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Title: Spain - History for Young Readers
Author: Ober, Frederick A. (Frederick Albion)
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.

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                       History for Young Readers





                           FREDERICK A. OBER

                               AUTHOR OF
                    PUERTO RICO AND ITS RESOURCES,
                      CRUSOE’S ISLAND, TRAVELS IN
                        MEXICO, IN THE WAKE OF
                        COLUMBUS, CAMPS IN THE
                         CARIBBEES, A LIFE OF
                            JOSEPHINE, ETC.

                          NEW YORK AND LONDON
                        D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

                           COPYRIGHT, 1899,
                      BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.

                Printed in the United States of America



As I pause in my work to pass in review the events of three thousand
years, which I have tried to narrate in this little book, I probably
anticipate my readers in wondering at the audacity, not to say
presumption, which moved me to this undertaking. It came about quite
naturally, to be sure, as the result of an interest awakened many years
ago in a nation which had sent to America such discoverers as Columbus
and Vespucci, such soldiers as Cortes and Pizarro, De Soto, and Ponce
de Leon. At first I became curious to visit the scenes of their
adventures, then to journey through the country whence they had come;
and the result has been that I have devoted a portion of my life to a
study of both people and country.

I do not, of course, assume that an interest in a subject should
warrant one in writing about it, be he never so well equipped for the
purpose; but with me, the seeing gives birth to a desire to convey to
others the pleasure I feel, or the lesson I may derive, from the object
under contemplation. Thus, while I never intended more than to make
a few forays into the historic fields of Spain, when I visited that
country ten years ago, it has eventuated that instead of skirmishing
with the outposts, I have attacked the very citadel. That I have come
off unscathed, and with spoil of some sort, is self–evident; but
whether it might not have been to my readers’ profit if I had not done
so, is a question for them to decide. I feel it to be, indeed, as true
to–day as it was a score of years ago that (in the words of a standard
encyclopædia) “there is no good general history of Spain!”

Without attempting to extenuate any possible errors, yet I would call
attention to the fact that it is extremely difficult to clothe in
picturesque language (and at the same time be faithful to the verities
of history) the details of a story extending over so vast a range, and
bring that story within the compass of a single volume.

The best histories are those which treat of single episodes or periods,
such as Prescott’s Ferdinand and Isabella, Irving’s Conquest of Spain,
Spanish Voyages, and Conquest of Granada. To these, in truth, I would
refer my young readers for a more extended acquaintance with Spain and
her fascinating history. In those charming narratives the dry bones of
fact are clothed in graceful drapery, and the reader moves and acts
with their heroes, kings, and queens, in most distinguished company.

I do not like to allude to the recent events in Spanish history, by
which our own country was forced into collision with Spain; and I will
dismiss the subject merely with the statement that it has been my
endeavour to present an accurate account of the unfortunate war, in
which I have had the benefit of supervision by competent authorities.

To them, and to the silent companions of my voyages and excursions,
drawn from the musty shelves of the library, and frequently exposed
to peril “by flood and field,” I would herewith express my heartfelt

  F. A. O.

  WASHINGTON, D. C., _February, 1899_.



 CHAPTER                                        PAGE

       I.—ANCIENT IBERIA                           1


     III.—SPAIN A ROMAN PROVINCE                  13

      IV.—A KINGDOM OF THE GOTHS                  25

       V.—THE INVASION FROM AFRICA                36

      VI.—THE WESTERN CALIFATE                    45

     VII.—SPAIN’S HEROIC AGE                      54

    VIII.—DECLINE OF THE MOORS                    63

      IX.—KINGS OF CASTILE AND ARAGON             72

       X.—FERDINAND AND ISABELLA                  82


     XII.—THE FALL OF GRANADA                    106

    XIII.—A MEMORABLE REIGN                      113

     XIV.—WHEN SPAIN WAS GREAT                   123

      XV.—CHARLES I AND PHILIP II                133

     XVI.—SPAIN’S RELIGIOUS WARS                 142

    XVII.—THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY                154

   XVIII.—THE HOUSE OF BOURBON                   165

     XIX.—CHARLES IV AND BONAPARTE               176

      XX.—THE REIGN OF FERDINAND VII             187



   XXIII.—SPAIN AND HER COLONIES                 212

    XXIV.—CUBA’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM               222

     XXV.—WAR WITH THE UNITED STATES             234


   XXVII.—THE TREATY OF PEACE                    266

          INDEX                                  279





In the southwestern corner of Europe, with the Atlantic Ocean on the
north and west, and the Mediterranean Sea south and east, lies the
Iberian Peninsula, eleven thirteenths of which belong to the country
known as Spain. The other two thirteenths pertain to Portugal, a
country politically distinct from Spain, but with similar physical
features in the main.

Although we do not know when it first received its ancient name,
Iberia, nor even whence came its very first peoples, yet we know
that for ages it has existed as a fair and fertile land, capable of
supporting millions of inhabitants.

It is essentially a mountainous country, for, first of all, there
are the Pyrenees, which partly bound it on the north; the Cantabrian
range, in the northwest; the Guadarrama, in the central region; and the
Sierras Morena and Nevada, in the south. Between these mountain ranges
lie great tablelands and deep valleys, the latter traversed by rivers
swift and long, but few of them navigable far from the sea.

It is its mountainous character that has given this land, lying as it
does beneath a southern sun, a great diversity of climate; so that we
may say it has at least four climatic zones: First, the zone of the
plateau, cold in winter and hot in summer, where the soil is arid;
second, that of the northwestern provinces, with a moist climate;
third, that of the eastern coast, where a balance is preserved between
the two extremes of the others; and, fourth, the subtropical zone of
the south coast, which is hot as well as humid.

Thus Spain has a more varied vegetation than any other country of
Europe, for its high plains and mountainous valleys are almost Alpine
in the character of their flora; its North Atlantic region has ferns
and grassy meadows, forests of oak, beech, and chestnut; and the
southeast and south a flora that is almost African, and comprising
many species that are purely tropical.

So we find that Spain, though only six hundred and fifty miles in
greatest length, and with an area of but little more than one hundred
and ninety thousand square miles, can boast forests of olives and cork
oaks, hillsides covered with vineyards, valleys filled with orange
trees, almonds, pomegranates, sugar cane, and with a range of fruits
extending from the apple of the northern region to the date palm of the
south, which last was brought over from Africa. Honeybees lay up rich
stores from the thyme–covered tablelands, silkworms flourish in the
mulberry groves of the eastern provinces, and the cochineal feeds on
the cactus of the south.

Not only does the land yield every variety of food for the sustenance
of man, but, with its thirteen hundred miles of coast line, Spain has
boundless stores of fish, such as anchovies, tunnies, and salmon in
their season. And again, while almost every species of the animal as
well as the vegetable kingdom might find a congenial home here, Nature
has not been sparing of her minerals, such as copper, lead, silver,
gold, coal, iron, cobalt, and quicksilver.

These are some of the natural resources of Spain, showing, as has been
said already, that it was bountifully endowed by the Creator with all
things necessary to man’s subsistence, even though he might through
ignorance prodigally waste them.

We have no authentic history of the first peoples inhabiting Iberia,
but it is believed that a remnant of their descendants yet exists in
northern Spain, in the Basques, whose speech and customs differ from
those of all others on the face of the earth. The Basques claim that
they are descended from the original people, and say, moreover, that
their language was the veritable speech of Paradise. It is difficult
enough to acquire, at all events, and they have a tradition that the
“Evil One” himself once spent seven years in attempting to master it,
and then gave up in despair, after having acquired but two words, “yes”
and “no,” which he forgot as soon as he left the country!

But by the twilight of tradition we observe an invasion of the
peninsula by the Celts, or Kelts, a wave from the great Aryan deluge
that at one time submerged all Europe, and which overleaped the
Pyrenees and swept all before it. And these Aryan Kelts, or Keltic
Aryans, became masters of Spain, not so much through conquest in war
as by intermingling with the natives; and there resulted, it is said,
another and distinct people, or race, called the Celtiberian. Now,
while the aborigines were probably swarthy and short of stature, the
incoming Kelts were tall and fair, excellent horsemen, hunters, and
tillers of the soil. As both races were warlike, their descendants
became celebrated, in after years, for their prowess, and when the
Romans invaded Spain these brave Celtiberians gave them great trouble,
and resisted subjection to the very last.

They were rude and uncivilized, and, if they built cities or towns, no
remains of such exist, of which we are aware. In their religion they
were Nature worshippers, blindly revering the god of day, the stars of
night, and the “phenomena of dawn and sunrise.” Remains of their rude
temples, it is claimed, have been found in Portugal, where dwelt that
branch of the race known as Lusitanians.




The native Iberians knew of silver and gold ore in the hills of
southern Spain, which the Phœnician merchant–sailors from Tyre taught
them to utilize, giving them in exchange the products of their skill,
and in course of time a great trade was carried on between distant
Phœnicia on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean and Iberian
“Tarshish” beyond its western end. Does not the prophet Ezekiel say,
speaking of Phœnician Tyre, “Tarshish was thy merchant, by reason of
the multitude of all kinds of riches”?

Tarshish, sometimes called by its Latin form, Tartessus, was the
name applied, probably, to the region about the mouth of the river
Guadalquivir, and perhaps to all that portion of Spain now known as
Andalusia. Here the Phœnicians founded the city to–day known as Cadiz,
and which they called “Gaddir,” or fortress, subsequently named Gadez
by the Romans. Although the Phœnician sailors had long traded here—for
the founding of cities is not the first occupation of explorers or
traders—yet the probable beginning of Cadiz, about 1100 B.C., or three
thousand years ago, is the first date that we can even approximately
establish in Spanish chronology.

Two centuries later, or about 900 B.C., Greek sailors arrived at the
Catalonian coast of northeastern Spain, and there founded a colony
which became prosperous through its traffic with the natives. The
Greeks had already sailed through the Straits of Gibraltar, and
declared that they had reached the extreme verge of the habitable
globe. In token of this their great Hercules, or the Tyrian hero, had
set up two monuments, one on the European and the other on the African
coast, which even to–day are known as the “Pillars of Hercules.” There
are other traditions referring to Hercules and his connection with
Spain, for it is thought that in this country he sought the oxen of
the triplebodied Geryones, as he was on his way back from Gadira (or
Gaddir), when he killed the monster Cacus. And further, there is not
much doubt that the famed “Hesperides” were located here, from which,
as one of the Herculean “labours,” the son of Zeus was to fetch the
golden apples. Hence it will be seen that the early traditions of Spain
are very respectably connected! And, moreover, we should not forget
that the Pillars of Hercules are perpetuated in the American “dollar
mark” ($), the two upright columns, wreathed within a scroll, according
to a fanciful legend.

In the seventh century B.C., Gaddir, or Cadiz, was a flourishing
city, as also was another Phœnician settlement on the northeast
coast, Tartessus, or Tarracco, the modern Tarragona, since famous for
its wines and Roman ruins. During the first centuries of Phœnician
commerce with Spain, traditions tell us, silver was so abundant that
the Tyrians not only loaded their vessels with the ore, but hammered
it into anchors and ballast for their ships. Gold, silver, and copper
coins were minted and ornaments wrought; and these, together with
other objects of antiquity, are frequently found to–day—relics of
the ancient Gaddir, or of Phœnician “Cadiz under the Sea.” Some have
held that, while the first city was founded here, at the mouth of the
Guadalquivir, yet the mines of gold, silver, and copper were those we
find to–day more northerly, in the province of Huelva. From the port
of Huelva, at the mouth of the Rio Tinto, vast amounts of copper have
been exported in modern times; and, moreover, this same river, down
which the caravels of Columbus sailed at the very beginning of their
first voyage to America, derived its ancient name from the copper
colour of its waters.

The Phœnicians came here as merchant rovers; perhaps at times they had
acted as pirates of the sea, but had carried on no war of conquest. At
the most, they colonized a few seacoast cities, and in exchange for the
natural products of Spain they bestowed upon the natives the benefits
of their civilization, including, it is thought, the alphabet and the
art of writing.

It was left for the Phœnician colony of Carthage to bring the Iberians
directly tributary to another people, soon after the close of the
first Punic war. Though, according to tradition, an embassy of Gauls
and Iberians was sent to Alexander the Great, in the fourth century
B.C., yet they still existed in obscurity when the great Hamilcar Barca
turned his attention to Spain as a possible recruiting ground for his
depleted armies. Rome had conquered him in Sardinia and Sicily, which
provinces he had lost to Carthage, and he had been compelled to sue
for peace. But his hatred of Rome was implacable, and, foreseeing the
futility of waging further war from Africa direct, he passed over into
Spain, and there again built up his forces with recruits from the wild
but fearless Celtiberians.

Hasdrubal, Hamilcar’s son–in–law, who founded the city of New Carthage,
or Cartagena, in Spain, after Hamilcar was killed, in the year 228
B.C., carried on the conquest of Spain until himself assassinated seven
years later.

Hannibal, son of Hamilcar, was but eighteen years old when his father
died, and twenty–six when Hasdrubal was killed, but he had been bred
to war from childhood, trained to fight with the Spanish levies, and
taught to hate the arch–enemy of Carthage. When, as a boy, he had
pleaded with Hamilcar to be taken with him to Spain, his father had
consented only after he had sworn, on the altar of Jupiter the Great,
eternal enmity to Rome. Not only was he brought up in camp, sleeping
and eating with the native troops, but in early manhood he was married
to a Spanish woman, and by this act had won the native soldiers’
regard, as well as by his valour.

Chosen by the troops as Hasdrubal’s successor, Hannibal began his
real campaign against Rome two years later, 218 B.C., laying siege
to Saguntum, a Greek city under Roman protection, in the province of
Valencia. Famous in history has become that siege of Saguntum, for the
valour of its defenders and the persistence of its foes, lasting nearly
a year, and ending in its total destruction; for, finding themselves
hemmed in by Hannibal’s army of one hundred and fifty thousand men, and
their fortifications crumbling beneath the terrible battering–rams, the
Saguntine soldiers made a vast heap of all their valuables, gathered
around it their women and children, and sallied forth to meet their
death without the walls. At the same time the women set fire to the
pile and cast themselves into it, along with their children; and thus
perished the last of the heroic Saguntines.

You will not find Saguntum on the map of modern Spain; but in its
place, and on its site, Murviedro—meaning the old walls—on the east
coast, north of the city of Valencia.

Thus was ushered in what was known as the second Punic War—for Rome
promptly resented this destruction of a colony in alliance with her;
and for the first time sent an army to Spain. To forestall his enemies,
Hannibal resolved to carry the war into Italy. That same summer he left
the city of Cartagena with twelve thousand horsemen, thirty–seven
elephants, and ninety thousand foot soldiers, for the conquest of
Rome. He had been drilling his soldiers and husbanding his resources
for years, in anticipation of this momentous event; but even then it
would seem that he was poorly prepared to meet a nation that could
put in the field an army of trained soldiers three times as great as
his. But, after the wonderful passage of the Alps, when his force had
been reduced to less than six thousand horse and twenty thousand foot
soldiers, Hannibal still pushed on, to that long and terrible campaign
against Rome, lasting fifteen years, and not to end until this great
commander—declared to have been the greatest of his age—was recalled to
Carthage to assist in its defence.




It is not within the scope of our inquiry to follow the mighty
Carthaginian throughout his marvellous campaign against Rome, during
which he came so close to final success that he rode up to one of its
gates and threw his spear into the city; but we must not fail to note
that it was planned in Spain, carried out from that country as a base,
and at first was mainly fought by Celtiberian soldiers. Meanwhile,
though Hannibal had carried out his scheme of war on a magnificent
scale, and in the end all but brought Rome to terms, yet in Spain,
the country he had left, affairs had not progressed well with the

They had been left with Hannibal’s brother Hasdrubal in charge,
who, after defeating a Roman army under Cneius Scipio, in the year
212, four years later marched through Gaul to the assistance of the
Africans. He made the perilous passage of the Alps successfully, but
was surprised and defeated by the Roman consul Nero, by whose brutal
orders his head was cut off and thrown into Hannibal’s camp.

The first actual reverses to the Carthaginians in Spain came through
Publius Cornelius Scipio, who, a Roman ædile of noble appearance,
eloquent and popular, was sent thither by acclamation to attack them
in the rear. He had already felt the might of Hannibal, first at the
battle of Ticinus—where he had saved his father’s life—at Trebia, and
at Cannæ, where the Romans suffered such terrible defeats. He met
and checked Hasdrubal, but could not prevent him from crossing the
Pyrenees, and so turned his attention to Cartagena, the wealthy city
on the southern coast. So well timed were his movements that his fleet
and army arrived there the same day, and leading his soldiers through a
shallow lake, where the fortifications were the weakest, after fierce
fighting he drove the defenders from the citadel, took the city, and
put every warrior to the sword. The plunder of this Carthaginian
stronghold was immense, for besides the five war ships and one hundred
and thirteen merchant vessels in the harbour, there were brought
to him two hundred and seventy–six golden bowls weighing a pound
apiece, and eighteen thousand pounds of silver, wrought and coined.
Ten thousand prisoners fell into his hands, including many hostages
of Spanish tribes left as pledges to Hannibal and Hasdrubal for the
fidelity of native soldiers. These, by a conciliatory policy, Scipio
soon secured as allies, and with their aid eventually drove the last
of the Carthaginians out of the peninsula. The last city to fall was
Cadiz, in B.C. 206, and in 205 Scipio returned to Rome, and was elected
consul in recognition of his great achievements.

All this time Hannibal was waging desperate war against Rome, but in
the year 203 he was recalled to Africa, on account of the threatened
invasion by the Romans under Scipio, who, although he had brought all
Carthaginian Spain under Roman dominion, had yet failed of the original
object of his invasion, which had been the diversion of Hannibal from
the conquest of Italy. So he resolved to “carry the war into Africa,”
and so successful was he that Hannibal was utterly defeated at the
battle of Zama, 19th October, 202 B.C. Peace was concluded between Rome
and Carthage the following year, but the African city was left shorn of
all her colonial possessions, and in such pitiable condition as to be
no longer a menace to her foes.

For this great victory Scipio received the surname of “Africanus,”
by which he is known to history, and brought to a close the second
Punic War, which has been called “the war of one man (Hannibal) with
a nation.” The first, as we have seen, resulted in the occupation of
Spain by Hamilcar Barca; the second was the outcome of the destruction
of Saguntum by his son Hannibal; the third and last Punic War was
brought about by the protests of humiliated Carthage against Roman
aggressions, and ended in its siege, capture, and total destruction in
the year 146 B.C.

Both Hannibal and Scipio Africanus died in the year 183 B.C., the
former an exile, the latter in retirement at his country seat in
Campania. It was another Scipio, Æmilianus, who thirty–seven years
later acquired the surname of “Africanus Minor” for his capture of
Carthage; and it was he who carried out the Roman senate’s orders to
raze the walls, drive the ploughshare over its site, and sow it with

Three years before the final destruction of Carthage, died another
Roman, Cato, whose reiterated “_Delenda est Carthago_” in 207, and
in Africa with the proconsul Scipio Africanus, whose luxurious mode
of living he denounced. Appointed to a position in Spain, in the year
195 he crushed a rising of the Celtiberi, in which his military genius
shone so conspicuously that he was given a “triumph” when he returned
to Rome the next year.

The Celtiberi were those brave and powerful people of ancient Spain to
whom we have already alluded. At the time of the Carthaginian expulsion
from the peninsula the Romans had not conquered the whole of Spain,
for the Celtiberians held all the vast interior region, where they
were firmly intrenched; and besides these there were yet unknown and
unsubjugated peoples in the northwest. Scipio’s rule, though brief, was
on the whole salutary, and at this time the Roman soldiery began to
look upon Spain as a desirable country to settle in after their terms
of service had expired. Many of them married Spanish women, proconsuls
were appointed from Rome, cities were built, colonies planted, military
roads constructed, and through these means the Latin language gradually
took the place of native dialects. In this manner was the Iberian
peninsula Romanized—which in those days meant civilized. It became a
province of the Roman Empire, and was divided into Hispania Citerior
and Hispania Ulterior, or Hither and Farther Spain. Still, Spain yet
required prætors who were invested with consular power, and some twenty
thousand Roman legionaries, to keep it in order, as the turbulent
Celtiberians, intrenched in their mountain fastnesses, were constantly
threatening an outbreak.

The elder Gracchus, and after him his two more famous sons, served
as governors of Hither Spain, and captured more than one hundred
Celtiberian towns. They were eminently successful, but in or about 154
the Romans under Mummius suffered a defeat, and many were massacred by
the Lusitanians.

These defeats were avenged and Roman supremacy restored by a grandson
of the great Marcellus Claudius, who had met and checked Hannibal after
the disaster of Cannæ, when the Romans lost sixty thousand men. He
founded the city of Cordoba as a Roman colony, and it soon became a
seat of learning and the home of men eminent in literature and in the
arts of peace. Rome was now mistress of the Mediterranean, which from
Spain to Syria was “hardly more than a Roman lake.” During the years
147 to 140 B.C. the Lusitanians were in revolt, led by the gallant
Viriathus, a simple herdsman, who, having seen his people treacherously
massacred, vowed vengeance against the emissaries of Rome. He cut to
pieces army after army, and at last penned a famous Roman general
and his entire command in a deep defile, and exacted terms by which
Lusitanian independence was recognised. For that alone had Viriathus
been fighting, and he was content with that; but the treaty was
repudiated by the Roman senate, and once more he took the field, only
to fall a victim to treachery and assassination.

The Lusitanian revolt was brought to a close by the taking of Numantia
(134 B.C.), after a siege of fifteen months, during which its
inhabitants performed prodigies of valour, and nearly all of its eight
thousand defenders fell by famine and the sword. The Roman army, said
to have been sixty thousand strong, was led by no less a personage
than the younger Scipio, Africanus Minor, who served Numantia as he
had unhappy Carthage twelve years before, and utterly destroyed it.
His work was carried on by others, notably by Junius Brutus, until all
signs of revolution were extinguished, and the peninsula was again at

But for the invasion of the Cimbri, about 105 B.C., and the turbulent
factions of Rome, Spain would probably have remained quiet and
prosperous; but there came to this country as an exile one Quintus
Sertorius, who had been a soldier under Marius when he was opposing
Sulla, and espoused his cause. Upon the downfall of Marius he fled to
Spain and gained a refuge with the Lusitanians, among which barbarous
but brave people he acquired immense influence. He trained them in the
arts of war, and when the Roman soldiers came against them, defeated
five of their generals in succession, including the veteran Metellus.
He aimed at establishing an independent republic in Spain, and perhaps
might have succeeded had not some of his followers, probably bribed by
Roman gold, treacherously stabbed him at a banquet.

About the time that Sertorius was fighting the barbarous Cimbri in
defence of his native country, there was born a child who became known
in after years as Pompey. It came about that, when he had grown to
manhood, he was sent to Spain to defeat and capture the older soldier,
then leader of the revolted Lusitanians. He was several times defeated
by the wily Sertorius, but after his assassination he found the matter
of pacifying Spain comparatively easy. He gained repeated victories,
and eventually returned to Rome in triumph, his star in the ascendant.

At the beginning of this century, so charged with momentous events,
the great Cæsar was born, five or six years the junior of Pompey,
whose rival he became in later years for the applause and favours of
the Roman populace. In the year 68 B.C. he also went to Spain, having
obtained a quæstorship; and again, in 63, he was given the province of
Farther Spain, where he amassed great wealth, and gained a military
experience which was of such service to him while conducting those
immortal campaigns in Britain and Gaul.

Though the civil war between Cæsar and Pompey had the exclusive
possession of Rome as its object, yet most of their battles were fought
on the soil of Spain. In the year 49 Cæsar defeated Pompey’s legates in
Spain; the following year he overthrew Pompey himself at Pharsalia, in
Thessaly; but the final battle was fought about the year 45, between
Cæsar and the sons of his dead rival.

These great Romans had subdued for their country the East and the
West; had conquered Gaul and Syria, Britain and Africa; but the great
and decisive conflict, which was to forever settle the question of
supremacy between the Roman senate and the greatest Roman of all time,
took place in Spain! It was at Munda, not far from Cordova, in the
valley of the Guadalquivir, and it is said that Cæsar himself led the
soldiers in the ranks; saying afterward that though he had often fought
for victory, yet he had never before fought for his life. More than
thirty thousand men were slain, among them one of Pompey’s sons; and
this great victory made Cæsar “undisputed master of the Roman world,”
From Spain he returned to a triumph in Rome; but he was not long to
enjoy the fruits of his victories, the titles of “_Pater patriæ_” and
“_Imperator_” for he was assassinated the following year.

How inextricably interwoven are the threads of history which bind Rome
and Spain, we may note by glancing at the names of four only of the
former’s greatest men: Sulla, the first Roman to invade the Eternal
City with her own troops, “set the pace” for Cæsar at the Rubicon;
Sulla’s champion, Pompey, pursued Sertorius, friend of Marius, into
Spain and accomplished his death; in his turn, Pompey fell before the
might of Cæsar, who triumphed over all!

While it is true that “peace hath her victories,” yet they are not
often recorded, and the history of Spain for the next four hundred
years is mainly uneventful. But although Hispania had been freed from
participation in Roman feuds, yet the barbaric population of the far
north was not entirely subjugated until the time of Augustus, who
finally completed the work begun by the Scipios and continued by Pompey
and Cæsar. Ten years later, under Marcus Agrippa, Spain had become
completely Latinized, and finally was considered “more completely Roman
than any other province beyond the limits of Italy.”

During the Roman occupation cities were founded, notably Cordova,
Saragossa, and Italica (the latter now in ruins, near Seville);
magnificent public works were constructed, such as roads, aqueducts,
bridges, and amphitheatres. The best examples of Roman engineering
and architecture may now be found and studied in Spain, such as an
amphitheatre at Merida, another at Saguntum, the Roman bridges at
Cuenca, Salamanca, and Cordova, and that splendid bridge over the
Guadiana built by Trajan, which is half a mile long, thirty–three feet
above the river, on eighty–one arches of granite; the aqueducts of
Tarragona, Evora, and Seville, and that surpassing piece of engineering
work which has commanded the admiration of centuries, the aqueduct
bridge of Segovia, twenty–six hundred feet long and one hundred feet
in height.

These material evidences of Roman occupation may be seen to–day, and
besides these, the finest of Roman coins are frequently discovered.
But more than in mere mechanical works Rome has left her impress upon
Hispania: in the language spoken there, in the illustrious names of
Roman citizens born there, such as Trajan and Hadrian, her great
rulers; Lucan, Martial, the two Senecas, Quintilian, Columella,
Pomponius Mela, Silius Italicus, Florus—most of whose works are
classics in the Latin tongue.

Thus, while the names of Rome’s greatest soldiers are written across
Spain’s page of history, in the years of her peace and prosperity other
Romans appeared equally famous in the realms of literature.




Except for an invasion of the Franks, about A.D. 256, the peace of
Spain was unbroken for nearly four hundred years. But in the time of
the Roman Emperor Honorius, the empire having been greatly weakened by
repeated attacks of the northern barbarians, as well as by the sloth
and effeminacy of its own citizens, her distant provinces soon began
to experience dissensions and invasions. The death of Stilicho, the
trusted adviser of Honorius and commander of his forces, removed the
only obstacle to Alaric’s advance upon Rome, and the city yielded to
his persistent attacks. And the same year that Rome first felt the rude
barbarian’s terrible hand upon her, was also that, if we may believe
the chronicles, in which a host of Suevi, Alani, and Vandals poured
over the Pyrenees and swept across defenceless Spain.

Roman civilization and influence were felt mainly on the coast and in
southern Spain; in the north and west lived the semi–barbarous tribes
we have already noted, who were now but loosely held together by the
disintegrating bonds of Rome. Hispania’s conquerors could do nothing
to help her, for was not Rome herself at the mercy of the Goths, and
compelled to pay an enormous ransom, after enduring humiliating siege
and capitulation? It came about, however, that the successor of Alaric,
Ataulpha, or Atawulf, made captive lovely Placidia, sister of Honorius,
whom he married and carried away into Aquitania. Honorius made the
best of the matter and granted to Atawulf all southern Gaul and Roman
Spain, on condition that he would expel the Suevi and Alani, and hold
the province tributary to his empire. He accomplished his task, so
far as southern Gaul was concerned, and then went over the mountains
and established his court at Barcelona, which had been successively
a Phœnician, Carthaginian, and Roman city, and was now held by the

Though Atawulf seems to have been a faithful ally of Rome, and in her
name held his new kingdom of Hispania–Gothia, as he called it, yet
Honorius sent an army against him under Constantius, who, according
to report, was in love with Hacidia before she was carried off and
married by the Goth. Atawulf was basely assassinated by a creature of
his court, and Constantius made truce with his successor, on condition
that he should be given possession of Placidia. It was a cheap purchase
of peace, the Goths concluded, and so the Roman general retired with
the widow of Atawulf as his only captive, and married in Rome her who
became the mother of the future emperor Valentinian.

Sigric, successor to Atawulf, had murdered the five children of the
latter and compelled his wife to walk barefoot through the streets of
Barcelona, one historian tells us; yet he lived but a month to enjoy
his ill–gotten throne, and was followed by the real founder of the
Visigothic kingdom in Spain, the warrior Walia, whose reign lasted four
years, when he died, and was succeeded by Theodoric.

Walia had reconquered the greater part of Spain for Rome, and was
allowed to recover the territory of southern Gaul, where he established
his kingdom of Toulouse, and whither his successor also went to hold
court. Theodoric continued the conquests of his predecessor, but
committed the unpardonable sin, in the eyes of Rome, of keeping his
acquisition for himself and the Visigothic kingdom. In the year 428
the Vandals and Suevi, under the renowned Genseric, defeated an allied
army of Goths and Romans, for a long time ravaged all southern Spain,
and then went over into Africa. Some say that the present name of
Andalusia, applied to the south of Spain, which in Roman times was
called Boetica, was derived from the Vandal occupation—Vandalusia, or
the land of the Vandals.

The greatest event of Theodoric’s reign occurred in the year of his
death, A.D. 451, when the Visigoths, assisted by the allied armies of
Rome and the Franks, defeated Attila the Hun, that famed “Scourge of
God,” who had thus far led his horde of “beasts on two legs” out of the
east and the north, to the ravage of the south.

Theodoric was killed on the field of battle, and the crown fell to a
son, Theodoric II, after him to another son, Euric, or Evaric, who
defied the waning power of Rome, and finally threw it off and brought
the peninsula under the sole supremacy of the Visigoths.

Under Alaric II, who became king upon the death of Euric, the Visigoths
lost nearly all their possessions north of the Pyrenees, and became
more particularly a Spanish people. Their capital was established
at Toledo, that ancient and interesting city on the Tagus, and, as
compared with the other invaders, they were cultured and polished. At
the same time they were more virile than the Romans, hence had been
able to expel the latter and subdue the former. They were not, however,
sufficiently civilized to hold sacred human life, and especially
they secured a reputation as regicides, so many kings of theirs were
murdered. During the three hundred years of their dominion in Spain
they had thirty–three kings ruling over them, many of whom fell by the
assassin’s knife.

By sword and good right arm, the Visigothic kings generally won their
thrones, but the time came when they were dominated by the Church.
To show how this came about, we must look back to the time when, a
menace to Rome and a terror to all southern Europe, the barbarous
Goths descended from their northern fastnesses. They were pagans then,
enemies of the true faith, until between the years 340 and 380 they
were converted to Christianity by one Ulfilas, who invented an alphabet
for them and translated much of the New Testament into Gothic. This
was about the middle of the fourth century; but even when Alaric was
thundering at the gates of Rome, it is said that the Goths held more
seriously the tenets of their faith and were of purer morals than
those from whom they had received their new religion.

Now, the primitive Christianity which the Goths had received from
Ulfilas was silent as to the mysteries and the dogmas which had
gathered around the religion of Rome during the centuries which had
passed. They still held to the primitive faith taught them by Ulfilas
and their Gothic Bible. In a word (without pretending to say which
might have been right, or which party wrong), the Goths were Arians
in their belief, while the Romans of Spain and their converts were
Trinitarians. There were other minor differences between them, but so
long as this radical discrepancy existed between the two religions,
they were always at odds. This trouble was brought to a head in the
time of King Leovigild, who reigned from A.D. 567 to 586, and who was
such a rigid Arian that he finally beheaded a beloved son for becoming
a convert to and publicly professing a belief in the Roman religion.
This son, Hermenigild, had married a French wife who was a Roman
Catholic and who had been the means of his conversion, and encouraged
him to lead a revolt against his father. He received his reward in the
sixteenth century, when he was canonized as a saint.

King Leovigild was succeeded by another son, Recared, who, though he
had stood by and seen his brother executed for opinion’s sake, and
whom his father thought to be a good Arian, yet became a Catholic soon
after his coronation. With the zeal peculiar to all new converts, he
insisted that all his subjects should become Catholics also, and rooted
out the “Arian heresy” wherever he could find it. Recared was the
first Catholic king of Spain, but not the last bigot, for he lighted
the fires of religious persecution, which burned so brightly and
balefully through many succeeding centuries. Not content with causing
all the Goths to renounce their Arianism, he—or the priests, at his
suggestion—turned upon the Jews of the kingdom and threatened them with
expulsion unless they also recanted.

Thus in the last years of the sixth century the Church acquired a voice
in royal affairs, and the Gothic monarchy became elective and dependent
very much upon the choice of the bishops.

During the next seventy years twelve kings occupied the throne, each
king seated at the pleasure of the bishops, and sometimes unseated—not
without violence—at their dictation. Of all the Gothic monarchs who
reigned in the capital city of Toledo, perhaps none has been held in
more sacred remembrance than King Wamba, who, a simple shepherd, was
made a king against his will, and then, after he had acquired a liking
for the throne, was deposed, also against his will, even after he
had performed prodigies of valour for his country. It seems that the
clerical party wanted him for king because they thought he might be a
pliant instrument in their hands, like his predecessors. But Wamba had
a will of his own, so a person of his court, one Ervigius by name, was
persuaded to administer a cup of poison to the obstinate old man, which
plunged him into a sleep so deep that his attendants thought him about
to die.

Now it was a tradition of the Church that no king, no matter what his
previous life had been, could receive the blessings of the future life
unless he died garbed in the habit of a monk. So his servants dressed
Wamba in a monk’s cowl and cloak, and when he recovered his senses—for
he did not die just then—he was almost insane with rage; for, according
to the same unwritten law of the Church, once in the cowl, never more
could one reign a king; and so poor old Wamba made the best of it,
though protesting that it was a very scurvy trick, and retired to a
cloister, where he passed the remainder of his days. All this occurred
about the year 680, and it is averred that then began the dissensions,
caused by the desire for ecclesiastical supremacy, which divided the
Gothic kingdom against itself, and caused its downfall about thirty
years later.

Wamba was succeeded by the usurper Ervigius, or Erwic—the same who had
sent the old king to a cell—who reigned seven years, and after him came
Egica and Witica, who between them carried Gothic domination up to the
year 710, when the portents were strong for some unknown disaster.
Church and state had been in the main united hitherto, or since the
advent of Recared; but now there were signs of dissolution, and the
final severance came with the elevation of King Roderick.

Around King Roderick, “the last of the Goths,” cluster legends and
traditions so thickly that it is difficult to separate fiction from
truth. If you would know to what extent fable and fiction have enmeshed
him, read Washington Irving’s fascinating Legend of Don Roderick.
He was a son of a brave Goth, Duke Theodifred, who was blinded and
imprisoned by orders of King Witica; but he succeeded in hurling the
tyrant from his throne and inflicting upon him the same punishment. He
banished the sons of Witica and set himself to work reforms; but the
kingdom had been so weakened by the foolish and evil deeds of his late
predecessors, and he found himself so surrounded by enemies (friends
and relations of the former king), that he could not save it from ruin.
He was to be known to history as the last reigning sovereign before
the kingdom was overthrown by that mighty Moslem host from Africa.
Some Spanish chroniclers have sought to account for this overthrow by
ascribing to Don Roderick a foul deed done to a daughter of a certain
Count Julian, commander of the Gothic forces in Africa, and the name of
fair Florinda has come down to us coupled in infamy with that of the
king. But the truth probably is that, while Count Julian’s defection
did assist the African invasion, yet the real reason for it runs
further back, to the time when the ecclesiastics began to meddle in
royal affairs, and especially when their bigotry led to the expulsion
of the Jews, who, settling along the North African coast, conspired
with the Moors to obtain a foothold in that fair land across the

The sad truth is that the Gothic reign was near its end; it was to
perish from the earth, leaving few memorials of its existence save a
lasting impress upon the speech of Spain, which has been called “a
Gothic language handled in a Latin grammar.”

Another race was to occupy the land successively won by Roman and
Visigoth; and to obtain a clear conception of the manner in which the
conquest was effected we must review the previous century.




Within ninety years after _El Hijra_—the “flight of Mohammed”—which
occurred A.D. 622, Syria, Persia, and North Africa were brought under
the control of his fanatical followers. The city of Damascus was taken
in 634; in 640, Alexandria, when six million Copts are said to have
embraced the religion of their conquerors. Moslem bigotry, ignorance,
and fanaticism are well illustrated in the burning of the famous
Alexandrian Library, according to the decree of Omar the Califa: “If
these writings of the Greeks agree with the Koran, they are useless and
need not be preserved; if they disagree, they are pernicious and ought
to be destroyed!”

North Africa at that time was known by the names of its Roman
provinces, such as Numidia, Mauritania, and Tingitania, and these were
successively overrun and subjugated by the trusted general Musa (or
Moses), who was made Emir of Africa and supreme commander. One of his
six noble sons captured the coast city of Tangier, command of which was
given to a veteran of Damascus named Tarik Ibn Zeyad, who had lost an
eye in the wars and was known as _el Tuerto_, or “Tarik the One–eyed.”
His force was small, but composed mainly of Berbers, or natives of
North Africa recently converted to the Moslem faith, and as fierce and
fanatical as himself.

At that time the chief Gothic stronghold in Africa was Ceuta,
the ancient Abyla of the Greeks, and forming, with Gibraltar, or
Calpa, on the European side of the straits, the famed “Pillars of
Hercules”—mentioned in our account of the Phœnician voyages. In command
of the forces at Ceuta was Count Julian, who for reasons not known, but
probably because he was a relative of the late King Witica and wanted
to punish Don Roderick, offered to lead the Moslems to conquest in
Spain if they would reward him as his treason deserved. So, under his
directions, Tarik the One–eyed was sent across the Straits of Hercules
and landed with a small force at Tarifa, the southernmost town in Spain
as well as in all Europe. It is said to have derived its name from the
Moslem commander Tarif, or Tarik, and this name also is perpetuated in
our word “tariff.” But however it was, Tarik saw enough to convince him
that Spain could be easily invaded, if not readily conquered, and so
went back with a report to that effect to Musa the emir, laden with the
spoils of his ravage.

Having received permission from the Califa at Bagdad to invade the
country across the straits, Musa gathered an army of twelve thousand
men and sent it over under the command of the fierce Tarik, who
landed this time at Calpa, since named, after him, _Gebel el Tarik_,
or Gibraltar, and made that the base of his operations against the
unfortunate country. The apostate Count Julian joined him and served
as a guide in this the first real invasion of Spain by a Moslem army.
In short, the invaders were strongly re–enforced by the discontented
masses of that section of Spain, the maltreated Jews and the debased
agricultural classes, who saw, or thought they saw, freedom from
a yoke that had galled them for generations and had grown heavier
with succeeding years. Besides, they did not think that the Moslems
would more than ravage the country and perhaps attempt to destroy the
military power of the Goths, and then would retire to the land from
which they had come. There are two things, at least, we should note:
first, that the army of Tarik was composed mainly of native Africans,
then called Moors or Berbers; and that they had come with the settled
purpose of conquest and plunder. In order to enforce upon his men the
desperate nature of their task, Tarik caused his ships to be burned,
and thus impressed them with the fact that they must either conquer or
be destroyed—for they could not retreat.

Meanwhile, the gallant but unfortunate King Roderick had done his best
to arouse the disunited kingdom to a sense of its impending danger,
and had gathered an army of one hundred thousand men to resist the
approaching infidels. The opposing forces met on a plain near Xeres,
on the banks of the river Guadalete, and, after two days of desperate
fighting, victory crowned the efforts of Tarik and his traitorous
allies. Owing to the defection of Bishop Oppas, a brother of King
Witica, and the latter’s two sons, at a most critical moment, when they
and all their followers went over to the enemy, the field was lost to
King Roderick, who vanished from the scene completely, and was never
seen or heard of more.

The base Julian, the bishop, and the two princes were rewarded for
their perfidy, it is related, by a gift of the three thousand farms
pertaining to the crown. Thus, after three centuries of dominion,
extending from about 410 to 711 A.D., the Goths were driven from the
throne they had won by the sword and held by force; for the battle of
Guadalete was a decisive blow to the disintegrating kingdom, and after
that the advance of the Moorish armies was almost unopposed. It may
well be imagined that the warlike Tarik was not satisfied to rest here,
when before him was all Spain, with wealthy cities to sack, fertile
regions to be possessed, and a numerous population to be converted to
Islamism or to escape only by paying tribute.

Although the conquerors professed the same religion, bowed to the same
prophet, and waged war for the same great calif in the East, yet they
were not all of the same nationality, for in the army of invasion were
not only Arabs, but Moors, Egyptians, and Syrians. In time, however,
all came to be called by the name of Moors, though their differences
of birth and divergence of views led to serious quarrels among them.
The first estrangement was when Musa, the emir, finding that Tarik
had disobeyed his orders, and, instead of returning to Africa after
defeating the Goths in battle and acquiring vast plunder, had pursued
his conquests toward the north, hastily gathered another army and
followed on his tracks.

Musa found, however, that though Tarik had followed up his victory by
effectually scattering the defeated Goths, and even taking the capital
city, Toledo, there was yet room for another conqueror to operate;
so, instead of immediately pursuing Tarik, after he had landed he
made a detour through Andalusia and took Medina Sidonia and the rich
Roman city of Seville. Then, though gorged with plunder enough to have
satisfied a king, he pushed on after and overtook the recreant Tarik
at the city of Toledo. “I gave thee orders to make a foray only, then
return to Africa,” he said to the veteran, “yet thou hast marched
through all this territory without my permission.” The warrior received
this reproof in silence, and for a time a truce was made between them;
they pushed on their conquests, the one into the northwest, the other
into the north and east, until only the Pyrenees separated them from
the country of the Gauls.

Between them they brought all Spain under subjection, with the
exception of certain remote districts, which they thought too small or
too distant to be attacked. But it was within the confines of these
small mountain valleys of the northwest that, protected by their
rugged barriers, the defeated Goths halted and found a home, and
gathered as a nucleus for future forays upon their enemies; as we shall

When the country had been practically conquered, the quarrel between
Musa and Tarik was renewed; finally it reached the ears of the Calif
at Bagdad that his most valiant generals were fighting like jackals
over their prey, and he summoned them both to the Orient, there to give
account of themselves. It would seem that gratitude was a sentiment
entirely foreign to the Arab character, as instanced not only on this
occasion, but on many another during the conquest and continuance of
the Moors in Spain; for, in spite of his inestimable services to the
califate, notwithstanding he had given to the Moslems a new country as
their own, and had extended the sway of Islam westward to the Atlantic,
Musa was degraded, even sentenced to death, and finally ended his life
in poverty.

But despite the severity of Oriental rule, Spain continued a tributary
to the Eastern califs until about the middle of the century in which
it was conquered, when (as we shall see in due course) an independent
califate was established in Cordova. Musa had left as emir in his
absence his favourite son Abdalasis, who governed the conquered
territory wisely, but had the misfortune, during his father’s absence,
to see and fall in love with beautiful Exilona, the unhappy widow of
the departed King Roderick. They were married; but as he was a Moslem
and she a Christian, soon there began murmurs among their subjects,
notwithstanding the generous nature of Abdalasis, who had ever in mind
their well–being. These rumours reached the ears of the Calif, cruel
and bloodthirsty Suleiman, and he sent orders that the devoted pair
should be murdered. His commands were obeyed: both were basely killed
while at morning prayers, and the head of Abdalasis was embalmed and
sent in a casket to Syria, to the court of the Calif. The unfortunate
Musa was in attendance at the court, and when the casket arrived the
Calif took out the head of Abdalasis and held it up before his victim:

“Dost thou know this head?” he demanded. Musa gazed in anguish. “Yes,”
he murmured, “well do I know it; and may the curse of God light upon
him who has destroyed a better man than himself!” The stricken father
did not long survive this terrible stroke; but the wrath of Suleiman
was not appeased until the other sons of Musa, whom he had left at
important posts in Africa, were also numbered with the dead.

Still, despite the ingratitude and cruelty of the Califas, able
generals were found to carry on the war for Islam, until even the
Pyrenees were leaped and the Moslem hosts invaded France. It seemed as
though all Europe would become subject to the bonds of the Arabs, and
soon be brought to acknowledge the “one God and Mohammed his prophet.”
But in the year 732, twenty–one years after the invasion of Spain, the
tide was turned at Tours, when Charles Martel slew thirty thousand
Moslems and turned back the remainder, eventually to retreat to the
land whence they had come. No other country suited them so well, and
here they lived, they and their descendants, from first to last, more
than eight hundred years.




Within three years after their first appearance in Spain the Moors had
subjected nearly the entire territory, save only a restricted region
in the north and west. For about fifty years thereafter they were
governed by emirs sent from the califate of Damascus, and the last of
some twenty emirs was one Yusef, an Abbasside. To understand the Arab
terms which we are now compelled to use in relating this portion of
Spain’s history, we must transport ourselves once again to the Orient,
and glance at the line of califs, or caliphs, successors to Mahomet, or
Mohammed, which had carried on his conquests for many years.

The Prophet left no direct heirs, and this led to continual wrangling
among the various tribes; even the succession of Abu–bekr, father of
Mohammed’s favourite wife Ayeshah, did not settle anything, for at
his death the question was reopened. Not right, but might, however,
prevailed with the Arabs, and about the year 661 the first calif of the
Ommiades seated himself at Damascus. One of this line was in power when
Spain was invaded, but about the middle of the eighth century three
brothers came forward to dispute his rights. The calif was killed, and
eighty Ommiades of influence, invited to a feast at Damascus, were
murdered in cold blood. Thus arose the line of Abbassides, so called
from alleged descent from Abbas, uncle of Mohammed. Like most of the
Arab rulers, the Abbassides signalled their rise to power by deeds of
blood, their first effort being toward the entire obliteration of the
house of Ommiades. But two of this noble house escaped: one fled to
Arabia, where his descendants ruled a while; and the other to Africa,
where, among the devoted adherents of his line, the Bedouins and the
Berbers, he passed several years under their protection.

It happened that most of the Moslem chiefs in Spain were also allied
to the house of Ommiades, and when they learned that the young Syrian
Abderrahman was wandering in Africa a fugitive, with a price upon his
head, they earnestly entreated him to come over and become their
ruler. Yusef, the last emir of the Abbassides, was routed in battle
and sent away, and Spain at last made independent of Eastern influence
under a king of her own—the first of a line which governed, in the main
wisely, for nearly three hundred years.

Prince Abderrahman made the city of Cordova the seat of the Western
califate, and under him it became a centre of learning as well as
prosperity, rivalling all other cities of the peninsula. Magnificent
palaces were built, hospitals and mosques, one of the last named being
the glorious mosque of Cordova, its site four acres in extent, renowned
throughout the world for its beauty. This was begun by Abderrahman in
the year 786, and has lasted to our time, with its unrivalled mosaics,
tiles, and arabesques, and its thousand columns of porphyry and

Then were begun those vast irrigation works which reclaimed the desert
plains of the country and made them flourish with vegetation; the
immense aqueducts, the bridges, towers, and walls of defence. And yet
the reign of Abderrahman was by no means a peaceful one, as he had to
placate the many different sects and tribes of his own countrymen on
the one hand, and the Jews and Christians on the other. In the north
was a turbulent Christian population, ever at war; in the south, a
Mohammedan population always quarrelling over the division of spoils,
and particularly of the conquered territory.

Toward the last of his reign there appeared in the north a mightier
than he—no less than the magnificent Charlemagne, Emperor of the
French, who, about the year 778, having been invited thither by a
disaffected Arab captain, crossed the Pyrenees and captured several
towns. He did not stay long, however, for a rising of the Saxons
called him back, after he had taken Saragossa and razed the walls of
Pampeluna. Perhaps his brief campaign in Spain might never have been
chronicled had it not been for his disastrous rout in the Pyrenean
Pass of Roncesvalles, and the death of that hero of early song, the
gallant Roland, a semi–mythical figure in history. It was for a
long time believed that they were infidel Saracens who attacked and
destroyed Charlemagne’s rear guard in the Pass of Roncesvalles; but
later investigations show them to have been Basques, descendants of
the primitive Iberians, who resented this invasion of their territory,
even by a grandson of the great Charles Martel, who had beaten back the
Moslems in 732 and 737.

Abderrahman died in 788, and was succeeded by Hicham I, and he by
others of the line, whose moral tone may be indicated by the remark of
one Mohammed, eldest of forty–five brothers, who, when congratulated by
a favourite upon his elevation, exclaimed: “What an absurd idea to say
this world would be beautiful if there were no death! If there were no
death, should _I_ be reigning? Death is a good thing; my predecessor
is dead; that is why I reign.” Another calif before him, who refused
to treat Christian and Mussulman alike in the eyes of the law, invited
seven hundred citizens of Toledo to a banquet, admitting each one
separately within the doorway of his castle, when he was seized and
taken to the parapet, where his head was lopped off and thrown into
the fosse. But this was only a playful manifestation of power, which
caused the calif to be regarded as eccentric, rather than cruel or

During the reign of Abderrahman II the Spanish coast was ravaged by the
Norman sea–robbers, who even sailed up the river Guadalquivir as far as
Seville, and with whom the Arab navy is said to have had a great sea
fight; though this is doubtful. One hundred years later—the interim
being filled with three inconsequential rulers—another, Abderrahman
III, carried Cordova and the califate to the summit of power. He held
the government for nearly fifty years, from 912 to 961, and came to
be one of the wealthiest rulers in the then known world. The city
contained half a million inhabitants, one hundred thousand houses, and
twenty–eight suburbs, and the surplus population was urged to dwell
in a new city outside the walls, which was called Zahra, after one of
Abderrahman’s six thousand wives, and which rivalled the finest city of
the Orient in the beauty of its palaces.

Material and intellectual growth kept even pace, and Cordova was a
torch of enlightenment during that time which in Europe was known
as the “Dark Ages.” The son of Abderrahman III, who reigned fifteen
years as Hacam II, was a gifted bibliophile, if not a scholar, for
he collected, read, and annotated (it is said) a library of four
hundred thousand volumes. From distant Cairo, Bagdad, and Damascus he
drew the precious books which went to swell his great catalogue of
forty–four volumes; and among them, at one time, was the veritable
copy of the Koran stained by the blood of Othman, who was beheaded in
the year 650. The University of Cordova was known abroad, and hither
flocked scholars, poets, and Arab singers, while thousands of students
listened to eloquent teachers of theology and law. Of all the cities
of Spain, none rivals in interest golden Cordova, on the banks of the
Guadalquivir—though Seville, Granada, and Toledo press it close—either
in the list of famous Arabs or Romans, born and educated here.

Skilled in astrology and astronomy we know they were, and from Cordova,
in the latter half of the tenth century, were obtained the Arabic
numerals, which were carried to Rome by Pope Sylvester II, it is said,
soon after he had studied at the university; and where, doubtless, he
acquired those attainments in mathematics, chemistry, and philosophy
which caused it to be said of him that he was in league with the devil.

From the name Cordova, also, we get the term “cordwainer,” out of
“_cordovan_,” the celebrated leather manufactured there. Many arts and
a few sciences flourished in this noble city; and we should not forget
our indebtedness to the Spanish Arabs, who kept alight the lamp of
learning, and who have left in their architecture, if in nothing else,
a memorial of their greatness.

Under another calif, Hicham II, the Moors in Spain reached the zenith
of their prosperity; but not through any act of the calif himself,
except negatively, when he resigned all power to his _hadjib_, or
_vizier_, Abou–Amir Mohammed, who under the surname of _Almansor
Billah_—“victorious by help of God”—nearly destroyed the rising
Christians of the north. The renowned hero of more than fifty
battles, Almansor carried death and destruction to all parts of
rebellious Spain. He marched upon and captured the cities of Leon,
Barcelona, Pampeluna, Salamanca, and Zamora; but the greatest of his
achievements—that upon which he most prided himself—was the sacking
of the sacred shrine of Campostella, and the hanging of its bells of
bronze in the great mosque at Cordova, where they were used as lamps.

Campostella, or the Field of the Star, was the holy spot where,
according to early Christian legend, the body of Saint James the
apostle was found, having been brought here by his disciples. Its
discovery, after having been for centuries buried here, was owing to
the shining of a star of exceeding lustre above the sacred spot, and
hence the name applied to the church subsequently erected here, and
which became a shrine for pilgrims from all parts of Christian Spain.
As scallop shells are found here imbedded in the rock, a shell of this
sort was the pilgrim’s badge; but was not, it need hardly be said,
respected by the fierce Almansor.

Calif in all save name, Almansor ruled supreme; whenever he went to
battle—and which always ended in victory for the Moslem—he took with
him forty poets to chant his praises and sing his greatness. Yet he too
died, at last; with his departure began the decline of Moorish and the
consequent rise of Christian power. But for more than two centuries
longer the Moors were to dwell—

  “Where Cordova is hidden among
    The palm, the olive, and the vine;
  Gem of the South, by poets sung,
  And in whose mosque Almansor hung
  As lamps the bells that once had rung
    At Campostella’s shrine.”




We have followed the Moors in Spain through the first three hundred
years of their history. Let us now retrace our steps and pursue the
fleeing Goths, when, after their defeat on the banks of the Guadalete,
they left all southern Spain in the hands of the invaders. “At the
time of the general wreck of Spain by the sudden tempest of Arab
(African) invasion,” says Washington Irving, “many of the inhabitants
took refuge in the mountains of the Asturias, burying themselves in
narrow valleys difficult of access, wherever a constant stream of
water afforded a green bosom of pasture land and scanty fields for
cultivation. For mutual protection they gathered together in small
villages, called _castros_ or _castrellos_, with watch–towers and
fortresses on impending cliffs, in which they might shelter and defend
themselves in case of sudden inroad. Thus arose the kingdom of the
Asturias, of Pelayo and the king’s successors, who gradually extended
their dominion, built towns and cities, and after a time fixed their
seat of government at the city of Leon. An important part of the region
over which they bore sway was ancient Cantabria, extending from the Bay
of Biscay to the Duero, and called Castile, from the number of castles
with which it was studded.”

By referring to a map of Spain you will find the Asturias in the far
north, all of four hundred miles from the scene of the disastrous
battle; and here it was, in the mountain valleys, surrounded by
frowning peaks and gloomy gorges, that Pelayo the Cave King, first
ruler of the Goths after their defeat, established his little kingdom.
Living at first in caves, then in rude habitations of earth and stone,
the hardy mountaineers gradually gathered in hamlets and villages, and
in a few years were strong enough to resist the forces that finally
penetrated to their abode. With their backs against the mountain walls,
from the brinks of dizzy precipices, they hurled down rocks and trees
upon the invading Africans, and drove them back to ravage the more
fertile plains below.

Pelayo the Cave King is said to have been the son of a noble Goth
who was banished by Witica, but who returned to serve Roderick as
sword–bearer on the fatal field of Guadalete. Little is known of his
career, and by some he is treated as a myth; but the Spaniards believe
in his existence, and in recent years one of Spain’s most powerful
battleships received the name of this first king who stemmed the tide
of Moorish conquest.

To the Asturias was later united Galicia, in the extreme northwest of
Spain, then Leon farther south; the Moslems soon encountered opposition
in Navarra, to the east of Leon, in Aragon, still farther toward the
eastern coast, and finally in Catalonia, where the Counts of Barcelona
fought the Saracens in their ancient seaport founded by the father of
Hannibal. The story of the reconquest of Spain—in its first stages at
least—is long and complicated, involving the development of no less
than six separate provinces: Aragon, Catalonia, Navarra, Asturias,
Castile, and Leon, stretching across the country from the Atlantic to
the Mediterranean. But, without descending to wearisome detail in the
narration of the feuds and fights of petty kings and chiefs, we should
note, first of all, that the first stand against the Moslems was in
the north. There, with their castled towns and hamlets defended by
the almost inaccessible mountain ranges, the Goths drew valour and
might from the difficulties of their situation, and soon were developed
scores and hundreds of heroes, whose sole occupation was war; fighting
often among themselves, but always ready to unite against the common
enemy, the hated Moslem.

We have already had a glimpse of this unhappy country during the reign
of the Ommiades, and have seen that, while the Moor might be victorious
in one direction, the Christian would prevail in another. But, with
the mountains behind them ever, as places of refuge and retreat, the
growing hosts of the Christians became more and more annoying to
the Moors. Under the first Alfonso, between the years 739 and 756,
the territory of Leon was greatly extended, while during the reign
of Alfonso II (791–842) this king, who had allied himself with the
great Charlemagne, founded the cities of Oviedo and Compostella, and
raided the region southward to Portugal. There are so many and various
Alfonsos, Ferdinands, Sanchos, Pedros, Don Juans, Ordoños, etc., rulers
over different kingdoms and over the same territory at different times,
that it will be impossible to narrate the doings of them all. But,
however they might quarrel among themselves, they were persistent in
their opposition to the Moors, through decades and centuries, until
finally the detested infidels were expelled from Spain.

We can, however, merely glance at those most conspicuous for gallantry,
for deeds of daring, and mention only those great battles that were
decisive in their effect upon the general welfare of Spain and the
progress of the hosts engaged in its reconquest. During the reign of
Alfonso the Victorious, one of his Moorish neighbours invaded his
territory and ravaged his fields, until he was met and defeated by that
gallant hero, Bernardo del Carpio, who cut off the Moslem’s head and
took it to Alfonso as a precious gift. Having performed such a service
for his sovereign, it might be supposed that Bernardo would be richly
rewarded; but, far from that being the case, his father was kept in
prison, upon some pretext, by Alfonso, and Bernardo’s great services
were ignored. At last, wearied by the injustice of which he was the
victim, Bernardo resolved to leave Alfonso’s court and go over to the
Moors. He shut himself up in his castle of Carpio, from which he made
many a pillaging raid into the territory of his king, until at last
Alfonso besieged him there. But Bernardo’s defence was so valiant that
the king offered to give him possession of his father if he would
yield up his castle. This was a great price to pay, but the devoted
son at once agreed to it. The treacherous Alfonso sent assassins who
murdered Count Sancho in prison, then seated his corpse upon a horse,
richly attired, and led him to meet Bernardo. When the latter saw him
coming he went to meet him, and not until he had taken his father’s
hand to kiss it did he discover the cruel deception. Then he turned his
face aside and cried: “Ah my father, Don Sancho Diaz, in an evil hour
didst thou beget me. Thou art dead, and I—I have given my stronghold
for thee, and now indeed have lost all!”

       *       *       *       *       *

Some time later reigned one Alfonso III (from 866–909), who gained
many a victory over the Moors, but who unwisely divided his kingdom,
at his death, among several sons, and thus brought about the disunion
of territory already united, and retarded the general advance of
Christian power so amply extended by the prowess of his arms. Before
him, however, came King Ramiro, whose short reign was made memorable
by his refusal to pay to Abderrahman the customary tribute, which had
been agreed upon by some of his predecessors, of one hundred beautiful
maidens annually. In the _patio_ of the _Alcázar_ of Seville is shown
to–day the spot where these disconsolate maidens, abandoned by their
friends to the savage mercies of the Moors, were gathered when this
base bargain was carried out. But Ramiro refused to pay this tribute,
and so Abderrahman sent an army against him which, after two days of
terrible fighting, the Christians destroyed.

In the noble city of Burgos stands the statue of another hero of that
age, Fernan Gonzalez, grandson of one of the first judges of Castile,
after that province had thrown off its allegiance to Leon. When Fernan
Gonzalez was but seventeen years old he was elected to rule, under
Alfonso the Great, with the title of count. A Moorish captain was
ravaging the territory of Castile at that very time, and Count Fernan
placed himself at the head of a small body of troops and set out to
meet him. He was successful, and returned to Burgos with immense booty,
part of which he used for the endowment of a convent. After that he
kept the field almost continually, widening the range of his conquests
until Castile was freed from the Moors. But his great successes gained
for him the ill will of other Christian kings and leaders, notably of
Sancho, King of Navarre, with whom he was obliged to fight, and whom he
killed in single combat.

A son of Sancho the Fat (who was cured of obesity by a Moorish
physician), Don Garcia, surnamed “the Trembler,” finding himself unable
to cope with Count Fernan in the open field, resorted to treachery,
and, having proposed that he should marry his sister, when Fernan
went to claim her, with but a feeble guard, he was captured by the
wily Garcia and thrown into a dungeon. The Princess Sancha, the lady
in question, wondered why her lover did not come to take her away
as his bride, and when she finally learned the truth—heard that an
honourable cavalier was languishing in chains for her sake, in a dismal
dungeon—she bribed the guards, appeared before the count an angel of
beauty, and led him forth to liberty, after first exacting an oath
that he would make her his wife as soon as they were safe within the
confines of his domains.

And, after many perilous adventures, they arrived safely in the city of
Burgos, where the princess was welcomed with acclamation as the future
“first lady of the land,” and their marriage was followed by feastings,
tilts, and tournaments. Garcia the Trembler followed hard after them
with his army, but in the battle that eventuated he was taken prisoner,
though subsequently sent home laden with honours, at the intercession
of his sister; which shows what a noble gentleman Count Fernan was,
and what a jewel he got for a wife.

Such are the stories told of the heroic days of early Spain, chiefly
of Castile, when continual fighting between Moors and Christian had
wrought the warriors to the highest state of efficiency. They were
not happy unless engaged in warfare, and this accounts for the many
feuds among the Goths themselves; and it was owing to their continual
dissensions that the reconquest of all Spain was so long delayed. And
yet, among the Moors there was still greater dissension, on account of
the hatred that existed between the Arabs and the Berbers.




The eleventh and twelfth centuries were momentous ones to Spain, and
in the hundred years between 1000 and 1100 more battles were fought,
perhaps, and more victories gained by the Christians, than in any equal
period before. The great Almansor of Cordova, who had inflicted upon
the Goths defeat after defeat, himself lost a battle, at Catalañazor,
in the year 1001 or 1002, which caused his death. A rebellion in
Morocco had compelled him to send an army thither, and the Christians
had taken advantage of this weakening of his forces and fallen upon him
at the Leon and Castile frontier.

Almansor’s death weakened the Ommiade dynasty, and Cordova fell a
prey to discord; in place of one strong ruler now were many petty
chiefs, each one anxious to make himself supreme, but only succeeding
in adding to the confusion then prevailing among the Moors. Before
the middle of the century the crowns of Leon and Castile had been
united under Ferdinand the Great, and in the year 1082 his son and
successor, Alfonso VI, went down and besieged the ancient city of
Toledo (which had been in Moorish possession four hundred years),
taking it three years later. It was never recovered by the Moors, and
the Moslems became alarmed at this signal instance of Gothic bravery
and effrontery, and for a time ceased their dissensions. But, in their
alarm at the aggressions of the Christian forces, they placed their
necks within a yoke of slavery far worse than would have been forced
upon them by the Goths. They conferred together, and, realizing their
own weakness, sent over into Africa for assistance. There then reigned
in Morocco the fierce Yussef, a fanatical Bedouin, who hated all Arabs
almost as much as he hated the “Christian dogs.” But he hastened to the
relief of his fellow–Moslems with a great army of fanatics as fierce
and uncouth as himself. He had hardly landed and learned of the fall of
Toledo, when he summoned King Alfonso either to embrace the faith of
Mohammed, consent to pay tribute, or prepare for battle. Flushed with
his successes, Alfonso chose to fight, and the two great armies met in
the battle of Zallaca, in the month of October, 1086, when the Spanish
army was utterly overthrown. Yussef pursued his advantage vigorously,
and eventually all southern Spain was subjected to him, including
the city of Seville, which was taken in 1091; and not only were the
Christians themselves the object of his fury, but the Moslem chiefs who
had sent for him to come to their aid, who were all either murdered or
transported to Africa. Thus was the Almoravid dynasty established, with
its capital at Cordova, and which lasted until 1147. Yussef died about
twenty years later, leaving the kingdom to his son Ali, and the Spanish
Moslems were oppressed by the Bedouin chiefs, who were as savage and
illiterate as the Ommiades were gentle and refined. Cordova soon lost
its libraries, its schools and universities, and became a place to be
shunned, rather than sought, by scholars and men of letters.

Meanwhile the Gothic provinces, called kingdoms (sometimes united,
sometimes divided), had not been blind to their advantage in pressing
the Moors on every side, and the latter steadily, though slowly, shrank
within more restricted confines, until the Tagus and the Guadiana
were their most northern boundaries. Grim Yussef died in 1104, and
the great Alfonso in 1109. The latter, under whom Castile had risen
steadily to the first rank among the kingdoms of the north, and who was
known as the “Buckler of the Faith,” had been victor in thirty–nine
battles, and had but twice suffered defeat.

The year 1104 saw the crown of Aragon pass to Alfonso I, who was
married to a daughter of Alfonso VI of Castile. It has been said that
if the two Alfonsos had but united their forces, while holding their
respective kingdoms, the Moors might have been expelled from Spain
three hundred years sooner than they were.

About this time rose to power in Morocco a fanatical Moslem known
as Mohammed ben Abdullah, the son of a lamplighter in the mosque of
Cordova. He was educated in Cordova and in Bagdad, but later went to
Morocco, where he made his home in the Atlas Mountains and proclaimed
himself the Mahdi, or leader of the faithful. He soon had many
followers, who called themselves _Almohades_, or followers of the one
God. Raising an immense army, Mohammed came down from the mountains
and besieged the city of Morocco, which was defended by Ali the son
of Yussef. Both Ali and Mohammed died during the siege, and one
Abdelmummen succeeded the Mahdi in command. He took the city, driving
out and killing the inhabitants, and repeopling it with Bedouins from
the desert and the mountains.

Proclaimed sovereign of all Africa and Moslem Spain, Abdelmummen
invaded the peninsula with an army so vast that two months were
consumed in crossing the straits, and an alarm spread throughout all
Europe; but the men of the new sect were more anxious, apparently,
for converts to their creed than victories over the Christians, for
in the end the Almoravides were either expelled or converted, and the
Almohades reigned supreme. Their dominion extended from the Atlantic to
the Nile in Africa, and in Spain over all that the Christian arms had
not wrested from their predecessors.

Abdelmummen died in 1162, leaving the kingdom to his son Cid Yussef,
who built the mosque of Seville, the great aqueduct that brought water
to that city, and the bridge across the Guadalquivir. He was killed in
1184 and his son Yacoub succeeded, who in the year 1195 won a great
victory over Alfonso VIII, at the battle of Alarcos. A little more
than a century previously the Moslems had gained another victory, at
Zallaca; but these two, vast as were their results, were to be avenged
by an overwhelming defeat which the God of the Christians was preparing
for them.

The chronicles of the eleventh century (to turn back a moment) would
not be complete without mention of the doughty deeds of the great Cid
Campeador, who, like Count Fernan Gonzalez, was descended from Nuño
Rastro, one of the first judges of Castile.

His real name was Rodrigo or Ruy Diaz, and he was born at Bivar,
near the city of Burgos, about the year 1040, although so much of
myth envelops him that the exact date of his birth is uncertain. At
all events, he was a Castilian of noble birth, who at an early age
commanded the forces of Sancho II of Castile, when that ruler deprived
his brothers of their kingdoms of Leon and Galicia. According to the
numerous “Ballads of the Cid,” which were written and sung as early as
the twelfth century, no hero of history ever performed more valiant
deeds than he, though he can hardly be held up to the world as a model
of constancy and patriotism: for he fought, first on the side of his
native Castile, then, becoming offended at a slight put upon him by
King Alfonso (though he had led the army into Toledo), he went over to
the Emir of Saragossa and battled stoutly for the Moors.

His first appearance seems to have been as the avenger of his father’s
death, when he challenges his slayer, Count Lozeno, to mortal combat,
and leaves him dead on the field. Then at the command of the king he
marries the count’s daughter, the lovely Ximena, who has prayed her
sovereign to avenge this deed; and yet when Rodrigo proposes, she
consents to be his wife. The king argued, with true kingly logic,
that “he whose hand had made her an orphan should of a right be her
protector”; but the ballads do not tell us what Ximena thought about
it. Still, they inform us often that he was in every respect a model
husband, and that, more than all else in the world, he loved his
gallant steed Babieca, his good sword Tizona, and his faithful wife
Ximena—probably the order named being their rank in his affections.

Although he had fought against his king, yet in his latter years
he made amends, became a terror to the Moors, and took the Moorish
province of Valencia in 1088, which he held until his death in the
year 1099. And, that we may be sure his devoted wife was faithful to
the last, we are told that she held the city of Valencia for two years
after her husband died, though surrounded by enemies, and then carried
his embalmed body to Burgos, where for ten years it sat in state beside
the high altar of a convent church.

The empty tomb, to which the Cid was borne upon his charger, and in
which he and his wife rested for many years, may yet be seen in the
old convent of San Pedro de Cardena, near to Burgos; and in that old
Castilian city, preserved in a glass case in the town hall, are shown
the veritable “bones of the Cid and his wife Ximena.” Here also is the
“solar del Cid,” or the site of the house he lived in, now indicated
by three obelisks of stone, which stand not far from a memorial
arch erected to Count Fernan Gonzalez. And, moreover, in one of the
cathedral cloisters is still preserved an ancient iron–clasped trunk,
which belonged to the Cid, and which, tradition states, he once filled
with sand and pledged to some wealthy Jews for an enormous sum, as
full of priceless jewels. It is also stated, to his credit, that he
afterward redeemed his pledge and paid his debts in full.

The renowned Cid Campeador may or may not have performed all the
valorous feats ascribed to him, but it is certain that Spain yet holds
his name in grateful remembrance. When his end drew nigh (knowing that
a battle was imminent), he ordered that his corpse should be placed
erect upon his war horse, his sword in hand, and taken forth to fight a
last battle for his country:

  “‘Bring in my Babieca’—the Cid a–dying lay—
  ‘That I may say farewell to him before I pass away.’
  The good horse, strong and gentle, full quiet did he keep,
  His large soft eyes dilating, as though he fain would weep.
  ‘I am going, dear companion, thy master rides no more,
  Thou well deservest high reward, I leave thee this in store:
  Thy master’s deeds shall keep thy name until earth’s latest day;’
  And speaking not another word, the good Cid passed away.”

The ruined castle still stands, on a hill above the city of Burgos,
in which Don Garcia was imprisoned in 958; where Alfonso of Leon was
confined by the Cid, and where Edward I of England was married to
Eleanor of Castile.




We have been hitherto tracing the course of several streams which,
rising in various parts of Africa and Spain in the south and in the
north, yet have mingled their currents somewhat; but we shall soon find
that the stream which had its source in the north became eventually a
resistless torrent that swept all before it.

At or near the close of the twelfth century we find three Alfonsos
on as many thrones: Alfonso VIII, surnamed the Noble, in Castile;
Alfonso IX in Leon and Oviedo; and Alfonso II ruling in Portugal, which
had become separated from Spain in 1095. Navarre was under Sancho
VII, while Aragon and the greater portion of Catalonia acknowledged
Pedro II. At the same time the Moslems were governed by Mohammed
abu Abdallah, the son of Yacoub, who had won the great battle of
Alarcos. These are names merely, some of which have hardly survived, in
connection with great deeds, the lives of those who bore them. But it
was permitted Alfonso VIII, in the year 1212, to inflict a defeat upon
the Moors from which they never recovered. This was at the great battle
of Navas de Tolosa, when, according to the statements of the victors,
at least one hundred thousand Moslems fell, victims to Christian
prowess, and, sad to relate, after the victory was assured, objects of
Christian bigotry; for they treated with shameful barbarity those who

The battlefield of Tolosa was the turning point of Moslem fortunes,
for from the date of that great event the followers of Mahommed lost
steadily in Spain, retreating ever nearer the southern coast, whence
their ancestors had invaded the peninsula five hundred years before.

Alfonso the Noble survived this achievement but two years, and died in
1214, leaving a reputation not only as a great warrior, but as a lover
of learning, having established, it is said, the first university in
Spain in the year 1209. He left his throne to his son Henry I, and
under the regency of his daughter Berenguela, who, when Henry was
accidentally killed, secured the kingdom for her own son Ferdinand.
Two momentous events came to pass at this time—the battle of Tolosa,
which drove back the Moslems, and the union of the kingdoms of Castile
and Leon under one ruler; for at the death of Alfonso IX of Leon the
kingdom passed to Ferdinand III, who was thus placed in possession of
resources and armies which he could unite toward the expulsion of the

He was later canonized for his great services to Christendom, and
is known to history as St. Ferdinand. It is a curious fact that his
cousin, Louis of France, son of his mother’s sister, and likewise
a grandson of Alfonso VIII of Castile, was also canonized; and the
grandmother of both was Eleanor of England, daughter of Henry II.

Well, St. Ferdinand, to call him by the title bestowed upon him three
hundred years after his death, was a flaming sword as toward the Moors.
He captured their capital, Cordova, in 1236, the city of Jaen in 1246,
and at last the “Queen of the Guadalquivir,” beautiful Seville (ancient
port of the Phœnicians, the Roman Hispalis), where he died in 1252, and
where his tomb and many precious relics of his time may be seen in the
great cathedral there.

Almost equally renowned was Jayme I, the King of Aragon, who took the
Balearic Isles from the Moors in 1229, Valencia in 1237, the province
of Murcia in 1266, and who, before he died in 1276, had gained thirty
pitched battles with the enemy, and had founded, some say, more than
two thousand Christian churches. But he has the credit of having
introduced into Spain the terrible Inquisition (in 1232), and that goes
far toward counterbalancing his meritorious work for the freedom of his

Alfonso X, called “the Wise,” because he was more a scholar than
soldier, succeeded St. Ferdinand, and under him, it is recorded, the
Castilian became the national language. Slowly but steadily the ancient
Gothic had been changing, and it was now in a sense crystallized when
Alfonso caused the Bible to be translated into the Castilian, as well
as works on chemistry and philosophy, and wrote a chronicle of Spain
down to the time of Ferdinand, his father and predecessor. The “Fuero
Juzgo, or Forum Judicum,” the ancient Visigothic code of laws, which he
translated and codified, became the law of the land and the model of
yet existing laws in Spain.

But, though quite learned, Alfonso was not morally much in advance of
his time, for he caused his brother to be strangled, and provoked a
rebellion of his sons, by which he was driven from his throne two years
before his death. His son, Sancho IV, who was as vigorous as his father
was feeble, drove the Emir of Morocco back to Africa in 1291, and after
a short reign left the kingdom to his son, Ferdinand IV, who, dying in
1312, was succeeded by Alfonso XI of Castile. He was the last of that
name to sit on the throne until Alfonso XII, father of the boy king of
our time, Alfonso XIII, after an interval of five hundred and sixty

Ferdinand IV was an infant too young to reign at the death of his
father, but affairs of the kingdom were ably managed by the queen
regent, his mother, and when he reached man’s estate he nobly devoted
himself to the great work bequeathed him by his ancestors. Under him
the Castilian frontiers were extended to Gibraltar, the fortress of
which he took, in the year 1302. But his reign was likewise short, and
at his death he left the kingdom to an infant son, and the regency
to his mother, Maria, who a second time assumed the cares of royalty
without its remunerations.

Alfonso XI showed the lack of parental guidance during youth by the
errors of his early manhood, among other indiscretions forming an
illegitimate alliance with a lady who became the mother of Don Enrique
of Trastamara, who later slew his half–brother Pedro “the Cruel.” By
the great victory of the Rio Salado, in 1340, Alfonso retrieved his
damaged reputation in the eyes of the people and firmly established the
kingdom upon an impregnable basis. The combined hosts of Spanish Moors
and Africans had assembled and laid siege to Tarifa, the southernmost
town in Spain. The Christian armies, under the lead of Alfonso and the
king of Portugal, met and overthrew them near the plains of Algeciras,
inflicting such slaughter that the dead lay piled in heaps, the slain,
it was estimated, amounting to two hundred thousand.

This was the last invasion from Africa, which had been so prolific
in barbarian and semi–barbarian conquerors; and if any other was in
contemplation it was prevented the following year, when Alfonso’s fleet
destroyed that of the Moors in the Straits of Gibraltar. King Alfonso
besieged the fortress of Gibraltar itself—which had been in Moorish
possession since 1333—but failed to dislodge the enemy, and it was not
until more than a hundred years later, in 1462, that it again fell
into the hands of the Spaniards. Alfonso doubtless held the ambitious
project of ridding the peninsula entirely of the Moors; but his
country was not sufficiently united, and one hundred and fifty years
were to elapse before the consummation of this object, under King
Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. That he was a valiant warrior, despite
his many failings, is shown by his death in the field, while besieging
Gibraltar, when he fell a victim to the terrible pestilence known as
the “black death,” in the year 1350.

His son and successor, Don Pedro of Castile, is known to history as
“Pedro the Cruel,” which name well illustrates his character. Cruel
and licentious to a degree never before shown in any occupant of the
throne, Pedro followed his father’s pernicious example, his amour with
Doña Maria de Padilla being maintained while his lawful wife was a
prisoner by his command. Though for a time popular with the masses,
owing to his inclination rather toward the people than the nobility,
his lust, covetousness, and cruelty caused a revolt. He overcame his
opponents, but signalled his return to power by the murder of his
half–brother, Don Fadrique, his mother, many of his relatives, and his
wife. It is charged against him that he cut the throats of the Emir of
Granada and fifty of his nobles, while they were his guests under a
flag of truce, and committed other atrocious deeds. His half–brother,
Henry, having escaped to France, returned with an army, but Pedro
appealed to the son of the English Edward III, the “Black Prince,”
and that gallant adventurer, then fighting in France, came to his
assistance. By his aid he discomfited his enemies, but his cruelty to
prisoners so disgusted his noble ally that he retired and left him to
his fate. Henry then appeared with a small force, around which the
people eagerly gathered, and Pedro was defeated and taken prisoner.

The last act of this terrible drama took place in a tent where the
half–brothers, sons of the same father, met in deadly combat, which
ended by Pedro’s being stabbed in the back, and pouring out his
life–blood at the fratricide’s feet. Thus were the sins of Alfonso XI
quickly visited upon his children, and the kingdom which he had founded
threatened with disruption.

Pedro the Cruel was killed in 1369, and as Henry II his half–brother,
the regicide, assumed his place, claimants arose to contest his dubious
title to the throne, and among them John of Gaunt, the English Duke
of Lancaster, Pedro’s son–in–law. At the same time, as enemies, he
could count the Kings of Moorish Granada, Aragon, and Navarre. But he
defeated the machinations of all these opponents and eventually reduced
the kingdom to a state of peace, in which it continued till his death,
in 1379, which was occasioned by a pair of poisoned boots, sent him as
a present by the treacherous Emir of Granada.

His son, John I, reigned eleven years, or from 1379 to 1390, though in
1385 the Duke of Lancaster, John of Gaunt, assumed the title of king,
with the arms of Castile, Leon, and France. He was, however, dissuaded
by the promise that his daughter Catherine (whose mother was Constance,
daughter of Pedro the Cruel and Maria de Padilla) should marry Henry
III, who succeeded to the throne of Castile in 1390, and reigned until
1406. The heir of this union was John II, who was King of Castile from
1406 to 1454, and whose chief claim to distinction is as the father of
Isabella, who, after her brother, Henry IV, had died, in 1474, became
Queen of Castile. Thus in the veins of the woman who was to become the
greatest of her line ran the blood, not only of Pedro the Cruel, but of
his bastard brother, Henry of Trastamare.

But the resultant issue of her marriage with Ferdinand of Aragon,
in 1469, was to be yet more deeply tinctured with the blood of the
regicide; for the son of Henry of Trastamare had married a daughter of
Pedro of Aragon, who was almost as cruel and implacable as Pedro of
Castile. Ferdinand, son of John I, and grandson of Henry, became King
of Aragon, and was succeeded by his son, John II of Aragon, through
whom at his death the throne passed to Ferdinand, later called the
Catholic, and who became the royal consort of Isabella.




What had hitherto been the curse of Spain, its intestinal divisions,
feuds, rival projects of petty kings, was soon to be removed by the
union of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, whose marriage
took place October 19, 1469. Isabella was eighteen years of age,
Ferdinand only seventeen; but their training had been such that their
intelligence and deportment were in advance of their years. They were
cousins and lovers. Isabella was a blonde, with blue eyes and chestnut
hair, a small but symmetrical figure, graceful and modest of carriage,
intellectual, devout, charming, but not handsome. Ferdinand was tall
and manly, a fine horseman, courteous, chivalrous, like his wife of
the fair, Gothic type, eloquent of speech, with elegant bearing and
polished manners.

These were the two who for thirty years were to reign together, who
were to unite the dismembered fragments of war–harried Spain, who were
to establish a throne that was to command the respect of all Europe, a
kingdom whose influence was to extend around the world. And yet, if the
historians are to be credited, they were so poor at the time of their
betrothal that they were compelled to borrow money for their wedding.
Fortunately, their credit was good, for, despite their poverty, it
was known to all that they had great expectations. But their enemies
pressed them hard, and it was only by stealing off in disguise, with
a few attendants merely as company, that Ferdinand was able to reach
Valladolid, where Isabella was awaiting him, and claim his bride.

Five years later, in 1474, Isabella’s brother Enrique, the last male
of the house of Trastamare, passed away, and his sister succeeded
to the throne of Castile, to which she was already entitled. In the
ancient city of Segovia, with attendant pomp and ceremony, on the 13th
of December, 1474, the heralds proclaimed her Queen of Castile. But
her claim was disputed, and there ensued the “war of succession,” only
ended by the defeat of the Portuguese at the battle of Toro, after
which peace was concluded, with France and Portugal, in 1479. That
same year, by the death of his father, John II, Ferdinand succeeded
to Aragon and its dependencies, and thus the twain found themselves
virtual rulers of the best part of Spain.

With the exception of Navarre, which went to Eleanor, Ferdinand’s
half–sister, and of the kingdom of Granada, still held by the Moors,
united Castile and Aragon may be said to have included all Spain, from
the Atlantic east to the Mediterranean, and from the Pyrenees on the
north to the Straits of Gibraltar on the south, though each kingdom
was independent. By the exercise of consummate skill, patience, and
persistence, both in the field of war and in diplomacy, the entire
peninsula, with the exception of Portugal, eventually was welded into
one kingdom, and the various armies that had so frequently clashed
in conflict were placed under one supreme command. This was not
accomplished until after many years, but almost from the first these
two wise sovereigns bent all their energies to the consummation of
their purpose: Isabella in the domestic administration, Ferdinand in
war and diplomacy, which was to unite Spain and expel the hated infidel.

We will not now pause to inquire their motives, but note only the
vastness of the undertaking. More than any other nation, perhaps, the
Spanish were divided, one section speaking a French dialect, another
the Basque; one province might be aristocratic, another monarchical,
and yet another democratic, while every one had its own peculiar laws
and rights, called “_fueros_.” To show the feeling of independence
which pervaded Aragon, for instance, we may quote the ancient formula
used in seating a king on the throne: “We, each of whom is as good as
you, and who altogether are more powerful, make you our king as long as
you shall keep our _fueros_; otherwise not.”

These _fueros_ were charters of privileges, which had been granted by
former kings, lords, or counts to the inhabitants of certain towns,
particularly to those which were, or at one time had been, on the
exposed frontiers, deserted by or recaptured from the Moors. The
occasion had long since passed for the granting of these privileges,
but the people still clung to them, jealously guarding against their
infringement or revocation. In some provinces, as in the Basque region,
the _fueros_ rendered the inhabitants almost immune from service to the
king or queen, free from national taxes, not liable for soldiers to
serve beyond their own frontiers, etc. The first of the _fueros_ was
granted as early as 1020, and seems to have been that of Leon. Then
there was the _Cortes_, or popular assemblage of representatives from
all over the kingdom, the first of Castile, consisting of a deputy from
each city, having met in 1169.

Again, there was the Church to reckon with, for it was now established
on a sure foundation, and the primacy of Spain, with its archbishopric
at Toledo, was considered second only to the papacy in its influence
and revenues. As Isabella was devout by nature, and as Ferdinand was
politic, they allied themselves with the Church from the first, and
though themselves swayed by its servants, made it the means toward
an ultimate end, which was the consolidation of their empire and the
subjugation of the people.

We have seen already that one of the forces in Spain ever acting
against united effort for the expulsion of the Moors was the
independence of the nobility. Castile itself derived its name from the
number of its castles, mainly belonging to independent nobles, rich
and warlike, possessed of vast estates, not subject to taxation or
imprisonment—in fact little kings, some of them at the outset almost
as powerful as their sovereigns themselves. These were the _ricos
hombres_, who held most of the lucrative offices; next to them ranked
the _hidalgos_ and _caballeros_ (_Hijo de algo_, son of somebody, and
_caballero_, a horseman, knight, cavalier, nobleman), who comprised the
floating population of warriors or free lances, ready for a fight at a
moment’s notice, and always spoiling for a tilt with the enemy.

These were all dealt with in due course, in one manner or another,
until all were more or less firmly attached to the crown and pledged
to its support. The manner in which the sovereigns attached to their
service the three great military orders of Calatrava, Santiago, and
Alcantara well illustrates the subtlety of Isabella and the craft
of Ferdinand. These orders were founded after the models of the
Hospitalers and the Templars during the Crusades; but while originally
intended for warfare against the Moors, they had become possessed of
vast wealth and influence during the three hundred years of their
existence. They were, in fact, through their strength, their capacity
to send thousands of armed cavaliers into the field, and their absolute
independence, a possible menace to the crown; so, when it happened
that a vacancy occurred in the grand mastership of Santiago, in 1476,
the queen by intrigue secured it for Ferdinand. Eleven years later
he secured that of Calatrava, and in 1494, the last of all, the
grand mastership of Alcantara. Thus were the most powerful of the
independent military organizations secured and held in fealty to
the crown. Though it required eighteen years to accomplish this, yet
eventually it was brought about—an exhibition of persistence and craft
which throws a flood of light upon the doings and aims of these astute
rulers over regenerated Spain.

The unarmed and undisciplined masses were of little account, in the
scheme of reconquest planned by Ferdinand and Isabella. But the upper
classes, with their immense wealth and privileges, with their castles,
princely domains, and armed retainers—these were the first objects
aimed at by the sovereigns, when they were forging the weapons and
welding the nation together, preliminary to their onslaught upon the
Moors. Isabella, as early as 1476, revived the association of common
people which had once risen against the nobles, two hundred years
before, called the _Hermandad_, or Brotherhood, composed mainly of
people of the middle class, who acted as police and detectors of crime,
and in the end became powerful enough to prove an effectual check upon
the arrogance of the feudal lords. When, however, the sovereigns found
themselves possessed of a strong standing army, with servile soldiers
to do their bidding, the _Hermandad_ was disbanded; having served as a
means to an end, it passed away.

It was during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, and early in their
reign, that another factor tending to the consolidation of their
power was availed of, in the establishment of the “Holy Office” of
the Inquisition. That terrible tribunal, with its spies working in
secret, its judges shielded from public view, its proceedings veiled in
secrecy, was revived in Spain and presided over, by the infamous Tomas
de Torquemada, as inquisitor general, who was prior of a Dominican
monastery at Segovia. Yielding to his pleadings, Isabella consented to
apply to the Pope for permission to use the institution as a means of
weeding out heresy from among the Jews and Moors in her dominions. In
an evil day for Spain, and to the discredit of the humanity of those
days, this queen—who has received the praise of generations for her
eminent wisdom, modesty, generosity, maternal tenderness, discretion,
moderation—not only gave her consent, but did all in her power, to
bring to the flames thousands of her subjects, whose only offence was
that they differed from her on points of religious belief!

During the remaining years of Torquemada’s life, or from 1483 to 1498,
it is estimated that eight or nine thousand “heretics” were burned
to death at the stake. And he was but one, the first, of a line of
Spanish “inquisitors,” who inflicted upon others of his race, made
in God’s image, entitled to compassion, the most fiendish tortures it
was possible for man to conceive. We can not forget nor ignore the
terrible truth that it was by the express sanction of Isabella, as well
as through her connivance, that this monstrosity reared its hideous
head in her kingdom, and devoured her loyal subjects. In her day was
inaugurated that barbarous “solemnity” called the “_auto da fé_,” edict
of the Inquisition, when the heretics ferreted out by the familiars
of the Holy Office were marched through the principal streets of her
capital, clad in robes covered with hellish emblems, flames and devils,
and followed by processions of priests and monks to the great square,
where they were burned at the stake; consumed by flames which even
royalty considered it an honour to light and a pleasure to gaze upon!

Ferdinand, of course, was an accessory; he even forced the Inquisition
upon the Aragonese, who rebelled against it; but to him have never been
imputed the high and honourable qualities ascribed to the “gentle”
Isabella. This, the darkest, foulest blot upon her escutcheon—which
neither the plea of the exigencies of the time, nor that equally
puerile argument that she lived when ideas of morality and human
brotherhood were crude, will avail to remove—will stand against her
forever, an ineffaceable witness to the innate cruelty and bigotry of
this descendant of Pedro the Cruel and Henry of Trastamare, fratricides
both, and one a regicide!

But the country prospered awhile—that is, the kingdom gained in
material wealth—chiefly, however, from the confiscated properties of
the expelled heretics. During the thirty years between the accession
of Isabella and her death—1474 to 1504—the royal revenues increased
more than thirtyfold. After the discoveries in America the sovereigns
were compelled to establish five great councils to manage affairs,
the most important of which was the Council of the Indies, with its
headquarters at Seville; but, notwithstanding, all power was more and
more centralized, until after the death of Ferdinand and the accession
of Charles I.




The Castilian court was established at Cordova, where Isabella and
Ferdinand received the swarms of courtiers and noble knights with
brilliant retinues, as well as foreign ambassadors, who swarmed hither
to do homage to the Spanish sovereigns. And, though Christian and
Moslem were still at enmity, the turbaned Arab, the warlike Saracen,
with scimitar at his side, might be seen among the assembled thousands
in the busy streets of Cordova. For, although an eternal barrier
existed between these two peoples in their respective religions,
and mutual hatred may have smouldered in their bosoms, yet they met
and freely mingled, even intermarried, exchanged courtesies and
compliments, and engaged in friendly jousts and tourneys.

But the time came when this strained condition of affairs was
suddenly changed, about the year 1478. The Moorish dominions, which
once extended practically over all Spain, were now reduced to a single
great province, or kingdom, that of Granada. Yet it was a fertile and
populous province, comprising the best and most beautiful lands in
the peninsula, with deep and rich valleys hidden among forest–clad
mountains, the peaks of some of which reached the clouds and were
covered with perpetual snows. The capital of this kingdom was founded
by the Moors soon after their first arrival from Africa, in the eighth
century, near the remains of a Roman town called Illiberis. It had
grown in wealth and population, until, at the time of which we speak,
it probably contained 400,000 inhabitants, and was surrounded by
massive walls fortified with numerous towers.

Granada the capital consisted of two cities within one line of
fortifications, the portion known as the _Albaicin_, perched on a
hill, and containing the marts and dwellings of the common people,
and the hill of the Alhambra, separated from the Albaicin by a deep
gorge through which flows the river Darro. Here, about the year 1248,
the founder of the Granadan dynasty, Ibn Alhamar, began to build that
glorious palace, the Alhambra, which was completed by his grandson,
Mohammed III, seventy years later. Within the surrounding walls
defended by ninety towers the king held court, with a retinue that
constituted the nucleus of a small town in itself. The founder of the
Alhambra assembled here artists and artisans from every part of the
Moslem world: from Damascus and Bagdad, Cairo and Morocco; and their
genius here evolved one of the most beautiful structures ever created
by man. Who has not read of the beautiful Alhambra, with its pillared
corridors, its assemblage of marble and alabaster columns, its halls
and _patios_ refreshed by plashing fountains, its cornices mazes of
arabesques, its latticed windows, iridescent tiles, perfumed courts and
gardens; and above all, its peerless situation, overlooking Granada,
the Darro, the vast meadows of the _vega_, and with a background of
cloud–capped, snow–crested mountains, shining in the sun?

More than two centuries had passed since Ibn Alhamar intrenched himself
within the Alhambra walls, and purchased exemption from Christian
assaults by the payment of tribute. It was just before the capture of
Seville by Ferdinand the Saint that he bound himself and his people to
serve the Christians as vassals, and, in consideration that his rich
territory should be undisturbed, pay an annual tribute of two thousand
_doblas_ of gold and sixteen hundred Christian captives, or the same
number of Moors to serve as slaves. Less than three hundred years
before (as we may recall) it was the Christians who paid tribute, and
in the halls of the _Alcázar_, at Seville, were assembled the Christian
maidens, shamelessly given over to the rapacious Moors. Now, however,
the tide had turned, and the founder of the last Moslem dynasty on
Spanish soil was glad to avert the possible loss of his kingdom by
surrendering a tithe of his possessions to the Christians. Still, each
ruler maintained his armies, and a state of armed neutrality existed.

Two centuries of comparative peace had broadened and strengthened the
Moorish kingdom until it embraced a portion of south–eastern Spain
estimated as containing more than eleven thousand square miles, with a
population of three millions, including one hundred thousand valiant
men of war. The natural resources of the country were enhanced by
irrigation, at which the Orientals are so expert, canals and aqueducts
supplied the cities and plains with water, and trade with Africa, and
with the Christians of Spain, brought great wealth into the kingdom.

The King of Granada, at the time the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella
united the thrones of Aragon and Castile, was one Muley Aben Hassan,
a descendant in direct line of the founder of the Alhambra, and when
he succeeded his father, Ismael, he found himself ruler over no less
than fourteen fortified cities and nearly one hundred towns, as well
as many castled hamlets and villages. This fierce warrior, taking
account of his vast possessions, refused longer to pay tribute to the
Castilian sovereigns, and in the year 1478 a noble knight, Don Juan
de Vara, was sent to Granada to demand it. He was admitted, with his
retinue of cavaliers, and found King Muley Hassan seated on his royal
divan, within the Alhambra, in the spacious Hall of the Ambassadors. He
was received with courtesy, but when he named his errand Muley Hassan
haughtily replied: “Tell your sovereigns that the Kings of Granada who
used to pay tribute in money to the Castilian crown are dead! Our mint
at present coins nothing but blades of scimitars and heads of lances!”

Now, the name of Granada signifies in Arabic a pomegranate; and when
King Ferdinand received this insolent answer from the Moor he quietly
replied, “It is well; I will pluck the seeds from this pomegranate,
one by one!” and he began preparations for reducing the Moorish
strongholds. But he was not to strike the first blow, for the old
King of Granada, confident in the wealth of his provinces and the
strength of his defences, and urged on by his fiery soldiery, led an
army against an isolated frontier post of the Christians called Zahara.
It was naturally so strong, being perched upon a craggy crest of a
mountain, that its garrison neglected to keep watch, and, one dark and
stormy night, was surprised and put to the sword. The wretched captives
taken in the town below were driven like cattle to Granada; and thus in
the year 1481 the gauntlet of war was thrown down by Muley Hassan, King
of the Moors.

King Ferdinand was willing enough to take it up; in truth, had the
Moors not taken the initiative, war would have eventuated just the
same, for the one darling project of the Christian sovereigns was the
expulsion of the Arabs from the country. But yet again the Christian
king was forestalled, though this time it was by one of his own
cavaliers. The valiant Marquis of Cadiz, Roderigo Ponce de Leon, who
owned vast estates in Andalusia, and could assemble a small army of his
own retainers, resolved to avenge Zahara and strike a terrible blow at
the Moors. Informed by his spies that the Moorish town and castle of
Alhama, in the mountains of Granada, were but carelessly defended,
he gathered together a small force of cavalry and foot soldiers, and,
surprising the garrison and scaling the walls, took both castle and
town by storm.

Alhama was known as the “Key of Granada,” and was not many miles
distant from the capital itself; it also was the richest town of the
kingdom, and the Marquis of Cadiz and his soldiers secured a vast
amount of booty, besides taking many captives. But their position was
now perilous in the extreme, for when Muley Hassan learned the news
he raged like a tiger and immediately set forth to retake Alhama with
an army of fiercest warriors. The sufferings of the Spanish soldiers
were intense, for they were cut off from water, attacked on every
side, and allowed no rest; but succour came to them from an unexpected
source. The Duke of Medina Sidonia—like the Marquis of Cadiz, owner
of vast possessions and lord over an army of dependants, although an
hereditary foe of the latter—collected a large force and hastened
to the assistance of his beleaguered brethren. King Ferdinand also
turned toward the scene of war; but, outstripped by the Duke of Medina
Sidonia, halted on the way at Antiquera, and there began the assembling
of an army, to follow up the advantage so unexpectedly gained by his
ardent knights and soldiers.

Thus the immediate effect of this daring assault and reprisal was the
joining together in friendly rivalry of two powerful lords who had
hitherto been at enmity, and the union of many other rivals in arms, so
that Ferdinand soon found himself in command of forces sufficient for
the accomplishment of his long–cherished designs against the Moors.

Meanwhile there were strife and dissension in the capital city of
Granada. The ill–timed assault upon Zahara was deprecated by the Moors,
even before their loss of Alhama, and eventually King Muley was driven
from the city during a revolt headed by his own son, Boabdil el Chico.

The grief and indignation of the Moorish populace of Granada are
depicted in a popular Spanish poem, with its sad refrain, “_Ay de mí,
Alhama!_” and which Lord Byron rendered into English verse, beginning:

  “The Moorish king rides up and down
  Through Granada’s royal town;
  From Elvira’s gates to those
  Of Vivarambla on he goes.
                Woe is me, Alhama!

  “Letters to the monarch tell
  How Alhama’s city fell;
  In the fire the scroll he threw,
  And the messenger he slew.
                Woe is me, Alhama!”

The aged Muley Hassan was expelled, but he returned a few weeks later,
and, gaining the Alhambra, made the fountains and corridors run with
human blood in his endeavours to regain his crown. But in vain: Boabdil
el Chico was then King of Granada, and it was foreordained that his
weakness should be the cause of its downfall; for, in an assault he
later made upon a Christian castle, he was taken prisoner and only
released after promising to hold himself a vassal to King Ferdinand.
Meanwhile the contest spread over a widening territory, until all the
kingdom was aflame with war.

King Muley Hassan, who had retreated to the port of Malaga, made a
raid into the dominions of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, in revenge for
the part the latter had taken at Alhama, and regained his stronghold
with vast plunder. An incident of this raid shows a romantic trait of
Moorish as well as Spanish character. Old Muley asked some captive
Christians what were the revenues of his opponent, Don Pedro de Vargas,
captain of the castle of Gibraltar, whose territory he was then
invading. They answered that he was entitled to an ox out of every
drove of cattle that crossed his boundaries. “Then,” said the gallant
old Moor, “Allah forbid that so brave a cavalier should be defrauded
of his dues,” and he selected twelve of the finest cattle and sent
them to Don Pedro with his compliments. The latter, surprised and
touched by this display of gallantry, reciprocated by sending Muley
Hassan a scarlet mantle and a costly vest of silk, with his regrets
that he had not been able to meet him personally in the field!

Stung by this successful raid of the Moors into the heart of Christian
territory, some cavaliers, headed by the Marquis of Cadiz and Don
Alonzo de Aguilar, made a foray into the mountains of Malaga, expecting
to take and sack several wealthy towns. But they were ambuscaded
by a Moorish army under the veteran Zagal, of Malaga, and not only
vanquished, but nearly exterminated, a miserable remnant only escaping
to Antiquera, on the borders of Granada. In the meantime a siege of the
wealthy city of Loxa, which lies not far from Granada, was abandoned by
King Ferdinand on account of the superior tactics of another Moorish
veteran, Ali Atar, father–in–law of Boabdil the king, and more than
ninety years of age. He, too, led the Spaniards into an ambuscade, and
then set upon them with such vigour that their camp was captured and
many Christians slain.

So the demon of war stalked up and down the land, with victory first
with Spaniard, then with Moor. Still, all the time the Spanish forces
were augmenting, their territory being steadily extended by the capture
of one stronghold after another, until, when King Ferdinand again sat
down before the city of Loxa with a vast army, well equipped with
cannon and foreign auxiliaries, he could count up more than seventy
places that had fallen before the assaults of his soldiers. Among these
were Coin and Cartama, and the almost inaccessible castle of Ronda, on
the crest of the mountain of that name. Loxa (pronounced Lo´ha) finally
fell, and then the victors were within thirty miles of the capital,
Granada, against which Ferdinand’s forces were impatient to be led.

But though the ill–fated Boabdil, King of Granada—who had violated
his pledge of vassalage to Ferdinand, and had hastened to the defence
of the city—was among the captives, and though later the Castilians
captured the important towns and castles of Illora and Moclin, within
ten or twelve miles of Granada, yet the army was temporarily withdrawn.
Ferdinand ravaged the _vega_, or plain of Granada, up to the very gates
of the capital; but he was at that time unprepared to attempt its
capture or siege, and so retired with his army to Cordova, whence he
had set forth in May of that year.

The next year (1487), early in the spring, a mighty army might have
been seen leaving Cordova, composed of twenty thousand horse and fifty
thousand foot. Its destination was Malaga, the Mediterranean seaport,
sometimes called the “hand and mouth of Granada”; for it was the outlet
of the province, through which its trade was conducted, and also
through which assistance came from the Moslems in Africa. Isabella
and Ferdinand had received information that the Oriental infidels in
Turkey and Egypt were preparing to make a landing here, and come with a
vast army to the assistance of the last of their faith in Spain. So it
was excellent strategy to first dispose of this opulent seaport, with
its towers of defence, its large and hostile population, and adjacent
tributary country, before marching upon the capital. The siege of
Malaga was prolonged many months by the valour of its defenders. In the
grim old tower above the city, the ruins of which may still be seen, a
grizzled warrior, Hamet el Zegri, held out the longest, with a handful
of warriors who had already tasted Christian blood at Ronda and other
places; but finally he too was obliged to capitulate, and was cast into
a dungeon.

From the ransoms of the Moors of Malaga Ferdinand probably derived
a larger amount than the Romans received from the Carthaginians,
fourteen hundred and eighty years before. Many unfortunates, who could
not pay the extortionate sums demanded, were carried off into slavery,
to the number of more than ten thousand.

The cities of Guadix and Baza suffered in their turn the fate of
Malaga, and at last Almeria, the final refuge of that brave, fierce
son of Africa, El Zagal, an uncle of Boabdil, and yet his bitterest
enemy. With his surrender the last of Granada’s outlying provinces also
fell into the hands of the enemy, and the old warrior went over into
Africa, where he was imprisoned by the King of Fez and ended his life
in poverty.

During the ensuing winter Ferdinand was busy with preparations for the
final attack upon the capital. He had, in truth, plucked out nearly all
the “seeds” of Granada, “the pomegranate”; the time was now ripe for
finishing the fruit. In his acknowledgment of vassalage, Boabdil had
stipulated that, should the chances of war give to the Christians the
cities of Baza, Guadix, and Almeria, he would surrender Granada itself,
accepting other and inferior towns in exchange. But when the demand
came for his compliance, he at first hesitated, then shut himself up
within the city and bade the king defiance.

So it was, in April, 1491, that the Spanish army, fifty thousand
strong, again appeared in the _vega_ of Granada, and was soon encamped
so near the city walls that the soldiers could hear the cries of the
_muezzins_, as they sent forth the Moslem calls to prayer.




Granada, the last stronghold of the Moors in Spain, capital city of
the delightful Andalusia, since called by the Spaniards “the Land of
the most Holy Virgin,” was finally invested by the Castilian host. In
vain flashed signal fires from the _atalayas_ on surrounding hills; no
friendly succour could now reach the beleaguered city, either from the
coast, from the mountains, or from Africa. It lay like an Oriental gem,
a “diamond in an emerald setting” with the green vega outspread at its
feet, embossed with olive groves, glistening with silver streams, and
with a background of rugged mountains flashing the sun and reflecting
the moonlight from their snow–clad summits.

In this beautiful city the Moors had lived two hundred and fifty years.
Its downfall was hastened by the rivalry of two tribes or factions
among the Moors themselves. Those of the tribe of the Abencerrages were
the most noble and humane, the most favourably disposed toward the
Spaniards, and are said to have been descended from the ancient kings
of Arabia. But the fierce Zegris, their rivals, were of African blood,
hated the Christians intensely, and retained to the last all the savage
traits of the desert Bedouins. Not many years before the advent of the
Christians into the vega, the Zegris had massacred the Abencerrages,
beheaded the flower of their noble warriors, and the fountain basin of
the Alhambra hall which still retains their name was filled with their

The Zegris had conquered, but in their endeavours to overcome their
domestic enemies they had so weakened their own forces that the final
triumph of their hated Christian foes was the more easily assured.
Ferdinand and his army came in the blossoming springtime, when the
glorious vega was spangled with flowers and all Nature joyous. “He will
stay through the summer, and in the autumn, as the winter rains come
on, will go away,” said the Moors. “If we can hold out till winter, we
can at least survive another year. Perhaps help will then arrive from
Africa or from the East.”

But the spring faded into summer and through the long, hot months the
Castilian army lay intrenched; autumn came, and still no signs of
departure; instead, in place of the city of tents, with which the plain
had been flecked and whitened, arose the stone city of Santa Fé, which
exists in our time, and which may be seen to–day, covering the site of
the Christian camp.

Then the Moors despaired of succour indeed, for hitherto it had been
Ferdinand’s custom to retire to his capital for the winter season,
and campaign in summer only. The Moors had planted no crops, reaped
no harvests, and now gaunt famine was staring them in the face; the
_cavalgadas_ of supplies, sent to them by friendly chiefs, were
captured by the watchful Christians, and their condition was most
pitiable. Still, the siege had not been without its incidents of
startling character, its display of chivalrous deeds of high renown;
for, after the arrival of Isabella at the camp, the spirited cavaliers
vied with each other as to which should perform the most daring
deed, until, the Moors usually getting the best of those individual
encounters, Ferdinand forbade them.

However, you may see, high up between the towers of the church
subsequently erected at Santa Fé, the marble effigy of a Moor’s head,
which reminds us of the most notable of those encounters. One of the
most defiant and insolent of the Moorish cavaliers was Yarfe the
Moslem, who carried his insolence so far as one day to dash into the
Spanish camp and throw his spear into the tent of the queen. To offset
this reckless deed, one of the Spanish _caballeros_, seeing the gate
of Granada one day but negligently guarded, passed the sentinels and
rode into the city, right up to the door of the great mosque, against
which, with the point of his poniard, he affixed a piece of wood,
with “_Ave Maria_” printed on it. Then he wheeled about and clattered
down the street, now thronging with astonished and angered Moors, and
miraculously escaped, hurling cries of defiance at his enemies as he
passed through the gate.

When the Moslems found the Christian emblem fastened to the door of
their sacred mosque, they were beside themselves with rage, and the
next day gigantic Yarfe attached the bit of wood to the tail of his
horse and paraded with it, dragging in the dust, before the Spanish
army. This insult was not to be borne, and as he defied any one of
the cavaliers to meet him in single combat, Ferdinand was overwhelmed
with petitions for permission to engage him. He reluctantly gave
consent to a fiery young Castilian, Garcilasso de la Vega, who, after
kneeling at the feet of his beloved queen, armed himself completely
and sallied forth to fight the Moor. His foe treated him at first with
contempt, being almost twice his size and more finely mounted; but what
Garcilasso lacked in stature he made up in spirit, and in the sight of
the Christian army, and of the Moslems gathered on the battlements, he
slew the infidel after a terrible combat, cut off his head, and took it
to the tent of Isabella.

The site of this encounter is marked to–day with a large stone cross
covered with a canopy, and between the church towers of Santa Fé still
rests the marble head of Yarfe the Moor. Across the vega, at Zubia,
stand several great stone crosses, also to commemorate the narrow
escape of the queen, one day, from capture by the Moors. Yet another
reminder of that memorable siege of Granada is the commemorative chapel
on the bank of the river Xenil, which indicates the spot where Boabdil
el Chico surrendered the keys of the capital; for at last, as we know,
Granada capitulated, to famine rather than assault, to overwhelming
numbers rather than to superior feats of arms.

On the 2d of January, 1492, the Moorish king came down from the
fortified palace on the Alhambra hill with a small retinue, and
met the Castilian sovereigns on the right bank of the Xenil. “El
Rey Chico”—the Little King—gave up what his fiercer ancestors, and
particularly his own father, would have fought to defend till the
last gasp. His real power had departed; the emblems of it he handed
to Ferdinand, saying: “These keys, O king, are thine, since Allah
hath decreed it: use thy success with clemency and thy power with
moderation.” The exit of the “Little King” was more dramatic than his
action on the stage of war; yet he went not out as a warrior, but as a
woman. Within sight of the battlements of Granada is a gap in the hills
which surround the plain, and here it is related Boabdil paused to look
his last on the fair city he had so ignominiously abandoned, and wept
at the remembrance of his misfortunes. And his mother reproached him
with—“You do well to weep, like a woman, for what you could not defend
like a man!” The scene of this incident is still known as “_El último
suspiro del Moro_,” or “The last sigh of the Moor.”

But it was not his last sigh by any means, for he lived for years
thereafter: lived to see the dismemberment of his empire, the
scattering of his people, and finally to die in a foreign land,
in the service of the King of Morocco. In the capitulation it was
stipulated that Boabdil and his subjects should do homage to the
Castilian sovereigns, that they should be protected in their religious
exercises, be governed by their own _cadis_, be exempt from tribute
for three years, and within that period all who wished to emigrate to
Africa should be furnished with free transportation thither. Boabdil
was granted lands in the Alpuxarras Mountains, and at first lived
peacefully in a secluded valley; but eventually, through the treachery
or mistaken zeal of his vizier, he parted with his possessions in Spain
for a sum of money, and went over to Africa, where travellers may see
what is alleged to be his tomb, in the city of Tlemcen in Algiers.




The reign of Ferdinand and Isabella has been called the most
celebrated, and the year 1492 the most eventful, in Spanish history.
Not the fall of Granada alone made that year notable; not the
culmination of a long series of wars, extending through centuries, and
conducing to the final triumph of Christian arms, made the year 1492
memorable—for the youth of this age scarcely need be told that it was,
in a sense, the birth year of America!

A sad and preoccupied witness of the Christian triumph at Granada, one
who saw the tumultuous entrance into the Alhambra of the Spanish army,
the unfurling of the Castilian banner on the tower of _La Vela_, the
departure of the broken–hearted Moors—one Christopher Columbus was
attendant through it all. Possessed with his grand idea of reaching
the Indies by sailing directly westward—a thing hitherto unheard of,
at least unattempted—after his rebuffs at the court of Portugal he had
come to Spain as early as the year 1482, and was sent by the Duke of
Medina Celi to Isabella at Cordova. He followed her court to Salamanca
in 1486, there had audience with the queen, and the next year appeared
before the famous Council in the Dominican convent. Nothing came of
that except discouragement; but he returned to Cordova the same year,
whence he was summoned by Isabella to the military camp at Malaga. We
have no continuous itinerary of his travels, but in 1489 he was with
the army before the walls of Baza, where he probably saw and conversed
with two holy men who had come from Jerusalem to enlist the aid of
Spain against the infidels in the Orient.

For eight long years he was a hanger–on at court, ever fed on promises,
put off with half denials, and again reassured with the prospect of
assistance when the Moors should have been subjugated. At last, in
1491, weary and heartsick, Columbus resolved to depart from Spain,
and on his way to the coast stopped at the convent of La Rabida,
near the port of Palos, where his distinguished appearance attracted
the attention of the prior. This was the turning of the tide in his
fortunes, for the prior had formerly been confessor to the queen,
and, impressed with the scheme of his visitor, offered to intercede
in his favour. He did so, and, as the result, Columbus was again
ordered to wait upon the queen, and with money for the journey from
the royal exchequer, set out for Santa Fé, where he arrived in time to
witness, as we have noticed, the surrender of Granada. But that was
no propitious time for the king or queen to engage in new adventures,
with the royal treasury drained by the terrible drafts upon it for the
Moorish wars, and again Columbus was disappointed, and a second time
bade farewell to the court and set out for the coast. He had, however,
proceeded but a few miles on his journey when the queen’s courier
overtook him with the pledge of her assistance, and so he returned to
Granada. The point at which he was halted by the courier was at the
Bridge of Pines, still spanning the stream as of yore, and the last
decisive interview is said to have been in a corridor of the Alhambra,
known as the Hall of Justice.

Here, finally, amid the tumults attendant upon the occupation of
Granada, on the 17th of April, 1492, the “capitulation” was signed, by
the terms of which the queen was to provide the funds for the voyage,
and Columbus was to go forth to explore the territory and conquer the
inhabitants of the unknown Western world.

Some historians have asserted, and some have denied, that the queen
pledged her jewels for the necessary funds; but certainly she is
entitled to all the glory of that adventure, since the prudent
Ferdinand looked coldly upon the schemes of the Genoese sailor, and if
his advice had been followed he would have been promptly dismissed. It
required a lofty faith, a serene confidence in Providence, to embark
in such an enterprise, when she may have been already sated with the
glory of conquest; and once having pledged her assistance, Isabella
never wavered in her pecuniary and moral support. Ten days after the
“capitulation” Columbus was at Palos with the royal command for sailors
and caravels to be furnished by that port, and by the 1st of August
the little expedition dropped down the Rio Tinto and made its final
preparations for the long voyage across the Atlantic.

All students of our history know the glorious sequel to this
voyage begun under such discouragements: of the discovery of land
in the Bahamas in October following; of the meetings with strange
copper–coloured people whom Columbus called “Indians”; of the
triumphant return of two out of the three caravels that set forth,
and the magnificent reception of Columbus by his sovereigns at their
royal court in Barcelona. But with his departure from the Spanish coast
Columbus temporarily sails out of our ken, and we must return to trace
the course of events after the fall of Granada.

Happy should we be to chronicle such events as the preceding, only; to
record acts of clemency and magnanimity toward the conquered peoples
now absolutely dependent upon Isabella and Ferdinand for their fortunes
and their lives. But almost contemporaneously with their arrival at
the summit of their power, the Castilian sovereigns committed at least
one act which the whole world has regarded with aversion even to the
present day. Intent upon the union of the diverse peoples of their
extensive kingdom under one religious faith, and perhaps with an eye
to the material advantages which might also accrue, they issued an
edict of expulsion against the most thrifty and law–abiding inhabitants
of Spain, the Jews. These people had long been resident here, had
accumulated vast properties, and under the Moors had been exempt from
the persecution to which they were subject by the Goths in ancient
times and by many of their successors.

Learning that this terrible edict was in contemplation, the wealthier
of the Jews offered an immense ransom to be allowed to remain in the
enjoyment of their religion and possessions. But while this offer was
under advisement by the sovereigns, and when they seemed to incline
to mercy, it is said that the Grand Inquisitor, Torquemada, injected
the venom of his depraved nature into the discussion with disastrous
effect. Bursting into the royal presence, he exclaimed with fury, as
he held aloft a crucifix: “Judas Iscariot sold his master for thirty
pieces of silver. Your Highnesses will sell him for thirty thousand.
Here he is, take him and barter him away!” Saying this, he dashed the
crucifix upon the table and darted from the room.

Sad to relate, bigotry triumphed. The mercenary and bloodthirsty
schemes of Torquemada were carried out to the full, and more than
two hundred thousand stricken Jews were expelled the country, losing
homes, wealth, all they possessed, which eventually reverted to the
crown through the dastardly work of the Inquisition. This act of the
crown, by which Spain lost some of its best subjects, was signed on the
30th of March, 1492; and thus the sovereigns, while at the same time
outstretching one hand to grasp a new continent which was to yield them
vast treasure, yet with the other strangled domestic thrift and trade,
and undermined the foundations of the kingdom they had sacrificed so
much to consolidate and perpetuate.

The Jews had brought commerce and manufactures, they were skilled
agriculturists, some of them learned for their time; the Moors had
brought into Spain, or had developed there, a glorious architecture,
schools, and colleges, renowned throughout Europe, arts, and even
sciences, and had reclaimed from the desert vast areas of waste lands;
they had built beautiful cities and towns, castles and palaces, which
are the admiration of all who see them to–day; yet both Jews and Moors
were driven from Spain as though they were its deadly enemies. Those
who drove them forth were not capable of creating a tithe of what the
Moors and Jews had done; to their credit is not one work of art, not
one beautiful structure of renown; but they were through force of
circumstance and skill at arms the conquerors, and the lives of these
vastly superior peoples were at their mercy.

Had they but treated them with leniency, had they encouraged them
in their peculiar industries and pursuits, Spain would probably
have become the grandest nation in Europe, instead of merely rising
to temporary greatness and ultimately sinking to insignificant
proportions. As with the Jews, so the Castilian sovereigns dealt with
the Moors. Though they had stipulated on oath that they should be
protected in the observances of their own religion, yet not long after,
urged thereto by the inquisitors of the Holy Office, they broke their
sacred pledges and turned them over to their enemies. Many professed
to become converted, to escape persecution, but others were driven to
rebellion, fled to the mountains and waged a bloody war until overcome
by force.

Says a learned historian of that time, when the Inquisition claimed
its innocent victims by hundreds and thousands: “Now a scene of
persecution and cruelty began which far exceeds in atrocity anything
which history has related. Every tie of nature and society was broken,
every duty and every relation violated, and torture forced from all
alike false accusations, betrayal of friends, confession of impossible
crimes; while the actors in these horrible tragedies were shielded
by impenetrable secrecy from the revenge of their victims and the
detestation of society.”

Were it not for such acts as these, and had Isabella and Ferdinand
inclined to mercy rather than listened to the advice of bigoted
counsellors, their reign might have earned the distinction of being,
what many have claimed for it, the greatest that Spain ever knew.
They built wisely in many things, they advanced Spain from obscurity
to become a power among nations; they earned the love and regard of
their Christian subjects by works promoting their welfare; but at the
same time they vitiated the good deeds by their barbarous treatment of

It is no matter of wonder that an attempt was made on Ferdinand’s life,
in Catalonia, soon after the capture of Granada, and that even Isabella
was not safe from covert attack. Still, they were a well–matched pair,
and, from a worldly and contemporary point of view, were all–sufficient
to Spain in her time of greatest need. Isabella was calm and lucid
in her counsels, inclined to benevolence and mercy where religious
questions were not involved, and, as one writer has expressed it,
followed after Ferdinand’s armies to garner the wheat which he had cut
on the fields of war. Ferdinand was crafty, a diplomat whose match all
Europe could not then produce. This is shown in his conduct of the
Neapolitan wars, when he outwitted the King of France, and eventually
gathered the rewards to himself, adding the title of King of Naples to
his other distinctions. “Foreign affairs were conducted by the king
in behalf of Aragon, just as colonial affairs were for the benefit of

They did not lack for learned and astute counsellors, such as Cardinal
Mendoza, Torquemada, and Ximenes. The last named, born before his
sovereigns, yet outlived them both, and to the end was a faithful, even
though bigoted, servant and courtier. Chosen as the queen’s confessor
in 1492, he was later appointed Archbishop of Toledo, and after
Isabella’s death became a cardinal, throughout his career remaining
loyal to the throne.

Another faithful servant of the Crown was Gonsalvo de Cordova, who
fought magnificently against the Moors, and then was sent to carry
on the wars in Naples, where Spanish arms were so triumphant that he
earned the title of the “Great Captain,” and covered Ferdinand’s reign
with glory.

After the death of Isabella, which occurred on November 26, 1504,
Ferdinand’s diplomacy continued him in power as regent and sovereign,
except for a brief term; and it was to him that Columbus vainly
appealed for justice when, weak and broken from his four transatlantic
voyages, he came back to endure poverty and neglect.




Although Queen Isabella assumed all responsibility for the first voyage
of Columbus, and is said to have declared, “I am ready to pawn my
jewels for the expenses,” yet the treasury of Aragon has the credit of
providing the necessary funds. Already fifty–six years of age when he
started on this voyage, Columbus had spent eighteen of the best years
of his life supplicating at courts and pleading for recognition; so he
was no longer blessed with health and vigour. Returning from the first
triumphant achievement early in 1493, the same year he sailed from
Cadiz with a larger fleet, and discovered islands farther to the south
than those which he first saw and landed on, as well as the island of
Jamaica. In 1498 yet another voyage revealed the island of Trinidad and
a portion of the north coast of South America; but, through the course
of events which we can not follow in this history, he was sent home to
Spain in chains by his enemy, Bobadilla. The queen, though she received
him with distinction, and did all she could to soothe his wounded
sensibilities, yet was unable to secure him another command until 1502,
when he sailed on his last and most disastrous voyage, which ended in
the wreck of his ships on the north coast of Jamaica, and his final
return to Spain, worn with disease and broken–hearted from abuse. Two
years after the death of Isabella he too departed this life, in the
year 1506, at the city of Valladolid, where the house in which he
died is still pointed out to the stranger. His remains were at first
deposited in Valladolid, then taken to Seville, and about the year 1540
transported to Santo Domingo, in accordance with his last request.

Following closely in the wake of Columbus were other voyagers and other
discoverers, notably Americus Vespucci, who, together with a valiant
Spaniard named Ojeda, sailed along the north coast of South America
from the Pearl Islands to the Gulf of Maracaibo, in the year 1499,
trading with the natives, and finally returning with a rich cargo of
pearls and other valuable products of their barter. They not only
obtained the beautiful pearls which unfortunate Columbus had somehow
overlooked the year before, but they first saw those curious people,
the Lake Dwellers, in the Gulf of Maracaibo, whose settlements over
the water suggested the name by which the region adjacent is known
to–day, of _Venezuela_, or Little Venice. Americus Vespucci was further
rewarded, on his return, by being appointed chart–maker to the king,
and eventually his name came to be applied to the continent discovered
by Columbus in 1498. That, at least, was long held to be the case, but
of late years it has been noticed that the word “America” may have been
derived from the native name of one of the provinces on that coast,

So we might go on tracing the extension of Spanish conquests, until
these pages, which we have dedicated to outlining the history of Spain,
would be filled with the doings of her valiant sons, and the numerous
adventurers attracted to her service by the reports of her growing
greatness. But still we can not ignore these brave _conquistadores_ who
sought fame and riches in the New World, the path to which had been
opened by Columbus. Two or three years after the death of Columbus the
gallant Ponce de Leon, then governor of a province of Santo Domingo,
went across the channel and conquered Puerto Rico, whence, in 1512, he
sailed to the discovery of Florida, after his romantic search for the
fabled “Fountain of Youth.” To note how, when once started, the stream
of exploration and conquest flowed on unimpeded, we have but to turn to
the island of Santo Domingo, discovered by Columbus in 1492, and where
the first schemes of colonization were carried out.

In the year 1509 the son of Columbus, Don Diego, was appointed governor
and viceroy of the island, in tardy recognition of the claim of his
father to the title of “High Admiral of the Ocean–Sea.” In 1511 one
Velasquez sailed over to Cuba and there established a colony, and
with him, among others who subsequently became famous, was an obscure
individual named Hernando Cortes, who, fired by the reports of a new
land discovered to the west, was placed in command of an expedition, by
Velasquez, who fitted it out; and the result was the ultimate conquest
of the vast territory of Mexico, which was first brought to notice
by Hernandez de Cordova in 1517. From this conquest, which was not
achieved until about 1521–’22, flowed millions and millions in treasure
to fill the coffers of Spain. Cortes himself, a man of humble origin,
was born in Spain in 1485, only seven years before Columbus sailed on
his first voyage; yet he added a kingdom to the realms of Spain before
he was forty years of age!

In the year 1513 the brave but unfortunate Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, from
a high point in the Isthmus of Darien, saw, first of all Europeans,
the vast Pacific; yet it was not until nearly twenty years afterward
that Francisco Pizarro, the ignorant soldier, who was born in the
same province as Cortes, in Spain, and who had served with Gonsalvo
de Cordova in Italy, subjugated the native people of Peru, and made
himself a virtual king. By the conquest of Peru and the murder of the
Inca by Pizarro more than fifteen million dollars in treasure was
secured, and ultimately the mines of that country enriched Spain for
many, many years.

So, as we have seen, Spain was prolific in men of force and gallantry,
who poured out their blood freely for her sake, and who ventured
their lives rashly in the expeditions she sent forth. The long wars
with the Moors, lasting for centuries, had brought forth a race of
soldiers unequalled perhaps in any other country at that time. They
seem to have been bred and nurtured for these very deeds of risk and
heroism which were born of their encounters with the natives of the
New World; for self–denial, for intrepidity under almost insuperable
difficulties. They were also fierce and cruel—how fierce and how cruel
it is only necessary to read of the conquest of Mexico by Cortes; of
the conquest of Peru by Pizarro; yes, of the treatment of the innocent
natives by Columbus himself, who initiated the system of slavery, by
which eventually they were extinguished in the West Indies. Humanity
was foreign to their nature; long familiarity with the bloody work of
the Inquisition in the home country, the persecution of Moors and Jews,
the scenes of rapine and massacre they had witnessed and heard reported
by their fathers, had accustomed these _conquistadores_ to cruelty and
merciless oppression. Even the gentlest and most merciful of them were
so only by comparison, for their progress everywhere could be traced
by ruin and desolation, by ravaged homes and murdered men, women, and

       *       *       *       *       *

Contemporaneously with her conquests in the New World, Spain herself
acquired increasing territory in Europe, not alone by force of arms,
but chiefly through matrimonial alliances and succession to power. To
understand how this came about, we must retrace our course and bestow
a parting glance upon the affairs of Isabella and Ferdinand. This royal
pair, under whom Spain had at last become consolidated into a veritable
kingdom, with a union of interests if not unity of purpose always,
had five children born to them: Juan, the only son, born 1478, who
married a daughter of Maximilian, Emperor of Germany, but died without
heirs, in 1497; Isabella, born 1470, married twice, to two princes
of Portugal, whose only child lived but two years; Juana, born 1479,
married to the Archduke Philip, son of Maximilian, who had two sons,
Charles and Ferdinand; Mary, born 1482, and Catherine, born 1485, who
became the unfortunate wife of Henry VIII of England, and from whom she
was divorced in 1533.

By the death of Juan in 1497, of Isabella in 1498, and of the latter’s
child two years later, the succession to the throne now devolved upon
Juana, in accordance with the will of her mother, Isabella, executed
in October, 1504. King Ferdinand, who had so successfully administered
the affairs of the crown of Castile during thirty years, was appointed
regent until Juana’s elder son, Charles, should attain to his majority.

Though at first there was a disagreement between Ferdinand and Philip,
Juana’s husband, as to the regency, all difficulties were settled in
1505 by mutual agreement, and the next year, by the sudden death of the
young archduke, the king became sole regent, and virtually ruler over
all Spain. Juana, the bereaved “lady proprietor,” was crazed by this
affliction, smiting upon a mind already diseased, and until her death,
forty–seven years after, took no part in the affairs of the kingdom. As
_Juana loca_, or “Crazy Jane,” she is known to history. She became most
insanely jealous respecting her dead husband’s remains, would not allow
them interred, and journeyed with them from place to place, always in
the night; for, she mournfully said, “A widow who has lost the sun of
her own soul should never expose herself to the light of day.” Thus she
lived in mental darkness, in her palace of Tordesillas, for nearly half
a century, an object of pity and commiseration.

Left at liberty to pursue his conquests where he would, Ferdinand first
turned to matrimony, and married Germaine, a frivolous niece of Louis
XII of France, in 1506. Three years later his great cardinal, Ximenes,
waged war on Oran, a port on the African coast, equipped an army at his
own expense—or rather from the revenues he derived from his position as
Primate of Spain—and took the Moorish stronghold after great slaughter
on both sides. The figure of this austere and virtuous cardinal, who so
faithfully served first Isabella, then Ferdinand, Juana, and finally
Charles, and who found time to attend to affairs of state and to purge
the kingdom of its heretics through inquisitorial fires, to carry on a
war at his own cost, to found a university, to cause to be translated
the famous Complutensian Bible, which employed men of learning fifteen
years at the task—his is one of the sturdiest and strongest of this
epoch. The University of Alcala, founded in 1500, and the renowned
Bible, the last portion of which was printed in 1517, are but two of
the many monuments he erected during his life.

In the year 1511 the Holy League was formed between Ferdinand and Pope
Julius II, Venice, and Henry VIII of England, against the French,
by which Spain was the gainer; and in 1512 Navarre was annexed to
Aragon, thus welding the northern kingdoms into one. In December, 1515,
Gonsalvo de Cordova, the “Great Captain,” who had won Ferdinand’s
victories in Italy, passed away; to be followed but a month later by
his sovereign, who expired on a morning in January, 1516, in a wretched
tenement where he had been overtaken by heart disease.

He was in his sixty–fourth year; his reign had endured forty–one years,
and at his death he left a reputation for ability, wisdom in diplomacy,
sincere interest in the affairs of his people, and economy in the
administration of the vast dominions embraced under his kingship over
Spain, Naples, and the two Americas.

For more than twenty years he had borne the title bestowed upon him
by Pope Alexander, in 1494, and as the great King of Spain, Ferdinand
“the Catholic,” he has passed down to history and the present time.
His remains were taken to Granada, where they were at first deposited
within the Alhambra; but to–day all that is earthly of Ferdinand and
his glorious consort repose in the magnificent marble tomb in the royal
chapel of Granada, which with its exquisite carvings and memorial
effigies, was executed by world–famous artists at the command of
Charles, the son of _Juana loca_ the demented queen.




Charles, elder son of Juana, and grandson of Isabella and Ferdinand,
was born in the year 1500, at Ghent, and all his life held an affection
for the people of his native land, which the Spaniards never shared.
Still, he was virtually King of Spain at the death of his grandfather
Ferdinand, and his mother, owing to her lunacy, only nominally queen.
Henceforth, for more than half a century, this grandson of the King of
Aragon and Queen of Castile appears the dominant figure, the greatest
ruler, in Europe. “It has been said that Charles had more power for
good or ill in Europe than has been exercised by any man since the
reign of Augustus; and that, on the whole, he did as much harm with it
as could possibly be done.”

This is the verdict of an impartial historian, and seems borne out
by the facts, for his long reign was chiefly one of war, and waged
more for personal aggrandizement than for reasons of state. He was
seventeen years of age when he first entered Spain, the year following
Ferdinand’s death, and eighteen when proclaimed king at Valladolid.
The interregnum had been skilfully bridged by Cardinal Ximenes,
who had vigorously suppressed various insurrections caused by the
dissatisfaction of the nobles and the people at the introduction of a
host of foreigners, greedy and rapacious, from the Flemish country.
Notwithstanding the great services of the octogenarian Ximenes, who
had so faithfully served not alone the young prince, but before him
his mother and grandparents, he sent him a frivolous letter containing
implied reproof, which reached the cardinal either just before or just
after his demise, which occurred in November, 1517. Adrian of Utrecht,
subsequently Pope, succeeded Ximenes, under whom Charles’s forces met
and overcame the rebels, headed by Juan de Padilla, in 1522.

In January, 1519, another great personage departed this life, in the
death of Maximilian, Emperor of Germany, paternal grandfather of the
young King of Spain, upon whom, in June of the same year, was bestowed
the imperial crown. He was thus at nineteen years of age, as Charles
V of Germany and Charles I of Spain, sovereign over a vastly wider
realm than any Castilian king had ever dreamed of conquering. From
his father, Philip, he had inherited dominion over the Netherlands
and Franche–Comté; through his mother and from Ferdinand the kingdoms
of Spain; and now, by the Diet of Frankfort, he was made Emperor of
Germany. It may be said that with his coronation at Aix–la–Chapelle, in
October, 1520, his troubles really began; for Francis, the French king,
also young and powerful, urged a right to the crown; and henceforth,
until the death of the latter, in 1547, there was enmity between them.

That same year occurred the famous meeting on the Field of the Cloth of
Gold, between French Francis and Henry VIII of England; but not long
after Henry was fighting as an ally of Charles against the King of
France. To recount their quarrels and battles would be too wearisome
as well as fruitless a task; but they culminated at the famous battle
of Pavia, when the French king’s army was routed, and Francis himself
taken prisoner by the Spaniards, in 1524. He was not released until he
had forfeited his claims to Charles’s possessions in Burgundy, etc.,
and returned to France in January, 1526, after signing the Treaty of
Madrid, and leaving as hostages two of his sons.

But Francis did not respect his promises, and soon there was war again
between the two, more battles, more signing of treaties, more shedding
of blood and devastation of territories, until the war–worn subjects
of both sovereigns were weary of a conflict in which they obtained no
gains and shared no profits. Especially were the Spaniards wroth at
being repeatedly called upon to donate funds and men, men and funds,
for the carrying on of foreign wars. Yet they rarely rebelled, and only
grumbled and protested when the Cortes was called, knowing that it
meant only more money for the king and his favourites, more sacrifices
at the feet of Moloch the insatiate. Through all the years of his reign
Charles was carrying on war of another kind, also, with the enemies
of the Romish Church. Simultaneously with his coronation as Emperor
of Germany rose the apparition of Protestantism in the person of the
redoubtable Luther; and the assembling of the Diet of Worms, for the
discussion and extermination of Lutheranism, was one of the first acts
of the young sovereign, in January, 1521. It was an unequal fight, that
between the poor peasant–priest Luther and the mighty emperor; yet,
though the former died in 1541, his cause eventually won—as all the
world knows—and not all Charles’s efforts could strangle in its cradle
the young giant of Reformation.

At the age of twenty–six Charles married Isabella of Portugal, a
beautiful princess, to whom he was much attached, and who became the
mother of his only legitimate son, Philip II, who was born in 1527.
That same year Charles was called upon to wage another little war with
Francis, who had broken his pledges and formed a league with Henry of
England and the Pope. The Spanish armies, under lead of the recreant
Constable of Bourbon, overran Italian territories, took and sacked the
city of Rome, committing every imaginable excess, and ending by making
the Pope himself a prisoner. Although his own army had committed this
sacrilege, Charles pretended to be grieved at the event, particularly
at the indignity offered to the person of the Pope; but only three
years later he had the imperial crown set upon his brow by this same
Pope Clement, who had only regained his liberty by the payment of a
heavy ransom.

The treaty then signed by the hitherto hostile belligerents, called the
Peace of Cambrai, was probably hastened by the threatened invasion
of western Europe by the Mohammedans under Soleyman the Magnificent;
and it was this fear also that caused Charles to treat his Protestant
subjects so leniently in Germany, when in Spain they would all have
been burned at the stake or put to the sword. But he needed their
valiant arms in opposing the Moslems of Turkey in their victorious
progress; hence they were temporarily spared, to grow eventually into a
body politic of such proportions that, to his sorrow, they eventually
overcame him. He, however, vindicated his claim to be considered the
champion of Christendom, in 1535, by organizing an expedition against
Barbarossa, the pirate king, and liberating hundreds of Christians
confined in the dungeons of Tunis. Another attempt upon Algiers, in
1541, resulted in the dispersion of the Spanish fleet by a storm, and
disastrous defeat. The year 1536 was made memorable to the citizens of
Ghent because, having refused to furnish their quota for carrying on
the wars in France, they were treated by Charles as rebels and punished
with terrible severity.

In 1540 Loyola established in Spain the order of Jesuits, which
subsequently came to have such influence in religious and political
affairs. The French king in 1542 renewed hostilities, and after two
years of warfare a peace was declared, in 1544. About this time it
seemed to Charles that the occasion was ripe for a war of extermination
against his Protestant subjects of Germany. At first he triumphed over
their large and well–equipped armies, in 1547 defeating the Elector
of Saxony and taking him prisoner. That year, also, Francis of France
died, and thus the emperor was left freer to persecute those who
differed from him in their religious beliefs. But a Protestant champion
soon arose in the person of Prince Maurice of Saxony, whose vigorous
action not only reduced the emperor to the humiliating necessity of
signing a treaty of peace (August 2, 1552), but set in motion a train
of events that forever made impossible his cherished project of the
rooting out of Protestantism.

Three disastrous years of warfare followed the Peace of Passau, but
nothing was gained for Charles, and in 1555, by the Peace of Augsburg,
his hated enemy, Protestantism, scored a triumph through receiving
legal recognition, by which its roots struck so deep into European soil
that no efforts of the emperor’s could avail to extricate them. It is
thought that the humiliation of this defeat of his lifelong scheme in
behalf of the papists was the cause of his final determination to
abdicate in favour of his son Philip, which he did in October of the
same year, 1555. His mother, Juana, died this year, having passed the
whole term of her son’s brilliant reign in the gloom of insanity.

In January, 1556, he formally ceded all his Spanish possessions to
Philip, and retired to the monastery of Yuste, where he passed three
years more in the quietude of peaceful scenes, and finally expired on
the 21st of September, 1558.

After forty years of fighting, he found nothing so delightful as the
seclusion of a monastery; after mingling in the stirring scenes of a
world of which he was at times the most prominent figure and centre
around which it moved, he found nothing so conducive to tranquillity
and happiness as the domestic avocations of gardening and carving
simple toys. He had crossed central and western Europe forty times,
had visited England, carried war into Africa, had battled with the
French, the British, the Italians, and Turks; while at the same time
his great captains had subjugated the natives of the two Americas, and
deluged the western isles and continents with blood. Mexico, Peru, and
Chili were reduced to submission during his reign. In 1521 the great
navigator, Magellan, had passed through the straits that now bear his
name and circumnavigated South America, on that same voyage discovering
the Philippine Islands, which were afterward named in honour of Philip

We should pause here to note that it was during Charles’s reign that
Spain’s history became inextricably mingled with or touched upon
that of every great division of the world, and that the emperor held
possessions in Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America.




The keynote of Philip’s character was bigotry. Trained in diplomacy by
his imperial father, brought up in the atmosphere of royal courts, born
to intrigue and bred to dissimulation, he early gave promise of a great
future which he never fulfilled.

When, at his abdication, in 1555, Charles admonished his son to “fear
God, live justly, respect the laws; above all, cherish the interests of
religion,” he really meant, as the codicil to his will expressed, in
1558: “Keep alive the fires of the Inquisition, and exterminate every
heretic in the kingdom.” And, so far as it lay in his power, the filial
son obeyed the precepts of his father to the letter!

Born in 1527, at twelve years of age he lost his mother by death, and
at twenty–seven, or in 1554, he was married to “Bloody Mary,” Queen
of England, and thus became titular King of the British Isles, though
never actually and actively engaged in the affairs of that kingdom
during the fourteen months of his residence there. Indirectly, the
result of this alliance was a fearful persecution of Mary’s Protestant
subjects, and the burning at the stake of martyrs like Latimer and
Cranmer, and more than three hundred others, before she died in 1558.
Fortunately for England, no children were born of this alliance, the
evil results of which were shown by the war with France, into which
Mary was drawn by Philip, and the loss of Calais to the English. “When
I am dead, Calais will be found written on my heart,” said the unhappy
queen; but the faithless husband, for whom she sacrificed so much, was
not inconsolable at her death, and soon again embarked in matrimony.

In truth, Philip was already a widower when he espoused Mary Tudor,
for he had been married to Maria, daughter of King John of Portugal,
in 1543, who died within two years, leaving a son, Don Carlos, who
became an object of suspicion to his unnatural father, by whom he was
imprisoned, and probably poisoned, in 1568.

Shortly after the death of Mary of England, Philip sued for the hand
of her sister, Elizabeth, who scornfully repelled him, and in June,
1559, he married Isabella, daughter of Henry II of France. His marital
record was completed when, in 1570, after the death of Isabella, he
espoused his niece, Anne of Austria, daughter of Emperor Maximilian
II. Thus within the space of twenty–seven years he had been four
times married, three times to the daughters of kings and once to the
daughter of an emperor. But his various attempts to ally himself with
royalty—with the reigning houses of Portugal, England, France, and
Austria—resulted in no direct benefit to him or to his kingdom. A
curious if not revolting circumstance attending two of these marriages
was, that while Mary of England was at one time the betrothed bride of
his father, Isabella of France was intended for his son Don Carlos! It
is supposed that it was on account of his jealousy of the relations
between his lovely bride and his son that Philip persecuted and
imprisoned the latter, and finally hounded him to his death.

In war and diplomacy Philip was at first more fortunate than in
matrimony, for in 1557 his generals gained the important victory of
San Quentin, and of Gravelines, 1558, over the French, between whom
and the Spanish and English a treaty of peace was signed in 1559. It
was at this time that the English lost Calais, and the French much
territory; the only benefits accruing to Philip of Spain, who acquired
two hundred towns in Italy and the Netherlands.

Although opponents in war, Henry II of France and Philip II of Spain
were of one religion, and united as against their heretical subjects;
so the alliance with Isabella was quite in the natural course of
events. In a tournament which followed the ceremony the King of France
was accidentally killed by the Scotch captain of his guards, the Count
of Montgomery; and thus Queen Isabella began in sorrow that sad, short
period of married life with Philip II which was terminated by her early

After a visit to the Spanish Netherlands, in 1559, Philip returned to
Spain, and never again set foot on Flemish soil. But he always kept
those distant provinces within his ken; not with their best interests
at heart, but with a view to crushing out the Protestants with fire
and with sword. He left his half–sister, Margaret, Duchess of Parma,
to rule in his absence, assisted by Cardinal Grenville, and with
instructions to root out heresy from the land, at whatever cost. Spain
at that time had its prisons filled with victims of the Holy Office;
its _autos–da–fé_, or burnings of heretics at the stake, were of weekly
occurrence, no Sabbath being deemed complete without these dismal

But in the Low Countries the infamous inquisitors encountered
a resistance more formidable than from the passive wretches of
downtrodden Spain. Though their streets flowed with human blood,
though the flames rose from every square and market place, yet the
Netherlanders opposed the attempt to subvert them. They rose in
rebellion when the Inquisition was introduced, in 1565, and to suppress
them the great Duke of Alva, who had won victories for both Charles
and Philip, was despatched with an army considered sufficient for
the purpose. This general, of consummate abilities yet of monstrous
cruelty, afterward boasted that he had executed eighteen thousand men
by hanging and drowning, by the rack and fire, besides the many killed
in battle. He put to death Counts Egmont and Horn, drove the valiant
William of Orange into exile; and the flames of war and bitterness
which he kindled lasted for more than two generations, resulting in the
eventual loss of all the northern Netherlands to Spain. He was rewarded
by the Pope with the title of supreme Defender of the Faith, but left
the country pursued by the maledictions of the people. His infamous
“Council of Blood” rode rough–shod over all the rights of the people,
and sent to the gallows and the block the highest and the wealthiest of
the country, whose properties were confiscated for the benefit of the
king. At last, after the northern provinces had maintained a successful
war for several years, the Duke of Alva was recalled, and the king’s
half–brother, Don John of Austria, was sent in his stead. One of Alva’s
last offices was to conquer Portugal for Philip, in 1580.

During this gloomy period in the Netherlands there occurred several
things of importance in Spain and the farther East which had a
bearing on the fortunes of the Christian world. At home a Moorish
rebellion disturbed the land. Goaded to desperation by oppressive
laws, hunted like beasts by the familiars of the Holy Office, at
last the Moriscoes could endure no more. Many fled to the mountains
and organized a rebellion, which for several years kept the Spanish
soldiers actively engaged ferreting them out in their retreats and
dragging them to death. “Better not reign at all, rather than over
a nation of heretics,” was Philip’s declaration as the Moors begged
for the retention of their ancient religion and forms of dress. He
was determined to make them all conform to his own ideal of religious
faith; and the result was loss and irreparable disaster to the country
over which he reigned as king. By the year 1572 the rebellion was
crushed, its leaders all murdered, and the unfortunate Moriscoes
scattered in exile far from the homes of their ancestors, where
hitherto they had been peacefully tilling the soil and engaged in
manufactures that redounded to the benefit of Spain.

In the year 1571, in alliance with Rome and Venice, Spain arrested
the westward–flowing flood of Mohammedanism at Lepanto, one of the
“decisive battles of the world,” when one hundred and thirty Turkish
galleys were wrecked or captured, twenty–five thousand Turks were
killed, twelve thousand Christian galley slaves liberated from their
living death, and vast booty taken from the enemy.

Lepanto was the western limit of Islam’s latest advance in Europe;
after that fateful battle it receded toward the Orient. But for King
Philip’s insane jealousy of his half–brother, Don John of Austria,
who so bravely led the Christian hosts, the allied forces might have
laid siege to Constantinople; as it was, Don John sailed across the
Mediterranean with twenty thousand men and captured Tunis, on the
African coast. It was soon after retaken by the Turks, and many years
later the other Spanish dependencies went the same way.

On the other side of the Pyrenees, in France, an event occurred in
1572 peculiarly acceptable to Philip—the atrocious massacre of Saint
Bartholomew’s night, when four thousand Huguenots were murdered in cold
blood, through the treachery of the queen regent, Catherine de’ Medici,
and her son Charles IX. In the provinces of France at least thirty
thousand more fell victims of the hate and fury of their compatriots
who differed from them in their religious belief; and they could not
fly to Spain for succour, for there sat their inveterate enemy, who
was only too anxious to interfere in the affairs of France. He had his
hands full, with the encroaching Moslems on one side and the obstinate
Netherlanders on the other; yet he found time to attend to all these
things, and to manage the affairs of his vast empire in the New World

Two years after the recall of Alva from the Low Countries, or in
1575, Holland and Zealand were united under Philip’s bitterest enemy,
William of Orange, and the next year witnessed the famous “Pacification
of Ghent” between the Protestant and Catholic provinces, by which
the Inquisition was declared abolished, mutual toleration agreed
to in religious matters, and a united stand maintained against the
Spanish soldiery. In 1578 the free states brought about a treaty with
Queen Elizabeth of England, and the next year the Union of Utrecht—a
stepping–stone to their great and final declaration of independence
and repudiation of Spain, in 1581. As the Duke of Parma, who had
succeeded Don John of Austria, advised the removal of the head and
front of the opposition in the person of the noble patriot William the
Silent, Philip at once declared him a miscreant and outlaw, and offered
a reward of twenty–five thousand crowns to whoever would murder him.
This is the reason why Philip II of Spain has been called the murderer
of William the Silent, because, instigated by the proffered reward, a
miserable wretch was finally successful in assassinating William, in
July, 1584. Although he himself did not point the pistol which ended
the life of William the Silent, yet Philip was as actually his murderer
as if he had done so; likewise of his secretary, Escovedo, of his own
son, Don Carlos, of the Counts Egmont and Horn, of Don John of Austria,
and thousands of others who were put to the sword, beheaded, hanged,
and burned to death by his commands.

Were we writing the history of the Netherlands we might find
examples of Philip’s tortures, might produce evidence of his most
inhuman cruelty to his brother man too revolting, too horrible for
contemplation. He reminds us of nothing so much as of a vile and
venomous spider intrenched in his web at Madrid, whence radiate threads
of communication to the confines of his realm—to Naples and the
Netherlands, to Africa and the Americas—all connecting with the capital
where sits this arch–enemy of mankind, absorbing the life–blood of
his innumerable victims. This human spider rioted in scenes of blood,
yet rarely shed blood directly by his own hand; his foul parasites
executed his commands, and burned and strangled by his orders; he was
Briareus–like; no one could escape him; no life was safe if once he
wanted it. So it was that, while he gratified his hideous instincts,
his country became poorer and poorer; while he sucked the blood of
his prey, he also sapped the land of its vitality; his armies were
numerous, his wars were costly, and as he had encouraged no domestic
industries—had killed rather than fostered skilled artisans—all the
vast wealth brought to the shores of Spain by her flotillas of treasure
galleons was absorbed by unworthy favourites, was scattered abroad on
many a battlefield, or went to reward hired assassins and a mercenary
soldiery. For the credit of humanity, for the credit of the cause of
religion—which he pretended to champion and up–hold—we would his life
were otherwise than what it was; but it has been said of him, and of
his father, Charles I, that no other sovereigns with such glorious
privileges, with such great opportunities for doing so much good, ever
did so much harm!

The Netherlands may be considered as lost to Spain when their cause
was championed by the “Virgin Queen” Elizabeth, who sent, in 1586, the
Earl of Leicester to represent her with an army. It was at a skirmish
attending one of the battles of this year that there fell one who has
received almost immortal acclaim for his knightly courtesy: Sir Philip
Sidney, who, dying, refused a cup of water that a brother soldier might
be refreshed.

Though King Philip may have welcomed a war with England, as a hotbed of
Protestantism and the realm over which ruled Elizabeth, whose refusal
to marry him still rankled in his bosom, yet he was soon to regret it.
For, in 1587, that great sea–lion, Sir Francis Drake—not then “Sir,”
however, but plain Admiral—pounced upon the seaport of Cadiz, sank two
hundred and fifty galleys and transports, and created consternation
everywhere in Spain.

The next year, in spite of Drake’s ravages, sailed the great armada—one
hundred and forty ships and thirty thousand men, with friars,
inquisitors, etc.—for the conquest and conversion of England: argosies
in which were centred the hopes of Spain; only to be crushed and
defeated by one half its number of English ships, combined with the
adverse elements, so that only a pitiful remnant returned to Spanish
ports. A last expiring effort at naval supremacy was made in 1595; but
this fleet also was sunk, carrying with it Spain’s prestige on the
ocean wave.

And at last, in misery and torture from a loathsome disease, at the
age of seventy–one, in the year 1598, Philip II departed this life;
his chief legacy an impoverished kingdom, his greatest monument the
Escorial, that palace, monastery, mausoleum, library, upon which he had
spent thirty years of time and lavished millions of treasure.




Two royal lives practically extend throughout the sixteenth century,
or from the year 1500 to 1598. The lives and reigns of three of their
successors carry us forward exactly a century further, for Philip
III reigned from 1598–1621; Philip IV, 1621–1665; and Charles II,
1665–1700. The house of Hapsburg had come in with Charles I, who was
also Charles V of Germany; it terminated in Spain in the reign of
Charles II, after an even two hundred years of power.

It will do us no harm to recapitulate, that under Isabella and
Ferdinand the Spanish monarchy was consolidated; under Charles I it
grew to be an empire, wide–extended, world–embracing; and under Phillip
II began to shrink again to meaner proportions.

Charles could not secure the empire to his son, as it went to his
brother Ferdinand, neither could he bestow upon him transcendent
abilities; but Philip equalled him in his intensity of purpose, his
capacity for protracted labour, his inclination to provoke war,
and surpassed him in religious fanaticism. Both, however, were
self–sufficient, needing no counsellors, no outside help to formulate
their plans of action. With the incoming of Philip III we witness the
beginning of a long line of favourites, of irresponsible courtiers,
under whom Spain suffered for nearly two centuries more. The first was
Sandoval, whom his royal servant created Duke of Lerma, and under whom
(notwithstanding the death of Holland’s great ally, Elizabeth, in 1603)
the United Provinces gained their virtual independence by the Treaty
of Antwerp, in 1610. The Netherlands were under the comparatively mild
sway of the Infanta Isabella, her armies led by the Archduke Albert
and the Marquis Spinola, and opposed by Prince Maurice of Nassau.
By the end of the first decade of this century the Dutch East India
Company was established, and their fleets not only brought rich cargoes
to Holland, but they preyed upon Spanish commerce as well. To such a
condition, finally, had Philip II’s policy brought affairs, that after
thirty years his former vassals, the sturdy rebels of the northern
Netherlands, were rejoicing over inflowing wealth, while Spain’s
treasuries were empty, or exhausted as soon as replenished.

Though without that positive power for evil possessed by his father,
Philip III was malignant, capable at times of great evil, as was shown
in his expulsion of the Moriscoes, or the last of the Moors, in 1609.
At this time the bulk of them were living in Valencia, where they were
highly esteemed for their sobriety, diligence, conformity to the laws,
and as skilled artisans; but owing to the suggestion of the Archbishop
of Toledo, Sandoval’s brother, Philip banished them all to Africa,
to the number of more than half a million, where and in the voyage
thither they suffered incredible hardships. Their only blame lay in
their industry and thrift, and the country soon felt their loss through
a further decline of its agriculture, manufactures, and mining. Thus
departed from Spain the last vestige of the Moors, whose ancestors had
invaded the peninsula nine hundred years before. With them, and with
the Jews, departed also in great measure the country’s prosperity. The
Moors, says a writer on Spain, had brought here the cultivation of
the mulberry, sugar cane, cotton, and rice. The spices and sweets of
Valencia were famous, as well as the sword blades of Toledo, the silks
of Granada, and the leather of Cordova. Nobody knows the extent of
Moorish treasure still buried in Spain; but if the Spaniards had spent
as much time in tilling the soil as in hunting for the undiscovered
gold and jewels, the country would be more prosperous than it is to–day.

Weak, vacillating, swayed by his wife and his favourites, Philip III
was yet morose and melancholy, and eventually turned upon Lerma,
forcing him to retire to his country seat, but not until after the
Church had made him a cardinal.

The eldest son of Philip III succeeded him at his death, in 1521, which
is said to have been hastened by the punctilious etiquette of his
court, caused by delay in removing him from a fire, near which he had
been seated by one of the attendants.

As Philip IV, the new heir to the throne dabbled in disastrous wars to
even a greater extent than his father, and he could not prevent being
drawn into the vortex of that terrible Thirty Years’ War (1618–’48)
between the Catholics and Protestants of Europe. It was a legacy,
indeed, from his great–grandfather, Charles, who had been compelled to
a truce with the Lutherans, when he would fain have exterminated them,
eighty years before.

This, the fourth Philip of the Spanish line, although called “Philip
the Great,” must needs have a royal favourite in one Gasparo de Guzman,
Duke of Olivarez, for whose misfortunes he served as a scapegoat.
Olivarez began well, by executing a former sub–favourite, Calderon, and
prosecuting Lerma for his fraudulent practices—a proceeding which has
an aspect of grim humour, in view of his own subsequent venality and
official corruption. He sent Spinola to war again with the Netherlands,
that grave of so many Spanish soldiers; but the Dutch were now too
strong for the mother of tyrants, and not many years after, in 1628,
captured the Spanish treasure fleet, and in 1639 almost annihilated the
Spanish navy at Dunkirk. He was scarcely more fortunate in Italy; he
even ventured to match himself against that past–master of diplomacy
and intrigue, Cardinal Richelieu, with a result that might have been
expected. His tyranny and oppressive exactions raised a revolt in
Catalonia, which lasted thirteen years; and it was about this time that
Portugal threw off the coils which Philip II had wound around her and
regained an independence which she has ever since retained.

The reign of Olivarez came to an end after twenty years or so of
maladministration, but Spain’s territorial losses went on under
his nephew and successor, Luis de Haro. All through the history of
these times there was always an undercurrent of war between France
and Spain, now one nation and then the other being victorious.
Hitherto the prestige of the Spanish soldiery had been sufficient to
hold the French in check; but Turenne took from them Roussillon, in
1642, and at the battle of Rocroi, the next year, the great Condé
administered a crushing defeat, so that their century–long reputation
for invincibility was shattered. Condé again defeated the famous
Spanish infantry at the battle of Lens, in 1648, and that same year
a final peace was concluded with the Netherlands. On the sea Spanish
ships were again defeated by the renowned Van Tromp, the same Dutch
admiral who sailed with a broom at his mast head in token that he had
swept the seas clean of his country’s enemies. Until this period the
transatlantic possessions of Spain had been kept intact, though many
coast cities and towns had been bombarded, and fleets of treasure
galleons destroyed; but in 1665 one of Cromwell’s admirals took the
island of Jamaica, and this was the beginning of such losses by Spain.

All these defeats, with but few redeeming victories, reduced Spain from
the once proud position she had held as dictator in European affairs
to become subordinate to France, her ancient enemy. By the Peace of
Westphalia, in 1648, Spain had suffered indirect defeat, as thereby the
Protestants had secured religious toleration, against which Charles
I and the three Philips had fought for more than a century. By this
peace, also, France and Spain were left the only combatants on the
field of European warfare, but in 1659 they came to terms by the Treaty
of the Pyrenees; France gave back to Spain her territory of Catalonia,
and Spain ceded to France Artois and Roussillon. Further, a promising
guaranty of the stability of this present peace was the marriage the
following year of the Infanta Maria Teresa, Philip’s eldest daughter
by his first wife, to the great king, Louis XIV of France. Six years
later, after a protracted struggle, the decisive battle of Villaviciosa
lost Portugal finally to Spain, at the news of which the king was so
affected that he swooned away, his death occurring shortly afterward,
September 17, 1665.

One would think that peace might now reign between France and Spain,
since Philip IV left his throne to a helpless child of four years,
whose brother–in–law was King Louis XIV. But Louis the despot was a law
unto himself. He no sooner saw the opportunity, with Spain powerless
to oppose him, and his hands free in other directions, than he promptly
sent his armies into the Netherlands. Alarmed at his schemes of
conquest, England, Sweden, and Holland joined together in the “Triple
Alliance,” which for a while held him in check, until they tied his
hands again in 1668 by the Treaty of Aix–la–Chapelle. At the Spanish
court, meanwhile, affairs were in a scandalous condition, for the queen
regent was ruled at first by a German Jesuit, and later foisted into
favour an agreeable young man who had been merely a page, and whose
highest conception of pleasure was to occupy the place of honour at a
bullfight. If it may be said of the reign of Philip IV that it was the
most disastrous to Spain since that of King Roderick the Goth, little
more can be claimed for that of Charles II, his son, who came into
the succession in 1675, at the age of fourteen. Like all the issue of
Philip II, he was weak almost to idiocy, and so superstitious that in
later life he had himself exorcised for witchcraft.

His uncle, Don John, at first assisted him with his counsels, but after
his death a favourite named Eguya succeeded him, to be followed by the
Duke of Medina Celi, then by the Count of Oropesa; and none of them
laboured for the aggrandizement of Spain. By the Treaty of Nimeguen,
in 1678, and by the Twenty Years’ Truce of Ratisbon, Louis XIV should
have abstained from further aggressions, but his mischief–loving spirit
was not to be curbed. He invaded Catalonia in 1689, bombarded Alicante
and Barcelona, capturing the latter, and acted in a manner altogether
in keeping with the character of this treacherous and unfaithful
monarch, whose long life is but a record of infamy.

By the Peace of Ryswick, in 1697, Louis unexpectedly gave back to Spain
all the territory he had conquered, an act inexplicable until the terms
of the secret “Partition Treaty” became known, when it was found that
he had arranged for the partition of Spain, with the assistance of
other powers, by which his son the dauphin was to have the bulk of the
dominions, including the Italian possessions.

Spain had now become so weak that the expected death of her king was
the signal for a gathering of her royal neighbours, who sat around
like vultures expectant of their prey until the pitiful apology of a
monarch at last shuffled off this mortal coil. The last of his house
to reign in Spain, intellectually degenerate and physically impotent,
Charles II passed away, leaving no direct heir to the throne. Before
his death, however, aware of the coalition against the throne in the
event of no successor being named, Charles willed his dominions to the
electoral Prince of Bavaria, whose mother was a daughter of Philip IV.
But the prince died before the king, and this reopened the question of
succession, which will be treated in the next chapter.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is one of the paradoxes of civilization that a barren or a
blood–fertilized soil sometimes produces the most luxuriant growth and
yields the richest harvests. So with Spain. During the century of her
greatest oppression, during the years of her decadence, she brought
forth the flower of her literature and of her art. We may call the era
of intellectual and artistic development, or rather inflorescence,
by whatever name we will—Augustan, Elizabethan, or Victorian—but the
fact is, the sovereign has no claim to this distinction, for he or she
merely happened to reign when this took place.

Thus we find during the reigns of the three Philips such world–renowned
names as Garcilasso de la Vega, the historian; Las Casas, Oviedo,
Bernal Diaz, and Cortes, military writers; Cervantes, author of the
immortal Don Quixote; Lope de Vega, the dramatist, minor poets in
great numbers, and great painters like Murillo, Ribera, and Velasquez.
Titian, even, was a friend of his patron Charles I, and spent some of
his last years painting portraits for Philip II.




“The king is dead; long live the king!” Before Charles II passed
away, weak and vacillating as he was, he bequeathed to his subjects
a legacy of woe in the unfruitful “Wars of the Succession.” Finally,
on his deathbed, through the influence of his confessor, and at the
recommendation of Pope Innocent II, Charles made a will in favour of
Philip of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV of France. When he received the
news of this triumph, for which he had long been scheming, the French
king joyfully exclaimed, “The Pyrenees no longer exist!” meaning that
from that time France and Spain would be virtually under one sovereign,
that sovereign himself. This did not actually come about; but to show
how nearly the interests of the two countries were allied henceforth,
let us examine the ancestry of the new king.

We have only to note that Philip of Anjou was the grandson of Louis,
who himself was in early life married to the Infanta Maria Teresa,
daughter of Philip IV, and hence, in natural course, would have claim
to the Spanish succession in the event of what had now actually
happened—a King of Spain dying without an heir of his own issue.
But this event had been anticipated at the time of their marriage,
and Maria Teresa had solemnly renounced all claim to the throne of
Spain, either for herself or her heirs. This was because a just fear
pervaded other nations of the two great monarchies with their dependent
territories becoming united under one sovereign. To preserve the
“balance of power” in Europe, it was considered necessary that they
should be separately governed.

Still, Louis never quite gave up the idea of a scion of the house
of Bourbon sitting on the throne of Spain, and he was prepared to
sustain that resolve with all the might of his armies. He hardly dared,
however, press the claims of the dauphin, his and Maria Teresa’s eldest
son, but compromised on the son of the dauphin, Philip of Anjou.
This was in a certain sense the better policy, for it excited less
opposition from other crowned heads; and as it happened, the dauphin
died before Louis himself, and Philip long survived him.

The remaining candidate for regal honours, and who was slighted in the
award, was Leopold, Emperor of Germany, whose mother was the daughter
of Philip III, and who was also descended from Charles V’s brother
Ferdinand. He at once began a war against Philip in behalf of his son,
the Archduke Charles, and, being joined by England and the Netherlands,
acting under the “Grand Alliance,” Europe was again plunged into the
barbarities of senseless warfare.

Philip was seated in 1700, the Alliance was declared in 1701, and then
quickly ensued a succession of great battles, with victories at first
in favour of the allies, but eventually resulting in favour of the
Bourbon King of Spain. It was during these Wars of the Succession,
as they were called, that first rose to prominence the great Duke of
Marlborough, who, in connection with Prince Eugene, won the famous
victory of Blenheim, in 1704. This was followed by the splendid victory
of Ramillies, in 1706, and by that of Malplaquet, in 1709. In truth,
the allies made Louis repent of ever having undertaken to sustain his
grandson on the throne of Spain, especially as at first other victories
fell to the portion of the archduke, until nearly all eastern and
south–eastern Spain acknowledged the pretensions of “Charles III,”
as he styled himself. But though Philip was twice driven from his
capital, Madrid; though the rich city of Barcelona was captured by the
English, and the Rock of Gibraltar taken by Sir George Rooke, in 1704;
though the French empire itself seemed in danger of annihilation, yet
unexpected circumstances intervened to save both Louis and Philip from
destruction. That is, by the death of the Emperor Joseph, in 1711,
the Archduke Charles received the imperial crown; and as the powers
never intended that Spain and Germany should be again united, any more
than they could tolerate the union of France and Spain, why, they all
“turned right about face” and scampered away from each other as fast as
they could. All this fuss about a crown would seem ludicrous, were it
not for the sanguinary side of the strife—the ravaged countries, the
thousands fallen in battle, the towns and cities burned, the innocent
women and children massacred—all, that a certain insignificant,
slow–witted hypochondriac named Philip of Anjou might seat himself upon
the Spanish throne!

By the Peace of Utrecht, in 1713, he was acknowledged King of Spain
and the Indies; but Milan, Naples, the Netherlands, and Sardinia were
given to the insatiate Louis XIV. And England, which never yet went
into a war without the ultimate object of territorial aggrandizement or
material profit of some sort, retained out of the general scramble all
her conquests of Gibraltar, Minorca, Hudson Bay and Newfoundland, St.
Christopher Island in the West Indies, and Acadia.

Poor Spain, as usual, was plucked of many of her gaudiest feathers;
and thus, after thirteen years of warfare, she became blessed with a
prince of the house of Bourbon instead of one of the house of Hapsburg;
the only difference between the two being that one was French, the
other Austrian, and neither with more than a trace of Spanish blood to
substantiate a claim to the throne of Isabella and Ferdinand.

Woefully had Spain descended in the scale of nations, and basely had
she mingled her blood with foreign elements, until she could no longer
claim as a ruler one nearly allied to the proud nobles of Castile or
Aragon. She only knew that a degenerate Bourbon had replaced an equally
degenerate Hapsburg; but she must have loved the foreigner greatly, for
a descendant of the Bourbon sits on the throne of Spain to–day.

In justice to Philip V—to give him his new title—it may be said that
Spain has been less wisely ruled than she was by him. The death of his
imperial grandfather, in 1715, tempted him to break his pledges at the
Treaty of Utrecht and aspire to the throne of France; but England’s
fleets and the “Quadruple Alliance” soon brought him to his senses, and
he abandoned all thoughts of a dual empire.

Fortunately, the country was not yet entirely drained of its resources;
its people had still a little vitality remaining, and after a reign of
forty–six years Philip left his kingdom in rather better condition than
he had found it. Having still half the world tributary to that kingdom,
the colonies of America, continually pouring into the Spanish treasury
the golden products of mine and soil, the country needed only peace
to enable it to recuperate. This period of rest it found during the
reign of Philip’s successor and son, Ferdinand VI, who entered upon the
kingly state at the death of his father, in 1746.

As so frequently happens, the best king has the shortest reign, and
Ferdinand lived but thirteen years after falling heir to the crown. But
these were years of tranquility and progress, during which impoverished
Spain deigned to take stock of her own resources and did not go abroad
to rob her neighbours. Internal improvements were carried out, roads
and canals built, agriculture fostered, oppressive taxes equalized,
ship–building and foreign trade encouraged. The nucleus of a navy was
gathered, and at the end of this reign it consisted of more than eighty
frigates and ships of the line, valued at sixty million dollars.

Strange as it may seem, the Church was the greatest enemy of the
people—at least, of the people’s material welfare. In the time of
Ferdinand VI it had a revenue of three hundred and fifty–nine million
dollars, which was greater than that of the state, and there were
one hundred and eighty thousand clerical or non–producing people
connected with it. The king did not interfere with its liberties, but
he took steps to limit the power of the Pope, so that indiscriminate
appointments were prevented; and he hindered the work of the
Inquisition so much that it had but ten victims during his reign, as
against one thousand during the reign of his father, and was, at last,
almost starved out!

By the Treaty of Aix–la–Chapelle, in 1748, the War of the Austrian
Succession, into which Philip V had been drawn, was brought to a close
and the heroic Maria Theresa confirmed in her rights. And though there
was danger of trouble with England, over the “_asiento_,” it was
obviated by concessions from Spain to the former’s great advantage.
This _asiento_—literally a contract—was a special agreement by which
the ships of England were entitled to trade to a certain extent with
Spanish colonies, those of other nations being prohibited, especially
in negro slaves from Africa.

The Seven Years’ War, which broke out in 1756 between Prussia and
England on one hand, and Austria, France, and Sweden on the other, was
a severe strain upon Spain’s neutrality, for both sides sought her aid.
Ferdinand, however, wisely abstained from war, even though Pitt, the
great English minister, offered him back Gibraltar, to reconquer which
Spain had fought desperately and besieged in vain, with the assistance
of the French. He still remained neutral, and Gibraltar yet rears its
defiant crest under the folds of Britain’s flag.

Ferdinand’s beloved consort died in 1758, and, unlike his father in
similar circumstances, he did not console himself with another, but
sincerely mourned the good Barbara of Portugal, and was faithful to her
memory until his own demise the following year. Altogether, Ferdinand’s
reign was in such beneficent contrast to others which had preceded it
that we could wish it had been prolonged. It was to his able ministers,
Enseñada and Carvajal, that the country was indebted for so much;
but as the king would have been held accountable had they been evil
counsellors, so he is entitled to credit for following their advice.

And so, when his successor and brother, Charles III, took possession
of the throne, he was most agreeably surprised to find—what had not
occurred before since Isabella’s time—a surplus in the treasury!
To be sure, much of it, if not all, was due to the fact that the
national debt had not been paid for many years; but still the credit
of it belongs to the frugal Ferdinand. When Charles III came to the
throne, in 1759, he brought with him an invaluable experience of a
twenty–five–years’ reign as King of Naples. In the main, he followed
in Ferdinand’s footsteps, yet in 1762 he joined with France in the
“family compact,” by which the Bourbons engaged to support each other
against all others, and this precipitated the war with England, in
which, as usual, Britain came out with the lion’s share of territory.
Havana in Cuba, Trinidad, Manila, and the famed Acapulco galleon with
three million dollars, besides other immense booty estimated at fifteen
million dollars, fell into the hands of the English. By the treaty of
peace, 1763, Spain got back her principal ports only by ceding Florida
to the English, and the valuable rights for cutting logwood on the
Honduras coast, while France gave up Canada, the Louisiana territory
east of the Mississippi, and several islands in the West Indies.

Charles had able ministers in the persons of Squilaci, Grimaldi,
Campomanes, and the Count de Aranda, under the last of whom was
consummated the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain, in March, 1767.
Their order was suppressed by Pope Clement XIV, in 1773. Succeeding
Aranda came Don José Moñino, afterward Count of Floridablanca, as
prime minister. He was in power when the American colonies of Great
Britain declared their independence, and, like France, sided with the
colonies—not because of love for them or sympathy with their aims, but
because of an apparent opportunity offering for striking a blow at
England through her colonial possessions.

An insurrection in Peru, guided by the Inca, Tupac Amaru, had to be
crushed, but Spain joined with France in a desperate attempt to retake
Gibraltar, and in naval demonstrations, with the customary results:
that they were repulsed from the Great Rock, and their fleets destroyed
or scattered, particularly in the West Indies. In 1783, at the Peace
of Versailles, at which the independence of the United States was
established, Florida and Minorca were restored to Spain, but the loss
her navy had sustained was irreparable.

In 1786 a peace was declared between Spain and Algiers, by which
thousands of Spanish captives were released from slavery, and the
piratical incursions from which the coast country had long suffered
were ended. Two years later Charles III passed away, at the age of
seventy–three, having done much to earn the gratitude of his country.




When, at the age of forty, in 1789, Charles IV ascended the throne
of Spain, he for a while retained in power his father’s great prime
minister, Floridablanca; but soon, it seems, his wisdom failed him.
After dallying awhile with this faithful servant, who was succeeded by
Count Cabarrus, then by the patriot Jovellanos, Charles gave up all
attempts to rule wisely, and abandoned himself utterly to the guidance
of his wife, who was as capricious and depraved as any of her sex who
had ever before ruled over a Spanish king. In 1792 the queen managed
to install her own favourite, Manuel Godoy, a young man of low birth,
in the seat of the statesman Aranda, and had him raised to the rank
of a Spanish grandee, as Duke of Alcudia. Henceforth, for many years,
poor Spain was to witness the humiliating spectacle of a good–natured
but weak sovereign, ruled by his vicious wife and her creature, and
to become familiar with family scandals which were a disgrace to the

Perhaps Charles would have made mistakes enough if he had been left to
himself, for early in his reign the world was amazed at the horrible
cruelties of the French Revolution, and he, as a Bourbon allied to
the family of Louis XVI, was placed in a most embarrassing position
when the excesses of the revolutionists culminated in the execution
of the king. All Spain rose in protest against this barbarous act,
and urged King Charles to declare for vengeance; but he sat supinely
in his palace, and did nothing more than to send a feeble protest and
a feebler army against the regicides. The new–born republic did not
wait, however, for him to declare war, but sent a force into Spain,
which quickly invaded the frontier and soon defeated the allied Spanish
and Portuguese in several battles. The triumphant republicans were
only checked when they held the peninsula at their mercy, for, as
history has told us, they were at the outset invincible. They snatched
victories from defeats, turned defeats into victories: these desperate
outlaws, battling against the rights of kings and the oppressions of a
decadent nobility. They were equally victorious over the allied armies
in the Netherlands also, and soon we have the edifying spectacle of
this Bourbon King of Spain entering into treaty with the red–handed
murderers of his royal kinsman. This was in 1795, at the Treaty of
Basel, arranged by the vainglorious Godoy, who won thereby great
rewards in lands and honours, and also the title of the “Prince of
Peace.” Further, by the Treaty of Ildefonso, in 1796, distracted Spain
turned completely around and entered into an offensive and defensive
alliance with France against England. Retribution was swift and sure,
for the next year her fleet was shattered at the naval fight of Cape
St. Vincent, Cadiz was attacked by the English, and she lost the island
of Trinidad in the West Indies, besides having her merchant marine
ruined and her colonial trade all but destroyed.

At the instigation of Napoleon, who was now foremost in the affairs
of France, Spain declared war against her sister kingdom, Portugal,
though sorely against her will, as—if for no other reason—the queen’s
favourite daughter, Carlota, was the wife of the Prince Regent of
Portugal. But in 1801 that kingdom was overrun by an army composed of
seventy–five thousand men, fifteen thousand of which were French and
sixty thousand Spanish, and the “Prince of Peace” won new honours
for himself by his active participation. Spain, in common with other
European countries, secured a brief breathing space by the Treaty
of Amiens, in 1802, but by this treaty England was confirmed in her
captures and came out triumphant.

Napoleon’s act in disposing of Louisiana to the United States for
the paltry sum of fifteen million dollars, was a vast benefit to
America, but a violation of good faith, inasmuch as Spain had ceded
that territory to France, only three years before, with the expressed
condition that no other country should ever obtain it. Still, she
meekly bore this bitter humiliation, for she was under the domination
of the conqueror of Europe, who soon imposed yet heavier conditions
upon her. He found a pretext for violating the peace with England, and
Spain also, who had purchased her neutrality by a monthly payment, in
1804 declared war against the Britons for seizing her homeward–sailing
galleons with their wealth of treasure from the American colonies.
England had done this as a measure of self–defence, foreseeing that,
with the sinews of war which this colonial treasure would purchase,
Spain would not hesitate to cast her lot with Napoleon and France.

The conflict that ensued put an end forever (so far as human ken can
forecast) to Spain’s ascendancy at sea. Her supremacy, indeed, had
long since departed; not since the times of the “invincible armada”
had she been a powerful factor to reckon with upon the ocean. But it
was during the war that followed that the combined French and Spanish
fleets, under Villeneuve and Gravina, were sought out and attacked by
Lord Nelson. Off Trafalgar, October 25, 1805, occurred that memorable
naval battle by which the fleets were shattered, and England obtained,
coincidently with the death of Nelson, the title which she has since so
proudly borne, of “mistress of the seas.” She was thenceforth supreme
upon the ocean, and the colonies of France and Spain were at her mercy.

The Spanish–French alliance had changed since the time of the “family
compact,” for what then was a natural union between sovereigns allied
by blood and interests, was now a most unnatural connection between
two totally dissimilar organizations. Especially since Napoleon had so
cruelly put to death the young Duke d’Enghien, a scion of the Bourbon
house in 1804, Spain regarded France with averted eyes. The repugnance
of the king could not be overcome, and even the skill at dissimulation
possessed by the artful Godoy could not suffice to hide from Napoleon
the fact that his great adversary, England, was higher in favour than
himself. He took a characteristic revenge, and by compelling Spain
to become a party to the dismemberment of Portugal, by the Treaty
of Fontainebleau, placed her in a position from which she could not
retreat. This was in 1806, and the same year a French army under Junot
invaded Portugal and drove the royal family into exile. The next year,
however, it became evident that not Portugal alone, but Spain as well,
was the object of the great Napoleon’s ambition. The wonder is that she
had escaped so long, when already Germany, Italy, Austria, Prussia,
the Netherlands, and even the vast empire of Russia, had been invaded
by him and made subject to his will. But Spain’s hour had come; the
giant now felt the moment propitious for her conquest. Under pretext of
marching his troops through Spain to Portugal—as by the treaty he was
permitted to do—Napoleon massed his soldiers at all the passes of the
Pyrenees, and, before the king and court were well aware of his plans,
had obtained full possession of the frontier, and was sending forward
Murat and his battalions to the capital, Madrid. Terror–stricken, the
royal family resolved at once to flee to Mexico. But when the people
learned this, realizing that all this misery had been brought upon them
by the corrupt and faithless Godoy, they rose _en masse_ and sacked the
palace, seeking everywhere for the prime minister, whose life would
have been forfeited if he had not escaped by hiding in a closet. This
ebullition showed Charles IV the futility of longer clinging to the
shadow of what he had formerly possessed, and he formally abdicated, on
March 17, 1808, in favour of his son Ferdinand, the Prince of Asturias.

France had experienced her Reign of Terror; she now had her master,
Napoleon, who looked upon his small empire as too restricted for his
towering ambitions, and cast around for some other thrones to occupy.
He saw, with that clearness of perception for which he was noted,
that the throne of Spain was divided against itself: the king against
the queen, Godoy the Prince of Peace against them both, and the son
of the king at enmity with the other three. In truth, it was charged
by Godoy that he had conspired to kill, or at least to dethrone, his
father, and he was thrown into prison until he pretended to relent
and ask forgiveness. Ferdinand, hated by his mother, despised by the
prime minister, and accustomed to regard his father as an obstacle
in the path of his ambition, was an altogether unlovely character,
dark, sinister, with the making of another Philip II in him, had but
the times been propitious. He was, however, the popular idol, and the
misguided people hailed with joy this new accession to the line of
royalty, under the title of Ferdinand VII.

It was not long that he was permitted to enjoy the royal prerogatives,
nor the malicious satisfaction of retaliating upon his enemies.
Confiding in the supposed friendship of Napoleon, he sent back
to Portugal the Spanish troops which his father had recalled in
anticipation of a French invasion, and unsuspiciously placed himself
in the emperor’s hands. With consummate duplicity, Bonaparte allured
first Ferdinand, then his father, the queen mother and Godoy, over
the frontier to Bayonne, where he indeed had them at his mercy, and
then revealed his true intentions. In a word, he frightened Ferdinand
into an abdication, his father into renouncing forever his claim to
the throne, in return for a pension and paltry honours, and Godoy he
dropped as unworthy of attention.

Ferdinand was promised an income of one million francs, a palace,
and—captivity. Meanwhile, Napoleon called an assembly of the
notables—such as would come at his call—forced upon them a new
Constitution, and made them swear allegiance to the new king, who, of
course, was one of his own family—his brother Joseph, until then King
of Naples. Joseph himself, by nature unfitted for kingship, amiable,
humane, was yet unable to resist his imperious brother. Against his own
inclinations he was forced to take the throne; but not all the ability
and resources of Napoleon could keep him seated there. For though
Napoleon, after he had finished this work to his mind—had dethroned two
kings and seated another—returned to Paris and other victories, yet the
people over whom he had placed his brother Joseph absolutely refused to
accept him. An outbreak at Madrid was only quelled after many French
soldiers and Spanish citizens had been massacred, and affairs wore
such a threatening aspect that re–enforcements now poured through the
Pyrenean passes to the number of one hundred thousand men. Marat did
the best he could, other French generals co–operated; but within a week
or so after he had entered the Spanish capital, Joseph was compelled to
retreat to the frontier.

       *       *       *       *       *

These, in brief, were the beginnings of the famed Peninsular War, which
lasted from 1807 to 1814, and inflicted incalculable misery upon the
Spanish and Portuguese people. The Spanish fought desperately, but
without common purpose or direction. At the first siege of Saragossa,
made memorable by the valiant defence of its inhabitants, Palafox and
the romantic “Maid of Saragossa,” the French were repulsed; but at the
second they took the city, with terrible slaughter. Joseph was a second
time compelled to abandon Madrid, and a second time to return; for his
brother was furious over the acts of the Spanish rebels, and determined
to subdue the country. Perhaps he would have accomplished this in
the end, though the whole nation was now aroused; but the Spaniards
bethought themselves to appeal to England for assistance. The British
ministry saw its way clear to fight the universal conqueror in Spain
and Portugal in a manner not possible on the soil of France; so they
sent out Moore and Wellington, and other tried generals, with armies
behind them and fleets to support them, and they began operations in
Portugal. At first they were successful in compelling Marshal Ney to
evacuate Portugal; but in Spain Sir John Moore was driven back upon the
port of Coruña, and met his death—the same General Moore whose defeat
and burial are immortalized in heroic verse. Napoleon himself hastened
to Spain and organized victories with two hundred thousand men, so
that for a time “brother Joseph” was secure on the throne upon which
his imperial master had so unceremoniously seated him. But with his
departure reverses came again; for, though driven away at first, the
British returned.




The same month of July, 1808, in which Joseph Bonaparte was proclaimed
King of Spain at Madrid, the British troops were despatched to
Portugal. After Junot had been expelled from that kingdom the genius
of Napoleon reorganized his armies, until the French in Spain numbered
not less than four hundred thousand men, which he left divided into
eight corps under as many generals and marshals. Soult invaded
Portugal, and was promptly driven out by Wellington; while King
Joseph, with eighty thousand men, was defeated at Talavera, July,
1809. During the ensuing winter Wellington constructed that famous
line of earthworks, twenty–nine miles in length, known as the lines
of Torres Vedras. The French had then captured every city of note in
southern Spain except Cadiz, and Wellington foresaw the necessity of
preparing an impregnable base for retreat, in case he was pursued by
the overwhelmingly powerful forces of the enemy. His foresight was
justified when General Massena, with sixty–five thousand soldiers,
moved against him in the spring of 1810. He retreated slowly behind his
lines of defence, taking with him all the available sustenance of the
country, and Massena, unable to force the works, and in effect starved
out, after losing thirty thousand men, sullenly retreated northward.
Following him cautiously, the English general, in the spring of 1811,
overtook and whipped him in a battle fought in April, and for the third
time rid Portugal of the French invaders. After this, by a succession
of skilfully planned battles, and with victory alternating defeat,
Wellington persistently advanced, until in August, 1812, he entered
Madrid. He had not yet accomplished his purpose, however, of ridding
Spain of the French, who still had nearly two hundred thousand men in
the field. He was compelled to retire again in the direction of his
protecting earthworks; but in the spring of 1813, finding himself now
commander–in–chief of an army of two hundred thousand men, seventy
thousand of whom were Anglo–Portuguese veterans, Wellington advanced
boldly northward, and at Vittoria, on the 21st of June, met and
overwhelmingly defeated the French under King Joseph, who fled from
the field “with a ‘Napoleon’ (coin) in his pocket, and leaving another
Napoleon in a predicament.” After that, Wellington’s advance was an
almost uninterrupted series of victories, until, by February, 1814, he
was well over the frontier and investing cities on the soil of France.
But by that time Bonaparte himself was a fugitive, having abdicated,
and the capital of France was in possession of the allied armies.

In this manner did the British fight the battles of Spain and
drive from her soil the armies of France. It was not altogether a
disinterested task, of course, but a sagacious move of the highest
diplomacy, for, as England’s ministry had foreseen, Spain became the
“grave of France.” By continually weakening his armies to accomplish
her conquest, Napoleon only paved the way for the complete triumph of
his enemies in the north: the allied forces of Prussia, Russia, and
Austria. Wellington received great rewards from his own country, and
Spain eventually bestowed upon him vast estates, which his descendants
own to–day. Here, also, he first met and checked the great conqueror of
Europe; and he utilized the invaluable experience of this five–years’
war the next summer, when, on the field of Waterloo, he finally
crushed Napoleon, and drove him into eventual exile at St. Helena.
He may truly be called the saviour of Spain, for, aside from a few
detached battles and a desultory though persistent guerrilla warfare,
the Spaniards conducted no wise scheme of defence. The battle of
Vittoria shows the relative parts played by them and their allies, when
their total loss was but 553, the Portuguese 1,049, and the English
3,308. This was the end of the great “Napoleonic storm cloud” that
burst over distracted Europe and shattered against the Spanish Pyrenees.

       *       *       *       *       *

“The unfortunate war in Spain was the first cause of the misfortunes
of France,” wrote the exiled Napoleon years afterward, when in St.
Helena. His first step, after he found it impossible to retain Joseph
on the Spanish throne, was to treat with Ferdinand, still a prisoner,
in December, 1813. But before he could return the latter to his country
he himself was deposed, and another Bourbon, Louis XVIII, had entered
Paris as the choice of the allied conquerors.

Amid universal ovations Ferdinand assumed his intermitted reign,
first promising to support the liberal Constitution which the Cortes
presented for his acceptance. The Spaniards had spent more time in
framing a Constitution than in fighting, and this guarantee of the
people’s rights was a very liberal instrument—on paper. If Ferdinand
had kept his pledges to sustain it, his would have been a very limited
instead of the very absolute monarchy it was. But he did not keep his
word, for the Inquisition, which had been abolished, was restored; the
Jesuits were recalled; and of the liberal statesmen, who had at heart
the good of Spain, some were sent to the galleys, and others executed.
In fact, the despicable Ferdinand had learned nothing in his exile; a
true Bourbon, he was at perpetual enmity with the people and republican
institutions. Yet his countrymen had recalled him, supported him in
power, and bared their necks to the naked sword of his despotism. The
ignorant masses certainly ruled in Spain when Ferdinand VII, “worst of
the Bourbon kings,” came back to his own. But even fools have feelings,
and some of them rose against him in 1822, and he, true to his Bourbon
instincts, called to his aid the Holy Alliance. French troops under the
Duc d’Angoulême, to the number of one hundred and fifty thousand, came
pouring into the peninsula, and stayed there five years, until the base
monarch’s hold upon his throne was fixed again.

Bolstered by foreign troops, Ferdinand gave vent to his brutal
instincts by imprisoning thousands of his subjects who had ventured
to protest against this incarnation of corruption and venality; he
executed the leaders, banished others, and perpetrated atrocities such
as he delighted in.

His most beneficent act toward his harried kingdom was the involuntary
deliverance afforded by his death; but even then he left a legacy of
civil war, that has lasted to the present time.

Like his great predecessor, Philip II, whom he so much resembled,
he married thrice, his last wife being his niece (as was Philip’s),
Maria Christina, daughter of the King of Naples. Hitherto childless,
Ferdinand was delighted, on the 18th of October, 1830, at the birth of
a daughter to Queen Christina. It was her birth that inaugurated the
civil wars to which reference has been made, and of which we will treat
in the following chapter.

Momentous events happened during the reign of Ferdinand VII, which
reduced his kingdom from a world–embracing dominance almost to the
confines of the Iberian Peninsula. When, in the first decade of this
century, the Emperor of France turned his greedy eyes toward Spain, she
possessed territory now included in Florida, Mexico, Central America,
all South America save Brazil; the islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and
a portion of Santo Domingo in the West Indies, besides the Carolines
and Philippines in the East, and her present possessions on and near
the western coast of Africa and in the Mediterranean. When it was
seen by her colonies that Spain was too weak to resist the imposition
of a foreigner upon her throne, their bolder spirits realized that
the moment had arrived for deliverance from her oppressions. The
standard of revolt was raised in Mexico, 1808; in Venezuela, 1810;
Buenos Ayres, Chili, and Peru followed the movement, until, before the
death of Ferdinand, every American colony and every island had been
lost to Spain except Cuba and Puerto Rico. Long and sanguinary were
the struggles between the desperate Spaniards and the aspirants for
freedom; but in the end the patriots conquered, and continental America
was freed from Spanish misrule. Florida was ceded in 1819 to the United
States, which ultimately acquired a vast portion of Mexican territory
by conquest and treaty.




The greatest, most illustrious reigns in Spain have been those
inaugurated by the placing on the throne of princes already of age,
trained in kingly affairs and able to rule without assistance. The
weakest, most deplorable reigns have been those where princes or
princesses nominally occupied the throne, and regencies or successions
of favourites actually held the power. A king or queen should be one
pre–eminent for strength and virtues, a leader, a ruler, capable
of guiding and fostering the best interests of the subject people.
But the Spaniards, through their false notions of chivalry, their
romantic ideas of majesty, have lost sight of the primal principles of
kingship. Provided that a fantastic figure be elevated to the august
position—whether a weak and juvenile scion of royalty, or a gilded
and bedizened puppet of rags and putty—it may for a time command
their worship and blind adoration! This national trait is admirable,
were nothing expected of a king or queen but to act as an ornamental
figure–head. Unfortunately, in a nation composed of such diverse and
irreconcilable elements as exist in Spain, much more is expected—is

When, in 1833, at the death of the king, the infanta, Maria Isabella
II, was held up for the adoration of the people, most of them fell
down and blindly worshipped. The Cortes assembled at Madrid and swore
loyalty to the three–year–old queen and her mother, the regent,
while the unthinking people went wild in their fervent declarations
of devotedness to the heiress of the most corrupt, most intolerant
sovereign that had disgraced the throne in many years.

But there was an instant protest from a minor portion of the people,
led by the late king’s brother, Don Maria Isidor Carlos de Bourbon;
not because of the silly spectacle afforded by placing the reins of
power in the hands of a puling infant, but because Don Maria Isidor
Carlos de Bourbon wanted the throne for himself! In truth, but for
King Ferdinand’s “pragmatic sanction,” abrogating the existing “Salic
law” (excluding females from the succession), Don Carlos had every
reason to believe he would himself be king. He was born in 1788, or
a year before the “pragmatic sanction” was put forth, he was next in
line of the male successors, and he meant to “succeed.” So he started a
revolution, and thus began, in 1833, the first of that long series of
battles, massacres, outrages, known collectively as the “Carlist Wars.”

Don Carlos had been banished by Ferdinand to Portugal for venturing
to protest against the very thing that happened later, and after
the king’s death he came over the frontier between France and Spain
with a small army. His chief adherents were found in the country
of the Basques, those brave, peculiar, liberty–loving but bigoted
people in the north of Spain, who have dwelt from time immemorial in
their beautiful mountain valleys, and whom we have noted at the very
beginnings of Spanish history as strenuous opponents of oppression and
defenders of their rights, real or imaginary.

Among other rights which they claimed were the ancient
_fueros_—charters or privileges—by which, in consideration of
valiant services in the past, they were exempt from most taxes, from
enforced military service, etc., and they recognised the ruler of
the country not as king or queen, but merely as lord. It was given
out by the Carlists that these _fueros_ were to be taken from them by
the “liberals,” or adherents to the queen regent, and that only by
assisting the really legitimate sovereign (Don Carlos, of course) could
they still continue to enjoy their ancient immunities. So they flocked
to the Carlist standard, and opposed to them and their associates
were the _Christinos_, or supporters of the queen regent Christina.
For seven years they fought, victory first with one side, then with
the other. At one time the queen regent and her court were on the
point of fleeing the country; the Carlist guerrillas were at the gates
of Madrid; but by the persistence of General Espartero, commander
of the Christinos, in May, 1840, the last of the pretender’s forces
were driven over the frontier. Terrible excesses were committed on
both sides; the Carlists, particularly, under the savage Cabrera and
Zumalacarregui, showed what the Spaniard is capable of when his evil
passions are aroused. “Those days that I do not shed blood,” said the
cruel Cabrera, “I do not have a good digestion!” He punished with death
the giving of a drink of water to a wounded enemy, and he butchered
in cold blood numerous innocent women, children, and aged men. A
Christino garrison once surrendered to him on the stipulation that
their lives and their clothes should be spared to them. He performed
his part by stripping them of their clothing and setting his men to
chasing and shooting them until the last one fell! And these conflicts
were between men of the same nationality, sometimes of the same
township and canton; thus showing to what a state of moral degradation
these people had arrived.

A short period of peace ensued, but the Carlist conflict has been
continued intermittently until the present day. The first Don Carlos
died in 1855, and his eldest son, the Count of Montemolin, fell heir
to the feud, making an unsuccessful attempt at revolution in Valencia
in 1860; but died in 1861. A brother succeeded to the claims as Juan
III, and he, in 1863, renounced them in favour of his son, grandson of
the first Don Carlos, or Charles V. He is the present Don Carlos, or
Charles VII, known as the Duke of Madrid, and was born in 1848. He was
implicated in Carlist uprisings in 1869, 1870, and 1872, and personally
instituted his greatest campaign in 1873, which was suppressed, while
the Basques, his devoted adherents, were deprived of many privileges.
As a French “legitimist,” he has also a claim to the throne of France,
and was at one time expelled from that country; but has since been
permitted to return, whence he has conducted clandestine operations
against the Spanish crown. And now, with a child sovereign and a queen
regent again in Spain, the conditions are similar to what they were
in 1833. There is still, after more than sixty years, a Don Carlos as
claimant to the throne; but to–day, even more than then, the moral
influence of Europe is against the “pretender,” and in favour of the
“legitimate” sovereign.

The present queen regent, Christina of Austria, mother of the boy
king Alfonso XIII, possesses—what Queen–Regent Christina of Naples
did not have—the respect and confidence of her people. Christina of
Naples, the mother of Isabella, forfeited the good opinion of all her
subjects by her gross immorality, and in 1840 she was compelled to
renounce her regency in favour of the prime minister, Espartero, who
as general of her armies had won the victories over the Carlists, and
leave the country. Her daughter, as Isabella II, was early declared to
have reached her majority, and in 1846 was married to her cousin, Don
Francisco de Bourbon, while her sister, the infanta, was married to the
Duke of Montpensier, son of Louis Philippe of France. These were the
infamous “Spanish marriages” arranged by Louis Philippe in the hope of
securing the succession to his house.

The story of her reign is not an inviting one, revealing as it does
the instability of the Spanish character and the corruption of the
court and queen. Spain’s foreign relations had been strengthened
by the “Quadruple Alliance” between England, France, Portugal, and
Spain, and liberal statesmen were numerous who would have served her
faithfully. Under Burgos, in Christina’s time, wise plans were made for
the development of commerce, internal improvements, and the regulation
of church and state. Blindly cognizant that the church had in some
way possessed itself of a vast portion of the nation’s wealth, many
advocated confiscation of church properties. In 1835 the cry was, “Down
with the monks!” and hundreds of these helpless though useless persons
were massacred. The country’s resources seemed at the last ebb, when
the able banker Mendizabel came to the rescue; but he accomplished no
more than the several “Constitutions” (of which at least three were
put forth in twenty–five years) to remedy the existing troubles. The
reason was that the real secret of their troubles lay in the people
themselves: the masses, complacent in self–sufficient ignorance; the
intelligent portion without patriotism, self–seeking politicians.

Espartero was overthrown and went into exile in 1843. In 1844 arose a
strong military government under the veteran Narvaez, who kept order
and sustained the throne until 1851. Meanwhile the French Revolution of
1848, though it unsettled Spain not a little, was safely tided over.
In 1854 insurrections broke out in various parts of the country, and
to appease the people a national “Junta” was formed, with the recalled
Espartero and O’Donnell at its head. The latter continued to direct
affairs more or less until 1858; in 1859 he created a diversion of
public sentiment by a short war in Morocco, and in 1861 the island of
Santo Domingo was annexed.

Between this time and 1866 the changes in the ministry were numerous,
from O’Donnell to Miraflores, and back again to Narvaez and O’Donnell;
but in 1866 a serious insurrection under General Prim broke out, which
was suppressed and the leaders exiled. A more successful rebellion was
inaugurated in 1868 by the naval fleet under Admiral Topete, at Cadiz.
Prim and Serrano, the exiles, returned; the rebels and royal troops
fraternized, and Queen Isabella, then at the baths of San Sebastian,
was sent over the frontier, never to return.

Without being specific in charges against her, it may be mentioned
that her subjects, debased as many of them were, yet demanded a queen
with higher moral purpose—more like the Isabella of old, less like the
disreputable queen–mother Christina. She had reigned, in a fashion, for
thirty–five years, including the regency. She was banished in 1868,
since which time she has lived in Paris, where she made her home after
her exile, ever true to the traditions of Ferdinand VII and his times.




“A daughter of kings: if I were a man I would go to my capital!”
indignantly declared Isabella, when the appalling news reached her
that the royal army was defeated. But instead, she sought safety in
flight, leaving to the successful revolutionists the difficult task
of providing a government in place of the one they had overthrown.
Distrust and suspicion were rampant, and those who had declared the
_pronunciamiento_ were at their wits’ ends what to choose: a democratic
monarchy, a constitutional monarchy, or a republic; but during the
interregnum the patriot Serrano stepped into the breach. A thankless
task was his, as president of the provisional government, though he was
assisted by such able men as Prim, Minister of War; Topete, Minister of
Marine; Zorilla, Minister of Commerce; Figuerola, of Finance; Ortiz,
of Justice; Lopez de Ayala, of the Colonies; and Sagasta, Minister of
the Interior.

They were glad to resign, the following year, and subscribe to a
constitution which provided for the restoration of a constitutional

The constitutional monarchy was very beautiful, as an idea; but while
Serrano ruled as “regent for the interregnum,” the throne of Spain
“went begging about Europe,” seeking a royal occupant. General Prim
was insistent upon the candidacy of Prince Leopold, of Hohenzollern, a
relative of King William of Prussia, at which Napoleon III took alarm;
and though the prince promptly resigned his candidature, the French
emperor demanded further that Prussia should give a guarantee that she
would at no future time sanction his claims. King William refused to
give this assurance, and Napoleon made this a pretext for declaring
that war against Prussia which ended so disastrously for his empire and
for France.

Isabella’s brother–in–law, the Duke of Montpensier, as well as Fernando
of Portugal, were considered, but rejected for political reasons; and
even sturdy old Espartero refused the crown, showing the possession
of greater wisdom than the one upon whom it was finally bestowed—Don
Amadeo, Duke of Aosta, the second son of Victor Emanuel of Italy.

The reception he received was presaged by the assassination of Prim,
in December, 1870; but Amadeo was crowned a few days later, on
January 2, 1871, and entered heartily into the duties of his unsought
kingship. Two years later, after having been several times the object
of assassination and of insults innumerable, he became convinced that
modern Spain was different from that Spain which had besought a foreign
prince to rule over it in the eighteenth century, and sorrowfully

Monarchical rule having failed them, the Spaniards now turned to a
republic, as the ideal toward which they had striven through these
hopeless, turbulent, and chaotic years. But they did not take into
account their inborn reverence for a king, their superstitious faith in
the sanctity of the royal office; and so the “republic” had a thorny
road to travel, first under Señor Pi y Margall, the first “president
of the executive power,” lastly under the great jurist, orator, and
patriot, Emilio Castelar.

Away back in the time of the regent Christina, that queen was troubled
by the dissensions of the so–called liberals, who, split into two
parties, the _moderados_ and the _progresistas_, impeded whatever
advance might have been possible had the occupant of the throne been
inclined toward the people.

So now, the actual arrival of the republic found dissensions among the
very “patriots” who should have served it disinterestedly and with
fervour. The misnamed “republic” served but as a bridge for another
king to pass over from exile to the throne.

When Prim was dying, mortally wounded by unknown assassins, he
whispered to a friend, “I die, but your king is coming!” The king
came, and went; the “republic” came, and went out in the _coup–d’état_
of January, 1874, with militarism triumphant, and the administration
of the government in the hands of military officers. Their action in
putting down anarchy and ending the civil war—for “Don Carlos” had
again taken the field, with his Basque retainers, in support of his
inalienable “male succession”—would seem to prove that Spain, like
Mexico, needed the mailed hand of the military dictator to force it
into paths of prosperity and development.

Serrano might have been that dictator; but if he had designs, they did
not succeed, for he soon resigned in favour of one who proclaimed
himself “the first republican in Europe”—no less a personage than the
seventeen–year–old son of Isabella the exile, who was ferreted out
by the king–makers and offered the crown, that a Bourbon might again
occupy the throne of his ancestors.

The Spaniards were now content, for had they not travelled the road of
republicanism and found it a failure? tried the rule of a foreigner,
and found him wanting? At last they were in possession of their own
again! In his veins ran the blood of Isabella the corrupt; but his
reputed father was an amiable man, and so was the new king, Alfonso
XII, who was proclaimed at Madrid in January, 1875.

The faults, the traits, of Alfonso XII were inherited. Even his death,
less than eleven years after his coronation, is said to have been
caused by constitutional ills. But, so far as he could, he nobly lived
up to his intentions to give Spain peace and renewed prosperity. Six
years before the people had shouted, “Away with the Bourbons!” yet
here again was a Bourbon on the throne. He could not forget the line
from which he descended, nor the treatment his mother, also a Bourbon,
had received; yet his reign approached what the people had so long
desired. Able ministers assisted him, according to the humour of the
hour: first under General Martinez Campos; then under the leadership of
Canovas del Castillo; again under the liberal Señor Sagasta. Through
all these changes, however, Alfonso preserved the goodwill of his
subjects; yet he was the object of the base assassin’s aim on three
different occasions.

Despite the good offices of imperial match–makers, who would have
married him to some great princess of a reigning house in Europe,
Alfonso persisted in wedding his own choice. He married his cousin,
Marie de las Mercedes, daughter of the Duke of Montpensier—a love–match
which death disrupted less than six months later.

Kings may marry, but kings may not mourn; so within another six months
he was united to the Archduchess Maria Christina, niece of the Emperor
of Austria, who, the story goes, when she had heard of Alfonso’s first
marriage, was so disappointed that she entered a convent. A child was
born and named Mercedes, after the former queen; then yet another
daughter; but no male heir to the throne before the death of the king,
which occurred on the 25th of November, 1885. Whether his death was
caused by excesses, as has been sometimes charged, or by his chivalrous
insistence upon visiting the afflicted cholera districts of his
kingdom, mattered little to the people, who mourned sincerely for their
brave young king, cut off in the flower of his manhood, with his great
schemes unaccomplished.

For the first time since the death of Ferdinand VII, more than fifty
years before, the vaults in the Escorial were opened for the reception
of another occupant. In accordance with an ancient custom, when the
funeral cortège arrived at the door of the Escorial, the keeper within
demanded, “Who would enter here?” One of the attendants answered,
“Alfonso XII would enter,” and the door was thrown open. Even then
Alfonso was not considered as officially defunct, until the lord
chamberlain, drawing back the cloth of gold covering his features,
addressed him: “Señor, señor, señor,” and, receiving no reply, said
solemnly: “His Majesty does not answer; then indeed the king is dead!”

The king was dead; to his place succeeded his elder daughter, little
Mercedes, Princess of the Asturias, during whose minority the
queen–mother reigned as regent. For the seventh time in five hundred
years a minor sat on the throne of Spain. The first of whom we have
record was Ferdinand IV, at the beginning of the fourteenth century;
he died young, and was succeeded by an infant son, Alfonso VI; at the
end of that century there was another child–king, Henry III, from
1390 to 1406; and after him John VI, who reigned from 1406 to 1454;
Charles II, who came to be king at the age of fourteen, in 1676; and
Isabella, the age of three, in 1833. Child kings and queens, babes in
arms enthroned in nurses’ laps, and unscrupulous regents during their
minorities, seem to have been a Spanish evil!

But the child queen Mercedes was not to reign long, for six months
after the death of Alfonso XII the queen gave birth to a son, and this
posthumous heir succeeded to the throne as Alfonso XIII, while yet
unable to understand the fearful dignities that were thrust upon him.
He was thus the eighth infant sovereign to rule Spain from the nursery
within the past five centuries—perhaps may be the last; for as people
grow older they are supposed to grow wiser; though all rules may have
their exceptions, and perhaps the Spaniards are exceptions to all rules!

Still, we can not withhold our admiration from a chivalrous sentiment,
however foolish it may seem to sober sense; and when it was suggested
to Emilio Castelar, the lion–hearted orator and statesman, that this
might be a good time for a re–trial of the republic, he probably
voiced the national feeling when he said: “We can not make war against
a woman and a child!” That is the unthinking, sentimental side of it;
but if the people had been brave enough to have said: “While we do not
wish to war against a woman and her child, yet we will set this infant
aside until he has shown what manner of man he becomes,” would it not
have been far less cruel to her and to him, and more to the credit of a
nation desirous of keeping pace with a progressive civilization?




Although the present King of Spain, Alfonso XIII, is the
great–great–grandson of Charles IV, Don Carlos V, the “pretender,”
is also a great–grandson of that monarch, and has probably a more
strictly legitimate claim to the throne than its occupant. Yet again,
the mother of Alfonso XIII, the Queen–Regent Christina, although
frequently alluded to by some of her subjects as “that Hapsburg woman,”
can claim an unbroken line of descent from Isabella and Ferdinand,
through Ferdinand I, second son of “Juana Loca” and Philip of Burgundy.
Thus the ancestry of his maternal parent may be said to legitimize
this titular King of Spain, while his posthumous birth “has excited a
feeling of pitying loyalty which may help to secure the Bourbon dynasty
in the last kingdom which is left to it.”[1]

Spain, under the regency, has been governed by a constitutional
monarchy, which was proclaimed in 1876. By its Constitution, the king
is inviolable; he is the executive, and the power to make laws is
vested in him and the Cortes, which comprises a senate and a congress,
coequal in authority. The senators are of three classes: First, those
by their own right, as grandees of the kingdom, privileged through
their titles and possessions; in the second place, those nominated by
the Crown; in the third, those elected by the communal and provincial
states, the church, universities, etc. Congress is composed of
deputies, at the rate of one to every fifty thousand in the population;
though since 1878 Cuba has been entitled to one in every forty thousand
of free inhabitants paying taxes to the amount of twenty–five dollars

The whole country is, or should be, represented in the legislative
power, and by the Constitution mutual checks are placed upon both king
and Cortes; for while the former issues his decrees, yet they must be
countersigned by one of his ministers, and he can not marry without
their approval. Further details of government are divided amongst the
ministers—of war, marine, agriculture, commerce, public works, justice,
finance, colonies, foreign affairs, and a president of the council.

Thus, while the king might be morally responsible for an unpopular law,
yet he could not be held accountable through his inviolability, and
the odium of it would fall upon the ministers of his appointing, who
might placate popular resentment by resigning. This explanation will
account for the frequent changes in the ministry, not only during the
reign of Alfonso XII, but under the regency. After the death of Alfonso
XII, and after the queen regent had taken the oath of allegiance to
the Constitution, a ministry was formed under the leadership of the
great Liberal, Señor Sagasta, to whom the Conservative Canovas promised
his support, as well as the Republican Castelar. Beneath the shadow
of their great calamity, all parties nobly rallied to the support of
the queen with a loyalty which was, if anything, intensified by the
birth of the infant Alfonso XIII, on May 17, 1886. But in September of
that year a revolt broke out under General Villafranca, in which ten
thousand men were more or less implicated, and which was suppressed
only after great exertions on the part of the loyal troops. The
premier, Sagasta, had pledged himself to reforms of many kinds, but he
had the greatest difficulty in redeeming them without the support of
the Government officials, who were as corrupt as they were numerous;
for, since the times when Spain owned vast colonial possessions, there
had always been a corrupt official class revelling in the uncounted
millions that overflowed from the colonial treasury. Even so late as
1888 it was estimated that nearly three million dollars were embezzled
during that year by civil employees, and thus the annual deficit was
vastly enhanced.

So, Liberal and Conservative ministries alternated every little while,
sometimes Canovas being in power, and again Sagasta. The position of
prime minister to the regency was at best a thankless task, and only
the highest patriotism could induce one to accept its onerous duties.
In 1893, for instance, Señor Sagasta was stoned by a mob at San
Sebastian; and in 1896, on the 7th of June, that upright and patriotic
statesman, Señor A. Canovas del Castillo, was assassinated by an
Italian anarchist; at the same time, other anarchists were attempting
to excite a revolution by means of bombs and dynamite. The trivial
pretexts upon which a ministry might be overthrown are illustrated in
an incident of the queen regent’s journey from Madrid to Valencia on
matters of state. She intrusted her nominal powers to the Infanta
Isabella, as also the military watchword; but the latter concluded
that she would take a little journey, and she in turn informed the
military governor, General Campos, that the “watchword” would be
given him at the proper time by her sister Eulalia. Thereupon General
Campos announced that, inasmuch as Eulalia was married to the Duc de
Montpensier, who held only the military rank of captain, he, a general,
could not, of course, receive the countersign from a subordinate! The
Minister of War being appealed to, General Campos resigned, and the
affair was not concluded until after the resignation of the entire
ministry, and Premier Sagasta had twice surrounded himself with a
new body of advisers. It would seem, indeed, that etiquette, not
patriotism, was paramount at the court of Spain! Next to etiquette,
superstition perhaps holds rank; for quite recently the bones of a
thirteenth–century saint were carried through the streets of Madrid,
followed by a procession of eight hundred priests, in order that a
threatened drought might be averted and the war with Cuba concluded.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the beginning of the year 1898 Spain’s colonial possessions in
America comprised Cuba and Puerto Rico, the former with an area
of about 45,000 square miles, and a population then estimated at
1,600,000; the latter, about 3,600 square miles in area, and with
813,000 inhabitants. In Asia, the Philippine Islands, about 2,000 in
number, 114,300 square miles in area, and with a population of about
8,000,000; the Carolines and Palaos, 560 square miles in area, and
36,000 population; the Sulu Islands, 950 square miles, and 75,000
inhabitants; and the Marianne or Ladrone Islands, 420 square miles in
area, and with 10,000 population—a total of 164,830 square miles, and
10,521,000 people. In Africa and off its west coast, several small
colonies, aggregating 3,650 miles in area, and 461,000 population. A
grand total in America, Asia, and Africa of about 168,480 square miles,
and 10,982,000 population. Thus, notwithstanding her enormous losses in
the past, Spain still held foreign possessions, at the opening of 1898,
with an aggregate area nearly seven–eighths that of the mother country,
and a population more than half as large.

Three centuries and more ago Spain swayed the world, the possessions
pertaining to her great empire being vaster than those to–day
controlled by Great Britain. Her losses began near the close of the
sixteenth century, under Philip II, when her North African provinces
slipped away; under Philip III she lost Naples, Sicily, and Burgundy;
early in the seventeenth century she lost the Netherlands; a little
later, the rich Spice Islands of the East; in 1640, Portugal; in 1659,
the Pyrenean provinces of France; in 1704 Gibraltar fell into British
hands, and has been retained by Britain ever since; in 1800 Louisiana
was ceded to France, and that vast territory was forever lost when it
was sold by Bonaparte to the United States in 1803. The first quarter
of the nineteenth century saw the severance from Spain of all her South
American colonies, Central America, Mexico, and the Floridas; the
year before its close she lost her last remaining islands in the West
Indies—Cuba and Puerto Rico; and in Asia, the Philippines and the Sulus.

Rapidly reviewing the barbarous colonial policy of Spain—a policy
which has been consistently cruel and rapacious ever since it was
inaugurated in the time of Ferdinand and Isabella—the only wonder is
that she so long retained such vast and distant possessions, separated
from the governing country by broad oceans, and containing peoples
so numerous and dissimilar. The first large island discovered by
Columbus, which still retains its native name of Cuba, was inhabited by
Indians of gentle nature, courteous and kind. They were numerous also,
and cultivated the most fertile portions of the island. For nearly
twenty years after the discovery Cuba was left in peace; but when the
settlements were founded, the barbarities of Haiti and the Bahamas were
re–enacted, the Indians were enslaved, and reduced to such a condition
of misery that hundreds killed themselves in despair. It was not many
years, in truth, before they had entirely disappeared, having been
murdered, directly and indirectly, by the despicable Spaniards.

To fill their places, the Spaniards imported negro slaves from Africa,
who were treated, like the Indians, with excessive cruelty, but who
were more tenacious of life than the unfortunate aborigines, and their
descendants constitute a large proportion of the Cuban population at
the present time. One of the largest and wealthiest of Spain’s islands
beyond the sea, Cuba early became a prey to Spanish adventurers and
English freebooters. For more than three hundred years, except for
a short period in 1762, Cuba has been in the clutches of Spain, her
lands cultivated until within a few years by slave labour, her revenues
plundered by rapacious officials. Gradually there has grown up a
native population, distinct from the “peninsular” Spanish—a population
speaking the same language as the immigrants from the home country,
yet differing from them, inasmuch as about half the islanders have
mulatto or negro blood in their veins, and are looked upon and treated
by the “peninsulars” as inferiors.

During more than three hundred and fifty years the natives patiently
submitted to oppression and extortion in every form; but the political
disquietude in Spain was soon reflected in her colonies, and long after
the loss of Mexico, Central and South America to the motherland, Cuba
attempted to break the chains that bound her to Spain. There was an
uprising of the blacks in 1844, and in 1851 a filibustering raid under
General Lopez, a Venezuelan, who was killed in his third invasion of
the island, as well as several filibusters from the United States.
An offer to purchase the island, shortly after, made to Spain by the
President of the United States, met with no favour, as Spanish pride
and interests were against it.

The most serious revolt against the Spaniards occurred in 1868,
consequent upon the distracted condition of Spain during the
revolutionary proceedings which exiled Isabella II. The leader of this
revolt, Carlos de Cespedes, was subsequently elected president of a
republic which the insurgents finally set up, and for ten years,
during which at least seventy–five thousand Spanish soldiers perished
in the island, and the natives suffered every conceivable indignity
from the “peninsulars,” the war was waged, only to be concluded by a
deceitful promise of reforms which were never granted. General Martinez
Campos, then the Captain–General of Cuba, and authorized representative
of Spain, signed the “capitulation” of El Zanjon in 1878, by which
the insurgents were induced to surrender, under a pledge that their
demands should be acceded to; but Señor Canovas, then Prime Minister
of Spain, refused to recognise this treaty, and so all their terrible
sacrifices came to naught. It was but natural that the patriots should
feel resentful; but they remained quiescent for seventeen years, at the
end of which period, in February, 1895, the long–smouldering embers of
revolt again burst into flame.




While it may be difficult to write a dispassionate account of a war
in which the sympathies of the writer have been ardently enlisted on
one side as against the other, and to paint a picture which lacks the
perspective afforded by the lapse of time, yet an attempt will be made
to present such an account and such a picture as will stand the test of
unprejudiced criticism.

The object of the insurgents during the ten years’ war was to secure
reforms in the national administration, actual representation in the
Cortes, and amelioration of their intolerable condition. They secured
nothing, for though eventually granted the privilege of representation,
in 1878, this privilege was nullified by the representatives being
mainly selected from the ranks of the peninsulars themselves! And now,
in 1895, having in mind the duplicity by which they had been tricked,
the Cuban patriots aimed at nothing less than _independence_! This idea
of actual and complete severance from Spain they have consistently
persisted in from the very first; and when the end came, finding them
impoverished and starving, their ranks decimated by war and disease,
they still clung to the rock of independence, upon which they purposed
to found their long–cherished republic.

Dominated by this grand idea, animated by a resolve that nothing could
shake, the leaders of the revolt of 1895 were mainly those who had
survived the war of 1868–’78, such as the brothers Maceo, Gomez, and
Garcia. The veteran Gomez was their recognised chief, and under him
they withstood the assaults of Spanish arms for more than three years,
the number of Spanish soldiers at the termination of the struggle
amounting to more than one hundred thousand. Spain sent to Cuba her
best commanders and the flower of her soldiery, many thousands of
whom, fighting the cause of despotism against that of freedom, fell
victims to Spanish barbarities. The redoubtable General Campos, the
“pacificator” of the former war, was sent out with ample means and
placed in supreme control; but, though with one hundred thousand
troops at his command, after the cost of the war had mounted to more
than sixty million dollars, he was recalled, and the notorious General
Weyler sent in his place.

Whatever may be charged against General Campos, he was at least
humane, as compared with his successor. It was through no fault of
his, but owing to the perfidy of the home Government, that the treaty
of Zanjon had not been respected; and it was even charged against
him in Spain that he rather favoured than earnestly combated the
insurgents. At all events, no such charge could be brought against the
inhuman Weyler, who at once began a war of extermination, laid waste
the country, and committed such atrocities that his name will ever be
held in detestation by succeeding generations. Unable to overcome the
insurgents in honourable warfare, Captain–General Weyler inaugurated a
system of butcheries that caused a shudder to run through all civilized
communities when informed of his wanton waste of human life. Although
he had behind him the vast resources of Spain, held command of an army
four times as large as the combined forces of the insurgents, and could
have summoned to his aid a magnificent array of naval vessels, yet
he could not cope with those half–starved, ragged, and nearly naked
patriots, fighting for their lives and for their liberties.

When captured—which was not often—the insurgents were treated as
bandits, and suffered ignominious deaths; and it is no palliation
of Spanish crimes to say that the insurgents themselves adopted the
barbarous methods of their enemy. Little can be said in excuse of the
atrocities committed on either side, for the system of warfare they
were pursuing was not honourable. Yet, despite the knowledge that they
were courting certain death by their insistence, the insurgents put
forth every effort to drive the Spaniards within the towns and cities,
and were in the main successful.

General Weyler divided the whole island into departments, and across
it, from northern to southern coast, at intervals stretched a system
of rude fortifications called a _trocha_, guarded by his soldiery.
Through these _trochas_ the insurgents broke repeatedly, at one time
sweeping the island from the eastern province of Santiago to the
extreme western province of Pinar del Rio. In the spring of 1896 even
Havana felt a tremor of fear at the coming of the native hordes, which
encamped within striking distance of the forts around the city. But
though the gallant Antonio Maceo raided around vana and ravaged Pinar
del Rio, he met death finally through treachery, and the immediate
danger was averted. There was at no time any real danger that the
capital and other strong cities like Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Santiago
should be attacked and overcome, since the insurgents had no artillery,
little ammunition, and insufficient forces to reduce and capture the
strongholds of the Spaniards. But they made their camps in inaccessible
fastnesses, pursuing a guerrilla mode of warfare, pouncing upon the
enemy suddenly without warning, and carrying off his stores and
ammunition trains, blowing up the tracks and viaducts of railroads,
setting fire to unprotected plantations, and destroying the growing
crops of tobacco and sugar cane. And what the insurgents failed to
destroy, General Weyler seized, having determined upon a policy of
destruction and extermination that would eventually reduce this fair
island, so long known as the “Pearl of the Antilles,” from a most
fertile country to an uninhabited desert. To this end he issued his
edicts of “reconcentration,” by which all inhabitants of the country
districts were ordered to concentrate in and around the cities, and
their farms and gardens were destroyed. This was for the purpose of
depriving the insurgents, who ranged the country parts and subsisted
upon the natives who sympathized with them, of all food and supplies
whatsoever. An inhuman policy, but not original with Weyler, for
Spaniards had pursued it before, though in times when the amenities
of civilization were not recognised as they are to–day; and the whole
military world repudiated it and reprobated its authors.

No tongue, no pen, can adequately describe the sufferings, the callous
cruelties, that ensued when the _reconcentrados_—as these unhappy
victims of Weyler’s edicts were teamed—were finally gathered in the
cities, where they could be watched by the tyrant’s soldiers. For,
though they were assembled by his orders, against their inclinations,
having abandoned homes and farms, every means of subsistence, they were
left to starve and die with scarcely any effort being made for their
relief. First scores, then hundreds, then thousands, starved in the
streets, fell and died like dogs; fathers of families were compelled
to witness the agonizing sufferings of their children, without the
possibility of affording them relief; mothers lost their little ones
by slow starvation, while themselves enduring the torments of diseases
induced by their condition. One by one, family after family, finally
the inhabitants of whole villages and hamlets, perished miserably, and
it at last seemed evident to Weyler that his policy would prevail and
the insurgents succumb to starvation, if not to powder and bullets.

But meanwhile—though the author of all these torments gloated over the
miseries he had created, though he grew immensely rich from the plunder
of his victims—his soldiers could not prevail against the intrepid
insurgents. They hid in caves and swamps, they grew gaunt and weak from
starvation, but they still persisted in their determination to resist
to the death.

So far as possible, through suppression of news, through accounts
of victories never achieved, successes never gained, and reports of
insurgent atrocities never perpetrated, the Spaniards had misinformed
the world at large regarding conditions in Cuba. The Spanish queen, who
was concerned with a mother’s solicitude for the throne upon which her
boy–king sat; the Spanish people, inured to cruelty through traditions
from the past and the bullfights of modern times: the people of the
“motherland” of Cuba, gazed complacently upon these unparalleled
sufferings of a rebellious population; but the rest of the world
finally protested.

“This is not war; this is butchery; these atrocities must cease!” was
the universal protest. Still, the cause of humanity, while broad as
the world and of universal acceptation, at first found no champion.
The weeks and months went by, and the _reconcentrados_ died like wild
beasts, neglected, spurned, by their captors, apparently forgotten by
all fellow–creatures. And yet hands were stretched out to them, hearts
were bleeding for them (though vainly, perforce), in a country adjacent
to their island, from which it is separated only by a channel less than
one hundred miles in width. One hundred miles away, only a few hours’
sail, lay the borders of a nation pledged to the maintenance of human
rights and the righting of human wrongs. Why, then, could it not step
in and stay the progress of that car of Juggernaut before it was too

Why, indeed? Why did not England, Russia, or Germany stay the hand of
the Turk when he was cutting the throats of helpless Armenians? of the
Moslem, when he was murdering the Christian people of Crete?

Because international diplomacy has recognised the right of a country
or nation to deal with its recalcitrant subjects as it may deem best.
When nations go to war it is seldom for the righting of real wrongs,
but on some trivial pretext like that which precipitated the conflict
between France and Germany in 1870—a country’s “injured honour,” but
rarely its injured people!

The time arrived, however, when Cuba’s neighbors in the United States
could no longer turn a deaf ear to the appeals of suffering humanity
so near to their shores. It is true that the people of the United
States had been outspoken in their sympathy long before; that a Cuban
junta had found a refuge in New York, whence it sent relief and
planned expeditions for the benefit of the insurgents. In accordance
with international usage, the Government of the United States used
every effort to frustrate the plans of the junta and to maintain an
attitude of neutrality, since the insurgents had not been accorded
belligerency—that is, their cause was not recognised by nations—and
in the eyes of the nation with which they were at war they were only
rebels against lawful authority. It was a delicate situation for the
Americans: their sympathies enlisted in behalf of the Cuban rebels, yet
constrained by their regard for the laws from giving them governmental

For several years, and during at least two administrations, the
majority of the newspapers of the country had urged Congress to accord
the Cubans belligerent rights, by which their status as fighters would
be defined and their acts in a sense legitimized. At last the clamour
became so great that Congress could no longer ignore what was the very
evident wish of the people of the United States; yet it is doubtful if
decisive action would have been immediately taken had not an incident
occurred which shook the nation to its very centre.

The condition of things in Havana became so alarming that the
consul–general of the United States requested the presence of a war
vessel for the protection of Americans there, and the battleship Maine,
one of the finest in the navy, was sent on a friendly visit to that
port. It has since been shown that her presence was unnecessary at that
time; but, at all events, the Americans were well within their rights
in sending her there, and she was received with the usual honours.
Shortly after her arrival, however, on February 15, 1898, while lying
peacefully at the buoy to which she was shown by the Spanish captain of
the port, she was blown up and sunk, with two hundred and sixty of her
officers and crew.

Through the country shot a thrill of horror at this dastardly act,
succeeded by instant and universal demands for vengeance. Calm
counsels prevailed, however. A board of inquiry was convened by order
of the President, and after weeks of calm investigation, during which
the American public awaited the result with splendid forbearance, yet
with ever–increasing determination to punish the actual perpetrators
of this fiendish deed, it was officially announced that the explosion
which had wrecked the Maine and sent so many of her brave men into
eternity was _from without_, and presumably from a submarine mine!

Now, submarine mines of the size and power sufficient to sink a great
battleship can not be placed in position by mere individual effort; and
the instant inference was that the Spanish Government, which had caused
the harbour of Havana to be furtively mined, was, if not the actual
criminal, the cause of the crime! Still, even when this conviction was
forced home upon those most unwilling to believe in the criminality of
Spain, President McKinley refused to commit himself to hasty action.
It was not until the 20th of April, when, as he himself confessed,
he had “exhausted every effort to relieve the intolerable condition
of affairs at our doors,” that he availed himself of the authority
conferred upon him by Congress to intervene in Cuba, using the military
and naval forces of the United States, and sent an ultimatum to Spain.
He had wisely treated the Maine explosion, aggravating as it was, as an
incident merely; but as affording conclusive proof “of an intolerable
state of things in Cuba, sufficiently acute to warrant the intervention
of the United States.”

On the very day of the ultimatum to Spain, the Spanish minister at
Washington demanded his passports, and on the next day the American
minister left Madrid. War was virtually declared on the 21st of April,




President McKinley had opposed the inclination of the people for
immediate hostilities, and did not sanction an appeal to the
arbitrament of battle until he had exhausted every device of diplomacy;
yet, when once committed to war, he was most energetic in his efforts
to prepare the country for its task. Himself a soldier, having served
gallantly through the civil war between the States, he knew the value
of immediate action. On the 22d of April he issued a proclamation
declaring the principal ports of Cuba in a state of blockade, and on
the 23d, a call for one hundred and twenty–five thousand volunteers
to serve for two years or the war. A further call was later issued,
raising the number of volunteers to two hundred thousand, and this
appeal was eagerly responded to by the patriotic people. They showed
the sincerity of their convictions by their acts, and the quotas of
the various States were rapidly filled; camps of instruction were
established in the East and South; arsenals, foundries, shipyards, and
all branches of military and naval construction, were soon the scenes
of unsurpassed activity.

In a message to Congress, in 1898, President McKinley had said: “The
long trial has proved that the object for which Spain has waged the war
can not be attained. The fire of insurrection may flame or may smoulder
with varying seasons, but it has not been, and it is plain that it
can not be, extinguished by present methods. The only hope of relief
and repose from a condition which can no longer be endured is the
enforced pacification of Cuba. In the name of humanity, in the name of
civilization, in behalf of endangered American interests which give us
the right and the duty to speak and to act, the war in Cuba must stop.”

“In view of all this, the Congress was asked to authorize and empower
the President to take measures to secure a final termination of
hostilities between Spain and the people of Cuba, and to secure in the
island the establishment of a stable government, capable of maintaining
order, observing its international obligations, insuring peace and
tranquility, the security of its citizens as well as our own, and for
the accomplishment of those ends to use the military and naval forces
of the United States as might be necessary; with added authority to
continue generous relief to the starving people of Cuba.”

The response of the Congress, after nine days of earnest deliberation,
was to pass the memorable joint resolution declaring:

“First, That the people of the island of Cuba are, and of right ought
to be, free and independent.

“Second, That it is the duty of the United States to demand, and the
Government of the United States does hereby demand, that the Government
of Spain at once relinquish its authority and government in the island
of Cuba and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban

“Third, That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is,
directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces of the
United States, and to call into the actual service of the United States
the militia of the several States, to such extent as may be necessary
to carry these resolutions into effect.

“Fourth, That the United States hereby disclaims any disposition
or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over
said island except for the pacification thereof, and asserts its
determination when that is accomplished to leave the government and
control of the island to its people.”

This resolution was approved by the Executive on the next day, April
20th. A copy was at once communicated to the Spanish minister at the
capital, who forthwith announced that his continuance in Washington
had thereby become impossible, and asked for his passports, which
were given him. He thereupon withdrew from Washington, leaving the
protection of Spanish interests in the United States to the French
ambassador and the Austro–Hungarian minister.

Congress had voted the President, in anticipation of war and the
necessity for preparation, the sum of fifty million dollars, to be
used at his discretion; and this money was soon spent for powder,
guns, forts, and mines, for coast defence, auxiliary ships for the
navy, cannon, army and naval stores, medicines in vast quantities, and
clothing for the new recruits.

“Under the direction of the Chief of Engineers, submarine mines were
placed at the most exposed points. Before the outbreak of war permanent
mining casemates and cable galleries had been constructed at nearly
all important harbours. Most of the torpedo material was not to be
found in the market, and had to be specially manufactured. Under date
of April 19th, district officers were directed to take all preliminary
measures, short of the actual attaching of the loaded mines to the
cables, and on April 22d telegraphic orders were issued to place the
loaded mines in position. The aggregate number of mines placed was
1,535, at the principal harbours from Maine to California.”

The standing army of the United States in time of peace did not exceed
twenty–five thousand men, but the State militia afforded drafts of
soldiers who were soon converted into good fighting material in the
various camps of instruction.

One beneficent effect of this appeal to arms in support of a cause
which enlisted the highest sympathies, was the obliteration of all
sectional lines that had existed on account of the civil war between
the States. Many Confederate veterans, who had fought against the
Union, now hastened to offer their services in its defence. A wave of
patriotism swept the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from
the Great Lakes to the Florida Channel. The solidarity of the country
was made apparent when such brave officers of the civil war as Generals
Lee and Wheeler, who had fought on the “losing side,” sought and
obtained positions of a rank commensurate with their great abilities.
It was conclusively shown that the Americans had not, as often charged
by their enemies, become weak and effeminate in sordid pursuits, and
lost to all sense of honour and moral obligations.

The nation, then, responded nobly to the President’s call for soldiers
and supplies, and within a week its naval vessels were blockading the
ports of Cuba, and its armies moving southward to a base whence they
could promptly invade the enemy’s territory. On the 27th of April the
Spanish batteries of Matanzas, Cuba, were shelled by Admiral Sampson’s
flagship, the New York, and other war vessels, though without any
material advantage. On the 29th of April a Spanish fleet, commanded by
Admiral Cervera, and consisting of four armoured cruisers and three
torpedo boats and “destroyers,” left port in the Cape de Verde Islands
and sailed for West Indian waters.

At the outset it was believed that the Spanish navy was vastly superior
to that of the United States, for there were several battle ships of
vast tonnage and heaviest armament, and cruisers of greater speed than
any possessed by the Americans. So, when it was at first rumoured, then
asserted as a certainty, that a formidable Spanish fleet was headed
toward American shores, all was anxiety along the Atlantic coast.
Nothing is more certain than that the Spaniards, had they but possessed
the necessary dash and vigour, might have ravaged a portion of the
coast and destroyed several cities before their enemies’ scattered
fleets could have concentrated to destroy them. But while at the outset
Spain had cruisers and battle ships, torpedo boats and “destroyers,”
in numbers exceeding their opponents, yet there was one factor she had
overlooked—the men who manned the ships and trained the guns! While
the American navy was at first inferior, in guns and ships, to that of
Spain, yet the men had been trained to a higher state of efficiency,
than the Spanish sailors, as will be shown a little later on.

But while a state of terrible suspense prevailed regarding the
whereabouts of Admiral Cervera’s Spanish fleet, then presumably on its
way to destroy the coast cities of the United States, there transpired
something in the far–away isles of the Pacific that at once dissipated
the gloom and restored confidence.

When, at the outbreak of the war, Great Britain declared all her ports
neutral—that is, not open to war vessels of either combatant—the
United States Asiatic squadron, consisting of four protected cruisers,
two gunboats, and a despatch boat, was lying in the British port of
Hong Kong. Driven out of this port by the proclamation of neutrality,
Commodore George Dewey, in command of the squadron, acting under orders
from Washington, steamed direct for the Philippine Islands, valuable
possessions of Spain, discovered by Magellan in 1521, and settled by
Spaniards in 1565. He may have had orders to go to the Philippines in
any event; but now that he was deprived of a port, Commodore Dewey
felt constrained to take possession of another; so at daylight on
the morning of the 1st of May, 1898, his little fleet was discovered
by Spaniards on the watch groping its way, over sunken mines and
between defensive batteries, into the bay of Manila! The rich city of
Manila, and perhaps the entire Philippine chain, consisting of about
two thousand islands, was to be the ultimate prize; but the immediate
objective was the Spanish fleet assembled for the protection of the
capital. This fleet, consisting of seven cruisers and several gunboats,
was at last discovered by Commodore Dewey, drawn up in battle array in
the harbour of Cavité, an inlet of Manila Bay, and at once attacked.[2]

Then ensued a scene of carnage, and ultimately a victory, which was,
perhaps, all things considered, without a parallel in history. For,
though the opposing vessels were very well matched, and their crews
were about the same in number, in a few hours every Spanish ship
was either blown up or sunk, and the land batteries of Cavité were
completely silenced! The Spanish loss was terrible, amounting to three
hundred and eighty–one in killed and wounded; but on the American side
not one was killed, only nine were wounded, and eventually every man
returned to duty!

Such a decisive victory for the Americans, and such a crushing defeat
for Spain, had its effect upon the respective countries, raising the
spirits of the “Yankees,” and correspondingly depressing those of
the Spaniards. The city of Manila, which was dependent upon the fleet
for its protection, was now absolutely at the mercy of the American
commodore; but he, as merciful as he was brave and invincible,
refrained from bombarding it, preferring to await the arrival of
troops for its capture. As soon as possible troops were despatched
to the Philippines; but it was the last week in May before the first
were aboard the transports, and about a month more before they arrived
at Manila. Eventually some twenty thousand American troops were
concentrated at Manila, and then the city was assaulted and captured,
on August 13th, by the combined action of the army and navy.

It was a strange chance that threw the Philippines into the hands
of the United States; for, in the first place, it is said that
when the New World was divided between Portugal and Spain, by the
celebrated “bull” of Pope Alexander VI, in 1493 (according to which
all discoveries after that west of an ideal meridian were to belong to
Spain, and those east to Portugal), the Philippines would rightfully
have fallen to the last–named country. But by a mistake of Magellan,
their discoverer, they were placed twenty or thirty degrees nearer to
America than they really were, and the error was never rectified. So,
through an error of the great Magellan, and the prowess of the gallant
Dewey, the United States were put in possession of one of Spain’s most
valuable colonies.

It is said that republics are ungrateful; but if the American Republic
has been open to that accusation in the past, it nobly redeemed itself
during the campaign against the Spaniards. Commodore Dewey was at once
advanced to the rank of rear admiral, and the thanks of the nation
were conveyed by its President to the brave sailors under him, with
the promise of substantial emoluments later on. The moral effect of
this victory was vastly greater than the mere material acquisitions;
for it corrected a long–existent misapprehension in Europe as to our
abilities, and advanced us at once an immeasurable distance in its

Meanwhile in the United States every effort was still put forth to
equip the armies, to perfect the fleets, and to bring the conflict to
an early and honourable close. Without animosity toward their foes,
with the highest motives and incentives, the Americans yet relaxed no
endeavour in the vigorous prosecution of the war.

The first American victims fell on May 11th, in an engagement with the
batteries of Cardenas, Cuba, when, Ensign Bagley and four sailors on
the gunboat Winslow were killed by Spanish shells; and the next day,
in the bombardment of San Juan, Puerto Rico, one sailor was killed.
This bombardment was merely an incident in the search of our fleets
for Admiral Cervera’s squadron, the whereabouts of which remained a
mystery for three long weeks. During this time a “flying squadron” was
organized and held at Newport News, under command of Commodore Schley,
ready to steam to the succour of whatever point should be menaced by
the Spanish ships, either North or South. At last it became known that
the Spaniards had been seen in the West Indies, and the flying squadron
sailed for those waters. Admiral Sampson meanwhile was cruising in the
Caribbean Sea, seeking an engagement with the Spanish fleet; and as
it was thought that the enemy might seek shelter at San Juan, a port
on the north side of the island of Puerto Rico, it was visited; but
with no result other than the bombardment of the fortifications by the
American fleet, though without inflicting any material injury.

Word came at last that Admiral Cervera had, in a roundabout way, safely
reached the landlocked harbour of Santiago de Cuba on May 19th, and
there he was “bottled up,” a few days later, by the flying squadron,
which was soon re–enforced by the fleet under Admiral Sampson, who took
command. Even then, there was much doubt as to the actual location
of the Spanish squadron, until Lieutenant Victor Blue by a daring
reconnoissance penetrated the enemy’s lines, at the risk of being
captured and shot as a spy, and ascertained beyond peradventure that
the fleet was in the harbour of Santiago.

While the United States Government had been concentrating troops at
Tampa, and its fleets at Key West and off the port of Havana, yet it
was apparently uncertain at which point to invade Cuban soil, until
the arrival of the Spanish fleet at Santiago suddenly determined
the future theatre of war. As the destruction of Admiral Cervera’s
powerful squadron was of more importance than anything else, all the
energies of the Government were now put forth to accomplish it. The
fleet under command of Admiral Sampson included the largest and most
heavily armoured cruisers and battle ships, besides smaller craft, as
gunboats and torpedo destroyers. Added to these, the splendid battle
ship Oregon, which had been ordered from San Francisco to the theatre
of war, arrived during the blockade of Santiago after a memorable “run”
around South America and through the Caribbean Sea. Thus the American
admiral had a fleet vastly superior to that within the harbour; but the
problem was, how to get at it! Securely intrenched behind the frowning
hills around the harbour entrance, which latter was filled with
torpedoes and submarine mines, the Spanish squadron was for the time
safe from harm.

A constant watch was kept on the narrow entrance to Santiago’s harbour,
on one side guarded by the ancient Morro Castle, and on the other
by more modern batteries, upon which at night were trained powerful
electric search–lights; and not a moment passed during any twenty–four
hours in which the captive squadron could have escaped unobserved from
the trap in which it was caught.

The actual invasion of Cuba was begun on the 10th of June at the bay
of Guantanamo, to the eastward of Santiago, by a force of six hundred
marines, when several men were killed before a secure camp could be
obtained. Among the great results of this occupation was the capture of
the submarine cable station, by means of which fleet and army were soon
put in communication with Washington.

On the 3d of June a deed of heroism was performed in the sinking of
the collier Merrimac across the narrow channel of Santiago harbour by
Lieutenant Hobson and a crew of seven men. This was done under a heavy
fire from the Spanish batteries, and while exposed to the torpedoes
set off by the enemy when they discovered this attempt to obstruct
the channel. Lieutenant Hobson and his men escaped death almost by a
miracle, only to fall into the hands of the enemy, by whom they were
taken to the Morro and imprisoned. The attempt to block the channel
and thus absolutely prevent the escape of the squadron within, was
unavailing; but this does not render the deed the less heroic. And
to show of what material the American navy is composed—a navy that
has been derided by Europe and made the object of ridicule by some
citizen politicians—it was reported that hundreds volunteered for this
desperate enterprise, even though well aware that it meant to those who
took part in it almost certain death!

In response to the request of Admiral Sampson, who represented that
he would not risk forcing the harbour entrance, filled as it was
with mines, an expedition of sixteen thousand men was soon afloat on
transports in Tampa harbour, Florida, and after long delays, reached
the coast of Cuba, off Santiago, on the 22d of June. These troops,
comprising the Fifth Army Corps, commanded by General Shafter, were
soon landed at Baiquiri and Siboney, despite the tremendous surf, and
lost no time in possessing themselves of the country adjacent.

As time was precious, the troops of General Shafter’s command were
landed rapidly, each man with three days’ rations and two hundred
rounds of ammunition, and the van was pushing for Santiago while the
rear was disembarking. They encountered little opposition at first,
and the second day, or on the 23d of June, a base of operations was
secured by the capture of Juragua. On the 24th the first blood was
spilled, when the dismounted cavalry, known as the Rough Riders, were
attacked, several miles beyond the most advanced position, at La
Guasimas, and lost sixteen in killed and fifty–two wounded. This attack
by the Spaniards upon troops struggling through a tropical thicket was
referred to by the men themselves as merely a skirmish, and did not for
a moment cause them to falter.

The Spaniards withdrew from their advanced positions, and a few days
after the skirmish at La Guasimas eight thousand troops, under Generals
Wheeler and Lawton, occupied the hamlet of Sevilla without opposition.
The first great battle was a week later, on the 1st of July, when
a general advance was ordered upon the outworks of Santiago. Two
important positions were taken and held, that of El Caney by General
Lawton, consisting of a strong blockhouse defended by rifle pits,
and San Juan Hill by General Kent. Both positions were gallantly and
obstinately defended by the Spaniards, and it was only after repeated
charges by our troops that they were taken. The charge up the steep
slopes of San Juan Hill, led by Colonel Roosevelt, compelled the
unstinted admiration of the foreign _attachés_ representing various
European governments, who could not sufficiently praise the gallant
“initiative,” as they called it, of the American soldier. After two
days’ hard fighting the men intrenched and lay down on their arms, with
a loss of two hundred and thirty killed and more than twelve hundred
wounded. Volunteers and regulars vied with each other in deeds of
bravery, in individual heroism, and it would be impossible to mention
every hero of this fight. The Spaniards fought well also, and as they
possessed weapons superior to those of the Americans, and cartridges
loaded with smokeless powder, and were in the main sheltered behind
intrenchments, they had a great advantage.

Within the fortifications of Santiago were about fifteen thousand
soldiers under General Linares; without, as many Americans under
General Shafter, who by two days of fighting had gained positions
whence they could command the city. Re–enforcements were constantly
arriving, and soon the heavy siege guns would be brought to the front
and the Spaniards driven from the forts and intrenchments. At first a
general assault was contemplated by the Americans, but this idea was
abandoned when it was found that the enemy was so strongly intrenched,
so desperate, and equipped with superior arms.

While the American general was undecided what to do, a new diversion
was caused, on the morning of July 3d, by the fleet of Admiral Cervera
making a sudden dash for liberty. The admiral’s position had become,
or soon would become, untenable, and he was forced to the desperate
determination to fly out in the face of the Yankee war ships and take
the one chance for liberty. About half past nine in the morning the
lookout on the battle ship Texas gave the alarm: “The fleet is coming
out!” Signals were set, but the black smoke from the funnels of the
fleet betrayed their design, and the battle ships Iowa and Oregon, and
the armoured cruiser Brooklyn, at once hastened with all steam toward
the harbour entrance.

It was a magnificent spectacle: that of the gathering war ships
speeding toward the Spanish squadron, which, with the Infanta Maria
Teresa, Admiral Cervera’s flagship, in the lead, followed by the
Cristobal Colon, the Vizcaya, the Almirante Oquendo, and the two
torpedo destroyers Furor and Pluton, steamed slowly into view, and
then, with increasing speed, turned down the western coast.

What followed then was a test of speed and endurance, for it had
long been maintained that the Spanish war ships were the superiors
of the American in these respects. What then ensued quickly proved
the contrary to be true, for within one short hour three of the
great battle ships were driven ashore and sunk, riddled with shells,
and with flames bursting from every port. The Texas, Oregon, Iowa,
and Brooklyn dashed upon them like eagles swooping upon their prey,
pouring in terrible broadsides and sweeping their decks with their
rapid–fire guns. The great thirteen–inch shells tore through the belts
of steel armour, smashed the boilers and machinery, setting fire to the
magazines, and in a short time completely disabling the pride and boast
of the Spanish navy. The two torpedo destroyers, which had been so much
exploited as terrors of the sea, were disposed of in a few minutes by
the Texas, Iowa, and Gloucester, and sunk with a loss of two thirds of
their crews. Meanwhile, the Cristobal Colon, the only ship remaining,
was speeding along the coast, with the Oregon and Brooklyn, followed
by the New York, Admiral Sampson’s flagship, in close pursuit. But it
was a vain attempt at escape; about fifty miles from the harbour of
Santiago the Colon was driven ashore, shattered by shells and on fire
in many places. This was at one o’clock, and thus it had taken less
than five hours for the glorious Yankee ships with their gallant crews
to destroy the Spanish squadron and capture its officers and crews.
And this was effected with a loss to the victor of but one man killed,
while the losses of the Spaniards amounted to more than six hundred
killed and thirteen hundred prisoners!

This disparity in casualties might be considered miraculous were it
not for the notorious fact that Spanish gunners can not shoot, and
that on this particular occasion many of them were intoxicated and
fired wildly; while the Yankee sailors, trained by long practice, made
all their shots “tell” with terrible effect. It was then seen that,
more than to battle ships and belts of armour, more than to speed and
calibre of cannon, the American nation was indebted for victory to the
men behind the guns! The Spaniards were brave even to rashness; they
may have fought equally well with the Americans, yet they did not
possess their skill, their tenacity of purpose, their intelligence.

It was a glorious victory, yet tempered with regret for the fallen
foe. The national sentiment of pity and sympathy was voiced by Captain
Philip, of the Texas, who, when his crew sent up shouts of exultation
at the sight of the shattered Vizcaya’s men driven from their guns by
an explosion, cried out: “Don’t cheer, boys; those poor fellows are
dying!” And every effort was put forth to save the survivors, by those
who so recently had been intent upon their destruction.




The loss of Cervera’s fleet nearly broke the Spanish heart—at all
events, its proud and haughty spirit. For, while it was not expected
that Spain (which had not gained an important naval victory since that
of Lepanto over the Turks, in 1571) would eventually win, yet it was
thought that some meed of glory might accrue from its great armament
and expenditure for fighting machines. At the end of the war—for
this victory virtually ended it—Spain’s naval losses amounted to
thirty–seven vessels of all classes, or about one half of her entire
navy, and forty per cent of her total tonnage, valued at more than
twenty–seven million dollars. Her killed in battle numbered at least
two thousand, the wounded many more; while the total killed in the
naval engagements on the American side numbered only seventeen, with
less than one hundred wounded.

Two weeks after the fleet was destroyed Santiago surrendered, and with
it there fell to the victors the entire eastern province of Cuba, with
twenty–two thousand prisoners of war. By the terms of capitulation, all
soldiers and officers of the Spanish army in and about Santiago were
transported to Spain at the expense of the United States Government.
The thirteen hundred prisoners from Cervera’s fleet were at first
taken to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where they were well housed and
kindly cared for; the officers were confined at Annapolis, where their
treatment was such as to call forth the most lively expressions of
gratitude from the captured admiral and his colleagues. As there were
no American prisoners for whom to exchange these unfortunates, they
were finally released and sent home, about the middle of September,

Santiago surrendered on July 17th, and eight days later General Nelson
A. Miles, with several thousand troops landed at a port of Puerto Rico
and captured the important city of Ponce. His invasion was skilfully
planned and was being carried out with consummate strategy, when,
after nearly all the southern and western settlements had fallen
into his hands, operations were stopped by orders from Washington.
On the day following the landing of American troops in Puerto Rico
the United States Government had been approached by the ambassador of
France, acting in the interests of Spain, who asked upon what terms the
President would consent to peace.

Although American arms were everywhere triumphant, and American fleets
preparing to invade the Mediterranean and ravage the coasts of Spain
itself, yet the President, still consistent in his attitude—as desirous
of peace, yet determined to exact justice for the oppressed—cordially
welcomed the overtures from Spain. In view of the overwhelming
victories of the United States, and the fact that the country was
but just beginning to draw upon its vast resources, the provisions
of the preliminary protocol were liberal in the extreme. These were,
the independence of Cuba, the cession of Puerto Rico and one of the
Ladrone Islands to the United States, and the question of jurisdiction
over the Philippines, with other minor matters, to be left to a
joint commission. These terms were agreed to by Spain on the 9th of
August, and the protocol for a treaty of peace was signed on the 12th.
Immediately upon the signing of the protocol orders were sent to all
United States military and naval commanders to cease operations
against the enemy at once. The blockades of Cuban and Puerto Rican
ports were declared lifted; the war, in effect, was ended.

The American soldiers were arrested in mid–career of victory, with
swords uplifted and guns aimed at the enemy; nevertheless, though
many of them wept for very rage at being baffled in their designs,
they obeyed implicitly the commands emanating from Washington. In the
far–off Philippines, however, where brave Dewey and his sailors had
been for months awaiting the arrival of sufficient re–enforcements
to take and occupy Manila, warlike preparations still continued. On
the day following the signing of the protocol, and before the news
had reached the islands, the defences of Manila had been assaulted
and carried by our soldiers, the city taken, together with more than
seven thousand prisoners, and the capital of the Philippines became an
American possession. Owing to the difference in time between Manila
and Washington, the victory was assured but a few hours after the
negotiations looking to peace had been concluded. As there was no
direct cable from Manila to the United States, and despatches had to
be sent by vessel to and from Hong Kong, seven hundred miles away,
Admiral Dewey and General Merritt, commanding respectively the naval
and land forces in the Philippines, had acted without knowledge of the
peace proceedings, and thus fortuitously Manila was taken before the
war was officially ended. This fact had an important bearing upon the
subsequent negotiations of the peace commissioners, who were appointed
later by the Governments of Spain and the United States, and met in
Paris to arrange the final terms, as by the fall of the capital of the
Philippines the whole group was virtually conquered.

The situation was complicated by the actions of the Philippine
insurgents under General Aguinaldo, who were already in revolt against
Spain before the Spanish fleet was destroyed by Dewey’s squadron. As in
Cuba, the natives of the Philippines had suffered for centuries from
Spanish oppressions, and their condition of late years had been one of
chronic revolt; terrible atrocities had been committed on both sides,
and neither party had given evidence of a capacity for government or
for advance in the paths of progress and civilization. Upon the arrival
of the American fleet and army the insurgents had made common cause
with the United States; but each side viewed the other with distrust.
The Spaniards, hemmed in between the land forces of Aguinaldo and
the fleet and soldiers of the Americans, displayed great bravery in
a hopeless cause; but at the very last, convinced of the futility of
resistance, surrendered to the latter. They distrusted the insurgents,
but put faith in the promises of the Americans, which promises were
kept to the letter; and the transference of authority from Spanish to
American hands was accomplished without disturbance.

       *       *       *       *       *

The total duration of this war between Spain and the United States
was only one hundred and fourteen days! Within that brief period this
country had raised and equipped an army of two hundred thousand men;
established camps of detention and instruction in various parts of the
land; had increased the navy by more than double its number of vessels
before the war; had provided for a war loan of two hundred million
dollars (which was entirely taken by a patriotic people); for a war
revenue, which was borne without a murmur; had blockaded the ports of
Cuba and Puerto Rico; had taken the eastern provinces of the former
and the western of the latter; and yet the American giant had but just
begun to bestir himself when the war was ended!

Still, it was no matter for boasting; for the United States,
with a population of more than seventy millions, and its immense
territory—even though poorly equipped, with a small navy and smaller
army—was certain to prevail in the end over Spain, with its population
of only eighteen millions, and two hundred thousand miles of area. But
again, at the beginning there was not so great a disparity, for the
army of Spain on a peace footing was one hundred and twenty thousand
men, and on a war footing half a million. Its navy also (on paper)
was superior to that of the United States, and at the outset it was
supposed the latter would suffer most severely, though ultimately it
might win.

What, then, was the cause of Spain’s premature discomfiture and utter
collapse? Perhaps, without arrogating to themselves any superior
virtues, the Americans may not be mistaken in ascribing it to the
corruption of her body politic, to her pride, her refusal to accept a
lesson from experience. Above all, she was fighting a forlorn hope;
her cause was foredoomed to failure, because it was the cause of
mediævalism, of the collective cruelties of ages long agone; and the
moral sense of the world was against her. She was reaping the harvest
of retributory justice—the field sown by Alva and Cortes, by Pizarro
and Philip II—yes, by Isabella the Catholic and Columbus! And what
gall of bitterness to the Spaniard, in the reflection that the greatest
nation in that hemisphere brought to the knowledge of Europe by
Columbus, should be instrumental in wresting from Spain the first among
the islands he discovered, and her last possessions in America!

In justice to Spain, we should note that she had seemed desirous of
averting the war. In response to President McKinley’s diplomatic
suggestions, through his minister at Madrid, she pledged herself
to inaugurate reforms, recalled the cruel Weyler, and substituted
the pacific General Blanco; revoked the edict which had proved
the death–knell of the _reconcentrados_, and proposed for Cuba an
autonomist government.

But all too late! She could not bring to life the thousands of starved
and murdered Cubans, could not efface from the page of history the
record of her multitudinous cruelties. It became necessary that the war
should be fought: that Spain should be punished for her ignoring of the
common rights of humanity, her trampling upon the sacred brotherhood of

With a queen regent whose court will compare favourably for purity of
morals with any other in Europe, and a titular king yet an innocent
child; with public men like Castelar and Sagasta devoted to reform;
with valorous soldiers and sailors blindly obedient, and a common
people adherent to the monarchy: yet Spain’s system of government is
one of the most hideous relics of ancient despotism.

And what can be expected or predicted of a nation which, in its total
population of eighteen millions, contains at least twelve million
illiterate persons; in the Cortes of which it was recently seriously
proposed to endow a school for bull–fighters; in which cock–fighting
and bull–fighting are the national pastimes; where the successful
bull–fighter is the popular hero, and half a million dollars are
annually expended for bulls and horses to be slaughtered in the arena;
where eight millions of the people have no trade or profession, and
there are nearly one hundred thousand professional beggars; where,
though agriculture is the chief employment, the land is broken up by
means of wooden ploughs; where, though rich in mineral resources,
the mines are farmed out to foreign companies or their revenues
hypothecated to brokers abroad; and finally, where everything taxable
groans beneath its burden.

It is not inexplicable to the student of history that Spain, with a
formidable navy, yet was rendered helpless in two engagements; with
more than one hundred thousand soldiers in Cuba, yet surrendered after
but one city had been besieged and taken, and whose vast colonial
possessions fell to pieces and crumbled like a house of cards.

Was it chance alone that chose Santiago as the crucial battle
ground—Santiago, where, twenty–five years before, scores of American
sailors, men of the Virginius, were stood against the white walls of a
slaughter–house and butchered in cold blood?

Was it chance alone that directed the events of war so that the West
Indies should be the scene of final conflict—the Antilles, which Spain
had depopulated in the first century of her rule, and made desert
places of fair isles which once supported millions of innocent and
happy inhabitants?

Was it strange that a nation guilty of such enormities should lack the
moral courage, the sound heart and core of integrity, necessary to
withstand the impact of another nation goaded by the spectacle of those
iniquities to righteous indignation?

While mourning the losses of the war, with a heart still bleeding for
their sons done to death in battle and by disease—and they were not
few—the people of the United States will never regret that they went
forth to fight for a principle. They have won the commendation, they
have compelled the respect, of the world powers; yet more than that:
have given evidence of a moral and physical virility which, it was
feared, the past generation of enervating peace had impaired.

“It is gratifying to all of us,” said President McKinley, in a speech
at a peace jubilee in celebration of the cessation of hostilities,
“to know that this has never ceased to be a war of humanity! The last
ship that went out of the harbour of Havana before war was declared
was an American ship which had taken to the suffering people of Cuba
the supplies furnished by American charity. And the first to sail into
the harbour of Santiago after the war ended was another American ship
bearing food supplies to the starving Cubans. And I am sure it is the
universal prayer of American citizens that justice and humanity and
civilization shall characterize the final settlement of peace, as they
have distinguished the progress of the war.”




No better summary of the progress and achievements of the war has
been given than in the words of the President, addressed to a vast
assemblage at the Trans–Mississippi Exposition, in October, 1898:

“Our army had years ago been reduced to a peace footing. We had only
nineteen thousand available troops when the war was declared, but the
account which officers and men gave of themselves on the battlefields
has never been surpassed.

“The manhood was there and everywhere. American patriotism was there,
and its resources were limitless. The courageous and invincible spirit
of the people proved glorious, and those who a little more than a
third of a century ago were divided and at war with each other, were
again united under the holy standard of liberty. Patriotism banished
party feeling; fifty millions of dollars for the national defence was
appropriated without debate or division, as a matter of course, and as
only a mere indication of our mighty reserve power.

“But if this is true of the beginning of the war, what shall we
say of it now, with hostilities suspended and peace near at hand,
as we fervently hope? Matchless in its results! Unequalled in its
completeness and the quick succession with which victory followed
victory! Attained earlier than it was believed to be possible; so
comprehensive in its sweep that every thoughtful man feels the weight
of responsibility which has been so suddenly thrust upon us. And, above
all and beyond all, the valour of the American army, the bravery of the
American navy, and the majesty of the American name, stand forth in
unsullied glory, while the humanity of our purposes and the magnanimity
of our conduct have given to war, always horrible, touches of noble
generosity, Christian sympathy and charity, and examples of human
grandeur, which can never be lost to mankind. Passion and bitterness
formed no part of our impelling motive, and it is gratifying to feel
that humanity triumphed at every step of the war’s progress.

“The heroes of Manila and Santiago and Puerto Rico made immortal
history. They are worthy successors and descendants of Washington
and Greene, of Paul Jones, Decatur, and Hull, and of Grant, Sherman,
Sheridan, and Logan, of Farragut, Porter, and Cushing, and of Lee,
Jackson, and Longstreet.

“New names stand out on the honour roll of the nation’s great men,
and with them unnamed stand the heroes of the trenches and the
forecastle, invincible in battle and uncomplaining in death. The
intelligent, loyal, indomitable soldier and sailor and marine, regular
and volunteer, are entitled to equal praise as having done their whole
duty, whether at home or under the baptism of foreign fire. Who will
dim the splendour of their achievements? Who will withhold from them
their well–earned distinction?

“The faith of a Christian nation recognises the hand of Almighty God in
the ordeal through which we have passed. Divine favour seemed manifest
everywhere. In fighting for humanity’s sake we have been signally
blessed. We did not seek war. To avoid it, if this could be done in
justice and honour to the rights of our neighbours and ourselves, was
our constant prayer. The war was no more invited by us than were the
questions which are laid at our door by its results. Now, as then, we
will do our duty. The problems will not be solved in a day. Patience
will be required—patience combined with sincerity of purpose and
unshaken resolution to do right, seeking only the highest good of the
nation, and recognising no other obligation, pursuing no other path but
that of duty.”

With the signing of the protocol hostilities ceased, and by the middle
of August, 1898, the war had virtually ended. Each Government appointed
commissioners to arrange for the evacuation of Cuba and Puerto
Rico, and by the 18th of October the latter island was in exclusive
possession of the United States. Owing to the presence in Cuba of so
large a number of Spanish troops—more than one hundred thousand—and
the great extent of that island, the evacuation proceedings were more
slowly carried out, and it was not until the 1st of January, 1899, that
Havana, the capital, was delivered into the sole care of the Americans.

Meanwhile, peace commissioners had been appointed by each country, five
by Spain and five by the United States, who met in Paris the first week
in October. After long and deliberate sessions, and not without some
friction from their divergent views, a treaty of peace was concluded,
which was signed by all the commissioners on the 10th of December,
and presented to the Executive of the United States the day before

Although the United States occupied the position of conqueror, and
was in a situation where it could exact its own terms, still it did
not presume upon its advantages, and was exceedingly generous in its
treatment of the fallen foe. By the capture of Manila, the capital of
the Philippines, the Americans had practically acquired possession of
that vast group in Asiatic waters. Nevertheless, the United States
agreed to pay the Spaniards the sum of twenty million dollars, and to
repatriate all Spanish troops then on service there.

By the terms of the protocol, confirmed by the treaty, Puerto Rico and
its adjacent islands in the Atlantic were ceded to the victors without
reservation, and became American property. In the East the island of
Guam, in the Ladrones, was ceded as a coaling station, and the vast
archipelagos of the Philippines and Sulus. The island of Cuba, while
freed from Spanish tyranny, did not directly become a possession of
the United States, as that Government had distinctly disclaimed any
intention of assuming sovereignty over it except for its pacification
only. “Spanish rule,” declared President McKinley, in his message to
Congress of December 8, 1898, “must be replaced by a just, benevolent,
and humane government, created by the people of Cuba, capable of
performing all international obligations, and which shall encourage
thrift, industry, and prosperity, and promote peace and goodwill
among all the inhabitants, whatever may have been their relations in
the past. Neither revenge nor passion should have a place in the new
government. Until there is complete tranquility in the island, and a
stable government inaugurated, military occupation will be continued.”

The complete transfer of authority was not unaccompanied by
disturbance, either in the Philippines or in Cuba. In the former
islands the native insurgents, mistrusting the humane intentions of
their new masters, manifested a spirit of turbulence which indicated
that they would have to be pacified before intrusted with the full
measure of freedom. In truth, it would appear that the actual war was
a minor matter compared with the gigantic task the United States had
undertaken of preparing the diverse peoples to walk in the paths of
progress and higher civilization.

In Cuba, filling the places made vacant by the withdrawal of the
Spanish soldiery, the American army gradually possessed itself of
every strategic point, and by the 1st of January, 1899, the island
was practically held by the Americans. At noon of that day the
Spanish flag was hauled down and the Stars and Stripes hoisted in its
place, above the historic Morro Castle, where the banner of Spain had
floated (except for a brief intermission) for nearly three hundred
years. Captain–General Castellanos, who had succeeded General Blanco
in November, and was then in command of the Spanish forces, met the
American commissioners at the palace in Havana, and resigned his
authority over the island in the following words:

“According to the protocol of peace, signed August 12th, I, obeying the
orders of the government of her Catholic Majesty, the Queen–Regent of
Spain, and in the name of her son, his Majesty the King, deliver the
island of Cuba to the Government of the United States, represented by
your commission.”

General Wade, chief of the American commissioners, made an equally
brief reply, and then gave this important trust into the keeping of
General Brooke, the military governor.

As General Castellanos left the palace for the steamer on which he
was to take his departure, the American soldiers drawn up in the
plaza presented arms, the officers saluted with their swords, and the
American military band played the royal Spanish march.

This unfortunate Spanish official, to whom had been intrusted the
disagreeable duty of relinquishing into foreign hands the supreme
authority over Cuba, was profoundly moved, and, as he heard the salutes
being fired in honour of the American flag, which had now supplanted
the emblem of Spain, he said, brokenly: “This is the most bitter
moment of my life. I pray that none of you will ever suffer what I am
suffering now.”

Thus he departed, carrying with him the sympathy and esteem of those
who but recently had been his foes. The spirit of goodwill and
fraternal feeling was never more manifest than between the Spaniards
and Americans in Cuba; for with the cessation of strife disappeared all
animosities of whatever nature. Only the Cubans, who had been prevented
for important reasons from participating in the final demonstrations
attendant upon the occupation of Havana, and who allowed themselves to
distrust the motives of the conquerors, held aloof at first and seemed
to cherish revengeful feelings.

But when General Castellanos advanced to General Menocal, a Cuban high
in authority, and said, “I am sorry, sir, that we have been enemies,
having the same blood in our veins,” the latter answered generously:
“Sir, we fought for Cuba. Now that she is free, we are no longer

All animosities seemed then to be forgotten, and it would appear that
the United States had already succeeded in its pacific mission of
intervention, as the air was rent with the cries of “_Viva España!”
“Viva America!” “Viva Cuba Libre!_”

If a spirit of revenge had been cherished by the Americans, it must
needs have been appeased that afternoon, at the sight of American
soldiers marching through the capital city of Havana, with the former
Consul–General Fitzhugh Lee at their head, and in the harbour the Stars
and Stripes floating from a spar above the sunken war ship Maine.

There seems every reason to believe that the noble aspiration of the
great American Executive will be realized:

“As soon as we are in possession of Cuba, and have pacified the island,
it will be necessary to give aid and direction to its people to form a
government for themselves. This should be undertaken at the earliest
moment consistent with safety and assured success. It is important that
our relations with this people shall be of the most friendly character,
and our commercial relations close and reciprocal. It should be our
duty to assist in every proper way to build up the waste places of the
island, encourage the industry of the people, and assist them to form a
government which shall be free and independent; thus realizing the best
aspirations of the Cuban people.”

The city of Santiago is already a notable object–lesson of the benefits
of American rule, where soldiers from the Cuban army and impoverished
_pacificos_ have been generously paid by the military governor to
assist at the work of reform.

America has shown that her declaration of sympathy with suffering
humanity in the Spanish islands: in the Philippines as well as in Cuba,
were not idle words spoken for effect upon the outside world, but the
voicing of a principle which has been consistently adhered to, not only
through the din of battle but in the hush of peace. And not the least
of her victories is that over herself—second only to that which has
brought to her side (compelled by admiration of her deeds and inherent
love for valorous performances) the “motherland” of America: England,
home of the sea–kings, Drake and his colleagues who assisted at the
destruction of the armada; Nelson, who buried Spanish prestige in the
watery grave of Trafalgar. International comity advances to a higher
plane, international obligations acquire a new significance, when
nations are inspired by mutual respect and regard.

At the opening of the nineteenth century Spain’s sway extended over
nearly one half the total area of the three Americas, her possessions
in the western hemisphere being estimated at 6,750,000 square miles. At
its close she held no territory here, and her flag had disappeared from
the isles and continents discovered by Columbus and conquered by her

At the beginning of this century the United States controlled less
than a million square miles of territory; at its ending, more than
3,600,000! While it was once claimed by Spain that on her vast empire
the sun never set; of the American possessions, since the acquisition
of the Philippines, it is literally true.

This reversal of relative conditions at the close of the century must
be apparent even to the Spanish nation, now contracted within the
ancient confines of the Iberian Peninsula, shorn of prestige, glory,
and colonies.

Paradoxical as it may seem, yet Spain’s losses by war may eventually
become her gain; for her colonies had long been clogs upon her
progress, and had devoured her substance greedily. No longer compelled
to maintain a large standing army, or to send abroad the flower of her
young manhood, Spain can devote to agriculture and manufactures, to art
and literature, the forces that were worse than wasted in camp and on
the battlefield.

She has no worse enemies than those of her own household; but still on
her borders rises the fateful apparition of Don Carlos the pretender.
In time, perhaps, if the lessons of the war are heeded, the Spaniard
may be able to perceive the absurdity of that boastful Spanish proverb,
“Whoever says Spain, says everything!”




  Abbas, uncle of Mohammed, 46.

  Abbasides, sect of the, 45.

  Abdalasis, 43.

  Abdelmummen, 67.

  Abderrahman, Prince, 46, 47.

  Abderrahman III, 49.

  Abencerrages, the, 45.

  Abu Bekr, 45.

  Acapulco galleon, the, 173.

  Aguilar, Alonzo de, 101.

  Aix–la–Chapelle, Treaty of, 161, 171.

  Alarcos, battle of, 67.

  Alaric, 25, 26.

  Alaric II, King, 28.

  Albaicin, the, 93.

  Alcala, university of, 131.

  Alcantara, order of, 87.

  Alcázar of Seville, 95.

  Alfonso I and II, 57.

  Alfonso the Victorious, 58.

  Alfonso VI, 64, 66.

  Alfonso VIII, 67, 73.

  Alfonso IX, 74.

  Alfonso X, 75.

  Alfonso XI, 76.

  Alfonso XII, 76, 207, 209.

  Alfonso XIII, 76, 210, 212.

  Algeciras, battle of, 77.

  Alhama, fortress of, 98.

  Alhamar, Ibn, King of Granada, 93, 94.

  Alhambra, the, 94.

  Ali Atar, Moorish warrior, 101.

  Almansor, the Great, 52, 63.

  Almeria, fall of, 104.

  Almirante Oquendo, Spanish war ship, 252.

  Almohades, sect of the, 66.

  Almoravides, sect of the, 67.

  Alva, Duke of, 146, 147.

  Amadeo, Don, 205.

  America, discovery of, 116.

  Americus Vespucci, 125.

  Americapan, aboriginal American word, 125.

  Andalusia, province of, 28, 106.

  Anne of Austria, 144.

  Aranda, Count, 174.

  Armada, the Great, 153.

  Arians, the Gothic, 30.

  Art and literature, 163.

  Aryan Kelts, the, 4.

  Asiatic squadron, the U. S., 241.

  Asiento, the, 171.

  Asturias, Prince of the, 182.

  Asturias, Princess of the, 209.

  Atawulf, 26.

  Attila the Hun, 28.

  Augsburg, Peace of, 139.

  Austria, Don Juan of, 148.

  Auto da fé, the, 90, 146.

  Ayeshah, wife of Mohammed, 46.


  Babieca, the Cid’s war–horse, 67.

  Bagley, Ensign, U.S. Army, 245.

  Balboa, Vasco Nuñez de, 127.

  Barbara of Portugal, 72.

  Barbarossa, pirate king, 138.

  Basel, Treaty of, 178.

  Baza, fall of, 104.

  Berbers, the African, 62.

  Bernardo del Carpio, 58.

  Blanco, Captain–General, 262, 272.

  Blockade, the Cuban, 239.

  Bloody Mary, 143.

  Blue, Lieutenant Victor, 246.

  Boabdil, King of Granada, 100, 102, 110, 112.

  Bobadilla, 124.

  Bonaparte, Joseph, 184, 187, 189.

  Bourbon, Constable of, 137.

  Bourbon, Don Francisco de, 199.

  Bourbon, the house of, 166, 169, 177, 180, 207.

  Bridge of Pines, Granada, 115.

  Brooke, General, U. S. Army, 272.

  Brooklyn, the battleship, U. S. Navy, 251–253.

  Burgos, Spanish statesman, 200.


  Cabrera, Carlist general, 197.

  Cadiz, city of, 78.

  Cadiz, Marquis of, 97.

  Cæsar, Julius, in Spain, 21, 22.

  Calais and Queen Mary of England, 145.

  Calatrava, military order of, 87.

  Califas (or caliphs), 43.

  Califate (or caliphate), the Western, 45.

  Campos, General Martinez, 208, 214, 221.

  Campostella (or Compostella), 52.

  Carlists, the, 196, 198.

  Carlos, Don, the pretender, 195, 198.

  Carlos, Don, son of Philip II, 143.

  Carthage, city of, 9.

  Castelar, Emilio, 205.

  Castellanos, Captain–General, 272.

  Castile, kingdom of, 86.

  Castillo, Canovas del, 208, 215.

  Catherine, Queen, 129.

  Catholic, Ferdinand the, 132.

  Cato in Spain, 10.

  Celtiberians, the, 5, 17.

  Celts, or Kelts, 4.

  Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, 163.

  Cervera, Admiral of Spanish fleet, 239, 240, 245.

  Cervera, Admiral, at Santiago de Cuba, 246, 251.

  Cervera, Admiral, a prisoner, 256.

  Cervera’s fleet, destruction of, 252.

  Cespedes, Carlos de, 220.

  Ceuta, coast of Africa, 37.

  Charlemagne, Emperor, 48.

  Charles Martel, 44.

  Charles I (Emperor Charles V), 129, 133, 135, 136–140.

  Charles II, King, 154–162.

  Charles III, King, 173, 175.

  Charles IV, King, 176–182.

  Charles IX, King of France, 149.

  Chico, el Rey (Boabdil), 111.

  Child–kings of Spain, 209.

  Christina of Naples, 199.

  Christina, Queen–Regent, 209, 212.

  Christinos, the, 197.

  Cid Campeador, the, 68, 71.

  Cimbri, invasion of the, 20.

  Clement, Pope, 137.

  Colonial policy of Spain, 218.

  Colonial possessions, 216, 218.

  Columbus, Christopher, in Spain, 112, 114, 123, 124.

  Columbus, Diego, 126.

  Complutensian Bible, the, 131.

  Condé, the Great, 159.

  Congress, United States, and Cuba, 235.

  Congress, United States, resolutions in, 236, 237.

  Constance, Princess, 80.

  Constantius, 27.

  Conquistadores, the, 125, 128.

  Cordova, city of, 50, 51, 92.

  Cordova, Gonsalvo de, 122, 131.

  Cordova, Hernandez de, 126.

  Cortes, the Spanish, 81.

  Cortes and Constitution, 213.

  Cortes, Hernando, in Mexico, 126.

  Council of Blood, the, 147.

  Cristobal Colon, Spanish warship, 252.

  Cuba, island of, 218, 220.

  Cuba, Indians of, discovered by Columbus, 219.

  Cuba, revolts in, 220.

  Cuba, insurgents of, 221, 222.

  Cuba, reconcentrados of, 227.

  Cuba, sufferings of natives of, 228–330.

  Cuba, invasion of, by U. S. troops, 247, 248.

  Cuba, evacuation of, by Spaniards, 269.

  Cuban junta in the United States, 230.


  Darien, Isthmus of, 127.

  Dewey, Commodore, U. S. Navy, 241.

  Dewey, Commodore, victory of, at Manila, 242.

  Drake, Sir Francis, 152, 153.

  Don Carlos, the pretender, 195, 198.

  Dutch East India Company, 155.


  Egica, Gothic King, 33.

  Elizabeth, Queen, of England, 144, 150, 152, 155.

  Enghein, Duke of, 180.

  Enrique, Don, 76, 83.

  Ervigius, King, 32.

  Escorial, the (Escurial), 153.

  Espartero, General, 197, 201, 205.

  Euric, King, 28.

  Exilona, Gothic Queen, 43.


  Family Compact, the, 173.

  Farther Spain, under the Romans, 18.

  Ferdinand the Saint, 74.

  Ferdinand IV., 76.

  Ferdinand of Arragon, 80.

  Ferdinand married to Isabella, 82.

  Ferdinand besieges Malaga, 103.

  Ferdinand besieges Granada, 108.

  Ferdinand, attempted assassination of, 121.

  Ferdinand, second marriage of, 130.

  Ferdinand, death of, 131.

  Ferdinand VI, 170, 172.

  Ferdinand VII, 182, 183, 191–193.

  Floridablanca, Count, 174.

  Flying squadron, the U. S., 245.

  Forum judicum, the, 75.

  Francis, King, of France, 135, 137, 139.

  Fueros, ancient privileges, 85, 196.

  Furor, Spanish torpedo destroyer, 252.


  Garcia, General, Cuban patriot, 223.

  Garcia the Trembler, 61.

  Genseric the Vandal, 28.

  Germaine, Princess, 130.

  Ghent, city of, 138.

  Gibraltar, Rock of, 38, 77, 172.

  Godoy, Manuel, Prince of Peace, 176.

  Gomez, General, Cuban patriot, 223.

  Gonzalez, Count Ferhan, 60.

  Goths, a kingdom of the, 25, 40, 42.

  Gloucester, U. S. gunboat, 252.

  Gracchus, in Roman Spain, 18.

  Granada, province of, 93, 96, 106.

  Granada, siege of, 105.

  Grand Alliance, the, 167.

  Great Captain, the, 122.

  Guadalete, river, 40.

  Guadix, fall of, 104.

  Guantanamo, Bay of, 247.

  Guasimas, La, fight at (Cuba), 249.


  Hacam II, Moorish king, 50.

  Hamilcar Barca, 9, 10.

  Hannibal, son of Hamilcar, 10, 12.

  Hapsburg, house of, 154.

  Haro, Luis de, 159.

  Hasdrubal, the Carthaginian, 10, 15, 16.

  Havana, Cuba, in American possession, 269, 272, 273.

  Henry of Trastamare, 79, 80.

  Henry II, of France, 145.

  Henry III, 80.

  Henry VIII, of England, 129, 131, 135.

  Hercules, in Spain, 7.

  Hercules, Pillars of, 8.

  Hermandad, the, 88.

  Hermenigild, Gothic king, 30.

  Hesperides, Gardens of the, 8.

  Hicham I, Moorish king, 49.

  Hijra, el (Hegira), flight of Mohammed, 36.

  Hispania, ancient Spain, 18.

  Hither Spain, of the Romans, 18.

  Holy Alliance, the, 191.

  Holy League, the, 131.

  Holy Office, the, 89, 146.

  Huelva, mines of, 9.

  Huguenots, massacre of the, 149.


  Iberia, ancient, 1.

  Iberians, the, 4, 6.

  Ildefonso, Treaty of, 178.

  Indians, the, first seen, 116.

  Indians, persecution of the, 128.

  Infanta Maria Teresa, war ship, 252.

  Inquisition, the, 75, 89, 146.

  Inquisition, victims of the, 120.

  Insurgents of Cuba, 221, 222.

  Insurgents of the Philippines, 259, 271.

  Iowa, U. S. battle ship, 251, 252.

  Isabella, Queen, early life of, 80.

  Isabella, marriage of, to Ferdinand, 82.

  Isabella, death of, 122.

  Isabella, family of, 129.

  Isabella of France, 144.

  Isabella of Portugal, 137.

  Isabella II, birth of, 195.

  Isabella II, reign of, 195–200.

  Isabella II, banishment of, 202.

  Islamism, sway of, 42.


  Jamaica, lost to Spain, 159.

  James I, King of Aragon, 74.

  Jesuits, expelled from Spain, 174.

  Jews, edicts against the, 117, 119.

  John of Gaunt, 79, 80.

  John I, King, 80.

  John II, King, 80.

  Juan, Prince, 129.

  Juana, Princess (Juana Loca), 129, 130.

  Julian, Count, the traitor, 34.

  Julius II, Pope, 131.

  Junta, the Cuban, 230.

  Junta, the Spanish, 201.

  Juragua, Cuba, capture of, 249.


  Kent, General, U. S. Army, 250.


  Lawton, General, U. S. Army, 250.

  Lee, F. H., U. S. Consul–General, 251.

  Legitimists, the French, 198.

  Lens, battle of, 159.

  Leon and Castile, kingdoms of, 64.

  Leon, Ponce de, 125.

  Leopold, Emperor, 167.

  Leopold, Prince, 204.

  Leovigild, King, 30.

  Lepanto, naval battle of, 148.

  Lerma, the Duke of, 155, 157.

  Linares, General, in Cuba, 251.

  Long, Secretary, U. S. Navy, 242.

  Lope de Vega, dramatist, 163.

  Lopez, General, 220.

  Louisiana, sale of, 179.

  Louis XIV, of France, 160.

  Louis XVIII, of France, 190.

  Louis Philippe, of France, 199.

  Loyola, the Jesuit, 138.

  Lozena, Count, 68.


  Maceo, General, of Cuba, 223, 225.

  Madrid, Duke of, 198.

  Magellan discovers the Philippines, 241, 245.

  Maiden tribute, the, 59.

  Maine, battle ship, sinking of the, 231.

  Malplaquet, victory of, 168.

  Manila, city of, Philippines, 241.

  Manila, capture of, by Americans, 258.

  Manila Bay, battle of, 248.

  Marat, General, in Spain, 184.

  Maracaibo, Gulf of, 125.

  Maria Christina, Queen, 195.

  Maria de Padilla, 80.

  Maria Teresa, Princess, 160.

  Maria Teresa, Queen, 166.

  Marlborough, Duke of, 168.

  Mary Tudor, of England, 143.

  Massena, General, 188.

  Maurice of Saxony, 139.

  Maximilian, Emperor, 134.

  McKinley, President of the United States, 232.

  McKinley, President, proclamation of, 234.

  McKinley, President, message of, 235.

  McKinley, President, addresses of, on the war, 265, 266, 269, 274.

  Medici, Catherine de, 149.

  Medina Celi, Duke of, 114.

  Mendizabel, Señor. 200.

  Mercedes, Maria las, Princess, 208.

  Merrimac, collier, sinking of, 247.

  Merritt, General, U. S. Army, 259.

  Mexico, discovery of, 126.

  Mines, submarine, 231, 238.

  Moderados, a political party, 206.

  Mohammed (or Mahomet), flight of, 36.

  Mohammed and his successors, 45.

  Mohammed ben Abdullah, 66.

  Montemolin, Duke de, 198.

  Montpensier, Duke de, 199.

  Moore, Sir John, death of, 185.

  Moorish kingdom, the, 95.

  Moors, expulsion of the, 147, 156.

  Morro Castle, Santiago de Cuba, 246.

  Moslem invasion, the, 36, 40, 44.

  Muley ben Hassan, King of Granada, 96, 100.

  Musa, the Arab conqueror, 37, 40, 42, 43.


  Naples, Ferdinand, King of, 121.

  Napoleon Bonaparte, invades Spain, 178, 181.

  Narvaez, General, 201.

  Naval victories of the United States, 242, 253.

  Naval losses by Spain, 255.

  Navas de Tolosa, battle of, 73.

  Nelson, Lord, death of, at Trafalgar, 180.

  Netherlands, the Spanish, 145.

  New York, the U. S. battle ship, 253.

  Nimeguen, Treaty of, 162.

  Nuño Rastro, Count, 68.


  O’Donnell, General, 201.

  Olivarez, Duke of, 158.

  Ommiades, the, 46.

  Oppas, Bishop, 39.

  Oran, captured by Ximenes, 130.

  Orange, William of, 146, 149.

  Oregon, U. S. battle ship, 246, 251, 253.

  Oropessa, the Count of, 261.


  Pacification of Ghent, the, 149.

  Palos, the port of, 114.

  Parma, Duchess of, 145.

  Partition treaty, the, 162.

  Passau, Peace of, 139.

  Pavia, the battle of, 135.

  Peace, Treaty of, with the United States, 266, 270.

  Peace commissioners appointed, 269.

  Pedro the Cruel, 78, 79.

  Pelayo, the Cave King, 55.

  Peninsular wars, the, 184.

  Peru, the conquest of, 127.

  Philip, Archduke, husband of Juana, 129.

  Philip, Captain, U. S. Navy, 254.

  Philip II, son of Charles I, birth, 137.

  Philip II, accession to throne of, 142.

  Philip II, character and marriages, 142, 143.

  Philip II, cruelty, and final end, 151, 153.

  Philip III, accession and reign, 154–157.

  Philip IV, accession and reign, 157–160.

  Philip V, accession and reign, 165–170.

  Philippine Islands, the, 241.

  Phillipine Islands, U. S. troops in the, 243.

  Phillipine Islands, cession of, to United States, 270.

  Phœnicians settle in Spain, 6, 8, 9.

  Pinar del Rio, Cuba, 226.

  Pi y Margall, Señor, 205.

  Pizarro, Francisco, exploits of, 127.

  Placida, Roman princess, 27.

  Pluton, Spanish torpedo destroyer, 252.

  Pompey subdues revolt in Spain, 20–22.

  Prim, General, 201, 205, 206.

  Prince of Peace, the, 178.

  Prisoners, Spanish, taken and sent home, 256.

  Progresistas, the, 206.

  Pronunciamiento, the, 203.

  Protestantism, rise of, 136, 139.

  Protocol of peace with the United States, 257, 259.

  Puerto Rico, island of, 126.

  Puerto Rico, invasion of, by U. S. troops, 256.

  Puerto Rico, cession of, to the United States, 270.

  Pyrenees, Treaty of the, 160.


  Quadruple Alliance, the, 170, 200.

  Quixote, Don, and Cervantes, 163.


  Rabida, Convent de la, 114.

  Ramiro, King, 59.

  Ratisbon, Truce of, 162.

  Recared, King of the Goths, 31.

  Reconcentrados of Cuba, 227, 229, 262.

  Richelieu, Cardinal, of France, 158.

  Ribera, Spanish artist, 164.

  Rio Tinto, 114.

  Roderick, last of the Goths, 33, 34, 39.

  Roland, the legend of, 48.

  Roman civilization in Spain, 23, 24, 26.

  Romans, famous, born in Spain, 24.

  Roncesvalles, Pass of, 48.

  Roosevelt, Colonel, U. S. Volunteers, 250.

  Ryswick, the Peace of, 162.


  Sagasta, Señor, Spanish statesman, 203, 214, 215.

  Saguntum, siege of, 11.

  Saint Bartholomew’s Night, 149.

  Sampson, Admiral, U. S. Navy, 239, 245, 253.

  Sancho the Fat, 61.

  Sancho the Fourth, 76.

  Sandoval, Duke of Lerma, 155.

  San Juan, Puerto Rico, bombardment of, 245.

  San Juan Hill, Cuba, battle of, 250.

  Santa Fé, city of, 108.

  Santiago, military order of, 87.

  Santiago de Cuba, fall of, 247, 256, 275.

  Saragossa, Maid of, 185.

  Scipio, Cneius, 13.

  Scipio, Publius Cornelius, 14.

  Scipio Africanus, 16.

  Scipio Africanus Minor, 19.

  Serrano, Señor, 201, 206.

  Sertorius, 20.

  Seven Years’ War, the, 171.

  Shafter, General, U. S. Army, 249, 251.

  Sigric, King, 27.

  Soldiers, bravery of United States and Spanish, 250.

  Soleyman the Magnificent, 138.

  Spanish minister demands passports, 237.

  Spanish marriages, the, 199.

  Stilicho, Roman general, 25.

  Succession, Wars of the, 165.

  Suevi, the barbarian, 25.

  Sulla, Roman general, 20, 22.


  Tarifa, town of, 37, 38.

  Tarik el Tuerto, Moorish commander, 37, 38, 41, 42.

  Tarshish, Phœnician, 6.

  Tartessus, Phœnician, 6.

  Texas, U. S. battleship, 251, 252.

  Thirty Years’ War, the, 157.

  Theodifred, Duke, 33.

  Theodoric, King, 28.

  Tolosa, battle of, 74.

  Topete, Admiral, 201.

  Torquemada, Tomas de, Inquisitor, 89, 118.

  Torres Vedras, intrenchments of, 187.

  Trafalgar, naval battle of, 180.

  Triple Alliance, the, 161.

  Trocha, military line of defence, 225.

  Tromp, Admiral Van, 159.

  Tupac Amaru, Inca of Peru, 174.

  Twenty Years’ Truce, the, 162.


  Ulfilas the Goth, 29.

  Ultimo Suspiro del Moro, 111.

  United Provinces, 155.

  United States, war with the, 234.

  United States, possessions of the, 276.

  Utrecht, Peace of, 168.

  Utrecht, Union of, 150.


  Vandals invade Spain, 26.

  Vara, Don Juan de, 96.

  Vargas, Don Pedro de, 100.

  Vega, Garcilasso de la, 110, 163.

  Vegetation of Spain, the, 2.

  Vela, Tower of the, Granada, 113.

  Velasquez, Spanish painter, 164.

  Venezuela, discovery of, 125.

  Vespucci, Americus, voyages of, 124.

  Versailles, Peace of, 174.

  Victims of Cuban war, 244.

  Victories, American naval, 242, 253.

  Viriathus, 19.

  Viscaya, Spanish war ship, 252.

  Visigoths, invasion of the, 28.

  Vittoria, battle of, 190.


  Wade, General, U. S. Volunteers, in Cuba, 272.

  Walia, King, 27.

  Wamba, King of the Goths, 32.

  War with the United States begun, 234.

  War appropriations, bonds, etc., 232.

  War, duration of the, with the United States, 260.

  War, summary of gains and losses, 260.

  War, ending of the, 269.

  Waterloo, battle field of, 190.

  Wellington, Duke of, in Spain, 185, 187, 189.

  Westphalia, Peace of, 160.

  Weyler, Spanish general, in Cuba, 224–227, etc.

  Wheeler, General, U. S. Volunteers, 249.

  William the Silent, 150.

  Witica, King, 33.

  Worms, the Diet of, 136.


  Ximena, wife of the Cid, 69, 70.

  Ximenes, Cardinal, 122, 130, 131, 134.


  Yacoub, Moorish prince, 67.

  Yarfe the Moor, 108.

  Yussef, African Emir, 45.

  Yussef, Moorish King, 64, 65.

  Yussef, Cid, 67.


  Zagal, el, Moorish warrior, 101, 104.

  Zahara, fortified town, 97.

  Zallaca, battle of, 65.

  Zanjon, Treaty of, 221.

  Zegris, the, African warriors, 107.

  Zubia, crosses of, near Granada, 110.

  Zumalacarregui, Carlist general, 197.

                               THE END.


[1] Encyclopædia Britannica.

[2] This was the order cabled to Commodore Dewey from the Navy

“WASHINGTON, _April 24, 1898_.

“DEWEY, Hong Kong: War has commenced between the United States and
Spain. Proceed at once to the Philippine Islands. Commence operations
at once, particularly against the Spanish fleet. You must capture
vessels or destroy. Use utmost endeavours.

“LONG” (_Secretary of the Navy_).

                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE:

—Obvious print and punctuation errors were corrected.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Spain - History for Young Readers" ***

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