gave over the command of the army to General Sucre, who on
December 9, 1824, fought the Battle of Ayacucho, completely defeating
the Royalist forces. This proved to be the final action of the war; the
last shred of Spanish authority had been torn from the Continent, the
last of the Spanish garrisons were now ploughing their sombre course
back to Europe, and it was left to Spanish America to shape its own
destiny.



CHAPTER XVIII

BRAZIL: FROM COLONY TO EMPIRE


Until the period of Napoleonic chaos which overwhelmed the two
westernmost countries of Europe, the South American colonies of Spain
and Portugal had continued their existence on similar lines. Both had
been entirely subservient to the Mother Country. The laws which governed
Brazil and the Spanish colonies were framed on the same model, and the
disadvantages under which the colonists of either nation had laboured
from the start had been practically identical.

With the upheaval which occurred at the beginning of the nineteenth
century, a new order came into being, so far as the Spaniards and
Portuguese were concerned. The parting of the ways was now marked. It
is, indeed, curious to notice that, while Spanish South America was
strenuously engaged in transforming itself from the status of a royal
colony to that of a group of independent republics, an operation was
being carried out in Brazil, the effect of which was precisely the
reverse.

Brazil, in fact, in place of the neglect of centuries from which she had
suffered, now underwent a sudden, dazzling, and altogether unexpected
shower of honours and distinctions. That this did not come about
spontaneously affected the colony but little; the fact remained that she
was destined in a remarkably short space of time to rise from a colony
to a kingdom, and from a kingdom to an empire. The circumstances which
led to this transformation were sufficiently dramatic in themselves.

In order to preserve the thread of these rather complicated events, it
is necessary to transfer the scene for a short while to Western Europe,
where at the moment the armies of Napoleon were sweeping all before
them.

In 1807, when the French troops under Junot were on the eve of entering
Lisbon, the Portuguese Royal Family embarked on a Portuguese man-of-war,
and, escorted by a Portuguese fleet, sought the protection of the
British Fleet under Sir Sidney Smith.

The move was effected only just in time, and the Prince Regent's
confidential servant, who embarked just after the rest, left his
departure so late that he was obliged to forsake some of his papers, his
money, and even his hat, on the beach. Sir Sidney Smith convoyed the
fleet as far as latitude 37° 47' north, after which he left them under
the protection of the _Marlborough_, the _London_, the _Monarch_, and
the _Bedford_. Almost at the same time Sir Samuel Hood and General
Beresford took possession of the Island of Madeira, holding it in trust
for Portugal.

The royal party landed at Bahia on January 21, 1808. So enthusiastic was
their reception that they remained in the town for a month. While at
Bahia the Regent gave promise of his future good-will and liberality by
promulgating a _carta regia_, dated January 28, by which he opened the
ports of Brazil to general commerce, levying on imports only a moderate
duty, and permitting exports of all articles under any flag, with the
exception of one or two articles which still remained royal monopolies.

The departure of the Royal Family from Bahia was rendered necessary by
strategic considerations, for, owing to its peculiar situation, the town
could easily have been cut off from the rest of the mainland by hostile
forces. The royal party therefore sailed south, and arrived in Rio de
Janeiro on March 7.

The joy in the port at the arrival of the Regent and his party
manifested itself in an excitement approaching delirium on the part of
the officials and populace. The mountains and the waters of the bay were
illuminated night after night with Bengal fires, rockets, and similar
fireworks, and every possible demonstration of joy known to the
colonists was continued unbroken for nine days. In the meanwhile the
inhabitants were preparing the beautiful site of the town for its
promotion as a capital city of a kingdom and the residence of a King.

Indeed, in material advantages Brazil benefited almost immediately from
the arrival of the Portuguese Royal Family. In the first place, as has
already been explained, on January 28, 1808, the Prince Regent abolished
the old exclusive system, and opened the ports of Brazil. A local
writer, referring with enthusiasm to this, said the edict "ought to be
written in letters of gold."

New desires, new habits, and new objects, were now introduced, and came
crowding one after the other in haste into the wonderful tropical
regions of the Bay of Rio de Janeiro. Printing was legalized with the
arrival of the Prince Regent, who brought over with him his library, and
this, in 1814, was thrown open to the public. The progress of science
went hand in hand with that of the rest, and in 1811 vaccination was
introduced. The pleasant arts were not left out in the cold, since, in
1813, the first regular theatre was opened. In 1814 the French were
invited to come over as residents, and they accepted in numbers.

The old Criollo families now mustered about the royal representatives of
Portugal, and rubbed shoulders with the nobility, who had come out in
attendance, taking no little pride in the contact, and desirous only of
exhibiting to the utmost possible extent the depth of their loyalty.

The character of the Regent was such as to warrant the fervent loyalty
displayed by his American subjects. Although set free by the mental
disease of Queen Francisca Isabel, his mother, to the exercise of almost
despotic authority from his earliest years, he had developed very few of
the vices usually resulting from such lack of control and training. He
is described as having been "mild and just" in temper, and of
comparatively pure moral character. He was, however, called to the
exercise of authority in troubled times, and had not the balance which
makes the perfect statesman. To João VI. the nearest trouble was always
the greatest, and the courtier at hand, able to gain the royal ear, had
far more chance of success with him than the one who proffered his
request by letter. João found it difficult to refuse, disagreeable to
inquire, and laborious to discuss. He was, in fact, an amiable man, but
not a strong one.

João used the best measures at his command for the prosperity of his
adopted kingdom, and he carried out reforms as far as he could or dared.
Free trade was completely established; foreign settlers were invited,
and artisans and mechanics encouraged in every way. English mechanics
and shipwrights, Swedish ironfounders, German engineers, and French
artists and manufacturers, crowded to this new field of action, so
suddenly opened up. In the meanwhile schools and hospitals were founded
throughout the country, and the new commerce, consequent on unrestricted
trading, was watched and regulated. Inspectors of ports and customs were
appointed to prevent fraud; Rio was made a bishopric, and the
ecclesiastical establishments of the country were carefully regulated,
while many new tribunals were established.

The vast increase of population and trade caused a corresponding
increase in the buildings of the central and southern cities, more
especially in those of the capital. New streets and squares and
magnificent country houses rose up on all sides, while the presence of a
brilliant Court necessarily altered many of the habits of the people.
The fashions of Europe were introduced, and the Empire gained a breadth
of outlook that no mere colony of the period could ever possess. The
introduction of the Court brought to Brazil a new life and activity, new
luxuries, increased and increasing trade, a vigorous and growing
population, fresh public and private undertakings, and all the vigour of
a rising community.

Rio de Janeiro was now the head-quarters, not only of Brazil, but of the
whole Portuguese Empire. The Papal Nuncio had taken up his residence at
the spot; Lord Strangford, the British Ambassador, and other diplomatic
representatives of the various European countries, had arrived; while
Sir Sidney Smith hovered about as a naval guardian angel. Rio, in fact,
opened its astonished eyes to a world of fashion and to functions such
as it had never known.

As could scarcely fail to prove the case in the circumstances, it was
not long before jealousies arose between the Portuguese and the
colonists; but it was some time before these appeared on the surface,
and in the first place the atmosphere of feasting and rejoicing
dissipated all other considerations.

One of the effects of the advent of the royal party in Brazil may easily
be conceived. The Court had always been somewhat prodigal of its Orders
and Decorations. The appetite in the Peninsula for these insignia had
always been sufficiently keen; among the cruder Brazilians the greed
for any distinction of the sort became quite overwhelming. The most
popular Portuguese Order has always been--and remained so even until the
recent ending of the Monarchy--that of Christo, and the effective state
dress of this Order, the long white robe with the great cross, has
always had a wide appeal. In Rio de Janeiro during this period this was
only one of the Orders which were scattered broadcast, and which, after
a short while, could be obtained at an increasingly cheap rate.
Eventually every tradesman in Rio was wont to appear at the official
gatherings, and, indeed, at the others as well, with his breast covered
with a blaze of Orders, all of which had been paid for, if not in actual
cash, in goods delivered.

The tremendous enthusiasm of the colonists bade fair to add an element
of pure farce to the situation. At this period, moreover, various negro
battalions were raised, and it is noted by travellers that the black
faces of the negro officers were wont to mingle with those of the
courtiers at royal functions--a very strange and new situation for
those, many of whose relatives were undoubtedly slaves in the same
country.

But in return for these advantages a bill--and a heavy bill at
that--mounted up steadily. As a colony Brazil had been governed simply
and inexpensively. After awhile the colonists found that a Queen, a
Regent, and a Court, were expensive luxuries. In addition to the Royal
Family there came over from Portugal more than 20,000 nobles, knights,
and gentry, each expecting to be supported out of the revenues of the
colony in the same state and circumstance as had been his own in Europe.
In order to provide for these hosts of dependents, offices and places
were created, and endowed with the most liberal salaries.

On the arrival of the Court there were already four Ministers, four
offices, and four staffs of officials in existence. These were
continued, and to them were added a Supreme Court of Law and Equity; a
Board for the simultaneous management of the affairs and property of the
Church and of the military Orders, with the power of suspending laws; a
secondary Court of Appeal, but still a superior Court to those of
Brazil; a general Board of Police; a Court of Exchequer and the
Treasury; a mint, with a large staff of officials; a bank; a royal
printing-office; large mills and factories for the manufacture of arms
and ammunition; and a supreme military court.

These new posts and offices were filled throughout by European
officials, and the expenses of the Court itself, added to them, made up
a burden which the new trade and increased population failed to
compensate. In order to meet the cost of these many new appointments the
Government had imposed new taxes and duties. Tobacco, cotton, sugar,
hides, and other exports, were taxed; and 10 per cent. was levied on
house rent, on the sale of real property, and harbour dues.

All this, however, was insufficient, and as a last resort the expedient
of tampering with the currency was tried. Dollars were sent into
circulation at 20 per cent. above their commercial value. Money was
borrowed from the bank, which was in close connection with the mint, and
taxes were mortgaged in advance; while even the royal regalia was
pledged as security. Notes were issued far beyond the amount of cash
available for redemption, and a few years later the bank, its affairs
brought to irremediable confusion, stopped payment.

While these things were occurring, public discontent was growing; and in
order to divert the attention of the populace from internal troubles, a
war was determined on. French Guiana was near, and provided an
admirable object for the purpose. In 1809, when France was fully engaged
in European struggles, Guiana was attacked and captured with little
trouble. The colony capitulated, and remained Brazilian for six years,
when the Treaty of Vienna restored it to French rule.

The conquest was of great indirect value to Brazil, in that it led to
the introduction and free cultivation of agricultural products which had
either been non-existent in Brazil up to that time, or extirpated by the
crippling policy which Portugal pursued towards her colonies. Cinnamon,
for instance, had hitherto been destroyed wherever found in Brazil,
being regarded as a monopoly of the East Indies.

[Illustration: ARMS OF THE EMPIRE OF BRAZIL.]

[Illustration: ARMS OF UNITED KINGDOMS OF PORTUGAL, THE ALGARVES, AND
BRAZIL.]

The easy victory over Guiana induced the Regent to make attacks on the
Spanish colonies to the south and west of Brazil. Here, however willing
the colonists were to shake off their subjection to Spain, they by no
means desired to become subject to Brazil. It was just at this period
that the War of Independence was raging, and the Spanish colonies were
forming themselves into republics. João, fearing republicanism more
than he hated Spain, aided Elio, the Spanish Governor of the Plate
districts, with money and men in his attacks on the insurgents.

[Illustration: PEDRO I., EMPEROR OF BRAZIL.

_A. Rischgitz._]

Elio was defeated, and the new Republicans made a hostile entry into Rio
Grande and São Paolo. The Regent, fearing the result of this incursion,
sent 5,000 Portuguese troops with a contingent of Brazilians to drive
the enemy over the southern frontier. In this the Brazilian force was
entirely successful, and the evacuation of Montevideo and occupation of
Misiones were followed by the chasing of the Uruguayan patriot Artigas
across the Uruguay River.

In spite of popular and successful war, the Brazilians refused to be
entirely contented, and João had some reason to fear their discontent,
since Brazilian money supported the Government and Court, and ruin would
necessarily follow the withdrawal of this. In order to meet all
objections João determined to make Brazil his kingdom.

On December 16, 1815, a decree was issued declaring that from the date
of its publication the State of Brazil should be elevated to the dignity
of a kingdom, and henceforth called the Kingdom of Brazil, and should
form with those in Europe the United Kingdom of Portugal, Algarves, and
Brazil. Immediately after this event the Queen, Dona Maria, died at Rio,
and the Prince Regent delayed the ceremony of his succession until the
expiration of a year of mourning. The arms of the new King consisted of
an armillary sphere of gold, in field azure, and in a scutcheon
containing the quinas of Portugal and the seven castles of Algarves. The
sphere was surmounted by the royal crown.

On November 5, 1817, a vessel brought out the Archduchess Leopoldina,
daughter of the Emperor Francis I. of Austria, who had been married by
proxy to Dom Pedro, the son of João VI.

On February 6, 1818, João VI. was formally crowned at Rio, a ceremony
which was emphasized--

     "by bursts of music, peals of bells, explosions of artillery,
     deafening shouts, of discharges of fireworks, and such a universal
     display of extravagant joy that, as my worthy author, Gonçalves dos
     Santos says: 'It would require the pencil of Zeuxis and the odes of
     Pindar to describe; and if anything on earth could be compared to
     the joys of heaven, it was that moment.'"

The following year Princess Dona Maria da Gloria was born, a
circumstance which rejoiced the loyal colonists not a little.
Nevertheless, in the remoter regions of the enormous colony of Brazil,
where the influence of these joyous events had been less felt, all was
not so tranquil.

In Pernambuco and Bahia local jealousies had fermented; the revolutions
had been put down with a firm hand, and the leaders of the movements
executed. This severity was much resented, both at the time and
subsequently, and these provinces, in consequence, remained in a state
of suppressed irritation.

In 1820 some territory was annexed in the south, when, Uruguay being
convulsed by civil war, the troops of Brazil occupied Tacuarembó and the
Arroyo-Grande.

After a while it became evident that Prince Pedro had gained more
popularity than the King. The conservative methods of João VI. were in
the end responsible for protests on the part of the populace, and the
King at length was obliged to give way, and to promise more liberal
constitutions than he had endeavoured to uphold. Dom Pedro swore in his
father's name to respect these constitutions, and his example was
followed by his brother, Dom Miguel. The enthusiasm which followed the
concession was tumultuous, and the King himself found it necessary to
come from his country seat, Boa Vista.

When he arrived at the capital his horses were taken from his carriage,
and it was dragged to the palace by the people. Fireworks and
illuminations followed, and a gala performance at the opera for the
succeeding night was ordered; but King João VI. was unable to attend.
The proceedings had really been adopted against the grain in his case,
and thus, when the curtains in the royal box were drawn apart, it was
seen to be occupied by the pictures of the King and Queen instead of by
royalty in the flesh; but these pictures were received with the same
enthusiasm and as hearty plaudits as though they had been royal humanity
itself.

While all this was happening in Brazil, the French had been finally
driven out from Portugal, and King João VI. determined to return once
more to his native country. On April 24 he sailed with the Royal Family,
leaving his son, Dom Pedro, as Governor of Brazil. Only a day or two
before a disturbance had broken out in the capital. When the electors
assembled, they were wantonly attacked by the Portuguese soldiery, and
about thirty of them were slain, the majority in cold blood. The
atrocity would have doubtlessly been more serious had not the popular
Dom Pedro interfered.

With the departure of the King from Brazil it was inevitable that
complications should ensue. Having once enjoyed the status of a kingdom,
and having been granted those privileges which had so benefited the
country during the past few years, it was only natural that Brazil
should resent any attempt to place her once again in the neglected
situation from which she had been rescued. It seemed, nevertheless, as
though the policy of Portugal would now be directed towards this end. It
was at this juncture that the influence of Prince Pedro began to be
felt.

Prince Pedro possessed a personality essentially capable of commanding;
his talents, moreover, were varied. He was a good horseman, a keen
sportsman, and was addicted to music and many of the politer arts. The
part he had to play was undoubtedly a difficult one. His sentiments were
intensely Brazilian; at the same time, in the letters he wrote to the
Court of Portugal he stated distinctly that the Mother Country alone
possessed his loyalty, as was only just, and that he would make no move
whatever that would prejudice the interests of Portugal. He even went
the length of lamenting his presence in the far-away land he governed,
and swore that he longed for the day when he might return and sit upon
the steps of his father's throne.

In the meanwhile the jealousies between the Portuguese and Brazilians
increased rapidly, the bitterness being more especially evident in the
soldiery of the respective lands. King João himself had behaved with
little consideration ere his departure. One of his last acts in Brazil
had been to promise the soldiery of that country double pay, yet, though
he had left the promise behind him, he had left no means whatever to
carry it out, and thus disturbances arose in many places.

On December 9, 1821, the brig _Dom Sebastião_ arrived, bearing a decree
to institute a provisional Government, which should again reduce the
country to the condition of a province, and another which ordered the
immediate return to Portugal of the young Prince Regent. A real crisis
now arose. The Brazilians, devoted to Dom Pedro, implored him to remain;
the Portuguese garrison spoke of removing him on a homeward-bound ship
by force. The whole city was agog, and the excitement at fever-heat. In
the midst of the turmoil the Brazilian troops surrounded the Portuguese,
and, after obtaining a great strategic advantage, ordered them to march
on board the vessels of the fleet bound for Lisbon.

[Illustration: THE OPENING OF THE SENATE HOUSE, RIO DE JANEIRO.]

The Portuguese were inclined to resist, when Dom Pedro himself
appeared in their midst and ordered their commanders specifically to
embark the next day and to sail for Portugal. He had now decided on his
attitude, and was determined that his orders should be obeyed. To show
that he was in earnest he even took a match in his hand and lit it, and
swore that, did the Portuguese troops refuse, he would be the first man
to fire a cannon at them. This ended the matter, and the next day the
ship sailed and carried away the Portuguese garrison.

[Illustration: CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, RIO DE JANEIRO.]

On May 13, 1822, a deputation from the Rio Chamber of Deputies
approached Prince Pedro and persuaded him to assume the title of
"Constitutional Prince Regent and Perpetual Defender of Brazil."
Portugal, for its part, was now bitterly opposed to Brazil and to the
Brazilians. Decrees were enacted towards the suppression of the
independence of the great colony. One of these ran to the effect that
Prince Pedro was to return to Europe within four months, and that any
of the military who obeyed his orders, unless by compulsion, were to be
deemed traitors to Portugal.

During all this time fresh troops were arriving to reinforce the
garrison at Bahia, which had remained Royalist. The patriots, for their
part, had collected strong forces and hemmed the Royalists in Bahia to
such an extent that they could only retain communication by sea.

Matters grew more and more strained every day, for the Mother Country
sought to put an end to the virtual supremacy of its great colony, while
Brazil was utterly opposed to Portuguese rule. When Prince Pedro was
ordered to return to Portugal, "in order to complete his education," the
Brazilians, and especially the provincial Government of São Paulo,
begged him to disobey and remain in Brazil. The soldiers threatened to
mutiny if he went, and the people entreated him not to go, while every
proof of his popularity was added cause for exasperation on the part of
the Home Government, rendering his situation more dangerous.

If Dom Pedro went to Portugal, said the Brazilians, they must choose
between an anarchical republic and the old state of dependence on
Portugal. In the matter of São Paulo and the requests of its citizens,
the brothers Andrada were most prominent, and they obtained a promise
from the Prince that he would not go. Together with the Andradas he
toured the States of Minas and São Paulo on a mission of pacification;
but the people of the country felt that the present state of affairs
could not continue, and in his absence it was determined to make him the
ruler of the country, and he was declared Defender of the Empire. On
September 7, 1822, he received a bundle of despatches from Portugal, and
his staff watched while he read letter after letter. There was one
which he read two or three times, and then destroyed. What its contents
were was never known, but after pondering and a few minutes of thought,
Pedro raised his hand and spoke his decision--"Independence or death!"

There was no doubt that he had carried out the wishes of his father, and
probably the letter which he destroyed contained João's written
directions. Some idea of this seems to have been general among the
Brazilians, for both they and the Portuguese soldiers in Brazil always
spoke of João with affection, and regarded him rather as a prisoner of
the Cortes of Lisbon than as King of Portugal.

The Brazilians determined that the last doubt concerning the situation
should be dissipated, and on October 12, 1822, Dom Pedro, who was at
Piranga, was made constitutional Emperor of Brazil, and all relation and
connection with Portugal was severed.

Dom Pedro had all this time kept up a correspondence with his father,
King João, and in one of these letters he wrote:

     "They wish, and they say they wish, to proclaim me Emperor. I
     protest to your Majesty that I will not be perjured ... that I will
     never be false to you; and if they commit that folly, it will not
     be till _after they have cut me to pieces_--me and all the
     Portuguese--a solemn oath, which I here have written with my blood
     in the following words:

     "'I swear to be always faithful to your Majesty, to the Portuguese
     nation, and Constitution.'"

These latter words were apparently actually written in his blood, and
the epistle is certainly a proof of the complicated state of affairs and
of the strange influences which were at work.

Open warfare now broke out between Brazil and Portugal. At Bahia the
Portuguese, although their garrison was hemmed in, were masters of the
sea. The Brazilians determined to make a bold bid for the control of the
waves, and to this end sent an invitation to Lord Cochrane, who had just
freed the Pacific Ocean from the Spanish fleet, and was at the time in
Chile.

An invitation of that kind was never refused by Cochrane. In March,
1823, he arrived and took command of the new Brazilian fleet, which was
considerably inferior to that of Portugal. He sailed immediately for
Bahia, but found his crews in no very anxious mood to fight their
compatriots. A few skirmishes ensued, and the Portuguese fleet took
refuge under the guns of the land forces. On the same day the Brazilians
entered the city and took possession of it.

The Portuguese fleet now sailed to the north, and was pursued by Lord
Cochrane beyond the Equator. He saw to it that their voyage was an
eventful one, for he captured more than one-half of their transports,
and completely dispersed the remainder. Cochrane then returned to
Brazil, and was instrumental in releasing the north of that country from
the remaining foreign forces.

On December 1, 1823, Dom Pedro was formally crowned. The ceremony was
dramatic, and crowns and wreaths of laurels were showered down upon the
hero of the nation, while patriotic airs were thundered out with
tremendous enthusiasm.

Three years later (August 29, 1825) Pedro was acknowledged as Emperor of
Brazil by the Mother Country, after the last Portuguese troops in the
country had been withdrawn.



CHAPTER XIX

THE EMPIRE OF BRAZIL


Portuguese acquiescence in Dom Pedro's sovereignty was brought about
largely by the instrumentality of Lord Cochrane, who, after harrying the
deported garrison of Bahia when on its voyage to Europe, brought about
the capitulation of Maranhão and Pará, acting in concert with Grenfell,
another ocean free-lance, second only to Cochrane in daring and
versatility.

In Montevideo the General commanding the Portuguese garrison declared
for independence, and left the soldiers to make their own choice;
whereupon they followed the remainder of the Portuguese troops to
Europe. Uruguay, left to its own choice, retained its allegiance to
Brazil until Artigas, a famous leader and partisan of liberty, stirred
up the people. The Brazilian troops entered Montevideo on January 20,
1817, and the Emperor sent his picture to the Cabildo Hall, an act which
brought about the appearance of a most extraordinary document, drawn up
by the officials of the town. When the portrait appeared they announced
that--

     "A mixed sensation of trembling and delight seized us, as if we
     were in the presence of the Lord."

In justice to the inhabitants of Montevideo in general, it must be said
that this fulsome and despicable effusion was the work of only a few,
and was hostile to the sentiments of, and strenuously condemned by, the
general public.

The first Brazilian Assembly, as soon as convoked, set to work to frame
its first Constitution, a matter which was found extremely difficult.
The fact that Brazil had been an independent monarchy for some years
helped to combat the views of those who shouted "Liberty!" too loudly,
and would fain have abandoned practice for theory. It was understood
that the first requisites were order and security, together with
reasonable checks on authority. Further, it was realized that there must
be sufficient elasticity to meet future needs and circumstances.

But for the Emperor, the forming of the Constitution would have been a
failure. Almost immediately after his first opening of the Assembly he
laid before it a sketch of the Constitution that they had to form. "The
recent Constitutions," he said, "founded on the models of those of 1791
and 1792, had been acknowledged as too abstract and metaphysical for
execution. This had been proved by the example of France, and more
recently by that of Spain and Portugal. We have need of a Constitution
where the powers may be so divided and defined that no one branch can
arrogate to itself the prerogative of another; a Constitution which may
be an unsurmountable barrier against all invasion of the royal
authority, whether aristocratic or popular, which will overthrow anarchy
and cherish the tree of liberty, beneath whose shade we shall see the
union and the independence of the Empire flourish--in a word, a
Constitution that will excite the admiration of other nations, and even
of our enemies, who will consecrate the triumph of our principles by
adopting them."

There was, however, too much of self-denial in the Emperor's views to
meet with the approbation of the Assembly. At the head of the Ministry
were the brothers Andrada--men who in earlier days had rendered great
services to Dom Pedro, but who had grown somewhat arbitrary,
overbearing, and impatient, and now presumed on their past services in
establishing the Empire to tyrannize over both the Emperor and the
Assembly. In the end the members of the Assembly forced the brothers to
resign, at which the people rose and drew José Bonifacio in triumph
through the streets of Rio to his official residence.

Fearing the people, the Assembly reinstated the Andradas for a period of
eight months, after which they were again ejected. From this time on
they became violent opponents of the Assembly and the Court, seemingly
determined that if they could not rule, nobody else should. Their
newspaper, the _Tamayo_, was a powerful organ in the capital, and proved
itself as unsparing as it was libellous in its attacks.

It was owing to obstruction of this kind that for a long while no
advance was made in the formation of a Constitution, for as the Emperor
made suggestions, the Andradas caused them to be thrown out. Bills
brought in by members were never read, and the brothers even went so far
as to attack the Portuguese employés of the Emperor, and when one of
these wrote a scathing article against them, they used personal violence
toward him. He appealed to the Assembly, whereupon the Andradas insisted
that he and all his fellows should be dismissed.

Week by week the _Tamayo_ grew more virulent and threatening against the
Emperor. Dom Pedro grew alarmed, for the Andradas were wealthy and
powerful, and the Emperor felt that their disaffection might be a sign
of general popular feeling--that the republican movement was gaining
ground too much for his safety. His actions against the republican
movement in various parts of the Empire, necessary though they were,
had, nevertheless, forced him into connection with, and reliance on, the
Portuguese residents and militia, a class almost as distasteful to the
liberal Brazilians as the Portuguese whom they had driven out of the
country. Thoroughly liberal in his own tendencies, Pedro yet felt that
the Andradas might be expressing a general discontent with his rule.

The Andradas, at the head of the popular party, drove the Emperor to the
use of extreme measures by their insolence and turbulent intrigues. He
took the law into his own hands. The brothers had induced the Assembly
to declare itself permanent, but, not unlike Cromwell in a different
species of crisis, Pedro surrounded the Chamber with troops and guns,
dispersed the Deputies, and captured the three Andradas, together with
two of their principal friends. These five he deported to France without
the formality of a trial.

At this the popular party took alarm, but the Emperor pointed out that
he had no other course left; he had acted from no desire to impair the
freedom of the people, but from necessity. The proclamation which he
issued at this time stated that "though he had, from regard to the
tranquillity of the Empire, thought fit to dissolve the third Assembly,
he had in the same decree convoked another, in conformity with the
acknowledged constitutional rights of his people."

With regard to the forming of the Constitution, he left it no longer to
the Assembly, but appointed a committee of ten persons to settle the
sketch he had drawn up.

The Republican and ultra-Liberal party, awed by the salutary treatment
meted out to the Andradas, grew furious at the further energetic
measures of the Emperor, for they saw in Dom Pedro's policy an attempt
to gain absolute dominance. Open rebellion broke out all over the
country, and a Republic was actually proclaimed in Pernambuco, Ceará,
the northern provinces generally, and in the south. Uruguay for the last
time revolted, and severed the tie which bound her to the Empire, having
never since been subject to Brazil.

[Illustration: PALACE AND GREAT SQUARE IN RIO DE JANEIRO.

A century ago.]

The moderate people wavered between the two sides. They saw in
Republicanism only anarchy, while the Emperor's _coup d'état_ inspired
them with fear of his government. He himself, seeing that a striking
move was necessary, sought the assistance of the Town Council of Rio,
and with their aid adopted the Constitution he had drawn up, without
submitting it to the Assembly. On March 24, 1824, he swore to the
Constitution in public, trusting to the freedom and fairness which it
embodied to gain him adherence.

This move was perfectly successful, for wherever the Constitution was
proclaimed the Republican party fell to pieces. The principles of the
document were so simple, liberal, and practical, that the Republican
party could not ask more than the Emperor gave. By this Pedro saved his
throne, beyond doubt, and gradually the provincial authorities and the
people of the country accepted the situation, and swore to observe the
new Constitution.

In the meanwhile a species of minor maritime warfare was carried on in
the River Plate between the Brazilian fleet and the Argentine vessels
commanded by Admiral Brown, in the course of which the Brazilians
suffered not a little, and the prestige of the Imperial fleet in
consequence diminished.

On December 11, 1826, the Empress died in childbirth at the early age of
twenty-nine. She had come out from Austria determined to make the ways
of Brazil her own. On her first arrival she was considered lovely, and
there is no doubt that her fair, clear complexion, blue eyes, and
golden hair were immensely admired by folk themselves almost invariably
possessed of raven locks. Some while after she had arrived in the
country of her adoption the Empress is said to have neglected her
personal appearance to a rather regrettable extent, adopting the ways of
the Brazilian country-side rather than those of the capital. Thus she
accustomed herself to large heavy boots adorned with enormous spurs, and
would ride astride on a horse, her hair being suffered to hang loose
about her face and shoulders. In fact, she paid not the slightest
attention to those attractions with which Nature had endowed her. She
was a being of intense charity and love, polished to a degree, an
accomplished letter-writer, and a lover of the fine arts in general.

Had the Empress bestowed less care on others and more upon her own
person, there is little doubt but that she would have led a happier
life, for the Emperor, surrounded by the temptations which are always in
the path of crowned heads, allowed his affections to stray. Indeed, so
wrapped up was Dom Pedro in his liaison, that the unfortunate Empress,
under pressure, found her rival attached to her Court as
lady-in-waiting. Her meek and affectionate temperament does not appear
to have resented this--at all events openly. When, however, this rival
insisted on making her way to the death-bed of the Empress, it was felt
by the attendants that all bounds had been passed. On their own
responsibility they prevented the proposed entrance, and after the death
of the Empress suffered for their pains at the instigation of the
slighted favourite.

Towards the end of 1826 Colonel Cotter, an Irish officer in the
Brazilian Service, undertook to bring over a number of his countrymen
from their native land in order that they should become soldier
settlers--that is to say, they were promised fifty acres of land a head
if they would undertake to perform military service when needed. The
result was a fiasco. The unfortunate Irishmen came out, but found
nothing prepared for them. They were insulted, moreover, by the negroes,
who took to calling them "white slaves" as a mark of contempt for the
ragged clothes to which they found themselves reduced in the end.

Goaded beyond endurance, not only by neglect, but by periodical assaults
on their numbers, the Irish, together with a number of Germans and other
soldiers who found themselves in a similar situation, broke out into
open mutiny, and a pitched battle took place between them and the
blacks, who had now been armed by the authorities. In the end the
Brazilians intervened, assisted by the French and the English Marines,
who were landed from the fleets of their respective nations, and the
mutiny was suppressed, but not before many foreigners quite unconcerned
with the affair had been slain. After this the Irish returned to their
native land.

The proclamation of the Constitution marked the zenith of Dom Pedro's
popularity. The dangers he had gone through and the arbitrary measures
he had been compelled to adopt seem to have altered his views to an
extent which in the end alienated from him the sympathies of his people.
He never again trusted the Brazilians, while the success of his
arbitrary policy in connection with the Andradas, and in the troubled
times which followed, gave him a taste for absolute rule. In the
formation of the Constitution he saved his country, but ruined himself.

After the last sparks of revolution had been put out, the people looked
for the convocation of the Assembly again, but the Emperor omitted to
bring this about for such a length of time that the nation began to
understand that he no longer viewed its claims in the same light. Soon
his preference for the Portuguese began to attract notice, and the
treaty with Portugal, into which he entered before the Mother Country
recognized the independence of Brazil, caused general indignation by its
extravagant concessions. The treaty was justly resented, for Pedro was
Emperor by successful revolt and conquest, and yet by this treaty he
forewent his just rights, and then bought them again from Portugal--with
Brazilian money.

This error of diplomacy was followed by war against Uruguay, for the
Emperor attacked the revolted province, and declared war against Buenos
Aires for rendering assistance to the Uruguayans. The campaign was
carried on so feebly and expensively that the people regarded it as
folly, and at the same time resented the enlistment, already referred
to, of regiments of German and Irish troops, aliens, who were never
popular.

The people of Brazil were aggravated, in addition to these causes, by
the increasing extravagance of the Emperor, and by the expense which his
establishment entailed, while his policy had reduced the nation to
poverty. There were numerous payments to be made to Portugal in
connection with the senseless treaty into which Pedro had entered; there
was the cost of the war, including the pay of the hired German and Irish
troops; and then there was the personal expenditure of the Emperor to
add to these, while the militia system of the country had developed into
a sort of conscription, an utter grievance in the sight of people who
wanted liberty and peace.

In 1828 Uruguay was declared independent, much to the dissatisfaction of
a great number of Brazilians, who advocated the retention of the Banda
Oriental as a province of Brazil.

[Illustration: PEDRO II., EMPEROR OF BRAZIL.]

On March 10, 1826, Dom. João died. As soon as the tidings reached Brazil
the Emperor assumed the title of King of Portugal, in addition to that
of Emperor of Brazil. On May 2, six days later, he abdicated the throne
of Portugal in favour of his daughter, Dona Maria. It was resolved that
Dona Maria should marry her uncle, Dom Miguel, in order that she should
ally herself with a Portuguese of high rank. Nevertheless, a dispute
arose between the adherents of Dom Miguel and those of the Emperor of
Brazil, and a state of civil war obtained in Portugal for a time. Dona
Maria, on her arrival in England on her way to Portugal, was received
with royal honours. But Dom Miguel seized upon the throne and managed to
hold it for a while.

Supported by the Portuguese or Absolutist party, Pedro went his way,
and, even in his latter days of rule, refused to sign Bills for the
development of the Constitution. There was undoubtedly much now to
unsettle the Brazilian populace. Disadvantageous reciprocity treaties
were concluded with various countries, while defeats of the Brazilian
soldiers were experienced at the hands of the troops of the Argentine
Republic. An indemnity was demanded by France and the United States of
America for ships captured during the blockade of Buenos Aires, and
large sums of money had to be paid to avert further war. Finally, the
English Government persuaded Brazil to make a somewhat humiliating peace
with Buenos Aires, and renounce all claim to the colony, which was
henceforth to be known as the Republic of Uruguay.

By 1830 the policy which the Emperor pursued had alienated the national
affection to such an extent that every member of the Assembly but the
Ministers was in opposition. Wherever the Emperor went, he was treated
with coldness instead of enthusiasm. A scheme on the part of the
Republicans for adopting the Constitution of the United States, but
retaining Pedro as hereditary President, caused him to dismiss his
Ministers, and surround himself with men of the Absolutist party. At
this an immense crowd assembled in the Campo de Santa Ana, demanding the
reinstatement of the popular Ministers.

The Emperor sent a magistrate to read a justification of his conduct to
the crowd, but the paper was snatched from the magistrate's hands and
torn to pieces almost before he had finished reading it. In their turn
the people sent messengers to the palace, insisting on the reinstatement
of the Republican Ministers. The Emperor listened to the demand, and
answered: "I will do everything for the people, nothing by the people."

This answer exasperated the crowd still further, yet no excess was
committed. At two o'clock in the morning the last messenger of the
people was departing with the Emperor's refusal to yield to their
demands, when Pedro bade him stay, and, sitting down at his desk, wrote
his last message to the people of Brazil:

"Availing myself of the right which the Constitution concedes to me, I
declare that I have voluntarily abdicated in favour of my dearly beloved
and esteemed son, Dom Pedro de Alcantara."

Having handed this to the messenger, Pedro burst into tears and retired
to his private apartments.

Six days later he sailed from the harbour of Rio in an English
man-of-war, leaving Brazil and his child for good.



CHAPTER XX

FROM EMPIRE TO REPUBLIC


Dom Pedro II. was but five years old when his father abdicated in his
favour on April 7, 1831, and, during his minority, the government of the
country was entrusted to Regents. In 1840, when he was fifteen years
old, it was officially announced that he had attained his majority, and
he was crowned in 1841. In 1843 he married Theresa Christine, sister of
Ferdinand II. of the Two Sicilies. His sons died in their childhood, and
his daughter Isabella became heiress to the crown.

Pedro II. came to the throne at a perilous time. The people were in a
state of revolution, while the National Exchequer was practically empty,
and the National Bank was bankrupt. With the abdication of Pedro I. the
Ministry and official Service had disappeared.

Yet the crowd that had forced the abdication of Pedro I. drew the new
boy Sovereign in triumph through the streets of the city, and, placed in
a window of the palace, he watched the great multitude throng past,
acclaiming him with immense enthusiasm. It was soon seen that, in spite
of the national upheaval, the mass of the people were fully alive to the
necessity for preserving order and preventing licence. There were riots
and disturbances for a time, as was inevitable; but the patriotic,
although turbulent, family of the Andradas again came to the front, and
suppressed all signs of revolution. Thus the boy Emperor's position was
secure.

Still, with a country nearly bankrupt, stringent measures were necessary
to restore prosperity; official independence and peculation had to be
suppressed, and the Regents, who succeeded each other with marked
rapidity, had to be watched, while it was necessary at the same time to
maintain the executive power. These exigences led to strenuous scenes in
the Assembly, and the succession of Regents became still more rapid. In
this capacity Andrada, Carvalho, Muniz, Feijo, and Lima, succeeded each
other, while Ministers and Opposition squabbled and strove together,
denouncing each other as the worst of tyrants.

Notwithstanding the confusion, a certain amount of progress was
effected. Abuses were remedied, reforms effected, while the national
tendency towards Republicanism strengthened the ultra-Liberal party, to
whom the old-time Absolutists allied themselves. A reactionary party,
desirous of seeing the Emperor recalled, came into being, and between
these two was the moderate party, composed of the greater part of the
population of the country, and represented politically by the Regency
and the majority in the legislative chambers.

There was, however, sufficient strength in the Republican and
ultra-Liberal party to accomplish revolt in the provinces of such extent
as to call for military action in order to suppress it. Accordingly the
provinces became, through the various reforms introduced, self-governing
States, and, when the number of Regents had been reduced from three to
one, there was little difference between the Constitution of Brazil and
that of the United States of America.

The old Emperor, Pedro I., died in Portugal on September 24, 1834, and
after that event a strong reaction set in among the Brazilians in favour
of the Monarchy. The democratic party asserted that the Emperor's
sister was, on attaining the age of eighteen, fully capable of
exercising the duties of Regent. Having once granted this, the natural
deduction followed that if a girl was fit to rule at eighteen, a boy was
fit to rule sooner. In 1840 the Opposition brought forward a motion to
the effect that the Emperor was of age, in spite of the article of the
Constitution which declared that the majority of the Sovereign should be
the age of eighteen.

By that time the nation was prosperous and at peace, while moderate men
were tired of the faction struggles and the tumults caused thereby.
Lima, Regent at the time, was extremely unpopular, and, when the debates
began in the Assembly, there was a general wish that he should be
defeated. The motion of the Opposition was made, and was met by the
answer that the Constitution forbade this premature declaration of
majority. The Opposition retorted that circumstances warranted the
infringement, since in extreme evils the interests of the State required
extreme measures.

Such a proposition as this implied that the Regent and Ministry were an
extreme evil, and the scene in the Chamber grew animated as the speech
grew more and more personal. Antonio Carlos de Andrada, one of the
younger men of that great family, as fiery tempered as he was patriotic,
led the attack, accusing the Regent and Ministry of usurpation and
unconstitutional tyranny, since the Princess had attained the age of
eighteen.

Then Galvão, one of the most prominent of the Ministerial party, turned
against his own side, and urged the immediate proclamation of the
Emperor. Another eminent member of the Assembly, Alvares Machado,
declared "that the cause of the Emperor was the cause of the nation, and
ought to receive the approbation of every lover of his country." The
language of the Opposition grew violent and threatening. Navarro, a
Deputy representing Matto Grosso, denounced Lima and all his acts,
finishing his declamation by shouting, "Hurrah for his Imperial
Majesty's majority!" The applause from spectators and the Opposition
alarmed the Ministerialists, who tried to secure delay in bringing about
the change. Limpo de Abreo moved that a committee be appointed to
consider the matter at once, and, this being carried, the Opposition
consented to an adjourning of the Assembly.

On the next day the Regent prorogued the Assembly until November, and
appointed Vasconcellos, a man of great standing and political power, but
factious, selfish, and immoral, as Minister of the Empire. These
unpopular movements brought about actual revolt in the Assembly, for
Antonio Andrada called on the members of the Assembly to follow him to
the Senate. The two Houses conferred, and appointed a deputation to the
Emperor himself, urging his consent to being immediately proclaimed. The
deputation returned, bearing His Majesty's consent, and an order to the
Regent to revoke his decrees, pronouncing the Chamber to be again in
session. These powerful measures ended the controversy. In 1841 the
coronation ceremony was performed, and Pedro II. assumed actual rule
over Brazil.

He was in almost every sense an efficient ruler. His personality was
viewed with confidence in Europe, and so long as he occupied the throne
the very important question of foreign loans presented few difficulties.
The influence of the Emperor was especially notable at the conclusion of
the Paraguayan War, when the finances of Brazil were in an exhausted
condition. Pedro II. was no autocrat; of a gentle and exceptionally
unselfish character, he governed in a simple and most painstaking
fashion, manifesting his patriotism in every possible direction.

Exterior events were of little importance during the first years of
Pedro's reign. The chief happenings were a certain amount of civil war
in the Rio Grande, and the partaking of the Brazilian forces in the
battles between Uruguay and Rosas, the tyrant of Argentina, varied with
occasional fights with Uruguay itself. In 1842 revolts broke out in the
provinces of São Paulo and Minas Geraes, but these, together with
similar insurrections in Rio Grande in 1845, and in Pernambuco in 1849,
were suppressed. In 1851 Brazil espoused the cause of Urquiza, the
Governor of Entre Rios, against that of Rosas, and the aid of the
Brazilian troops was largely instrumental in bringing about the fall of
the tyrant.

Dom Pedro's administration, moreover, was conducted with tact and good
judgment. His presence acted as a check upon the experimental tendencies
of the more effervescent of his subjects. He believed in slow and sure
progress, and undoubtedly during his reign Brazil responded to the care
and thought expended on her. Indeed, the policy of the Emperor was
liberal to a degree, and as such very welcome to a populace whose ideas,
if not instincts, had grown more or less democratic.

In 1865 the Five Years' War with Paraguay was commenced, a struggle in
which, under the tyrant Lopez, the tiny Republic held at bay the armies
of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, to the utter ruin of Paraguay itself,
and the virtual destruction of its male population. The struggle
terminated with the death of Lopez at the Battle of Cerro Cora in 1870,
after exhausting the resources of Brazilian finance. Meanwhile, in 1867,
Dom Pedro opened the Amazon to the commerce of all nations, and in 1871
passed a law for the gradual abolition of slavery.

Had Pedro been gifted with a child of a character resembling his own, it
is reasonable to suppose that the Empire would have continued for far
longer than was the case. Unfortunately, however, neither his daughter,
the Princess Isabel, nor her husband, the Conde d'Eu, had succeeded in
winning the sympathies of the Brazilians. Princess Isabel was markedly
cold and restrained in manner, and these unfortunate traits appear to
have been fully shared by her husband. The latter was somewhat deaf,
which added to the apparent reserve of his manner; he was, moreover,
credited with the possession of a miserly disposition.

These qualities, when viewed by an impetuous and mercurial people, whose
lightning sympathies demanded as rapid a response, inevitably threw
their supposed possessors into disfavour. The situation was doubly to be
regretted, in that both the Princess and her husband were in reality
devoted to Brazil and to the best interests of the Brazilians. It may
truly be said that nothing beyond the lack of demonstrative power cost
them their throne.

This factor in the general situation appeared at the time to be more
than counterbalanced by the great popularity of the Emperor himself. The
Republican spirit was growing, it is true, and the progressive State of
São Paolo headed the movement. After a while this tendency was shorn of
all disguise, and the formation of a Republic was openly advocated; but
the universal desire appeared to be that the form of government should
not be changed during the lifetime of the popular Emperor, Pedro II. In
the meanwhile the commercial and industrial resources of Brazil were
rapidly becoming extended, and the wealth of the planters increased
steadily.

Dom Pedro on various occasions visited Europe for the purposes of the
State, and, in 1886, he started on his third journey to the Old World
since the conclusion of the Paraguayan War. At no time in the history
of South America has it been found prudent for the head of a State to
leave his country for too long in the hands of a Regent or deputy. In
this case the powers of Regent were handed over to Princess Isabel, and
this lady lost little time in putting some admirable intentions into
effect. This, however, she managed to effect in a manner, as is
frequently the case with well-intentioned persons, which wrought no
little mischief to her own interests.

Humane and of advanced ideas, Princess Isabel had always regarded the
slave trade with abhorrence. The Emperor Pedro himself had approved of
the conditions very little more. It is certain, indeed, that he had
intended ultimately to do away with this state of affairs by a gradual
series of moves, so as to leave the general industrial situation
unaffected. Princess Isabel, on the other hand, favoured the idea of an
immediate uprooting of the evil.

As it happened, some steps had already been taken which must in the end,
of themselves, have done away with slavery; thus, it had been decreed in
1871 that every child of a slave born after that time was free. This was
not sufficient for the warm-hearted daughter of the Emperor. In her
impatience to free the older generation from their shackles, Princess
Isabel determined on a general abolition forthwith. In 1888,
notwithstanding the entreaties and warnings of her Ministers, she issued
a decree to this effect, by which it is said that 720,000 slaves became
emancipated.

At the time remarkably little stir was caused by this upheaval of the
industrial status; but there is no doubt that the measure alienated the
sympathies of the most important class of all--that of the landowners,
who were now quite determined that the Princess and her husband should
never come to the throne of Brazil. While all this was occurring,
matters had cropped up in Europe which had caused the Emperor's absence
to be prolonged unduly so far as home matters of State were concerned.
His health was bad, and his suite were anxious to save him as much as
possible from the anxieties of politics. In order that this should be
effected, he was persuaded to stay away from his country for a
considerable while. At length it became evident that his return was
imperative, and in August, 1888, he landed again in Rio, where he was
received with genuine enthusiasm. His loved personality, however, could
no longer stand between the throne and popular opinion, for, in addition
to the discontent aroused by the acts of the Princess, the centralized
system of government, and the general prevalence of corruption in the
provincial administration, had excited a widespread feeling of
discontent, especially in the Assembly and among the Republican party.

In May, 1889, occurred the resignation of the Cabinet which was in power
when the Act of Emancipation had been passed. A new Cabinet was formed
on June 7, under the Presidency of the Vizconde de Ouro Preto, a
statesman much respected by the Emperor. The liberal policy of this new
Cabinet was resented by the landowners, and a serious agitation, which
now began, shortly after received the support of the army.

General Deodoro da Fonseca and General Floriano Peixoto placed
themselves at the head of the military malcontents, and it became clear
to the inhabitants of Brazil that a crisis was not far off. On November
14, 1889, some fifteen months after the Emperor had returned to his
country, the Imperial residence at Petropolis was surrounded by
soldiers, while the palace at Rio was taken possession of by other
troops.

The revolution was conducted in the simplest fashion. Beyond the arrest
of the Emperor and the wounding of the Baron de Ladario, the solitary
Minister who resisted, nothing happened--nothing, that is to say, of a
dramatic nature. Indeed, after the arrest, the chief work of the
revolutionists appears to have lain in the obliteration of Imperial
badges and the cutting out of similar tokens from their uniforms and
flags. The main population of the country appears to have regarded the
change with a most complete indifference.

Dom Pedro's personality appears to have retained somewhat of its
popularity up to the very last. He was sent to Portugal a few days after
the successful revolt, it is true, but it seems that this move was taken
rather because it appeared to be the traditional and proper thing to do
than from any dread of plotting on the part of the deposed monarch, who
was allowed to retain the whole of his property. In fact, in order to
show that no personal malice was intended, the new Republic pressed a
pension on the deposed monarch, which, however, was refused. Pedro II.
quitted the harbour of Rio on November 16, 1889, and with his person the
last trace of Iberian Monarchy vanished from South America.



CHAPTER XXI

MODERN BRAZIL


After the deportation of their third Monarch, the Brazilians settled
down to enjoy the advantages of an ideal and much-exalted Republican
Government; but it was not long before they encountered some sharp
disillusions. Their first President, General Don Manuel Deodoro de
Fonseca, who had been mainly responsible for the expulsion of the
Emperor, was installed immediately after Pedro's departure as head of
the Brazilian Government. He began by proving that a Republic in the
midst of unsettled political circumstances is, from its very nature,
almost invariably more autocratic than the ordinary empire.

Fonseca, a character sufficiently striking to merit individual mention,
was born at Algoas in Brazil, was educated at the military school in Rio
de Janeiro, and received his commission as a Lieutenant of Artillery in
1849. The chief feature of his military career was the prominent part he
took in the war with Paraguay in 1868-1870, where he distinguished
himself sufficiently to be promoted to the rank of Divisional-General.
It was not until 1881 that he became definitely known as an ardent
Republican, but from that time onward he continued to be actively
associated with the ultra-Liberal and Republican movement, and he was
responsible for the organization of the Military Club at Rio de
Janeiro, an institution which had other objects in addition to those
implied by its name.

Although Fonseca was a warm personal friend of the Emperor, his activity
and very obvious Republican sentiments led to his being appointed
Governor of a frontier province in 1887. This measure, of course, was
adopted in order to remove him from the capital, where his influence was
considered the reverse of helpful to the Imperial cause. In 1889 he
returned to Rio de Janeiro, and entered actively into the schemes of the
Republican party, more especially in army circles. In the recently
established Republican League, moreover, he was the leading spirit in
the movement which culminated in the overthrow of the Empire.

On November 21, 1889, the provisional Government conceded to all
Brazilians who could read and write universal suffrage, and this was
followed by the appointment of a Commission for the providing of a
Federal Constitution. Republican measures came quickly. On January 10,
1890, the separation of Church and State was decreed by the provisional
Government; and on June 23 of the same year the new Constitution was
promulgated.

In February of 1891 General Fonseca was elected first President of the
new Republic, for a four years' term. He was set at the head of a
Government depending largely on its troops, and these found themselves
suddenly possessed of a power which they had not known previously. The
new citizens of Brazil writhed uneasily under the restraints and
affronts which were now for the first time put upon them; the Press was
muzzled, and a tribunal established with the power of summarily trying
persons suspected of being guilty of want of respect to the new order of
things.

There is no doubt that the first establishment of the Brazilian
Republic was followed by measures of severe repression, not directed
against the Royalists--for this party, to all intents and purposes,
disappeared from existence as soon as the Emperor had left the shores of
Brazil--but against the dissatisfied citizens who were clamouring
against the autocratic methods pursued by the Government. Some definite
accusations were shortly brought against the President. He was accused
of several acts which much exceeded the authority vested in him; he was
charged in particular with numerous deeds of tyranny, violence, and
corruption.

Following on so many precedents of the kind in South America, Fonseca
retaliated by the inauguration of more stringent methods than any which
he had hitherto employed. A state of siege was declared in the capital,
and Fonseca caused himself to be invested with every right and privilege
of a dictator. These methods of terrorism he justified by the pretext of
monarchical plots. Very soon, however, General Peixoto became prominent
as a rival to the Presidency, and shortly a definite revolt arose in the
State of Rio Grande do Sul; while in the far north the State of Pará
armed itself in preparation for the struggle against the central power.

The Navy declared itself against the Government. On November 23, 1891,
the fleet, commanded by Custodio de Mello, took up its position in front
of Rio de Janeiro, and actually fired a shot or two into the town.
President Fonseca was now convinced that the powers against him were too
strong to be successfully coped with; he resigned his office, and
retired into private life, surviving his fall only by a few months,
since he died in August of the following year.

Fonseca's fall was due not only to the measures employed in the
government of the country, but also to the financial state of Brazil at
the time of his election. Reckless extravagance and unscrupulous
handling of the public funds by the various political parties, together
with a too liberal use of the printing-press for the purpose of turning
out paper money when funds were needed, had caused a condition of
affairs which was very near bankruptcy. This condition, moreover, was
largely artificial, since Brazil is almost the first among the States of
South America in the matter of natural resources and general aptitude
for prosperity. Nevertheless, the costly wars carried on under the
Monarchy had left a large burden for the Republic to manage, and in
spite of the strictest economy, the people of the country found that the
inauguration of the Republic did not bring about the establishment of so
prosperous a paradise as they had hoped. Naturally, the blame for this
fell upon Fonseca, and added itself to the autocratic methods of his
government to render him unpopular.

Fonseca was succeeded by the Vice-President, according to the
regulations of the Constitution. This was Floriano Peixoto, who at first
gave promise of a liberal and progressive government. Very soon,
however, it became evident that the abuses of authority encouraged by
him were becoming even more violent than those of the previous régime,
and that the military despotism was even more accentuated. Any Governor
who did not bend without question to the will of the President was
instantly deposed, and in this way the Governors of Matto Grosso, Ceará,
and Amazones were deprived of their posts. Every official, in fact, who
did not show himself disposed to serve the new autocrat with a blind
obedience was deprived of whatever office he had held. The discontent
grew rapidly, while numerous Ministers resigned, and once again the
flames of revolt broke out in Rio Grande do Sul.

On September 6, 1893, Admiral Custodio de Mello, after various abortive
attempts, anchored again in front of the capital, and prepared his
cruiser _Aquidaban_ for action. Peixoto, however, determined to defend
his position, and prepared himself to face the dozen or more warships
which comprised the fleet of the insurgents. On September 12 the first
serious fight took place, the town being bombarded heavily by the fleet,
to which the guns of the forts responded on behalf of the Government.

The struggle continued in a desultory fashion, and a daily interchange
of shots was wont to take place between the naval and military forces.
This situation continued for the remainder of the year 1893, and, as
time went on, the position of the Government became rather more
strengthened, especially when it was reported that some war vessels
ordered by Peixoto in Europe were on their way to Brazil.

In the meanwhile, however, the position in the south became far more
favourable to the insurgents. The revolutionary forces under Saraiva
began a march to the north, when his movement was aided by a portion of
the fleet, under Admiral Donello, which had sailed to the south in order
to co-operate. Curitiba was captured, and the march up from the south
bade fair to be triumphant. This was to a certain extent neutralized by
the interference of the United States warships in the harbour of Rio on
behalf of some merchant vessels of their nationality threatened by the
revolutionary squadron. By this means the rebels lost prestige, and the
situation of Admiral da Gama, who had been left in command of the rebel
fleet, became serious.

On March 7 the vessels ordered by Peixoto from Europe arrived off Rio,
and da Gama, hearing no news from Mello, took refuge, with his officers
and men, on some Portuguese men-of-war. The authorities of Rio demanded
that these crews should be given up, but the Portuguese refused to
surrender them, and sailed away from the harbour with the insurgents on
board, a proceeding which caused a diplomatic rupture between Portugal
and Brazil.

A few days after this a misunderstanding occurred between the Government
and the Commander of the British vessels, and the _Cirius_ threatened to
open fire on the Brazilian vessels. The matter was, however, settled
without a shot being expended.

In the meanwhile affairs had not been favouring the revolutionists in
the south. Admiral de Mello's silence had been due to a breakdown in the
machinery of his ships, and not to any lack of initiative of his own.
After some time the Admiral arrived at Curitiba, from which point he
journeyed inland to Punto Grosso, where he met General Saraiva. At a
council held between the two, a Governor was named for the State of
Paraná, and Southern Brazil was declared independent of Peixoto's
Government. When the news of Admiral da Gama's surrender came to
Curitiba, the unexpected blow tended greatly to the disorganization of
the movements of the insurgents, and when a division of 5,000 Government
troops marched from São Paulo to Curitiba, it met with no resistance.

While this was occurring, the revolutionist cruiser _Republica_ and
three armed transports, having 1,500 men on board, had sailed for the
harbour of Rio Grande. The summons to surrender was ignored by the town,
and Mello, after bombarding the place, landed a force which in the end
was repulsed. After this, despairing of success, Mello sailed to the
Argentine port of La Plata, where he surrendered to the Argentine
Government, who at once handed his vessels over to Brazil. The
_Aquidaban_, the remaining insurgent warship, was torpedoed a little
later by a Government vessel, and the stricken ship was run ashore and
abandoned.

General Saraiva in the south was shot in the course of a skirmish, and
the revolution was now finally crushed. The numbers who paid the fullest
penalty for their active discontent were very great, and the final
embers of the insurrection were extinguished to the tune of wholesale
executions.

It was now supposed that General Peixoto would reign unhampered as
dictator, and in peaceful circles no small alarm was felt. In 1894,
however, the President resigned, and was succeeded by Dr. Prudente de
Moraes Barros. Moraes was a stanch upholder of civil and peaceful
authority, and although a certain section, both of the army and navy,
manifested some discontent, the country progressed rapidly under his
administration.

The unrest in the Southern States, nevertheless, although it had been
temporarily quelled by force, was not long in reasserting itself. The
struggle which occurred here between the Government troops and the
revolutionary forces was sanguinary in the extreme. After a desperate
action, Admiral da Gama, wounded, committed suicide, and his death
practically ended the revolution. Towards the end of 1895 the President,
true to his pacific policy, granted a general amnesty in favour of the
insurgents, which went far to establish his popularity. In the south,
subsequent to a demonstration of local unrest, an attempt to assassinate
President Moraes occurred on November 4, 1897, in the course of which
the Minister of War was killed, and several other officials wounded.
People in general execrated the act, thus demonstrating the President's
popularity.

Towards the end of 1898 the Presidential election took place, and Dr.
Manuel Campos Salles, whose candidature received the support of Moraes,
was elected President. Dr. Campos Salles proved himself perfectly able
to cope with the modern developments of the Republic. Before taking
charge of his office he had journeyed to Europe and concluded financial
arrangements in London and elsewhere, and subsequently a commercial
treaty was ratified between Brazil and Argentina. In 1902 Campos Salles
was succeeded in the Presidency by Dr. Rodriguez Alves.

Meanwhile, in 1900, the northern Brazilian frontier, in the direction of
French Guiana, had been finally determined by a decision of the Swiss
Federal Council. A dispute with Great Britain over the British Guiana
frontier was referred to the King of Italy, who rendered his award in
June, 1904, allotting about 19,000 square miles to Guiana, and 14,000
square miles to Brazil.

A more important matter was the dispute with Bolivia respecting the Acre
territory, on the settlement of which Bolivia gave up all claims to
Acre, a district embracing about 73,000 square miles, in return for a
surrender of about 850 square miles on the Madeira and Abuna Rivers, 330
square miles on the left bank of the Paraguay River, and a cash sum of
10,000,000 dollars for the purpose of constructing a railway in the
borderland of the two countries. Subsequently Peru disputed the claim of
Brazil to the Acre territory, and this, no doubt, forms a matter for
future arbitrators to settle. The Presidential election raised Dr.
Affonso Penna to the head of the State in 1906, since when Brazil has
been steadily engaged in strengthening its financial position and in the
development of its internal resources.



CHAPTER XXII

THE INDEPENDENCE OF SPANISH AMERICA


Having followed the course of the Brazilian fortunes from the elevation
of the province to a kingdom, from its promotion to an Empire, and from
its Imperial status to its modern Republican condition, it is necessary
to revert again to the Spanish-speaking territories of the Continent.

It must be admitted that the epoch that immediately followed the war of
liberation was one of strife and bitter disillusion. A certain number of
the leaders had foreseen the chaotic phase which had necessarily to be
undergone before the benefits of independence and enlightenment could be
enjoyed. These, however, were restricted to the very small intellectual
minority. The great bulk of the population of the late provinces, now
nations, had anticipated nothing of the kind. In their eyes the period
of transition had been pictured as fleeting and as of no account. It
had, indeed, been popularly considered as but a step from a condition of
oppression and dependence to that of complete freedom and
self-government.

It was not long before the fallacy of all such theories was shattered.
Indeed, the very earliest periods of independence were ominously
prophetic of what Spanish South America was destined to suffer before it
emerged from the chaos of blood and strife, and before its various
nations were enabled to stand firmly on their own feet.

In some respects, but only in some, South America, freed from the
Spaniard, resembled the ancient Britain deprived of its Roman rulers and
garrison. It is true that the Spanish army had been forced, struggling,
from the Continent by means of battle and blood, and that the Roman
legions had left the coasts of Britain amid the lamentations of the
natives. One thing, however, is quite certain, that neither race was
prepared to govern itself. Washington was duplicated in the south by
Bolivar and San Martin, but the influence of Bolivar and San Martin died
very shortly after the dramatic events in which they took part.

It would be more correct, perhaps, to say that this influence was
overlooked for the time being and forgotten, since, those periods of
all-absorbing anarchy notwithstanding, the influence of Bolivar and San
Martin has manifested itself strongly from time to time during every
generation which has succeeded.

That the age of petty and local tyrants should have followed so closely
on the skirts of the great national and Continental revolution was
inevitable in the circumstances. Spanish South America was Royalist by
custom and tradition. Whatever the nations might in the first instance
term themselves, their inhabitants were bound by these very traditions
and instincts to find some leader whom they could put in the place of
the once revered, but never seen, monarch.

Thus the rather curious circumstance arose that South America flung off
the Spanish dominion (which during its last decade had grown by
comparison with the past considerate and beneficent), in order to
replace it by the far more tyrannical Governors of their own creation.
It was doubtless the fact that these despots who ruled so unmercifully
over the South Americans were men of their own race and country that
tended to reconcile the private citizens to the very real perils and
oppressions which they now had to endure. The social upheaval had been
such that, although many of these _caudillos_ or despotic chieftains
were descended from aristocratic Spanish colonial families, others were
mere children of opportunity, whose ancestry and origin could bear no
comparison with their feats, dark though these latter may have been.

In the eyes of many European contemporaries, and even in those of a
multitude of their own people, the condition of the erstwhile Spanish
South American colonists showed no glimmer of hope for a considerable
time after the much-desired liberation had actually been obtained. Yet
all this time the leaven was working very slowly, but very surely. The
fact, indeed, was that, although the acts and circumstances, politically
speaking, of the River Plate provinces grew wilder and more desperate,
the human substance of the nation was steadily improving and becoming
enlightened--a somewhat curious paradox! Even during the tyranny of the
most remorseless of the _caudillos_ the enlightenment was working its
way among the mass of the people.

The influx of foreigners alone worked an enormous influence in this
direction. A country which until the revolution had been governed in a
more autocratic fashion than probably any other in the modern history of
the world had suddenly opened its doors, and its people stood blinking
in the powerful light shining from the European civilization--an outer
world, of which the majority of the colonists had had no previous
conception.

That many of these should have lost their heads was quite inevitable. A
number of intellectuals took France's Jean-Jacques Rousseau and her
other contemporary prophets as models, or rather as gods, before whom
they fell down and worshipped. The trend of the nation became strongly
and even curiously materialistic. In this respect it must be confessed
that Argentina and Uruguay more especially have continued to follow the
French school of thought.

This departure in itself was enough to cause a profound disturbance in
the breasts of the majority of those in themselves neither leaders nor
intellectuals, but plain men imbued with the very true, if intensely
narrow, devotion and piety of the old-fashioned Spaniard. The force of
the convulsion was doubled from the mere fact of its astonishing
suddenness, and the religious and political earthquake, once started,
went rumbling and roaring ceaselessly the length of the startled
Continent.

Speaking quite frankly, there seems very little doubt that in the two
countries mentioned the influence of religion died in the birth
struggles of the Republics. In the course of the innumerable civil wars
which tortured these lands for half a century and more afterwards,
religious emblems were from time to time employed, and priests were
occasionally attached to one faction or the other; but the records of
these latter are such as to show that they had entirely lost to sight
their sacred calling, and a number, such as Felix Aldao, became
politicians and leaders of these bands, and executed and drank with the
wildest of their men. On a few occasions a religious pretext was
actually seized upon by one or two _caudillos_, who in the most
barefaced fashion endeavoured to make this cloak serve their ends.

A notable instance of this was afforded by the famous Argentine
chieftain Quiroga. This worthy was altogether one of the wildest of his
kind. Indeed, at one period he stood self-confessed as a land pirate by
the ensign which he adopted--a black flag, with a skull and cross-bones.
On one occasion, however, when a religious dispute had broken out among
his more intellectual neighbours, Quiroga determined to intervene on
behalf of religion. So, when he next made his appearance at the head of
his cavalry, not a little amazement was mingled with the dread with
which the spectators were wont to regard his grim personality. For the
skull and cross-bones had disappeared from the chieftain's banner, and
in their place floated the words, "Religion or death." It was evident
that Quiroga was determined that whatever he took up should be seriously
undertaken!

On several occasions Rome endeavoured to intervene, but on each occasion
was met with rebuff. Leaders, such as Francia of Paraguay, appointed
their own clergy, and, quite regardless of any outside authority
whatever, made or unmade priests, and, in fact, dealt in sacred things
to their hearts' content. Francia retained his Bishop in a capacity
which was little more than that of a body-servant. This Bishop he had
himself promoted from the most ignorant country priest of a most
ignorant country.

Probably no other portion of the history of the modern world shows such
unbridled licence as was exercised in almost every Republic of the
Continent during the first half of its freedom.

Perhaps one of the most curious phenomena of the post-revolutionary era
of South America was the rapidity with which the majority of the
original leaders disappeared from the stage of public life. San Martin
had voluntarily forsaken the scene of his triumphs. In one sense he was
fortunate, since the fierce rivalry which arose at the conclusion of the
War of Independence left his colleagues little chance of making their
_congé_ with a similar amount of dignity.

Bolivar died impoverished and exiled, one of the most sublime and tragic
figures of the revolution. O'Higgins, it is true, divested himself of
his insignia of office by a spontaneous act. This, however, only came
about when the opposing parties had stretched forth their hands to
clutch at each other's throats. In the majority of cases the ending of
the careers of these early patriots was equally abrupt.

Nothing of this, however, was foreseen when the age of liberty first
dawned; then the men who had organized the campaign and who had won the
battles were still heroes in the eyes of the people. Bolivar was
frenziedly acclaimed as the deliverer of Peru, an honour which, in the
absence of San Martin, none could dispute with him. Although it was
obvious that the circumstances about him were changing, and that the
once high ideals of many were becoming affected by sordid
considerations, Bolivar's exaltation of spirit seems to have continued
unimpaired. That he had become sterner and more imperious there is no
doubt.

Many anecdotes are told of him at this period, one of which shows him in
a light rather uncommon in South America, where gallantry towards ladies
is apt to be carried to the extreme. It is said that at a ball a lady
insisted on singing his praises with an admiration that was positively
fulsome. Bolivar, according to the story, reproved her by these words:
"Madam, I had previously been informed of your character, and now I
perceive it myself. Believe me, a servile spirit recommends itself to no
one, and in a lady is highly to be despised." No doubt the reproof was
well earned, but at the same time the language reveals a gruffness which
scarcely tallies with Bolivar's usual conduct.

Another anecdote will suffice to show the various situations with which
the Liberator had to contend. At a public dinner given to Bolivar at
Bogotá a fervent admirer of his uttered an incautious toast: "Should at
any time a Monarchical Government be established in Colombia, may the
Liberator, Simon Bolivar, be the Emperor!" A stern patriot, Señor Paris,
then filled his glass and exclaimed: "Should Bolivar at any future
period allow himself to be declared Emperor, may his blood flow from his
heart in the same manner as the wine now does from my glass!" With these
words he poured the wine from his glass upon the floor.

Bolivar, far from being offended, sprang up and, approaching Señor
Paris, embraced him, exclaiming: "If such feelings as those declared by
this honourable man shall always animate the breasts of the sons of
Colombia, her liberty and independence can never be in danger."

The story is pretty enough, and doubtless it occurred much in the way
related at the moment; but it must not be forgotten that convictions on
the part of public men must frequently wait on policy, since it is well
known that Bolivar's own views for the independence of South America ran
rather in the direction of Empires than Republics.

Simon Bolivar, indeed, worked on large and Imperialistic lines. As has
been said, he dreamed of a single State of Spanish South America, of a
great community with a single heart. It is not surprising that he found
opponents to this scheme, the chief of these being Chile and Buenos
Aires. Even in his own country these stupendous plans of his, though
they were conceived in a disinterested and loyal spirit, led to troubled
and harassing times. Thus revolutions against his authority broke out in
Venezuela, and even in parts of Colombia itself. International
complications followed. In 1827, Peru declared war against Colombia,
alleging that Bolivar was attempting to place her in a state of
vassalage to Colombia.

Discord was now arising on every side. Bolivar saw the majestic turrets
of his castle of state fall with a crash to the ground almost ere they
had had time to rear themselves against the darkening horizon. The
tragedy was too much even for his enthusiastic spirit. Broken and spent,
he retired to Santa Marta in New Granada, where his grief brought him to
a death in solitude in 1830. Thus his fate supplied yet another link
between his career and that of San Martin, whose death in Boulogne on
the French coast, when it occurred, scarcely occasioned a passing
notice.

In Chile, as has been said, the career of the famous Bernardo O'Higgins,
although shorn of so many of the tragic elements that attended that of
Bolivar, had ended with almost equal abruptness. It is true that the
great Chilean for his part had the satisfaction of performing one of the
greatest acts of his life at the close of his official existence. When,
faced by the deputation of those who were in revolt against his
authority, he stepped forward to confront them, and, with deliberation
and calmness, tore from his person his insignia of office, he knew that
his deed had been echoed through the whole length of Chile, and that it
had caused a shock of astonishment and sympathy in the breasts of even
those most strenuously opposed to his policy. In other respects the
results were much the same as in the case of Bolivar. The great
O'Higgins had retired from the eye of the nation and from the scene of
his struggles and self-sacrifice.

In Argentina the tale was similar, notwithstanding the enlightened and
progressive influence of intellectual men, such as Belgrano, Rivadavia,
and numerous others. The tide of civil strife burst out, and its mad
eddies swept away many of those who had proved themselves heroes in the
cause of independence. The severing of ties and of friendship was
necessarily abrupt, and occasionally claimed a victim. Among these was
Liniers, who in the last days of the Spanish régime had gathered
together a local force on the River Plate, and had dislodged the British
forces from Buenos Aires. This, however, did not prevent his execution
by the patriots soon after the outbreak of the war.

To enter into the details of individual cases is impossible here, since
volumes could be written on every separate decade, and on a score and
more of the personalities of this particular epoch in Argentina alone.
Paraguay stood out as an exception to the rest. In that State the reins
of power fell into the hands of Dr. Francia, a merciless autocrat, who
suffered nothing whatever to be disturbed within the frontiers of his
country, and who now ruled with a ferocious tyranny, such as had
scarcely been approached even in the darkest days of the early colonial
age. After that Paraguay was destined to undergo its baptism of fire as
well as the rest; the process seemed inevitable. In Paraguay it had not
been avoided; it had merely been postponed.



CHAPTER XXIII

THE REPUBLIC OF PERU


With the end of the Spanish power the centres of importance--hitherto
quite arbitrarily and artificially chosen--tended to drift to their
natural situations. From time to time it is true that the balance
continued to be disturbed by political considerations, but in the main
the true order of progress was permitted to proceed unchecked. Thus the
importance of Peru fell to its intrinsic and industrial level, and the
States of the north, artificially buoyed up for generations as these had
been by the Spaniards, now assumed a secondary place in the affairs of
the Continent.

Each State, in fact, had now to rely upon its own population and
resources alone. Of the number there were few enough who were not
generously provided with the latter; it was in the former asset that so
many were found acutely wanting, of course through no fault of their
own. Thus it was that when the new division of territories took place,
many of those countries which Nature had provided with an almost
extraordinary degree of wealth found themselves in a state of poverty
through the mere want of labour which might develop these resources. In
some cases this disadvantage has been overcome to a greater or lesser
extent; in others the situation continues practically unaltered to the
present day.

In the north, as has been said, the era of chaos was not long in
asserting itself. New Granada had been divided into three Republics,
those of Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador; while the new State of
Bolivia had been set up between the frontiers of Paraguay and Peru.
General Sucre, one of the chief military heroes of the war of liberation
in the north, was, appropriately enough, made the first President of
this new Republic of Bolivia. At the start unease and fretfulness marked
the relations of each of the new States with the others. It seemed
almost as if the Continent had become so imbued with warlike ideas that
it had forgotten how to lay down the sword.

There was, moreover, lamentably small inducement to a life of peaceful
labour. The industrial situation of the north was as gloomy as elsewhere
in the Continent. The labouring classes found that their condition,
instead of becoming bettered by the revolution, had suffered to no small
degree. It was not surprising, indeed, that at the time these
unfortunate folk could discern no benefit, but only added curses from
this state of liberation of which they had heard so much, and of which
they were now in the so-called enjoyment. Very great numbers of the men
had been killed in the course of the war, and their wives and children
were left behind in a condition of misery and starvation.

Curiously enough, too, although the goods which now entered these
countries from abroad had, owing to the intelligent methods of the new
Governments, become so reduced in price that in ordinary circumstances
they should have been within the range of all, the peasant could no
longer afford to pay even for these cheap luxuries. The rich Spaniards,
the employers of labour, were now no longer on the spot to give out work
and to pay wages. In the industrial confusion the peasant only on the
rarest occasions found anyone capable of occupying his labour. He was
thus reduced to attempt the formation of a self-contained establishment
of his own, a matter which, in the majority of cases, was sufficiently
difficult. Nevertheless, the peasant contrived to support himself on the
maize and vegetables which he grew in the neighbourhood of his hut and
by the pigs which he reared. He knew well enough, nevertheless, that,
although he might expect to maintain a precarious existence by this
means, he could anticipate nothing whatever beyond.

It was many years before the financial benefits of the rebellion
filtered through to these humble classes. The greater part of the
peasants, being fond of show and amusement, were Royalist at heart, and
were more adapted for a Monarchy than for a Republic. As is usually the
case with folk of a peaceful and tractable disposition, they were not
consulted in the matter at all. They had groaned on occasion under the
Monarchy, and on the first establishment of the Republic they continued
to groan from an even greater cause.

The matter was very different with the superior classes of colonists.
The cause for which they had fought was of vital importance to them, and
by the change from the status of a colony to that of a Republic they had
gained everything. Before, they had been mere colonials, slighted by the
Spaniards on every possible occasion, and permitted no say in public
affairs; now they had leaped at a bound to their proper place, and were
at the head of their new State. With pardonable eagerness they plunged
into the campaign of speculation which was now open to them, and many of
their number rapidly grew rich. Thus after a time they became employers
of labour on a large scale, incidentally solving the labour question of
the peasantry of the country.

Among brand-new States who have yet to prove their worth and importance
the intervention of mutual jealousies may safely be counted on. In South
America the appearance of these disturbing factors was not long delayed.

It was not three years after the last Spanish troops had been driven
from South America that war broke out between the Republics of Bolivia
and Peru. Sucre proved himself as able a leader as ever, and was as
successful against his fellow-Republicans as he had been against the
Royalist forces. The Peruvians were utterly defeated. As a consequence,
the President, Lamar, was banished from his country, and a new official,
Gamarra, was elected as provisional President.

The first war, however, did not succeed in clearing the battle-laden
air, and for some while Peru was destined to suffer considerably at the
hands of its neighbours. Very shortly after the conclusion of the first
war a second broke out between Bolivia and Peru. The day of Sucre was
then at an end, and the President of Bolivia was Andreas Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz was a powerful Chief-of-State, a born leader of men, who
managed to hold his somewhat wild adherents in check.

Since no man of any other temperament could have succeeded in retaining
his post in this age of turmoil and unrest, Santa Cruz proved himself a
despot, but in many respects a benevolent despot, who showed an interest
in genuine progress. Realizing, for instance, the serious disadvantage
under which his country laboured on account of its lack of an adequate
population, he devoted much of his thought and time to the amendment of
this state of affairs, which he was inclined to alter somewhat
arbitrarily. He urged, for instance, the taxing of celibates and their
exclusion from the magistracy in order that their want of patriotism
might be singled out and punished. Whatever might have been the result
of measures such as these, the Bolivians proved themselves sufficiently
numerous to defeat the Peruvians once again. Peru was invaded, and Santa
Cruz entered Lima as its protector.

A few years later--in 1837--Peru fell into a dispute with Chile on
account of the Guano provinces of Atacama and Tarapaca. Peru was again
invaded, but eventually the Chileans abandoned the country and returned
to their own.

After this, no little confusion prevailed in the internal affairs of
Peru. Various leaders came, fought, and went, until civil war was
followed by a conflict with Bolivia, in the course of which Gamarra, the
Peruvian President, was killed, and the Peruvian forces were totally
defeated in 1841. In 1845 there seemed a prospect of improvement in the
affairs of the Republic, when Ramon Castilla was elected President.
Castilla was a man of strong and progressive views, and commerce began
to flourish under his guidance. He was followed by President Echenique,
but returned to public life, and succeeded the latter as President after
a lapse of ten years, in the course of which considerable official
corruption had been shown.

In 1864 occurred the first collision with Spain since the conclusion of
the war of liberation. In that year Spain sent out Admiral Pinzon to the
Pacific coast in command of three war vessels. The objects of the
expedition were avowedly scientific, but it met with a suspicious
reception from the first on the Pacific coast. The conduct of Admiral
Pinzon decidedly did not tend to allay any anxiety on the part of the
Republicans. Both Peru and Chile felt that their independence was
endangered, and prepared to resist.

On April 14, 1864, the Spanish vessels gave the signal for war by
seizing the Chincha Islands. Hostilities, however, were staved off for
a while by the action of the Spanish authorities, who stated that
Admiral Pinzon had exceeded his instructions. In the meanwhile the
capture of one of his smaller vessels by the Chileans had so preyed upon
the Admiral's mind that he committed suicide. He was succeeded in his
command by Admiral Pareja.

At the beginning of 1866 war with Spain was officially declared. The
Spanish fleet had now been strongly reinforced, and some naval
engagements took place between the Spaniards and the allied Peruvians
and Chileans, in the course of which the Spanish squadron was repulsed.
On April 25 the Spanish vessels, having already attacked Valparaiso,
appeared before Callao, and a week later they began vigorously to
bombard the town, which returned the fire. In this engagement both land
and sea forces suffered considerably. After this the Spanish fleet
sailed back to Europe, and the war came to an end. Peace, however, was
not declared for two years afterwards.

General Prado now became President of Peru, and proved himself an able
statesman. Nevertheless, the political disturbances continued, and after
a while the rival parties became too strong to permit him to remain in
office, and, resigning, he took refuge in Chile. The period which
follows is one of great unrest. At the same time, notwithstanding the
political disturbances, the commercial and industrial status of Peru was
advancing rapidly. The next President who was destined to remain for
some while in his seat was Manuel Pardo. He was elected in 1872, and
although various revolutions occurred during the tenure of his office,
these were successfully crushed by his authority. Indeed, he actually
completed his term of office--an exceedingly rare occurrence for a
President just at that period. Pardo was succeeded by General Prado,
who had returned from Chile for the purpose of the election, and proved
the popular candidate.

So complicated were the internal affairs of the nations at this time
that it would be impossible to follow them adequately without devoting
various chapters to this purpose alone. One of the blackest events of
the period was the assassination of the ex-President Prado, who had
proved himself a high-minded and efficient leader. This, as a matter of
fact, was the act of a dissatisfied non-commissioned officer, and not of
any political party.

During Prado's Presidency war broke out between Chile and Peru over the
question of the nitrate fields, which were claimed by both countries.
Prado being both the President and General-in-Chief, took command of the
Peruvian army. Although a man of personal courage, he appears to have
been utterly hopeless of victory from the start; and in December, 1879,
when various disasters had overtaken the Peruvian arms, he abandoned the
country, and, taking ship at Callao, sailed for Europe.

The resistance to Chile was continued by Nicolas de Pierola, who, rising
in armed rebellion against the constituted authority of Peru, caused
himself to be declared President. His efforts, however, did not succeed
in stemming the Chilean advance, and the end of the war saw Peru
deprived of the nitrate provinces which she had claimed. Bolivia, who
had been associated with her as her ally in the struggle, was now
reduced to the position of an inland State, her strip of coast-line
having been taken away by the victorious Chileans.

The history of Peru following on the disastrous war with Chile is one of
internal strife, when a host of would-be leaders, each with a following
of greater or lesser importance, came into conflict and prevented any
settled political action. In 1886 President Andreas Caceres came into
power, and, seeing that the populace of the Republic was now exhausted
by the continuous state of conflict, he was permitted to rule unchecked
until 1890. Caceres established a species of military dictatorship, and
remained the power behind the throne until 1894, when, the acting
President having died, he found it necessary to come to the front again,
and after some confusion and fighting he was proclaimed President for
the second time.

In 1895 a revolution occurred, headed by the same Pierola who had
distinguished himself in the war against Chile. After some severe
fighting the party of Caceres was defeated, and Pierola, declared
President, began to govern in a constitutional fashion. His advent to
power marked the end of the political turbulence which had been so
prominent a feature of Peruvian history during the latter half of the
nineteenth century. Although the revolutionary movement continued, it
had lost its fierce and almost continuous character. Since that period
it has become merely intermittent, and thus of secondary consideration;
for, following the example of the neighbouring and progressive Republics
of South America, the political strife in Peru has, to a large extent,
given way to the practical considerations of industrial and commercial
progress.



CHAPTER XXIV

THE REPUBLIC OF PARAGUAY


We have seen how Paraguay, having in the early days of the war of
liberation compelled the retirement of the Argentine army commanded by
General Belgrano, was left to its own resources. It is said by some that
Belgrano, during the intercourse he maintained with the Paraguayans
subsequent to the defeat of his force and previous to his definite
retreat, contrived to inculcate some ideas of independence into the
heads of the officials of the inland province. These seeds of liberty
may or may not have borne fruit, but in any case it is certain that
public opinion in Paraguay rapidly veered round in favour of
independence, and as early as 1811 the Spanish Government was replaced
by a Junta, which consisted of a President, two Assessors, and a
Secretary. The person appointed to the latter office was Don José Gaspar
Rodriguez de Francia, whose name was destined to become dreaded
throughout the length of the Republic which was now to establish itself.

It was not long before the strong personality of Francia dominated the
Junta. The history of Paraguay at this period differs widely from those
of the more progressive nations surrounding it. In Paraguay a certain
_opera bouffe_ element, together with a series of grimly farcical
incidents, continually mingled themselves with some of the darkest
tragedies that have been known in any age. From the very start something
of the kind had become evident. The members of the Junta, for instance,
finding their own means insufficient to support the pomp and state which
was suddenly thrust upon them, and which they had grown to love, began
to adopt some extraordinary measures in order to maintain their
position. Any portable national assets were sold without the least
compunction for this purpose, and they even went to the length of
compelling State prisoners to purchase their liberty--an idea which
undoubtedly ranks as one of the most extraordinary schemes for raising
money ever employed. Measures such as this constituted a sufficiently
ominous beginning; they provided, indeed, an only too true augury of
what was to come and from what species of wrongs the unfortunate country
was doomed to suffer for generations.

In justice to Francia himself it must be said that he took no part in
these first minor acts of oppression. His grim and proud nature cared
but little for mere matters of pomp and ceremony. Money and possessions,
curiously enough, affected him little. Messrs. Rengger and Longchamps
vouch for it that, having once discovered that he was the possessor of
800 piastres, he thought this sum a great deal too much for a single
person, and he spent it. A remedy such as this seems simple enough for
an unusual complaint!

By the year 1813 all but the most powerful elements of the Junta had
been weeded out. The power was now confined to the two remaining
members--Dr. Francia and his colleague, Fulgencio Yegros. These were now
endowed with the titles of Consul. Two curule chairs were specially
manufactured for them. These classical seats were covered with leather.
On one was the name of Cæsar, on the other that of Pompey. It is
possible that Francia had some faint smattering of Latin and of Roman
history; at all events, he is said to have pounced on the first and
eagerly to have taken possession of it. The two Consuls began their
reign by employing a vast amount of ceremony and form in order to
accomplish a few quite arbitrary acts. The majority of these were
directed against the Spaniards, who, suffering now from the swing of the
pendulum of fate, were as much oppressed as they had formerly oppressed.
Indeed, the situation of those Spaniards who still remained in Paraguay
was now pitiable in the extreme. Persecuted on all sides by the high
officials, they could expect, in the face of an example such as this,
scant consideration from the populace.

In the year 1814 Francia determined that the time had come when he could
dispense with the services of his colleague, Yegros. By means of a _coup
d'état_ he packed the Congress, and succeeded in intimidating his
adversaries. As a result, he was named Dictator of Paraguay for a period
of three years, notwithstanding a counter-move on the part of the
military followers of Yegros. This was calmed by Yegros himself. In a
moment of considerable generosity this latter pacified the officers and
the troops, and thus left the way clear for Dr. Francia.

At this period the new Dictator again gave evidence of his curiously
complex character. Congress, anxious to please the new ruler, whose
power of domination had already become so evident, had allotted to His
Excellency the Dictator an annual allowance of 9,000 piastres. Francia
definitely refused to accept more than one-third of this, and, moreover,
continued firm in his refusal, alleging that the State was far more in
need of money than he. On paper, never was the start of a
Chief-of-State's career more fraught with promise than that of
Francia's. He had given evidence of despotism, but also of an earnest
spirit. No sooner had the reins of absolute power fallen to his lot than
he altered entirely the mode of his life. From a comparative libertine
he became a man of austere habits, displaying a most extraordinary
industry in his attention to the matters of State. His manner, moreover,
was affable to poor and rich alike, and the claims of the humblest met
with a courteous consideration rare in any State at any time, but doubly
amazing in a period of chaos such as was reigning throughout the
Continent at the time.

In 1817 his period of Dictatorship expired. It was then that Francia
made his supreme effort. Intrigues, persuasions, and veiled threats
strengthened the position which his cautious and cleverly conceived
conduct had created for him. Numbers of his creatures now came forward
with suggestions. Congress fell into the trap, and Francia was appointed
Dictator of Paraguay for life. This was the moment for which Francia had
waited so patiently and so long. With the last obstacle to his full
power now removed, the change in the Dictator's conduct was as complete
as it was sudden. Had he sat at the right hand of Nero his refinements
of tyranny could not have been more successful. In a very short while
his methods had terrorized Asuncion.

When Dr. Francia and his hussar escort rode abroad, the streets through
which the cavalcade passed resembled a desert, for anyone who had the
misfortune to find himself anywhere near the line of route was set upon
and beaten with the flat of their swords by the hussars for the mere
fact of daring to be in the neighbourhood of the Dictator in a public
place. At the outset there were some who protested. The fate of every
one of these was, at the lightest, to be flung into dungeons and loaded
with massive and torturing chains.

Following the inevitable progress of tyranny, as time went on Francia's
vigilance and cruelty increased, while as the discontent of the populace
became evident his suspicions grew more and more on the alert.
Conceiving the possibility of an assassin lurking behind one of the
orange-trees with which the streets of the capital were so liberally and
beautifully planted, Francia cut them down, and it is said that when his
horse once shied at the sight of a barrel before a door, the owner of
the cask was made to suffer severely on account of the nerves of the
Dictator's steed!

Paraguay gradually became more and more a hermit State under the rule of
this despot. It was difficult in the extreme to enter the country, but,
having once passed its frontiers, it was harder still to return. Forts
were established along the borders, and the rivers were strictly
policed. A strict watch was kept on all travellers, and none might move
from spot to spot without being in possession of a passport especially
granted by the Dictator. Some there were who attempted to make their way
from the now dreaded country through the vast swamps of the Chaco, but
death at the hands of the Indians or the teeth of the wild beasts was
the usual result.

It was inevitable that stagnation of commerce should have ensued, but
the traders by this time no longer dared to complain openly. Francia
himself, so long as he had the State to govern, cared little whether its
people were rich or poor. As for the unfortunate Spaniards in Paraguay,
the enactments against them became more and more severe. As evidence of
his supreme contempt for these Europeans, Francia issued a decree by
which they were forbidden to intermarry with a white woman. This
extraordinary measure shows the length to which this strange man carried
his tyranny, and how deeply was the hatred of the Spaniard implanted in
his queer and grim mind.

It is impossible, however, to go fully into the details of Francia's
autocratic reign, incredible as many of these are. The destruction of
the Church, the secularization of the monks, wholesale executions and
torturings, the suppression of the Post Office, and a hundred other acts
of irresponsible and childish tyranny--these are only some of the
episodes which characterized the days of his rule.

During all this while the power of the army grew until militarism became
rampant--militarism, that is to say, instigated by Francia, since no
officer or man of his troops dared move hand or finger unless commanded
by the Dictator himself. His title was now "Supremo Dictator Perpetuo de
la Republica del Paraguay" (Supreme and Perpetual Dictator of the
Republic of Paraguay).

This he retained until the day of his death, no man daring to dispute
for a single instant his perfect right to the title. Grim and
implacable, he continued his career unchallenged to the last.
Considering the circumstances, his vitality remained unimpaired for a
strangely long period, for Francia died at the advanced age of eighty
years, after a virtual reign of nearly thirty years.

Francia was succeeded by Carlos Antonio Lopez, who showed himself, by
comparison, a liberal-minded and progressive ruler. During his reign few
events of real importance occurred, although the trading facilities
permitted by the new Dictator were responsible for the increasing
intercourse between Paraguay and the outer world. On the death of Carlos
Antonio Lopez the chief office of the State of Paraguay was occupied by
his eldest son, Francisco Solano Lopez.

Francisco Solano had seen more of the outer world than was usual in the
case of the Paraguayan of that period. He had resided in Paris, where he
had carried out a diplomatic mission, and where his intelligence had won
golden opinions from all those who came into contact with him. Indeed,
the impression he had produced on all sides was favourable in the
extreme, and great things were expected as the outcome of his government
in Paraguay.

On the death of his father Lopez showed no small sense of initiative,
for the only office to which he could assume any shadow of a right to
claim at the moment was that of Vice-President. Acting in this capacity,
he obtained immediate control of the army, summoned a meeting of the
Deputies, and told them it was their task to elect a new President.
Seeing that the building was surrounded by troops in the pay of Lopez,
the great majority took the hint. Two only of their number did not
acclaim Francisco Solano as the new autocrat of Paraguay, and as these
two disappeared on the following night, and were never seen again, the
unwisdom of opposition was strongly inculcated from the start. The
Dictator's full title was "Jefe Supremo y General de los Exercitos de la
Republica del Paraguay"; his familiar title, and the one he most
encouraged, was "Supremo."

With the power once in his hands, Francisco Solano Lopez changed his
tactics as completely and as abruptly as had Francia in his day. Tyranny
once more became the accepted order of things. Lopez had brought with
him from France his mistress, Madame Lynch, a Parisian of Irish descent,
and it was this latter alone who possessed the slightest influence over
the new autocrat. Indeed, once firmly established on his throne--for his
Dictator's seat was in reality nothing less--Lopez II. showed a most
callous disregard for the lives of any of his subjects, whether great or
small. Ever since his visit to France Napoleon had constituted his ideal
of manhood, and it was upon the conduct of the great Corsican that he
loved to think he modelled his own.

Certainly Lopez was utterly free from any dread of holocaust. In a very
short while the prisons had been filled to overflowing, and the red soil
of Paraguay grew redder with the blood of hundreds of executions. Once
again the barriers began to be set up between Paraguay and the outer
world, and once again it became almost impossible for one who had
crossed its frontiers to return to his native land. But, since it was
the fate of Lopez to have lived in a later age than Francia, the
ambitions of this third Dictator were correspondingly enlarged. It was
not his design ultimately to shut off Paraguay from the rest of the
Continent; it was his plan rather to cause the frontiers of his country
to spread until they had enveloped all the other lands. Thus he
considered he was acting in conformity with the true Napoleonic
tradition, and also, incidentally, with his own desires and dreams.

In order to be prepared for the great day which was to come to Paraguay,
the army was increased, trained, and drilled until it became one of the
most important and efficient military organizations in the Continent.
This army was completely and entirely the toy of Lopez. The men were his
to be shot or promoted at his slightest whim, and the officers were
subjected to precisely the same irresponsible but merciless discipline.

Even at this period in no other country of South America, perhaps, would
such a state of affairs have continued. Paraguay, however, as has been
explained, differed in its ethics from any of the neighbouring States.
The population was largely composed of civilized Guaraní Indians, and
the section of this great family in these latitudes had from the
earliest days of the Continent been noted for its easy-going and
somewhat indolent qualities.

The result of the intercourse between the Spaniards and Indians had
produced a small minority of _mestizos_, whose enterprise scarcely
exceeded that of the natives. The soft and enervating climate was, of
course, largely responsible for this; indeed, it was inevitable that a
beautiful and lotus-eating land of the kind should have produced
inhabitants to match. A few only of the Paraguayans had had the
advantage of travelling in Europe, and on their return to their native
land its atmosphere very seldom permitted them to remain for long
without the local and somewhat demoralizing influences.

Had Lopez been content to continue to act as supreme and all-powerful
lord of every man and thing within his own frontiers, the affairs of
Paraguay, enlivened at intervals by those salutary orgies of executions,
might have drowsed on indefinitely. For a man of the temperament of
Francisco Solano Lopez such comparative repression was impossible. He
had dreamed himself Emperor of South America, and this he was determined
to be.

Of all the neighbouring countries, Brazil was the first to be alarmed.
She had the most reason, since her frontiers ran to the greatest length
side by side with those of the land which held the ambitious Dictator.
Ere Francisco Solano Lopez had reigned two years the inevitable had
occurred. Arrogance and threats of aggression on the part of the inland
State, resentment and profound mistrust on the part of the Brazilian
Empire, led to open breach. The pretext lay in the joint interference on
the part of Brazil and Paraguay in the internal affairs of Uruguay,
which troubled Republic was just then in a more than usually violent
state of revolution.

Lopez, in a moment of somewhat artificial exaltation, protested solemnly
against the Brazilian policy as directed against Uruguay. Since this
protest was ignored, Lopez resolved on war. He commenced hostilities by
the capture of the _Marques de Olinda_, a Brazilian steamer which
conveniently found itself at the moment at Asuncion, on its way up the
great river system to the Imperial territory of Matto Grosso.

The crew and the passengers of the _Marques de Olinda_ were taken ashore
as prisoners. These included the Brazilian Governor of Matto Grosso,
who, together with the great majority of his fellow-passengers, was
destined never to see his native land again. This decisive act lit up
the flames of war, and the most important struggle between the races of
its own soil which the Continent had ever seen now commenced; for in the
end, not only were Brazil and Paraguay involved, but the neighbouring
States of Argentina and Uruguay as well.



CHAPTER XXV

THE PARAGUAYAN WAR


Although four States were involved in the struggle, South American
historians are unanimous in giving the strife which broke out in 1864
the name of the Paraguayan War. This is appropriate enough, for a number
of reasons, one of them being that, after the first invading expedition
on the part of the Paraguayan armies, the war was fought out on
Paraguayan soil.

The capture by the Paraguayans of the Brazilian steamer _Marques de
Olinda_ demonstrated to South America that the moment of contest had
arrived. The position of the neighbouring States was far less
satisfactory from a military point of view than that of Paraguay. During
the two years of his reign Lopez had steadily continued to prepare his
forces for this event. At the time the Paraguayan army was, numerically,
the most formidable in South America. It had, moreover, been brought to
an unusual degree of efficiency.

The condition of the Brazilian forces was very different. In the first
place, little heed had been taken to make ready for anything of the
kind, and another factor which proved greatly to the disadvantage of the
fighting material involved lay in the difficulty of communication
between Rio de Janeiro and those portions of the great Empire which
bordered on Paraguay. Thus Lopez's invading army, when it swept through
the Brazilian province of Matto Grosso, met with practically no
resistance worthy of the name, and, in the absence of defending troops,
it might, undoubtedly, have taken possession of vast tracts of country,
and have continued to hold these indefinitely.

It was Lopez's bizarre and wild ambition which frustrated his own
schemes. A single tide of invasion was not sufficient to satisfy a mind
such as his. Gathering together a second powerful army, he determined to
strike at the south-eastern portion of Brazil in addition to its
province of Matto Grosso. In order to effect this he demanded in
arrogant tones from Argentina permission for his troops to cross the
Argentine province of Corrientes. To this, as neutrals, it was
impossible for the Argentines to consent. As a result, Lopez in a fury
declared war upon Argentina, and, as though even this did not suffice,
he next found himself at grips with the Uruguayan forces.

Thus Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay were now leagued together against
the armies of the despot Lopez. With a view of alienating the sympathies
of the oppressed subjects of the Dictator from their tyrannical leader,
the allies caused it to be widely proclaimed that the war they were
waging was not directed against the Paraguayan people in general. It was
against Lopez alone that they were fighting, they asserted. The claim
was true enough, since this was in reality the position of affairs.
Nevertheless, owing to the methods of Lopez, the proclamation carried
far less weight than had been anticipated.

The Paraguayan forces now penetrated into the Argentine province of
Corrientes, seized the capital, Corrientes itself, and took possession
of a couple of steamers--the _Gualeguay_ and the _25 de Mayo_--which
were anchored in the river opposite to that town. The Paraguayan fleet
now held command of the river system up-stream of Corrientes. On June
11, 1865, the allied naval forces, steaming up the Paraná, came into
contact with the hostile fleet. A battle was fought, which ended in the
defeat of the Paraguayan squadron, which was forced to retreat, crippled
and damaged, to the north.

A succession of actions now took place on land, and the Paraguayans,
although fighting with a desperate heroism, were gradually beaten back
and driven across their own frontiers. At the same time, the army which
had invaded Brazil retired in sympathy, and the scene of the war changed
to Paraguay itself, which was in its turn invaded by the forces of the
triple alliance. One of the most sanguinary battles of the war was
fought on May 24, 1866--very nearly a year after the first naval action
off the river port of Corrientes.

At this Battle of Tuyuti the Paraguayans lost no fewer than 8,000 men,
and the casualties of the allies amounted to an equal number. Another
important action was fought at Curupaiti two months later, when the
progress of the allies was abruptly checked, and they were compelled to
retire to some distance with a loss of 9,000 men. This was only one of a
fair number of Paraguayan victories, for the defenders, although in the
main they preserved an attitude of strenuous resistance, were
occasionally enabled to exchange this for active aggression.

The history of this war, which lasted for four years, is one of the most
remarkable in the whole category of struggles of the kind. Undoubtedly
one of the most extraordinary features to be met with is the tremendous
courage and grim determination with which the Paraguayans opposed the
forces of the allies. Every yard of the country was contested with a
fierceness which left the entire countryside covered with dead and
wounded. When, moreover, the modern arms in the possession of which the
Paraguayan armies had commenced the war had become lost and depleted in
numbers, their place was taken by improvised weapons of all kinds, and
it was frequently with the crudest firearms and lances that these
devoted armies continued to fight.

The encouragement these troops received from their leaders--or, rather,
from Lopez--was in one sense of a negative order. Rewards for valour
were unknown, but punishments for defaults, on the other hand, whether
real or imaginary, were abundant and terribly severe. Men were shot for
having in the course of private conversation uttered words which the
suspicious mind of Lopez classed as discouraging. Thus a trooper was on
one occasion executed for having ventured the remark that, although the
Paraguayans rejoiced over the numbers of their enemies who were slain,
they invariably forgot to count their own dead. A second soldier met
with a similar fate for having, on his return from a reconnaissance,
stated that the enemy lay in great strength to the front. Lopez
conceived that a report such as this could serve no good end, and
ordered its maker to be executed forthwith.

It is curious to remark that even with the astonishing proofs of their
bravery and devotion which the army had shown, Lopez could never bring
himself to repose any real confidence in his troops. The tasks which
were set them were frequently superhuman. Indeed, as a rule they
received the treatment of beasts rather than of men, and in order to
insure the winning of his battles Lopez encouraged his officers to treat
their men in a fiendish manner. Thus, when a body of men had been placed
face to face with an infinitely superior force of the enemy, and were
being mowed down in hundreds by deadly volleys at close range, a line of
Paraguayans were frequently stationed at the rear of their own fighting
forces, with the strictest orders to pour a volley into their comrades
should they show any signs of retreat.

In circumstances such as these it is not to be wondered at that the
ranks of the sublime Lopez dwindled and became thin to the point of
extermination; nevertheless, the gaps were caused by death and disease
rather than by desertion. One of the most pathetic circumstances of the
campaign was the deep fidelity of the Paraguayans. This was as a rule
sufficiently ill-requited, as will be evident from the fate of a number
of troops who, having been made prisoners by the allies, succeeded after
a time in escaping and in rejoining their suffering and starving
comrades. In order to keep faith in this manner they had left a
neighbourhood of peace and comparative plenty. But Lopez gave them no
thanks. On the contrary, he ordered them to be executed for not having
returned to their regiments before!

Towards the end of the war scarcely a man of mature age and whole body
was left in the ranks. These were filled largely now by youths and,
indeed, mere boys. Many children of twelve and fourteen were to be found
in the later stages of the war carrying their rifles and fighting with
the rest, while the women of the country, including in their numbers all
those of good estate and of gentle birth were, under the guardianship of
lancers, set to march through the desolate forest tracts and over the
countryside in order to establish new agricultural colonies. Here they
were made to dig the soil and to plant cereals and sweet potatoes in
order that the armies might be fed; and should any one of these women on
the march fall by the wayside, her body was transfixed by the spear of
one of the escort as an example to the rest. Thus the roadway was
littered with the corpses of these slain women.

All this while Lopez was sufficiently busy in his own way. His dreams of
Empire appear to have died hard, and not until the very end came could
he be brought to believe that his armies could effect no more. He
permitted his own comforts to be very little affected by the dire
hardships which his troops--and, indeed, the entire nation--were
undergoing. Although he refrained as much as possible from entering into
the neighbourhood of the battles themselves, he took an important share
in the direction of the campaign, and it was undoubtedly owing largely
to his crass ineptitude in all strategical matters that many of the
disasters came about. Although some of his moves were of the nature to
render surrender or death inevitable to the actual combatants engaged in
the grim struggle, a capitulation on the part of one of his officers
was, in the eyes of Lopez, an unpardonable crime, and not only was the
offending officer himself wont to be executed on account of the deed,
but on several occasions his family was made to share his fate.

Seeing that the male members and connections of his own family had
suffered tortures and execution at his hands, and that even his sisters
had been flogged by his orders, it was not to be expected that the
average Paraguayan would meet with mercy from Lopez. Certainly it is no
exaggeration to say that none was ever shown unless with some special
object in view. There is no doubt that a Paraguayan field-officer had,
if anything, rather more to dread from his own Dictator than from his
official enemy.

The end of the war, unduly protracted, came at last. The capital,
Asuncion, had fallen into the hands of the allies, and Lopez, failing
any other refuge, had taken his place with the last remaining body of
the defenders--a ragged and tragic army, many of whom were practically
nude, and very few of whom could boast anything beyond the remnants of a
shirt or a hide loin-cloth. Others flaunted a crude poncho or a leather
cap, while many possessed no weapons but an old flint-lock rifle or a
worn lance. Although nominally an army of a thousand and odd men
composed this last hope, they were little more than fugitives.
Nevertheless, these last atoms of the once great Paraguayan host turned
and resisted grimly each time the pursuing forces came within reach of
them and delivered an attack.

[Illustration: THOMAS COCHRANE, TENTH EARL OF DUNDONALD, G.C.B.,

Who reorganized the Chilian and Peruvian navies and destroyed Spanish
naval power in the Pacific.

_A. Rischgitz._]

At last the few remnants of even this remnant found themselves at a
spot--Cerro Cora, in the forests of Paraguay--where they were overtaken
and brought to bay. There, in the face of an attack on the part of
overwhelmingly superior Brazilian forces, the little party finally lost
its grim determination and broke up, leaving Lopez, Madame Lynch, and
their family to shift for themselves.

Madame Lynch escaped for the time being in a carriage. She had not,
however, travelled far before her pursuers came up with her, and she was
eventually brought back to Asuncion. Lopez, attempting to follow her
from the battle-field on horseback, became bogged in the midst of some
treacherous country. Here he was overtaken and, showing resistance, was
slain by the pursuing Brazilians. With his death ended the first and
last reason for the invasion of Paraguay.

The condition of Paraguay at the conclusion of the war was utterly
deplorable. Indeed, the state of the country was one which very few
lands have experienced since the beginning of history. The natural
resources of Paraguay lay in agriculture. Since all the men had been
engaged in fighting, and merely a few itinerant bands of weak women had
been employed in this occupation in the meanwhile, the cessation of
hostilities disclosed the fact that agriculture was to all practical
purposes no more.

One of the few really wise moves which Lopez had made during the war was
the wholesale planting of orange-trees, the growth of which was wont to
flourish to an extraordinary degree in Paraguayan soil. The numerous new
groves now proved, to a certain extent, the salvation of the
population, and the fruit was eagerly devoured. For the time being there
was little else upon which the unfortunate people could live. It is true
that there were fewer mouths to feed, since the population of the land
at the close of the war was insignificant compared to that which the
country had supported at its beginning. Thus, in 1863, the people of
Paraguay had been estimated roughly as numbering 1,340,000 souls. When
peace was declared there were less than a quarter of a million
Paraguayans left to enjoy its benefits, and of these only 28,000 were
men!

A holocaust such as this would scarcely seem to come within the range of
sane and modern history. When it is realized that, roughly, only one
Paraguayan out of five was left of the entire population at the end of
the five years' war, the extent of the deep horrors of that period may
begin to be understood, although its full tragedy can scarcely be
imagined by the dwellers in more settled and peaceful countries.

It was the women of Paraguay who, having been driven at the point of the
lance to labour in the fields in order to feed the army, now came
forward of their own free-will in the time of peace and utter need, and
heroically set themselves to agricultural toil. After a while the rich
soil of the Republic yielded sufficient harvest to satisfy the
attenuated population of the land, but it was many years ere anything
approaching a normal state of affairs was able to assert itself.

The war, indeed, had caused every nation involved a heavy amount of
blood and treasure. In some respects it is said to have served a useful
purpose. The Argentines, for instance, claim that this struggle
intensified the national spirit of the Republic, since it was the first
modern war on a large scale in which the South American States had been
concerned. It seems likely enough that there is some justification for
this claim. The result was, perhaps, evident in a rather lesser degree
in the case of both Brazil and Uruguay.

The political effect of the campaign upon Paraguay was, of course, still
more important. The allies had announced that they were fighting, not
against the Republic, but against the personality of its despot, Lopez.
His death marked the end of the despotic era, and, although Paraguay has
suffered greatly from revolutions from that day to this, there has been
no attempt at a repetition of a reign of terror.



CHAPTER XXVI

THE REPUBLIC OF CHILE


It has already been said how, at the conclusion of the War of Liberation
in Chile, Bernardo O'Higgins found himself at the head of the State. The
first President was in every respect admirably fitted for his office.
The post, moreover, was nothing beyond his deserts, since he, more than
the majority of the other patriots, had suffered for the cause.

The youth of Bernardo O'Higgins was far more chequered than that which
falls to the lot of most young men. Owing to the peculiar circumstances
of his birth--his father, as a high official under the Spanish rule, had
not dared perform the marriage ceremony with his colonial lady-love,
Bernardo's mother--his childhood had been somewhat neglected, and his
early youth largely deprived of a normal share of paternal affection.
His father, nevertheless, had seen to it that the boy's education should
be of a liberal order.

Bernardo O'Higgins had been one of the South Americans who, during the
last days of the Spanish dominion, had been sent to study in Europe.
There he came into contact with Miranda, who appears to have been almost
ubiquitous at this period, and whose terrific energies seem to have
absorbed all those with whom he came into contact. In any case, it is
certain that Bernardo O'Higgins rapidly became a devoted adherent of
Miranda, and joined with enthusiasm the society that Miranda had formed
for the liberation of South America; indeed, he was admitted into this
before Simon Bolivar had joined it.

On his way back to South America he endured various rebuffs at the hands
of the Court of Spain. Possibly he was made to suffer vicariously on his
father's account, since undoubtedly there were times when the latter's
policy was strongly resented by the Spanish officials. It is, on the
other hand, quite possible that some suspicions of Bernardo O'Higgins's
notions of independence had filtered through to Madrid. It was owing to
complications of this kind that coolness ensued between him and his
father, the famous Ambrose O'Higgins. On the latter's death Bernardo
applied for his rights of succession to his father's titles. These were
abruptly refused him. Thus, when he entered into public life in Chile it
was in a comparatively humble capacity, serving as he did as Alcalde of
Chillan. From this it will be seen that Bernardo O'Higgins had not only
achieved much, but had suffered much in his own person.

During the War of Liberation the capacities of Bernardo O'Higgins were
almost ceaselessly tried, and it must be said that they were never found
wanting. The triumph of the patriot cause and the foundation of the new
Republic of Chile entailed for him no period of repose. On the contrary,
he now felt himself loaded with an infinitely greater weight of cares
and responsibilities.

His post as President of Chile was no sinecure. He had not only to
attend to the organization of the new State, but also to employ to the
utmost his judgment, tact, and diplomacy, with which qualities he was so
well endowed, in allaying the disputes and jealousies between the
patriot leaders. There is no doubt, for instance, that but for the
calming influence of O'Higgins the breach between San Martin and
Cochrane would have been attended with more violent results than was
the case. It was the work of a veteran in statecraft to deal alone with
the machinations of the brothers Carrera, those irresponsible firebrands
who, although ostensibly enthusiastic in the Chilian cause, were in
reality fighting for nothing beyond their own hand, and hastened to
sacrifice any cause or person to their own interests. There were times,
moreover, when it was necessary to suppress actual attempts at
revolution, while, as though this were not sufficient, external
difficulties tended to render the situation still more complicated.

Diplomatic incidents occurred with Great Britain and the United States.
These arose owing to the seizure of British and American ships by the
fleet of the new Republic. These captures, as a matter of fact, were
perfectly justified, since the vessels in question were laden with
stores and war material destined for the Spanish forces. Nevertheless,
the authorities of Great Britain and the United States, although their
sympathies from the very beginning of the struggle had lain so openly
with the revolutionists, found it difficult to reconcile themselves to
the capture of their vessels by a Power concerning the permanence of
which they were not completely satisfied. No sooner were these matters
settled than there broke out serious manifestations of discontent on the
part of the citizens of the young State.

The cause which actually brought matters to a head, and which was
responsible for the revolution which drove O'Higgins from power, was of
a reactionary nature. With a considerable section of the Chilians
neither O'Higgins nor the Republic was popular. Both, in fact, at this
period were considered an evil second only to the detested Spanish rule.
The majority of the ladies of the aristocratic classes worked
strenuously against O'Higgins, and in the end revolutions burst out in
Concepcion and in Coquimbo, and eventually rioting occurred in Santiago
itself.

O'Higgins met the situation with a characteristic calm and intrepidity.
Visiting the barracks, his presence had the almost immediate effect of
restoring to him the allegiance of the military. After which, invited to
attend a meeting of the dissatisfied party, he hastened to the spot.
Here a spokesman of the malcontents demanded in plain words that he
should tender his resignation. O'Higgins, in his reply, first of all
made it perfectly clear that he was in no mood to be terrorized by force
or superior numbers. This latter advantage, indeed, he asserted that the
gathering, however great its influence, could not claim as regards the
sections it represented. After discussion, however, seeing that his own
motives were purely disinterested, he consented to yield to the wishes
of the meeting.

A Junta of three of the organizers of this latter was appointed, and
O'Higgins initiated these into their new office, receiving from them
their oath of allegiance to the constitutions of the new Republic. He
then tore off his own insignia and declared himself a private citizen.
The scene which followed has been admirably translated by Mr.
Scott-Elliot, and his words may well be reproduced here. O'Higgins had
turned to face the meeting, and addressed it in the following words:

     "'Now I am a simple citizen. During my government, that I have
     exercised with full authority, I may have committed mistakes, but
     believe me when I say that they were due to the very difficult
     circumstances when I took up my charge, and not to evil passions. I
     am ready to answer any accusations which are made against me. If
     these faults have caused evils which can only be purged by my
     blood, take what revenge you will upon me. Here is my breast.' The
     people cried out: 'We have nothing against you, Viva O'Higgins!' 'I
     know well,' he added, 'that you cannot justly accuse me of
     intentional faults. Nevertheless, this testimony alleviates the
     weight of those which I may have unknowingly committed.' Turning to
     the Junta, he added: 'My presence has ceased to be necessary here.'
     It was in this noble and dignified manner that the great hero of
     Chilian independence retired into private life. It was, perhaps,
     the most glorious action of his career. He could certainly have
     plunged Chile in a civil war, and perhaps retained the power."

After this Chile underwent a period of that unrest from which no single
one of the independent States of South America succeeded in escaping. In
Chile, nevertheless, although civil war occurred, and much blood was
spilled, the anarchy and chaos were of far shorter duration than
elsewhere. Doubtless the barrier of the Andes, which had shut off the
country to such a large extent from the rest of the world, had added not
a little to the tranquillity and self-reliance of the Chilian character,
determined as this has always shown itself.

In any case, such revolutions as occurred failed to exercise the same
baneful influence on Chilian affairs as was the case with almost every
other State at that period. The condition of the Republic, although far
from tranquil, might be considered as peaceful when compared with that
of its neighbours. In financial matters, moreover, the Republic made
astonishing progress, paying the interest on the loans raised abroad
with a praiseworthy regularity, and thus maintaining her financial
credit unimpaired.

The short war which occurred between Spain and the allied forces of Peru
and Chile has already been referred to. Officially, the four Republics
of Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Bolivia were leagued together into an
alliance to resist this aggression on the part of Spain. Owing to their
lack of warships, however, the two latter States were unable to take
any active share in the operations. On the whole the part played by the
Chilian navy was entirely satisfactory; nevertheless, the naval force of
the young Republic was not sufficient to drive the aggressor's vessels
from the coast, and Valparaiso was bombarded on March 31, 1866. This
misfortune, like so many others, eventually proved itself something of a
blessing in disguise, for from that time may be said to date the modern
Chilian navy. Determined to allow no foreign nation the opportunity of
bombarding any of its ports with impunity again, the Chilians
energetically betook themselves to the forming of efficient national
squadrons--a feat which was simple enough in the case of a nation of
born sailors as are the Chilians.

[Illustration: BERNARDO O'HIGGINS.

The first President of the Republic of Chile.

_A. Rischgitz._]

From that day onwards the Chilian navy maintained its status, and
continues to rank as one of the most efficient in the world. This was
proved shortly after its reorganization in the war which broke out in
1879 between the Chilians and the allied Peruvians and Bolivians.
Hostilities were brought about by the vexed question of the ownership of
the valuable nitrate provinces. These, Chile claimed, constituted the
northernmost of her territory, to which Peru retorted that they formed
the southernmost portion of her land.

The naval engagements which ensued demonstrated to the utmost the high
spirit of the Chilian sailor and the efficiency of the school in which
he had been trained. The action in which the two small Chilian vessels,
the _Esmeralda_ and the _Covadonga_, fought so heroically against the
Peruvian ironclads, _Huascar_ and _Independencia_, was, of course, the
most famous of the war, and the memory of this is jealously guarded by
the Chilian navy of to-day. No question of victory on the part of Chile
was ever involved in this particular action, since the miniature guns of
the small Chilian vessels could, under no circumstances, take effect on
the Peruvians, giants by comparison. It was merely a sublime
demonstration of the extent to which Chilian resistance could be
carried. Thus the _Esmeralda_, refusing to surrender to the very last,
went down after a prolonged and desperate engagement with her colours
flying; while the tiny _Covadonga_, having lured one of her opponents
into shallow water, and thus caused the _Independencia_ to run aground,
blazed away her final volleys of small shot, and retired with all the
honours of war.

Inspired by examples such as these, the Chilian navy maintained its
traditions to the full, and although the Peruvian sailors fought
gallantly enough, they could make no headway against their opponents. On
shore the fortune of war was similar, and the highly disciplined Chilian
army, advancing to the north, occupied Antofagásta, Cobija, and
Tocopilla. But the tide of battle was not arrested at this point. It
flowed to the north again, and the deserts in that neighbourhood
witnessed a number of engagements, in all of which the Peruvians and
Bolivians were worsted and forced to continue their retreat. The
important town of Arica was captured on June 7 after a peculiarly
sanguinary engagement. Port Pisco was the next to fall, and now Lima
itself, the capital of Peru, was threatened. So resolute was the Chilian
advance that no efforts of the defenders could succeed in preserving the
city, and on January 7, 1881, Lima fell into the hands of the Chilians.

After this the war was continued in a desultory and discouraged fashion
by the allies until at the end of 1883 peace was signed, and, as has
been explained in a previous chapter, Bolivia lost her coast-line, while
the Chilians took over the definite ownership of the provinces of
Antofagásta and Tarapacá. This latter country gained, moreover, the
right of dominion over the neighbouring provinces of Tacna and Arica
for ten years, after which period the inhabitants of these two provinces
were to decide by vote whether they should remain Chilian subjects or
become Peruvians. This portion of the treaty has formed the basis of a
series of disputes between Chile and Peru, but the provinces in question
have continued Chilian.

In 1891 the internal peace of Chile was shattered for a while, since in
that year occurred the only civil war in the modern history of the
Republic. The struggle succeeded an era of some political confusion, and
Balmaceda, who was President of the Republic at the time, went the
length of proclaiming himself Dictator, a step which his opponents--and,
indeed, the nation in general--refused to sanction. Balmaceda's party,
however, was powerful, and the war which succeeded was hotly contested.
After various fluctuations, Balmaceda's followers met with defeat, and
the President, yielding to the inevitable, blew out his brains.

Following this last period of unrest, which the Chilians rightly
maintain was both fleeting and exceptional, we come upon the quite
modern history of the Republic, which shows that the Chilians, although
admirably equipped for war, are now as anxious as any other country for
peace and progress. This they have proved on more than one occasion,
notably when the question of frontier delimitations brought about a
dispute with Argentina, a dispute which both nations consented to refer
to arbitration, and, an award having been given, both nations maintained
it with equal loyalty.



CHAPTER XXVII

THE REPUBLICS OF THE RIVER PLATE


The history of no other Republic immediately following on the period of
the Wars of Liberation is quite so complicated as that of Argentina. The
circumstances in the River Plate Provinces differed somewhat from those
of any other part of Spanish South America. From the outset Argentina
loomed more largely in the eye of Europe than did any other of the
sister States. No sooner were the ports thrown open by the newly
constituted Republics than the foreigners flocked to Argentine soil in
numbers which were quite unknown elsewhere. The chief reasons, of
course, for this influx were the temperate climate, the now acknowledged
riches of the land, and the comparative ease with which access to the
country was obtained.

Owing to this latter circumstance, Argentina possessed a great advantage
over Chile, notwithstanding the peculiarly fine climate of the latter
Republic; for the journey over the Andes was strenuous and costly in the
extreme, while the voyage from Europe to the western Republic through
the Straits of Magellan occupied exactly double the time required to
reach Buenos Aires.

These strangers, of course, introduced many progressive ideas and new
habits and luxuries into the land. In non-political matters a
cosmopolitan result was soon evident. At the same time, these foreigners
failed to exercise any but a most indirect influence on the internal
policy of the nation. This was undoubtedly perfectly correct, but in the
face of the curious political situation which prevailed at this period
we have the remarkable spectacle of rapid and definite progress in
commercial, industrial, and private life, while at the same time the
official methods of the public authorities were degenerating with a
rapidity that soon brought the circumstances of government almost to a
point of actual savagery.

In the first instance, men of weight and intellect, such as Rivadavia,
Pueyrredon, and their numerous colleagues, had strained every nerve to
place this new nation of theirs on a par with those of Europe in matters
of intelligence and scientific progress. They had opened colleges,
Universities, hospitals, scientific institutions, libraries, and,
indeed, had endeavoured to provide the community with every instrument
which could further its general progress. Every species of science was
encouraged, even to the introduction of the then novel process of
vaccination.

It was all in vain; the move turned out to be premature. The Spanish
policy of the suppression of education and intelligence was now destined
to show its baneful results. A wave of ignorance and anarchy swept over
the devoted leaders of the revolution, and overwhelmed them completely,
and for the time being even their work. For half a century rival
chieftains rose up one after the other to contend for power. Many of
them employed every conceivable means, whether human or inhuman, to
retain it when once they had succeeded in grasping the coveted
Dictator's throne.

So numerous were these men, and so extensive is the catalogue of their
callous doings, that it is impossible to refer to them in any other but
the briefest fashion here. So extensive, moreover, was the new Republic
of Argentina--or, rather, at that time the collection of frequently
antagonistic provinces which then occupied the area now filled by the
modern Republic--that a single ruler seldom succeeded in maintaining his
authority from frontier to frontier.

In general, the main strife may be said to have been waged between the
provinces of the littoral and those of the Far West. Of all the men who
fought on either side, the greatest leader was, of course, Juan Manuel
Rosas. This astonishing being, as a matter of fact, was by no means one
of the first of these tyrannical Dictators. He was, on the contrary, the
last, so far as Argentina is concerned, but his deeds continued to
savour of an early period to the end.

Although at the time of his advent to power Rosas was merely one of a
type, and found himself surrounded by a number of rival leaders, none
proved himself a match for his extraordinary astuteness and influence
over his neighbours. The Dictator stood out head and shoulders above any
other Argentine despot of his kind. Certainly far more has been written
concerning Rosas than concerning any other South American ruler of his
period--that is to say, so far as Spanish literature is concerned--for,
although his rule attracted a very great deal of attention in England
and elsewhere in Europe for as long as it lasted, the topic appears to
have been allowed to slumber since his banishment and death.

To revert, however, to the first period of the actual independence of
Argentina. This was marked by almost continual warfare on the shores of
the River Plate. Brazil, taking advantage of the confusion in the
territories of her neighbours, had sent her armies to the south, and had
occupied Uruguay, thus extending her frontiers to the long-coveted
shores of the River Plate. This aggression was followed by war between
Buenos Aires and Brazil, while a large section of the Uruguayans,
headed by Artigas, whose name is famed as the great patriot of the Banda
Oriental, by which name the Republic of Uruguay is still familiarly
known, fought desperately against the Portuguese troops.

Notwithstanding the very real perils which the situation held for the
Spanish-speaking folk in these districts, it was not long before serious
jealousies broke out between the leaders. In the end an open breach
occurred between the Argentine army and a section of the Uruguayans.
Artigas flung his devoted bands of soldiery alternately against the
Brazilians and against the soldiers from Buenos Aires, and the more
peaceful inhabitants of Uruguay watched with dismay the advent of a
period of chaos.

During this period, as has been said, the Argentine statesman,
Rivadavia, was working whole-heartedly towards the intellectual
betterment of his country, and in this he was assisted by Alvear and
others. But the warlike stress of the period cut short the majority of
these endeavours. The Brazilians, anxious to conclude the war, had
brought down their entire fleet to the River Plate, and they were
blockading the entrance to the river and the port of Buenos Aires. At
the sight of the hostile vessels the local differences were for the time
being laid aside, and, war vessels being an urgent necessity, public
subscriptions were eagerly forthcoming for the purchase of these.

The small Argentine fleet, when completed, was placed under the orders
of that gallant Irishman, Admiral Brown, and the naval leader lost no
time in forcing his attacks home upon the hostile fleet. Owing to the
fury of these, the efficiency of the blockade was destroyed, although
the Brazilian vessels continued in the neighbourhood for some while.

General Alvear was now appointed commander of the land force operating
against Brazil, and in conjunction with the Uruguayan General,
Lavalleja, he assumed the aggressive, defeated the Imperial army, and
was in turn about to invade the Brazilian province of Rio Grande, when
he found himself obliged to abandon the project owing to the want of
horses from which his army suffered.

In 1827 Rivadavia's Government fell, and after a while Manuel Dorrego, a
gifted soldier and politician, found himself at the head of the State.
Peace was now signed with Brazil, but on terms which the great majority
of the Argentines resented bitterly, and the unrest in the Republic
rapidly came to a head. Dorrego was opposed by General Lavalle, one of
the most famous personalities of the period. Both parties resorted to
arms. Dorrego's force was defeated and its leader captured. On this
Lavalle, a brilliant and liberal-minded man, committed the gravest error
of his career--one, moreover, the nature of which was entirely foreign
to his character--for, after capturing Dorrego, he executed his
prisoner. Reasons of State were the cause of this political crime, since
no personal animosity was involved.

This act was fiercely resented by Dorrego's party in general. It brought
upon Lavalle more particularly the enmity of Juan Manuel Rosas, the man
of blood and iron, whose fierce star had now begun its definite ascent.
An active warfare took place between the two, and although it was
interrupted now and again by truces, these were of short duration, and
the struggle continued almost without intermission until the death of
Lavalle in 1840, when fleeing after his ultimate defeat at the hands of
the opposing party. This, however, is to anticipate somewhat, since it
was as early as 1829 that Rosas first took charge of the Argentine
Government. While this famous leader was in the act of gradually
consolidating his power, the country had become divided into two main
parties--the Federals and the Unitarians.

[Illustration: STATUE OF GENERAL MANUEL BELGRANO.]

Rosas stood as the chief of the Federal party, while Lavalle and his
colleagues represented the Unitarians. After a while it became evident
that, so far as the capital was concerned, the influence of Rosas was
supreme, and it was not long before Buenos Aires began to feel the
weight of that grim personage's hand. Very soon a reign of terror
commenced. The alarmed citizens discovered that all personal security
was now at an end, and that the laws of the Constitution were replaced
by the enactments and degrees made at the will of Rosas. All this time
the latter was strengthening his position, and when the dreaded leader
succeeded in establishing himself firmly in the Dictator's chair, the
severity of his rule increased still more. He laid down laws, not only
concerning public affairs, but also affecting the intimate private life
of the citizens. Red being the Dictator's favourite colour, it followed
in his mind that the nation must mould itself upon his tastes
completely. Thus every citizen of Buenos Aires, in order to show his
loyalty to the autocratic Governor, was obliged to wear a rosette or
band of red.

This wearing of the red naturally became the custom. It was the result
of no special decree, but the unwritten law was not to be denied.
Indeed, did any rash inhabitant of Buenos Aires refrain from obeying it,
the result of his independence was that he betrayed himself an open
enemy of the Dictator, and he met with the inevitable punishment for
this, which was in any case imprisonment, and possibly death. The
blood-like hue, moreover, was encouraged not only in dress, but in
general decorations, and even in the walls of houses, and every other
object in which it could be employed.

The executions during the twenty and odd years which Rosas held office
amounted to many thousands. The melancholy total, indeed, would
assuredly have been still further increased had not the majority of the
more intellectual and of the more important colonial families fled
across the frontiers and taken refuge either in Chile or in Uruguay.

The character of Rosas was strangely complex. It must not be supposed
that he was nothing beyond a mere brigand and tyrant, who busied himself
with executions and plunder, to the exclusion of all other occupations.
He was, indeed, in many respects a man experienced in the ways of the
broader world, and was able, after his particular fashion, to hold his
own with European diplomats and others of the kind.

The great naturalist, Darwin, for instance, when on his visit to the
Argentine Provinces, was brought into contact with Rosas, and admits
that he was very struck with the personality of the leader, who in
conversation was "enthusiastic, sensible, and very grave. His gravity,"
he continues, "is carried to a high pitch." General Rosas, as a matter
of fact, appears to have possessed the happy knack of impressing
favourably almost everyone whom he met, and the explanation of his
policy, when recorded from his own lips, was wont to ring very
differently from that given by his opponents. It is probable enough that
in many respects his views were truly patriotic. His methods, on the
other hand, were callous to an altogether inhuman point. It is, in any
case, quite certain that the value he placed on life was altogether
infinitesimal.

As time went on the power of Rosas steadily increased, and the rival
chieftains one by one withdrew from the contest or met with their death
in one of the wars of the age. Garibaldi himself had broken a lance in
the cause of the Unitarians. Rivera and other progressive leaders had
fought against him in vain. There were others of the type of Quiroga,
who, brought up in the same school as Rosas, although of lesser
birth--for the family of the Dictator was patrician--joined him for a
while in a species of tentative alliance, and then broke away--usually
to their cost.

This Quiroga was one of the most noted chieftains of the interior of the
distraught Republic. He had swept the western provinces with fire and
sword, executing, burning, and plundering wherever he went. Had he not
fallen foul of Rosas, he might have continued his grim career unchecked
for years. As it was, he came in contact with a master-mind, and, as was
inevitable, perished.

There are many Argentines even to-day who claim that, for all the
tyranny of the Dictator, the country was none the worse for his rule,
and that the régime which he introduced, however bloodthirsty and
horrible, was at all events one of discipline such as the distracted
collection of provinces had never known since the days of the Spanish
rule. There is no doubt whatever concerning the existence of this
discipline. So severe was the phase, and so vague was the slender amount
of liberty left to the private citizens, that many of these latter lived
at periods immured within their houses, lest by sallying forth into the
street they should unwittingly offend the powers and pay the penalty.

The relations of Rosas with the foreign Powers soon grew strained. He
fell foul of the French and British nations, and as a result the allied
fleets arrived off the mouth of the River Plate and blockaded Buenos
Aires. The outcome of this, however, was purely negative. Although the
Republic suffered inconvenience from the cessation of trade, the
community was self-supporting, while it was impossible, of course, for
the European forces to attempt to carry on land operations. Thus, after
a prolonged stay in the waters of the River Plate, the blockade was
raised, and the French and British fleets sailed away, having to all
intents and purposes failed to achieve their object.

The extraordinary force of Rosas's character is best instanced by the
length of his rule. This, as has been said, continued for over twenty
years, until the year 1852. That a Dictator should have continued to
hold the reins of power for this length of time in the face of the
opposition and hatred which, although smothered, were rampant on every
side of him was undoubtedly a most amazing feat. His political end, when
it came, was a rapid one. After having humbled every aspirant who strove
to challenge his power, he was confronted by General Urquiza, who had
for years dominated the province of Entre Rios.

The numbers of the actively discontented had now reached truly
formidable dimensions. Brazil and Uruguay both came to the assistance of
those Argentines who were disposed to attempt rebellion afresh, after
years of enforced and trembling peace. A large army composed of
Argentines, Brazilians, and Uruguayans, under the joint command of the
Brazilian Marquis de Caxias and General Urquiza, crossed the Paraná
River, invaded the province of Buenos Aires, defeated Rosas's troops,
and advanced on the capital. On February 3, 1852, the fateful Battle of
Caseros was fought, rather less than ten miles from the town of Buenos
Aires. The terrified civilian inhabitants of the town awaited the result
in profound suspense. All the while the fight was raging a succession of
messengers came galloping through the streets bearing contradictory
fragments of news. After some hours the citizens were no longer left in
doubt. The stragglers of Rosas's beaten army came pouring into the town,
and it became known that the Dictator, completely defeated, had fled.
General Rosas and his daughter were received on a British warship, and
sailed for Southampton, in which town the famous leader remained until
the day of his death.

Urquiza was received by the inhabitants of Buenos Aires with delirious
joy as the deliverer of the Republic. By means of the proclamations
which he showered upon the populace he endeavoured to make it clear that
he would continue in that capacity. It was not long, however, before his
actions aroused the suspicions of the townsfolk. In fact, after a while
it became fairly evident that Urquiza, having once found himself in the
full enjoyment of power, was by no means indisposed to follow the
example so grimly set by Rosas--although this possibly in a minor
degree. It is true that the new chief of the Republic passed some
progressive measures, including one which opened the waters of the River
Plate (closed during the rule of Rosas) to foreign commerce; but the
general tendency of his government was popularly held to be of the
reactionary order.

Revolutions against his authority broke out, and in July of 1853, some
eighteen months after the Battle of Caseros, General Urquiza was
conveyed from Buenos Aires in a United States man-of-war to his
head-quarters in his own province of Entre Rios, where he remained,
leading a semi-private life in the enjoyment of his vast estates.

With the retirement of Urquiza we come practically to the modern
conditions of the great Republic of Argentina, for General Bartolomé
Mitre now came into power, and with the advent of the famous Argentine
President the Republic began to assume something of its present
importance. It was, however, not until thirty years later that the final
differences between Buenos Aires and the other provinces were completely
adjusted.

The effect of this settlement was remarkable and immediate, for
simultaneously with the removal of the jealousies which had hitherto
reigned between the great province of Buenos Aires and its neighbours
the last impediment in the path of progress vanished, and the Republic
advanced with an almost startling rapidity to the importance of its
present position in the world's affairs.

During all this while the small Republic of Uruguay, which had cut
itself adrift from Argentina in the course of the War of Independence,
had continued on a somewhat chequered and stormy career. After
innumerable struggles, the dauntless little State succeeded in freeing
itself from the aggressions of its powerful neighbours to the north and
south. This did not suffice to put an end to internal unrest, and the
rival parties--the _Colorados_ and the _Blancos_--made a battle-ground
of the Republic for generation after generation. Notwithstanding this,
the intellectual progress of the Uruguayans has continued throughout,
and the development of the national industries on a fitting scale is now
proceeding.



CHAPTER XXVIII

THE NORTHERN REPUBLICS


Such history as can be claimed by the remaining Republics of South
America has been achieved, from the political point of view, on a far
smaller and less conspicuous scale than that of the great southern and
central states. In many respects the happenings have been more strictly
local, although, of course, there have been a certain number of
incidents, such as that of President Castro in Venezuela, whose
irresponsible conduct roused half the European Powers to take action
against his country, and whose childish obstinacy was responsible for
temporarily strained relations between Great Britain and the United
States. This may serve as an example of what weighty influences may be
brought to bear by totally insignificant causes.

Of this group of lesser Republics, however, Venezuela may well enough be
taken among the last, since that State still remains one of the rapidly
declining number of Republics whose affairs continue in a really
backward condition. Of the remaining countries of the north, Bolivia is,
it scarcely need be said, by far the most important. That the interests
of this country have up to the present not been of a more cosmopolitan
character is due mainly to the fact of the great difficulty experienced
in the establishing of modern communications in so wealthy yet so
mountainous a land.

According to F. Garcia Calderon--

     "Bolivia sprang, armed and full-grown as in the classic myth, from
     the brain of Bolivar. The Liberator gave to her a name, a
     Constitution, and a President. In 1825 he created, by decree, an
     autonomous Republic in the colonial territory of the district of
     the Charcas, and became its Protector. Sucre, the hero of Ayacucho,
     succeeded him in 1826. During the War of Independence this noble
     friend of Bolivar resigned from power, disillusioned; he was the
     Patroclus of the American Iliad."

Sucre's name is one of those most intimately and gloriously associated
with the history of the youthful State. After his passing and that of
Bolivar, Andreas Santa Cruz became the virtual ruler of Bolivia. Santa
Cruz was a powerful chief, who feared not to shed blood in the cause of
civilization, as he understood it, and who, considering the
circumstances in which he found himself, proved an extremely able and
enlightened President. Under his fostering care the national security
became a little more assured, and the treasury of the Republic waxed.

Santa Cruz is said by some to have cherished Imperialistic ambitions. It
is certain that his talents were recognized to some extent in Europe, if
from no other evidence than from the fact that he received the Order of
the Legion of Honour from Louis Philippe of France. There is no doubt
that the new Chief-of-State realized to the full the benefits which the
influx of foreigners must bring to his country. On this account he
encouraged immigration from Europe. Santa Cruz, indeed, did his utmost
to introduce every measure likely to increase the population of Bolivia,
and, as has been explained in another place, carried his policy to the
length of proposing the exclusion of celibates from all public offices.

[Illustration: BRIGADIER-GENERAL BARTOLOMÉ MITRE.]

The powerful personality of Santa Cruz soon enabled him to become the
virtual Protector of Peru, in addition to President of Bolivia, and he
now began to organize the fusion of the two Republics into a single
State. These measures were regarded with great uneasiness by the
Chilians, who ultimately invaded the territory of Santa Cruz. The first
Chilian expedition was defeated, but the second gained a decisive
victory at Yungai in 1838, and, as a result of this battle, the star of
Santa Cruz became totally eclipsed in South America. He retired to
Paris, where he became the friend of Napoleon III., and where he died in
1865.

With the exile of Santa Cruz ended the first period of tranquillity
enjoyed by the youthful Republic. His powerful figure was followed by
many others, the majority of whom were tyrannical, some incapable, and a
few whose aims were really progressive. Progress, indeed, in the vortex
of the whirlpool of events which ensued was practically an
impossibility. It is said that from 1825 to 1898 more than sixty
revolutions burst out in Bolivia, to say nothing of intermittent foreign
wars! In the course of these various struggles no less than six
Presidents were assassinated, and it was not until the advent to power
of Colonel (now General) Pando that the situation of the country changed
definitely for the better.

In the year 1899 President Pando inaugurated civil government, and,
having proved himself an able and powerful soldier, now turned his
attention to the industrial and commercial status of the country. These
desirable features he fostered by modern and liberal methods, which
proved eminently successful, and it was during the period of his office
that the first really important plans were matured for the opening up of
the remoter districts by means of the railway.

The most severe blow with which Bolivia has met since the foundation of
the Republic in that country has been the loss of her coast-line, as the
result of the unsuccessful war waged against Chile. Negotiations have on
several occasions been initiated with a view to an attempt to recover
some strip of the lost territory, even if no more than sufficient for
the building of a port and for the accommodation of a railway-line to
connect this point on the seaboard with the interior of the Republic;
but, so far, none of these negotiations have been brought to a
favourable issue.

Bolivia thus remains an inland State. But in spite of a disadvantage
such as this, there is no doubt that the extraordinary natural wealth of
the country, which must in the near future be exploited, will rapidly
bring the Republic into the forefront of the South American nations from
the commercial and industrial point of view.

With the exception of this and one or two other circumstances of the
kind, the majority of the South American States have suffered very
little frontier alteration since their first foundation. Such, however,
has not been the case with the Northern States of Colombia, Ecuador, and
Venezuela. Here, for almost half a century after the liberation of the
provinces, a process of alternate fusion and disintegration continued.
Thus, in 1832, the three States of Venezuela, Ecuador, and New Granada
were formed. In 1863 the latter country became the United States of
Colombia; but it was not until 1886 that the Republic of Colombia as it
now stands was instituted.

Colombia has suffered from as many revolutions as the majority of its
neighbours. General Santander, one of the many of Bolivar's lieutenants
who became Presidents, was the first Chief-of-State of Venezuela. A
strong ruler, he governed in comparative peace until 1831. The next
important President to follow him was General Mosquera, who likewise
held the reins of power with a firm hand, and, with two or three breaks,
ruled from 1845 to 1867. Dr. Rafael Nuñez succeeded him, and proved
himself an intellectual President, who became more and more autocratic
as his years of office increased. He continued, indeed, whether in the
actual tenure of office or not, to exercise an influence of personal
absolutism over the Republic until 1894, when he died.

His death was the signal for the breaking out of internal disturbances
which his long rule had steadily kept in check. It was in 1903 that,
owing to the negotiations in progress for the enterprise of the Panamá
Canal, the portion of Colombia which had been chosen for the purpose of
the cutting seceded from the Republic, and established itself as a
separate State--that of Panamá. The new Republic immediately concluded
arrangements with the United States of America, and granted concessions
for the immense enterprise which is now in the act of being completed.

The history of Ecuador since the establishment of the Republic requires
very little comment. In this State the proportion of the white races to
the coloured is unusually small; nevertheless, this has not had the
effect of checking the revolutions, of which the Republic has been
extremely prolific.

General Juan José Flores stands as the chief hero of Ecuador. He it was
who actually founded the Republic in 1830. Flores provides one more
instance of the power of the men who stood at the helm of these new
States when they were first of all launched on the stormy waters of
their careers. When his fifteen years of power ended came the inevitable
flock of revolutions, and Ecuador went the way of her neighbours.

A military Dictatorship endured until 1860, when Garcia-Moreno, being
declared President, supported the clerical influence and established a
species of Dictatorship. His influence continued for many years after he
had ostensibly resigned his office, and the sincerity of his acts was
unquestionable. Considering that the situation of the country rendered
it necessary, he resumed power and arrested various attempts at
revolutions. In 1875, however, he was assassinated. A statesman of
disinterested merit and high ideals, he was generally mourned by the
populace.

Venezuela began its fateful career under the guardianship of General
Paez, one of the principal heroes of the revolution. It was Paez who had
led his Llanero cavalry so often to victory against the Spaniards, and
who, as already related in these pages, had achieved the unique feat of
capturing a flotilla of Spanish gunboats--or, to be more accurate,
gun-barges--by means of this very cavalry. Those were certainly
remarkable men who swam their horses into the river where the flotilla
was anchored, and succeeded in this most extraordinary onslaught!

Paez, whose strain was half Spanish and half Indian, was intensely
practical in his views of government. Caring nothing for idealists and
for those who indulged in abstract theories, he severed himself abruptly
from Bolivar shortly after the final patriot victories, and in the end
was the chief cause of the exile of the Liberator. There is no doubt
that both his views and those of the Liberator had changed considerably
in the interval, for it is said that in 1826 General Paez had implored
Bolivar to mount the throne of the new kingdom which it was proposed to
found. The career of Paez fluctuated between a tenure of the office of
President and an apparent retirement into private life, in the course of
which, however, his influence and actual power remained as great as
ever.

Eventually José Tadeo Monagas, who had long enjoyed the support of
Paez, revolted against the authority of the old chief. Paez, nothing
loath, accepted the challenge, rallied his followers, and marched to
battle. Here he was defeated and subsequently exiled, while Monagas was
left in power.

Paez eventually made his way to the United States. In his absence the
condition of Venezuela became chaotic, and its populace writhed in a
ceaseless frenzy of civil strife. Paez returned from the United States
in 1861, and at the spectacle of the terrible condition of his country
he resolved, though eighty years and more of age, to enter once again
the arena of public life. He succeeded in obtaining power, but only for
a short while. The spirited but tottering old man was followed by
Guzman-Blanco, and died in 1873.

Guzman-Blanco was a man of education, who had enjoyed the advantage of
travel in various parts of the world, and proved himself an able leader.
It was not long, however, before the party of the Monagas rose in
rebellion against his authority. These adherents of the Monagas were now
known as the "Blues," and the party of Guzman-Blanco was christened the
"Yellows."

In 1870, after various victories and defeats, Guzman-Blanco caused
himself to be declared Dictator. He enjoyed immense popularity until his
resignation in 1877. He was succeeded by General Alcantara, and left for
Europe. On his return he found that his influence and power had already
been destroyed. Placing himself at the head of a revolution, he again
became chief of the State, which he continued to govern, either from
within the Republic itself, or from the banks of the Seine, until 1889,
when his power was finally overthrown. Blanco himself made no attempt to
return to the country. He remained in Paris, where he died in 1898.

In 1895, when President Crespo was in power, a diplomatic incident
occurred between Great Britain and Venezuela, owing to the arrest of two
British police officers, who had been detained by the Venezuelan
authorities. The actual cause of the dispute resolved itself into the
question of frontier delimitation, and soon the excitement in Venezuela
had reached fever heat. This was by no means allayed when it became
known that the United States were inclined to intervene on behalf of the
minor Republic. President Crespo himself displayed admirable tact, and
it was largely due to his policy that the incident had a pacific ending.
It was in 1899, not long after these events, that General Crespo was
slain in a skirmish with insurgents.

After a period of anarchy General Castro was elected President. Not long
after his accession this President succeeded in embroiling the State
with Great Britain, Germany, and Italy. The main reason for the breaking
off of friendly relations was his arbitrary refusal to consider the
claims of these nations on account of the damage done to the property of
their subjects in Venezuela in the course of the numerous revolutions
which had recently occurred.

The result of the obstinacy of General Castro was the establishment of a
blockade of the port of La Guayra by the naval forces of Great Britain,
Germany, and Italy in 1902. The Custom-House was seized, and the three
Powers signified their intention of retaining this until satisfaction
could be obtained. Upon this the matter was referred to the Hague
tribunal, and awarded in favour of the three European Powers concerned.

International incidents of the kind have occurred, naturally enough, far
more rarely in the history of South America than revolutions and civil
war. Indeed, in the popular mind the chief feature of the Continent was,
until quite recently, represented by internal strife. How far from the
truth is this estimate can only be judged by one who enjoys a personal
acquaintance with Republics such as Argentina and Chile.

The sole centres where the phase of revolution has lingered on with an
intermittent flourishing are those of the Northern Republics referred to
in this chapter and the inland State of the centre of the Continent,
Paraguay.

A work of history, however slight and condensed though its form may be,
is no place in which to indulge in prophecy. Yet it may safely be
supposed that even in these less settled Republics the age of
tranquillity is now at hand. In order to justify this assertion, it is
merely necessary to take a glimpse into the past, and to investigate the
actual causes of these numerous revolutions which have splashed their
marks so thickly on the clear road of South American progress.

A country of great natural riches and of wonderful opportunities for
mankind, a dearth of population, an unusual lack of facilities of
communication, and, finally, an urgent need of ready cash in the midst
of material plenty--all these circumstances must necessarily tend to
unrest in a land populated by inhabitants whose temperament contains an
unusual measure of imagination and theoretical creative power. With the
removal of these factors, the political situation tends to become
tranquil, as has been proved in the case of the more progressive
Republics.

It may safely be said that the South American temperament is, in itself,
no more revolutionary than any other. When the material circumstances of
one of these States have been brought to resemble those which prevail in
a European country, the conditions of politics necessarily grow to
resemble each other as well. Thus the difficulty with which the more
advanced Republics are confronted is no longer one connected with rapid
and disorderly changes of Government and Presidents. The States in
question are now too wealthy in themselves and too loaded with serious
responsibilities for the possibility of such casual recurrences. The
strife, in consequence, tends rather to centre itself, as in Europe, to
a contest between capital and labour, and, as elsewhere in the world,
strikes have taken the place of more sanguinary battles.

All this, of course, applies with greater force to some of the South
American countries than to others. The vitality and power of the
Continent in general is now, at all events, beginning to assert itself
to the full, and in the minds of a certain number of its educated and
intelligent inhabitants South America is destined in the future, however
distant this may be, to become the rallying-ground of the Latin races.

[Illustration: SKETCH-MAP: SOUTH AMERICA.]



INDEX


Abipones, 12

Aboriginal tribes, 145, 146

Alberdi, Manuel, 167

Alfinger, 28, 33

Almagro, 47, 48, 52, 54

Almagro, Diego (the Younger), 112

Alvarado, Pedro de, 51, 52

Alvear, 170, 172, 255, 276

Andradas, the, 198, 203, 204, 211-214

"Araucana, La," 23

Araucanians, 13, 56, 58, 122, 128

Artigas, 172, 193, 201, 275

Asuncion, 67, 69, 73

Atahualpa, 48-51

Ayacucho, Battle of, 184

Aymaras, tribe of the, 56

Ayolas, Juan de, 66-68


Bahia, 40, 42, 96-98, 103, 107, 186, 194, 198, 200

Balboa, Nuñez de, 31, 32, 33

Balcarce, 168

Balmaceda, 271

Belgrano, 159, 167-170, 173, 245

Benalcazar, 34

Bogotá, Santa Fé de, 115, 147, 149, 223

Bolivar, Simon, 154-156, 159-166, 175, 182-184, 229, 232-235

Bolivia, 283-285

Brazil, 36-46, 79, 80, 185-227

Brazil wood, 37

British mariners, 95-98

British, hardships endured on northern campaign, 161, 162

British settlers, methods of, 43

British invasion of the River Plate, 139-141

Brouwer, 126

Buccaneers, 93, 94, 146

Buenos Aires, first settlements at, 65

Buenos Aires, 71, 115, 118, 167-173, 208, 209, 234, 236

Buonaparte, Joseph, 156, 157

Buonaparte, Napoleon, 156, 157


Cabot Sebastian, 64

Cabral, Pedro Alvarez, 24, 37

Caceres, 244

Carabobo, Battle of, 165, 166

Caracas, 90, 147-149, 159

Caribs, 12

Carrera, the Brothers, 173, 174, 266

Casa de Contratacion de los Indias, 75, 76

Casas, Bartolomé de Las, 61, 63

Caseros, Battle of, 280

Castelfuerte, Viceroy, 179

Castelli, 167, 168

Castilla, Ramon, 241

Castro, Cristobal Vaca, 112, 113

Castro, President, 290

Caupolicán, Araucanian Chief, 58, 59, 124

Cavendish, 93, 96

Chacabuco, Battle of, 176

Charles I. of England, 108

Charles V. of Spain, 28, 33

Chibcha, Indians, 11, 34, 56, 149

Chile, 13, 64-71

Chiquitos, 12

Chiriguanos, 12

Chunchos, 12

Cisneros, Baltasar, Hidalgo de, 167

Cocapac, 5, 6

Cochabamba, 169

Cochrane, Lord, 175, 177, 200, 201

Coelho, Duarte, 39

Colombia, 186, 187

Colonia, 80

Columbus, Bartholomew, 23

Columbus, Christopher, 13-25

Columbus, Diego, 31

Conquistadores, 2, 26-31, 57, 58, 60, 67, 68, 159

Correia, 40

Crespo, President, 289, 290

Criminals used to explore fresh countries, 19, 20, 38, 39

Cuzco, 4, 6, 50, 53


Da Cunha, Paulo, 102

Darwin, 278

Davis, 93

Devereux, General, 161

Dorrego, 276

Drake, Sir Francis, 86, 89, 90, 125

Dutch, 40, 44, 95, 97-109, 126, 127, 129, 148

Dutch method of colonization, 44, 45


Earthquakes, 122, 166

Ecuador, 286-288

Encomiendas, 70, 121

English, General, 161

Ercilla, 73, 124


Fenton, Edward, 96

Ferdinand of Spain, 17-19, 21-24

Fernandes, João, 106

Fernando de Noronha, 108

Flores, General Juan José, 287

Fonseca, General Deodoro, 218, 220-223

Francia, José Gaspar Rodriguez de, 236, 245-250

French in Brazil, 40, 98


Gallado, Antonio, 116

Gama, Admiral da, 224, 225

Gama, Vasco da, 38

Gamarra, President, 240

Garay, Juan de, 71

Gasca, Pedro de la, 113, 114

Gran Réunion Americana, the, 170

Guaraní, Indians, the, 11, 67, 81

Guarayos, Indians, 12

Guatavita, Lake of, 60

Guëmes, 159, 171, 173

Gueneche, 168, 169

Guianas, the, 12

Guido, 167

Guzman-Blanco, 289


Hawkins, Sir John, 87-89

Henry, Prince, the Navigator, 15

Hernandarias, 135, 136

Hispaniola, or Haiti, 19, 21-23, 29, 61

Hoogstraten, Dirk van, 105, 107

Huasca, 48, 51

Huguenots, 41

Huitotos, 12


Iberian, colonization system of, 44, 45

Incas, 1, 2, 4-11, 56

Incas, origin of, 4-7

Incas, revolt of, 53, 54

Inquisition, 128, 129

Inter-marriage, 45

Ipurines, 12

Irala, Domingo Martinez de, 68-71

Isabella, Princess of Brazil, 211, 213, 215-218

Isabella of Spain, Queen, 16, 17, 21, 23, 24, 34


Jamamaries, 12

Jesuits, 8, 81, 148

Jews in Brazil, 97, 100

João VI., 186-196, 199, 209

Junin, Battle of, 183, 184

Junot, 186

Junta of Argentina, 167


Knight, 93


Lancaster, James, 96

Lautaro, 59, 123

Lavalle, General, 276

Lavalleja, General, 276

Ledesma, Alonso, Andrea de, 92

Leopoldina, wife of Pedro I. of Brazil, 193, 205, 206

L'Ermite, Jaques, 94

Lima, Regent of Brazil, 212, 213

Lima, town of, 52, 110, 111, 117, 118, 182, 270

Liniers, General, 140, 166, 168, 236

L'Ollonais, François, 94

Lopez, Carlos Antonio, 250

Lopez, Francisco Solano, 215, 250-263

Luques, Hernando, 47

Lynch, Madame, 251, 261


Maciel, 103

Maipú, Battle of, 174, 176, 180

Mamelucos, 81

Manco-Capac, 5

Manco-Capac, brother to Huasca, 51, 52, 54

Maranhão, 103, 104

Marie I. of Portugal, 188, 193

Marie II. of Portugal, 194, 209

Mauritz, Prince of Nassau, 99, 100, 102-105

Mello, Admiral Custodio de, 223, 225

Mendoza, Andres Hurtado de, 114

Mendoza, Garcia Hurtado de, 123, 124

Mendoza, Pedro de, 27, 65, 66

Miguel, Dom, of Portugal, 194, 209

Miranda, Francisco, General, 154-156, 159-160, 164, 264, 265

Mitre, Bartolomé, General, 153, 281

Mojos, 12

Monagas, José Tadeo, 288, 289

Monte Video, 168, 170-172, 193, 201

Moraes, Prudente Barros de, Dr., 226

Moreau, 137

Moreno, Garcia, 288

Moreno, Mariano, 170

Morgan, Captain, 146, 209


Narborough, Sir John, 127

Navarro, Deputy, 213, 214

Negro slaves, 81

New Granada, 145, 148, 160, 238, 286

Nicuesa, 31

Noorte, van, 94

Nuñez, Raphael, 287


O'Higgins, Ambrose, 119, 120, 265

O'Higgins, Bernardo, 120, 173, 174, 233, 235, 264, 268

Ojeda, Alonso, 23, 31

Olinda, capture of, 99

Omaguas, Indians, 12

Origin of the Incas, 2, 3

Ovando, Nicolas de, 24, 29, 31


Paez, General, 162-165, 288-289

Pampa Indians, 57, 66

Panama, exploration of, 47

Pando, General, 185

Paraguay, 67-71, 215, 245-263

Pardo, Manuel, 242, 243

Pedrarias, 32, 33

Pedro I. of Brazil, 194-210, 212

Pedro II. of Brazil, 210-219

Peixoto, General Floriana, 218, 223, 226

Peña Nicolas Rodriguez, 167

Penna, Affonso, Dr., 227

Pernambuco, 95, 194, 205, 215

Peru, 3-5, 47-55, 65, 110-114, 237-244

Pierola, Nicolas de, 243, 244

Pinzon, Admiral, 241, 242

Pinzon, Vincente, 24, 36

Pizarro, Francisco, 47-54

Pizarro, Gonzales, 113, 114

Popham, Admiral Home, 139, 140

Portugues, Bartholomew, 94

Portuguese settlers, methods of, 42, 45, 46

Prado, General, 242, 243

Puyrredon, 173


Quesada, Gonzalo Jimines de, 34, 35, 142-144

Quiroga, 231, 232, 279

Quito, 7, 146, 147, 148


Raleigh, Sir Walter, 92, 93

Recife, 96, 97, 99, 100, 102, 105, 108

Repartemiento, 61

Rio de Janeiro, 41, 42, 65, 187-190, 205, 221-223

Rio Grande, 215, 222, 223-225

Rivadavia, 172, 235, 275, 276

Rivera, 278

River Plate, 12, 27, 64, 65, 69, 82, 159, 166, 205, 230, 272-281

River Plate, colonization of, 65

River Plate, discovery of, 64

Rolt, extract from, 127

Rondeau, General, 173

Rosario, 65, 171

Rosas, 215, 274, 276-281

Royal audience, 113


Saavedra, Cornelio de, 167, 170

Salles, Campos, Dr., 226, 227

San Martin, General, 159, 170-172, 175-177, 182, 183, 229, 232, 233, 235

Santa Cruz, Andreas, 240, 241, 284, 285

Santander, General, 286

Santiago, town of, 72, 180, 181

São Paulo, town of, 80, 81, 198, 215, 216

Sharpe, 93

Slave trade abolished in Brazil, 217

Smith, Sir Sydney, 186, 189

Smuggling, 78, 79

Sobremonte, Viceroy, 140

Socialism of the tribes, 13

Solis, Juan de, 64

Sousa, Martin Affonso de, 39

Souza, Thomé de, 42

Spanish gunboats captured by cavalry, 163, 164

Spanish methods of settling, 44, 45

Suarez, 184

Sucre, General, 159, 175, 184, 284

Suipacha, victory of, 168

Sun, worship of the, 5, 7, 8, 11


Tacanas, 12

_Tamayo_, newspaper, 203

Teixeira, Bishop Marcos, 98

Terra Firma, 110

Titicaca, Lake, 4, 5, 56

Titles, 152

Treaties with Araucanians, 128

Tribes, names of, 12

Tupac-Amaru (Condorcanqui), 114, 116, 117

Tupis, 12

Tuyuti, Battle of, 257


Uraba, 31, 32

Urquiza, 215, 280, 281

Ursua, Francisco de Paula Bucareli y, 138

Uruguay, disputed territory, 80

Uruguay, rival parties, 282


Vaca, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de, 69, 70

Valdivia, Pedro de, 59, 65, 72

Valdivia, town, 125, 127, 129

Vasconcellos, 214

Vela, Blasco Nuñez, 113

Venezuela, 148, 150, 155, 288-290

Venner, Captain, 96

Vespucci, Amerigo, 23, 36

Viamonte, 167

Viceregal functions, Peru, 110-112

Villagran, Francisco, 122, 124

Villanueva, Colonel Alonzo de, 125

Villegagnon, Nicolas Durant de, 41


War of Independence, 118, 159-184

Welzers, the, 28, 33

West India Company (Dutch), 97, 99, 105, 106

Whitelocke, General, 140, 141

Willikens, Jacob, 97


Yegros, Fulgencio, 246, 247


Zapiola, Matias, 170



ERRATA.--Page 188, lines 6 and 7, _for_ "Queen Francisca Isabel," _read_
"Queen Maria."


THE END

BILLING AND SONS, LTD, PRINTERS, GUILDFORD





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