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CHAP. identity of soil and climate which they both enjoy in
the old hemisphere, the vast colonies they had acquired 1820,
in the new, the homogeneous nature of the races and nations from which they were both descended, and the similarity of manners and institutions which both, in consequence, had established, have caused their history, especially in recent times, to be almost identical. The tyranny of the Spanish government, the patriotic resistance of the heroic house of Braganza, even entire centuries of jealousy or war, have not been able to eradicate these seeds of union so plentifully sown by the hand of nature. Like the English and Scotch, they yearned to each other, even when severed by political discord, or engaged in open hostility ; happy if, like them, they had been reunited in one family, and one pacific sceptre restored peace to the whole provinces of the Peninsula.
It was not to be expected that so very important an 95. Revolution event as the Spanish Revolution of 1820, overturning as Aug. 23. it did, by military revolt, an aged throne, and establish
ing a nominal monarchy and real democracy in its stead, was to fail in exciting a corresponding spirit, especially among the military in the sister kingdom. But, in addition to this, there were many circumstances which rendered revolution in favour of a constitutional form of government more natural—it might almost be said unavoidable
-in Portugal than in Spain. Long habits of commercial intercourse, close alliance between the two countries, glorious victories in which the two nations had stood side by side, had inspired the Portuguese with an ardent, it might almost be said an extravagant, admiration of British liberty and institutions. They had seen the probity of English administration, and contrasted it with the corruptions of their own : they ascribed it all to the influence of English institutions, and thought they would exchange the one for the other, by adopting a representative form of government; they had seen the valour of British soldiers, and thought liberty would in like manner
cial intercougal than int might al
render them invincible. A conspiracy, which proved abor- CHAP. tive, headed by General Freyre, in 1817, had already given proof how generally these ideas influenced the army; and
1820. three additional years of government by a Regency at Lisbon, without the lustre or attractions of a court to enlist the selfish feelings on the side of loyalty, had given them additional strength, and rendered the whole population of the seaports and army ripe for a revolt. The consequence was, that when it broke out, on the night of the Aug, 23. 230 August, it met with scarcely any resistance. The ? Ann, Hist.
iii. 471,474; whole military commenced the revolt; the people all Ann. Reg.
* 1820, 232, joined them; a junta, consisting of popular leaders, was 233.'' established, and a constitutional government proclaimed.1
When the English, retiring from their long career of victory, withdrew from Portugal, Marshal Beresford, who Which is
followed by had trained their army and led it to victory, was left at a revolution its head, and about a hundred English officers, chiefly on Sept. 15. the staff or in command of regiments, remained in Portugal. Aware of the crisis which was approaching, Marshal Beresford had, in April, embarked for Rio Janeiro, to lay in person before the king a representation of the discontents of the country, and the absolute necessity of making a large and immediate remittance to discharge the pay of the troops, which had fallen very much into arrears. Many of the English officers, however, were at Oporto when the insurrection broke out; and as their fidelity to their oaths was well known, they were immediately arrested and put into confinement, though treated with the utmost respect. Meanwhile the insurrection spread over the whole of the Aug. 20. north of Portugal, and the Conde de Amarante, who had endeavoured to make head against it in the province of Tras-os-Montes, was deserted by his troops, who joined the insurgents, and obliged to fly into Galicia. The Regency at Lisbon, on the 29th August, published a fierce proclamation, denouncing the proceedings at Oporto, and declaring their resolution to subvert them. But they soon had convincing proof that their authority rested
CHAP. on a sandy foundation. The 15th September, the anniVII.
versary of the delivery of the Portuguese territory from Junot's invasion in 1808, had hitherto always been kept as a day of great national and military rejoicing in Portugal. On this occasion, however, the Regency, distrustful of the fidelity of their troops, forbade any military display. The soldiers had been ordered to be confined to their barracks, when, at four in the afternoon, the 18th regiment, of its own accord, marched out, headed by its officers, and, making straight for the great square of the city, drew up there in battle array, amidst cries of “ Viva el Constitution.” They were soon joined by the 10th regiment from the castle, the 4th from the Campo d'Ourique, the cavalry, the artillery, and ere long by the whole of the garrison. All, headed by their officers, and in full marching order, were assembled in. the square, amidst cheers from the soldiers and deafening shouts from the people. No resistance was anywhere attempted; nothing was seen but unanimity, nothing heard but the “vivas” of the soldiery, and the huzzas of the multitude. The balls of the Regency were thrown
open, and a new set of regents appointed by the leaders 1 Ann. Reg. of the revolt by acclamation ; and having accomplished 1820, 234, 235, ' Ann. the revolution, the soldiers returned at ten at night, in
parade order, to their barracks, as from a day of ordinary festivity: 1
Universal enthusiasm ensued for some days, and the Establish- unanimity of the people proved how general and deepment of a joint regen. seated had been the desire for political change and a
representative government, at least among the military Oct. 6.
and the citizens of the towns. The entire country followed, as is generally the case in such instances, the example of the capital ; the constitution was everywhere proclaimed, and the former persons in authority were superseded by others attached to the new order of things. On the 1st October, the Oporto Junta entered the capital, and immediately fraternised in the most cordial way with
ng at Lis
the Junta already elected there. The British officers CHAP. were everywhere dispossessed of their commands, and put under surveillance, but treated with equal kindness and 1820. consideration. After a debate, which was prolonged for several days, it was decreed that the two Juntas should be united into one composed of two sections—one charged with the ordinary administration, and the other with the steps necessary for assembling the Cortes ; and Count Palmella was despatched on a special embassy to Brazil,,
-> 1 Ann. Hist. to lay before the king an account of the events which iii.475,476; had occurred, and assure his Majesty of the continued 234, 235.** loyalty of the Portuguese to the royal family.1
In the midst of these events, Marshal Beresford returned from Brazil to Lisbon, in the Vengeur of 74 guns, Return of
Marshal charged with a message from the king to the former junta. Beresford, Being informed by a fisherman, as he approached the force coast, of the revolution, and subversion of the former go to Engauthorities, he made no attempt to force his way in, but requested permission to land as a private individual, as he had many concerns of his own to arrange. This, however, was positively refused : he was forbid on any account to approach the barbour; the guns were all loaded, and the artillerymen placed beside them to enforce obedience to the mandate. Beresford expostulated in the warmest manner, but in vain ; and as the agitation in the city became excessive as soon as his return was known, it was intimated to him that the sooner he took his departure for England the better. During all this time the shores were strictly guarded, and no precaution omitted which could prevent any communication with the Vengeur. At length Beresford, finding he could not open any correspondence with the new Junta, sent them the money he had received at Rio Janeiro for the pay of the, troops, and returned to England in the Arabella packet; 1820, 237;
Ann. Hist. while the Vengeur proceeded on its destination up the iii, 426, 427. Mediterranean.2
Such was the return which the Portuguese nation
CHAP. made to the British for their liberation from French
thraldom, and the invaluable aid they had rendered
them during six successive campaigns for the maintenance 99. Effect of of their independence ! A memorable, but, unhappily, a ment of not unusual instance of the ingratitude of nations, and the
immediate disregard of the most important services when they are no longer required, or when oblivion of them may be convenient to the parties who have been benefited. Above a hundred officers accompanied Marshal Beresford to England ; and the effects of the absence of this nucleus of regular administration soon appeared in the measures of Government. The two Juntas came to open rupture in regard to the manner in which the Cortes was to be convoked. The Lisbon maintained it should be done according to the ancient forms of the constitution; but this was vehemently opposed by the Oporto Junta, which was composed of ardent democrats, who asserted that these antiquated forms were far too aristocratical, and that the public wishes would never be satisfied with anything short of the immediate adoption of the Spanish constitution. Few knew what that constitution really was; but it instantly was taken up as a rallying-cry by the extreme democratic party. Still the Junta of Lisbon held out, upon which Silviera, who was at the head of
the violent revolutionists, and had great influence with u the troops, surrounded the Palace of the Junta with a 1 Ann. Hist. body of soldiers, who, by loud shouts and threats, iniii. 478,480; Ann. Reg. stantly extorted a decree, adopting in toto the Spanish 1820, 236,
” constitution, and appointing one deputy for every thirty thousand inhabitants, to be elected by universal suffrage.1
So far the victory of the revolutionists was complete, Reaction, but the step had been too violent; neither the public nor and adop- the
ore the majority of the army were, on consideration, inclined
to go into such violent measures. The incorporations (Gremios) and magistrates protested against the proceedings, and a majority of the officers in the army came round to the same sentiments. A hundred and fifty
tion of more moderate measures.