miércoles, 10 de agosto de 2022

End of Spanish Empire in America

 The End of the Spanish Empire in America

By Eugenio Vegas Latapie (†) (*)

Translated from the Spanish by Roberto Hope

One continent and the other renewing their ancient extraction,

in spirit united, in spirit, and yearnings, and language,

see the moment approach when new anthems to sing they'll be bound.

Rubén Darío

How did Spain lose America? This is the question that troubled the mind of Frenchman Marius André, making him dust off folders and scan archives, compiling the fruits of his investigations in his work titled The End of the Spanish Empire in America, written and published in French, and then translated into Spanish fifteen years ago already.

Charles Maurras, in his interesting study titled The Latin Forces with which André enriched the French edition of his work, stresses how its author has brought about astonishing effects, not to say stupefaction, with his documented revelations, in the eyes of the Europeans badly taught and poorly informed by the official doctrine of international democracy.

We are accustomed to believing that Spain lost America when the principles of the French revolution were introduced in those so vast regions, by enlightening the, until then, sunk in darkness americans, which made them dash to the battlefields, and to prefer dying in defense of their liberties rather than to continue bearing the yoke of Spanish fanaticism and despotism one instant more. The official truth of the nineteenth century established as an axiom that our ancient Viceroyalties rose for the revolution and liberty against the Crown and the friars, but current historical research, with little more than dusting off the very abundant documents existing of the time we are discussing, have razed to the ground the entire legend that the nineteenth century had admitted as an axiom, which is nothing but a weaving of crude falsities and inventions without even a germ of actual foundation. In concrete terms, we can sustain that America initially rebelled for its religion and for the king of Spain against Napoleon and the baneful and anti-Spanish Cortes de Cádiz.

Many of the Spanish authorities then in America, affiliated to the masonic lodges and steep in the ideology of the French encyclopedists, tried to recognize the intruder king José Bonaparte; and against these authorities was that the peoples of all Hispanic America revolted at the cry of 'Viva Fernando VII!' (1). Uprisen the peoples in favor of the Catholic Monarchy, soon followed the complaints against the Cortes de Cádiz, bent on stripping away the royal faculties in favor of the Cortes; faculties that Fernando VII could not exercise then, being he a prisoner of the Corsican emperor; and the acting of the masonic lodges that flourished quite rapidly; and the arrival in America of foreign `volunteers` supported by their governments — like that English legion made up of twenty thousand men, a very valuable nucleus of Bolìvar's troops (2) —; and the familiarization with the idea of absolute independence, so easy to propagate; and the misgovernment in the Metropolis; and, lastly, the treason of Riego in 1820, who, in leading the insurrection of the troops stationed at Cabezas de San Juan that were about to be shipped to suffocate the American revolt and in proclaiming the Constitution of Cádiz, brought about the establishment of the liberal and democratic regime, the which, in applying itself right after to humiliate the king and persecute the Church, increased Spain`s impopularity in America, causing immense regions still faithful, such as México and all of Central America, wishing to safeguard the interests of Religion and Throne, to definitively break the ties that had united them with the Government in Madrid.

Liberalism in the Peninsula contributed to the loss of the Americas in two ways, says Mexican writer José Marìa Roa Bárcena: "propagating among the masses the germs of philosophism and anarchy harbored by the Cortes de Cádiz.... and at the same time making the conservative elements gather around the flag of independence to conserve the institutions and customs whose disappearance was believed to be certain if our dependence from the Metropolis were to prolong itself."

In many aspects it can be said that the American wars of independence bear great analogies to our Carlist wars. Begun when Spain was devoting itself, with all its energies, to fight against the Napoleonic armies, for a long time they were waged exclusively between Americans, the Metropolis being impotent to direct its sights to any objective other than defeating the French invader. Many of the first ones to rebel in America, had they lived in Spain, would have been Don Carlos' faithful soldiers. The sanest elements of Vasconian and Catalonian separatism have been originated by the loss of the Carlist ideals after having been defeated in three civil wars and by the poisoning produced by fifty years of drowsiness brought about by the liberal and democratic Restoration introduced by Cánovas. Many are the nationalists who had behind them a father and several grandfathers that were Carlists, not being it rare to find, in the years preceding our National Movement, separatist homes that kept as a sacred relic the red beret of the grandfather or the uncle who had died in the armies of Don Carlos, defending the cause of Religion and Spain, or some litograph representing Don Carlos in the majesty of his mature age, with his virile and well trimmed beard and his popular and enormous dog at his feet. The morbid and disintegrating desperation of the defeated who, having lost hope abandoned Carlism, took a hundred years to manifest itself in Spain; in America it was a matter of months.

Just as the killing of friars, perpetrated by the populace, puppet of the lodges, and tolerated by the Government, gave new crusaders to the cause of Don Carlos in July 1834, the news of the expulsion of the Jesuits and abolition of the Holy Office decreed by the Cortes born from Riego's uprising, moved the Mexican people to revolt for God, Country and King, and to offer the Imperial Crown of Mexico to the subjugated Fernando VII.

Morillo, a general of Fernando VII, was voltairean, while Bolìvar in 1827 was to write "The union of the thurible with the sword of the law is the true Ark of the Covenant". Spanish general La Serna, the one defeated at Ayacucho, was a liberal and staunch enemy of General Pezuela, Viceroy of Peru, enmity that would later reach characteristics of an intestine war between generals La Serna and Olañeta, the latter being an enthusiast of absolute Monarchy, with the consequent division of the Spanish troops, split into liberals and royalists. The troops that Spain sends to suffocate the attempts of independence are the ones that apply themselves the most against the Fatherland. "Freemasonry — the Count of Cheste, son of Viceroy Pezuela, has written — that was unknown in Lima and the Upper Peru, was propagated by those coming from Spain ''. If the cause of the Metropolis continues thriving over several years, it is due to "the valiant troops of the local country" and in no way due to the military sent from Spain, undisciplined, despising the creole elements, and irreligious.

Civil wars were these in America with their vicissitudes, switching sides, and so forth, that remind us of the Spanish civil wars, of which they constitute nothing other than the American version. Wars, seditions, revolts, and murders that have had endemic characteristics in the twenty American Republics from the time of their independence, just as endemic have been those same evils and phenomena in the Metropolis since the day when, renouncing to its History, constituted its public institutions in accordance with the dictates of the principles illumined by the French Revolution.


Every nation, just as any society or juridical person, has as its basis the conscience of a common undertaking to perform. There is no better agglutinant for the peoples than a commonality in the same ideals. When these common ideals get to vanish, true unity becomes lacking, and any efforts to conserve it are sterile, whether by appealing to force or to the purchase of adhesions. The essence of Spain and its empire was the defense and propagation of Christ`s doctrine, just as is defined and taught by the infallible authority of Saint Peter`s Chair. Spain, in the sixteenth century achieved the full and precious ideal of unity in belief.

"Only from that — scholar Menéndez y Pelayo has written — does a people acquire its own life and the conscience of its unanimous strength; only in it do institutions legitimize themselves and take root; only through it runs the sap of life to the last branches of the social trunk". Spain, during the reign of the House of Austria, was a Catholic Monarchy, but one of an authentic catholicism, a catholicism of works, a missionary catholicism. With a spirit of mission did Spain create its empire, which collapsed under the blasts of liberal and skeptic winds that came from Spain and the European nations.

Spain and its sister Portugal are the only nations that have managed, and have willed, to civilize, to elevate savage peoples to the same category and on an equal plane as that of the conquerors. Captains, friars, encomenderos and judges; and presiding over all of them the respected and venerated authority of the kings of Spain, with its laws and Councils, have performed the miracle of having made indigenous blood to keep on running in the continent discovered by Columbus, and that these indigenous people have attained a cultural and religious level comparable to that of the peoples that civilized them.

America was born in 1492 and its spirit came over the seas, directed by Columbus and driven by the maternal encouragement of the Catholic Queen. The America of today owes nothing and has nothing in common with the savage tribes that vegetated on its fertile lands and under the shelter of its luxuriant forests, except for the indigenous blood that the Spanish conquistador respected, imbued in a religious concept of human life, no matter what the color of the skin with which it presented itself, and without resorting to the conduct of extermination that was followed by the English colonizers of the North of the continent discovered by Spain. Religion, Government, laws, language, uses and customs, all came from Spain to incorporate the aboriginals of the country into the life of grace and of civilization, and to found cities, towns and villages. Nicaraguan Pablo Antonio Cuadra, in his exquisite work Hacia la Cruz del Sur, tells us of having heard from paternal lips that America had been born Christian as no other race and no other continent, since she was born spotless; that is, at the same time it began to be America, it began to be Catholic. And so says the song:

The virgin exerts her care

for the American race

because, like her, it was born

spotless, a Christian race.

"Our Fatherland — writes Venezuelan Briceño Iragorri in his recent 'Tapices de historia Patria' — is not the continuity of the aboriginal tribe, but the expansion of the home of the conquistador, strongly tied to the American soil, that in the running of years were their children the legitimate indigenous, to the extreme of seeing the very Spaniards of the Peninsula as aliens". Spain sent to America the sons of its grandees and the brethren of its saints — in 1546, five brothers of Saint Teresa formed part of the armies of Don Blasco Nùñez Vela, first Viceroy of Peru  — as well as  the second sons of its most illustrious families. The most clear lineages of Castille have descendants that still remain in all latitudes of Spanish America. Commenting on the Lima conference, Josè F. de Lequerica recognized that "the Americans are the most direct descendants of the conquistadors; that is, of the most courageous part of the race".

The efforts of missionaries and encomenderos combined to make the Indians enter the path of the true religion and of work, and elevate them from their despicable and miserable condition to the category of younger brothers capable of adding themselves to the social activities of those who were civilizing them, mission carried out for the benefit of the Indians and for its own security under the protection of the sword of our soldiers.

The first landmark in our black legend was afforded by Father Las Casas. For reasons of a very secondary order, among which we should not forget his interested enmity with Hernàn Cortès, put his pen, his influence and his actions against the conquistadors, covering it up with the naîve pretext of defending the defenseless Indians. To oppose abuses that most of the time took place only in his fantasy, Friar Bartolomè de Las Casas pictured terrible scenes and fearful slaughters, all this sprinkled with really stupid geographical errors and far-fetched exaggerations, the falsity of which his contemporaries, such as Motolinìa, had already laid bare, thanks to which we know about the evangelical inactivity of Las Casas among the Indians, to the point of not even taking the trouble of learning their language, while hundreds and hundreds of missionaries penetrated the forests to predicate the religion of the Crucified to the Indians, protected in their mission by the sword of the captains. Pablo Antonio Cuadra has laid out this question with lapidary words. He writes: "The first liberal conquistador in America was Father Las Casas. Father Las Casas was also the first Spanish enemy of Spain, and consequently the first enemy of the Indians. Father Las Casas, based on the liberal theory of the natural goodness of man, would have wished the conquest of America to be like an electoral campaign, and religion to be accepted by a plebiscite among the savages. It suffices to describe one single case: when the Bishop of Chiapas came to Nicaragua, he raised a violent campaign against the discovery of the Desaguadero and the conquest of the Atlantic regions. Denying the absolution of the conquistadors, preaching with a subversive and demagogic fieriness, he succeeded in dismembering the expedition that was ready to start. The Atlantic coast was not conquered. It never has been. Thanks to his charity, Indians there are still Indians and wander in barbarity awaiting Hispanicity. The story is yet much sadder: by separating the sword from the cross, he wished for the liberal conquest of the barbarians. A missionary expedition set out to the savage regions but... it never came back. The missionaries, without the support and defense of the conquistadors, were eaten by the Indians."

During the seventeenth century, Spain consolidated its effort of evangelization and culture and issued laws that ensured peace and progress in such an extensive Empire. The same ideal cast in a compact block the Spaniards this and that side of the seas. As Spanish and as proud of being Spanish were the children of the Spaniards that stayed in the Peninsula as those of the ones that established themselves in America. Spain came to be the stately home of the creoles whose grandparents, common to ours, lived under the protection of the venerable walls that remained the property of the eldest son, while the second sons would go to America to found new homes, created to the image and likeness of those ancient ones that had sheltered their childhood in the Peninsula.


The above undertaking was interrupted in the eighteenth century when the Spanish Monarchy transformed itself from a Catholic into a territorial one, as Ramiro de Maestu has so accurately observed. Spain began to turn her sight away from what had made her great, to direct it to France and to the French. Her hierarchs and leaders ceased to consider themselves the arm and sword at the service of an ideal of mission and of sacrifice, to think only in public works; tributary revenue increased from the commercial exploitations. In the second half of that treasonous century, Spain ceased to send missionaries and Viceroys to America, fathers of the people and of the Indians, and in their place sent functionaries avid to satiate their covetousness and rebuild their impoverished estates, henchmen of the encyclopedist doctrines and reverent admirers of their pontiffs, Voltaire and Rousseau.

The germ of the infinite number of revolutions that have constantly excited twenty American republics from the time of their independence until our days was sent by the frenchified Spaniards in ships such as those that Bastella named 'of the Enlightenment' that would arrive in Caracas with their stores replete with anti-religious and anarchic books.

The expulsion of the Jesuits, plotted in the dark of the lodges and imposed by Voltaire and D'Alembert on the encyclopedist ministers of the faint-hearted Charles III, and sanctioned by this Monarch of unhappy memory, inflicted very serious damage on the conservation of the Spanish Empire. Many were the cities in Hispanic America where violent mutinies arose and angry protests were raised against this mean and sacrilegious abuse. The Spaniards in America grieved from the expulsion of the distinguished children of the Spanish Saint Ignatius of Loyola, decreed by those frenchified living in Madrid. Charles III's minister Roda, with a servility fit for a lackey, wrote to the Duke of Choiseul, minister of Louis XV. "the operation has left nothing to be desired, we have killed the son, there is nothing else for us to do but follow in a like manner with the mother, our Holy Roman Church ''. A very tough blow for the prestige of Spain in America, still untouched by French atheism, was the iniquity imposed by the Government in Madrid. There is nothing that loosens so much the ties of subordination and affection as an insolent and reiterated injustice perpetrated by the ruler, and no injustice is so deep as that which offends the religious convictions.

The Count of Aranda, seeing the independence of the English colonies in America and foreseeing the effects of imitation and contagion, proposed to Charles III the division of Spanish America into three great Monarchies, the crown of which would be worn by the three sons of the Spanish Royal Family under the patronage of the Spanish Monarch, though. Aranda thought this would prevent the demolishing of our empire and the definitive divorce of the Metropolis from the peoples that formed the Viceroyalties, but he failed to realize that, over and  above the example of the United States, were his own conscious attacks against the Religion and the Church what were undermining our Empire. Aranda, Campomanes, Floridablanca, Godoy, his minions, and his royal supporters, Charles III and Charles IV, are the main persons responsible for the toppling of the Empire created by the Catholic Kings, Charles I and Philip II, and enlarged and developed by the succeeding Monarchs. The ruling class in Madrid would attack the Church and turn their backs on the destiny that God had laid out for Spain in World History, and the Americans began to consider the government in Madrid as a tax collector, enemy of their most cherished ideals. Cecil Jane has written: "It looked as if the government had ceased to be Spanish in everything, save for the name."

"The real causes of our independence — said Josè Coronel Urtecho not too long ago in a public act taken place in Nicaragua, his country — are not to be sought in our people, but in the bosom iself of the central organ of that vast empire to which we had belonged. The revolutionary principles had corroded the guiding Monarchy where the sovereignty and independence of a great slew of nations were compacted and personified, and upon the relaxing of the authoritarian tradition that had formed the most vast and uniform empire that the world had ever known, the violent dismembering we are referring to took place with the pompous name of American Independence."

The new concept of life and government that inspired the ministers of Charles III and his successor could not produce any other outcome. Besides, the constant and systematic enmity maintained with the pretext of Crown's royalties against the Church and the Religious Orders, so deeply rooted and influential in America, created a mood of positive and understandable discontent among the friars against their unjust persecutors, the 'advanced' rulers in Madrid. Great light to understand that historical moment is afforded by the careful reading of the five thick volumes in which the famous Letters that Andalusian Dominic Father Alvarado published under the pseudonym El Filòsofo Rancio, dated between 1810 and 1814. The sufferings, vexations, and tortures inflicted by the rulers of Càdiz and later of Madrid to the Spanish friars, presented in a polemic tone by el Rancio, despite the time that has passed since, sadden all righteous spirits who vibrate in holy wrath before the spectacle presented of virtue being persecuted and injustice being triumphant.

The 'ambuscaders' of Cadiz would offend and persecute the friars while they fought at the fronts and let themselves be killed for the independence of Spain. The frenchified, those who assigned for themselves the title of 'select spirits', which for fateful inconsistency for the future of Spain did not obey the intruder Joseph Bonaparte, installed themselves comfortably in Càdiz, safe from the bullets and devoted to legislate against the way of thinking of the sane people who, with admirable heroism, got themselves killed at the fronts; those people which the Càdiz deputy Conde de Toreno, described as "odd demagogy, beggarly, friarly, superstitious, and quite repugnant", despising words of the prominent liberal, that made Menèndez y Pelayo comment: "Too bad that without such so foul-smelling demagogy that so much attacked the nerves of the illustrious count, no Zaragozas or Geronas are possible!" [referring to the heroic resistance these two cities offered during the sieges to which they were subjected by the Napoleonic armies at the time of Spain's war of independence. Translator's note].

This anti-religious policy of the Spanish ruling classes. manifested by a thousand aggressive measures dictated by the Courts of Cádiz, continuing and accentuating the precedents set by Godoy et al, disguised under the name of reforms of the clergy and the convents, influenced decisively on the Assemblies that emerged in the absence of Fernando VII and, as in the Peninsula also in the principal American cities, ended up agreeing with their total and definitive separation from Spain. Assemblies in which numerous were the friars and so decisive was their influence. In 1816, in Buenos Aires, assembles the Congress that was to pronounce itself on the future of the Provinces of La Plata, and on July 9 it solemnly proclaims the independence. The historical document, work of an Augustine friar, is signed by twenty-nine citizens, among which sixteen were priests and friars.


The independence of the American friars was over time a consequence of the principles that governed our colonization.

We had not gone to America to exploit its riches or to enslave the natives, keeping them in their savagery as, with a material and mercantilist criterion about life, have done the rest of the European nations to keep subjected forever these inferior beings, true slaves, with the sole vigilance of a handful of soldiers. From Spain we transplanted to America and the Philippines the flesh of our flesh and the best of our spirit, to create new towns and elevate their natives to a plane equal to that of the conquistadors. Next to the sword of the captains was always the Cross of the missionaries, the sword protecting the ministers of the Cross to prevent, as in the referred lascasian episode in which the Indians ate the missionaries. The walls of the forts were only a preparation and a foundation of the sumptuous temples and cathedrals that we would later erect and of the universities that were to emulate those of the Old Continent. When those new towns grew and multiplied, in spirit and in number it was natural to think that the administrative ties that united them under Madrid's tutelage would debilitate until attaining total emancipation, but with indestructible ties with the common motherland that engendered them and lovingly cared for their growth, and with brotherly ties with all the Hispanic peoples that stemmed from the same trunk and share in the same spirit.

The false ideas of the eighteenth century corrupting the hierarchs of the Spanish Monarchy. got to break so harmonious an evolution and throw twenty not yet mature nations into the hands of the liberal and democratic revolution. The American republics are fruits picked off the tree before they were ripe, but let us not forget that, on its part, Spain had lost its sap and that, practically repudiating its history, it was deprived of its vitality to the point of falling into that second infancy which is close to senile imbecility, of which in this respect speaks Menéndez y Pelayo. During the war of independence, the known revolutionary and poet Manuel José Quintana as Secretary General of the Junta Central, would send to America from Cádiz proclamations in the following vein: "You are no longer those who for the span of three centuries have served under the yoke of servitude: you have already been elevated to the condition of free men", proclamations that, as commented by Menéndez y Pelayo, had a disastrous effect, contributing to the acceleration of the uprising against the Motherland and providing perpetual material to the declamations of political adventurers, as garrulous in the Spain overseas as in the peninsular Spain, during those years at the same time glorious and ill starred.

Argentina, Perú, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala..., born to independent life in the nineteenth century, you do well and rightly in denying being children of the Spain of today or of that of the last century. The Spain of today is your sister inasmuch as we all descend from the same mother, the Spain of the sixteenth century. Rubén Darío has written: “I am a child of America; I am a grandchild of Spain."

We Spaniards and Americans have the same grandfathers, and we peninsulares, having kept the ancient home, does not authorize us to see with protective eyes the descendants of the brethren of our grandfathers who in America have made offspring grow tall, robust and strong. Most deserving of eternal Spain and of the Spaniards of the sixteenth century, have been Ecuadorians such as García Moreno, Nicaraguans such as Rubén Darío, and Argentinians such as Roberto Levillier — the distinguished diplomat who had the courage to go to Geneva to request from the Society of Nations to initiate a process of review of the work done by Spain in America during its great centuries — not as other journalists, orators, and publicists who have devoted themselves to calumniate, the Church, renege of the ideals that inspired our elders, and tarnish with false legends the memory of our kings, our saints, our Captains and our most fundamental and benevolent institutions.


Expounded here are the remote causes of the fall of the Spanish Empire in America. The historical circumstances, to manifest in tangible events the disintegration process that corroded the ruling classes in Spain and in America, was afforded by the French invasion of 1808. The Spanish people, betrayed by its leaders, spontaneously rose up against Napoleon's armies, a rebellion that was seconded by the Spaniards on the other side of the seas. Not one piece of Hispanic American territory gave allegiance to the usurper Joseph Bonaparte. Some Viceroyalties sent deputies to Cádiz and resources to the Regency, but the administrative ties that united them with the Metropolis were relaxed and the aspiration to independence quickly conquered proselytes at the same time that our allies, European powers such as England, take advantage of the occasion to dismember our Empire, sending encouragement and aid to the separatists. However, very important American population centers resist breaking up with Spain, and civil wars spring up in very vast regions with different alternatives, until Riego´s uprising in 1820 gets to decide the victory favoring the supporters of independence. The case of Mexico is highly enlightening. In 1810, Hidalgo, parish priest of Dolores, cried the proclamation of independence, starting a series of quarrels and persecutions lead by guerrilla commanders, some of them as famous as priest Morelos and Mina, who after having sowed ruin and fear in several regions, are brusquely repressed.

In 1820, all of Mexico and Central America recognized the authority of the King of Spain, save for a few guerrilla leaders such as Guerrero who had taken refuge in inaccessible mountains. At this time comes the news of the insurrection at Cabezas de San Juan, the restoration of the Constitution of 1812, and of  the first decree of the Cortes against the Holy Inquisition and against the Jesuits, events that, having fed up the indignation of the Mexicans, lead them to break with the Government of Madrid, proclaiming themselves independent and offering the crown of Mexico to the subjugated Fernando VII. On February 24, 1821, Colonel Agustìn de Iturbide, who had distinguished himself so much fighting the hordes of Hidalgo and Morelos, rose against the Government in Madrid and issued the manifest known in history as the Plan de Iguala, in the first article of which is affirmed that the Religion of the New Spain is and will always be the Catholic religion, with tolerance of no other one, and establishes the Monarchy as the form of government "tempered by a constitution suiting the Nation". "Fernando VII, and should the case be those of his dynasty or of some other reigning one will be the Emperors, to find ourselves with a Monarch already made and to guard against the disastrous affronts of ambition" was how the Plan read.

The independizers summarized the content of their program in three fundamental principles, principles that symbolized the three colors of the new flag, Red symbolizes Religion; white, union under the monarchic government; and green, the nation's independence. For blandishing that slogan, the army that followed Iturbide was called 'trigarante' or of the three guaranties, and on September 21, 1821, triumphantly entered Mexico City, the Act of Independence of the Mexican Empire being approved eight days later, which was signed by, aside from Iturbide, by the Marchis of Salvatierra, the counts of the Casa Heras de Soto, of Regla, of San Juan de Rayas, and of San Bartolomé de Xala, the Bishop of Puebla, and O'Donojú, last Viceroy of New Spain.

The three guarantees, the safeguard of which motivated the separation of Mexico from the Metropolis, were later sought by all of the regions that broke off from the Spanish Empire. The first one and easiest to abandon was the one related to the monarchic form of government. No matter how attached the Americans could have been to this venerated form, the intellectual climate of the nineteenth century was in no way propitious to facilitate the establishment and taking root of new dynasties. The English constitutional molds and the liberal and democratic content of the French Revolution were the pattern obligatorily imposed by the dominant doctrines.

The mission of union, concord and government among citizens that up to then had been achieved thanks to the monarchic institution, was handed over to universal suffrage and, as a logical derivative of this, the regime of parties and scuffles became ingrained and faithfully guaranteed disunion and anarchy.

Iturbide, who in the Plan de Iguala had proposed that the Mexican Crown be worn by Fernando VII or some Spanish prince or, in the absence thereof, by a prince of a foreign dynasty so that Mexico find itself with a monarch already made and guard against the disastrous affronts of ambition", inebriated with glory and blinded by adulation, forgot his precise political predictions and accepted the imperial crown that Congress offered him in May 1822, pulled by a popular manifestation that, lead by a sergeant, marched through the streets of the capital to the cry of "Long live Agustìn I! Long live the Emperor!" But envy, so inherent in men, constant infirmity in human nature and which in democratic and electoral regimes finds an unbeatable climate for its development, made its appearance immediately. "Why he and not I?" said some of the comrades at arms of the new Emperor, each overestimating his own merits and underestimating those of the one favored, and after several conspirations and uprisings, Agustin saw himself forced to abdicate the crown on May 19,1823, and left his fatherland exiled.

Coming back to his country, but unaware of a decree just issued that prohibited him from returning and that declared him outside the law, he is arrested upon disembarking and is put to death by firing squad on July 19, 1824. Years later, on July 19, 1867, Maximilian of Austria, second and last Emperor of Mexico, was also put to death by a firing squad, after an ephemerous and turbulent reign. It becomes impossible to make a synthesis capable of conveying an idea of what has been the independent life of the American nations.

Thousands and thousands of assassinations, uprisings, revolutions, and hundreds of civil wars would represent a very arduous task to summarize. With the exception of the periods of dictatorship (3), the only ones that have known internal peace and tranquility at the expense of suspending, more or less violently, a legality that was incapable of producing them. Always menaced in their duration, in addition to natural death, by the tragic possibility of the bomb, the dagger, the poison or other violent means, anarchy has reigned in these nations. It is scary to read an extract of the turbulence suffered by Hispanic America since 1810. Religion, so dear and rooted in these peoples, soon began to be persecuted and injured in most of them by sectarian rulers, to the point of becoming so tyrannical as the one unleashed in our days by Elìas Calles in Mexico, which brings to memory those of the times of Nero and Diocletian.

The United States, not content with having treasonously appropriated one half of the Mexican territory in 1848, and of having Cuba subjugated, and of being creditors of almost all Hispanic America, constantly concoct new plans, more or less concealed, to submit those twenty nations to humiliating tutelage. Aware this New Carthage of the fact that, in order to dominate its desired preys at will, it needs to extinguish all spirituality and patriotism in them, and knowing that Catholicism is the most important focus of irradiation of that spirit that stands on their way, there is no protestant, masonic, corrupting, or anarchic undertaking that is not protected and financed by the United States.

Already in 1847, the notable Mexican writer Lucas Alamán would write: "All the immense continent, which today is a chaos of confusion, of disorder, and of misery, moved at that time [referring to the time it was Spanish] with uniformity, without violence, it could be said that without any effort, and everything runned in progressing order towards continuous and substantial improvements."

Almost a century later, Nicaraguan poet Antonio Cuadra, in his quoted book Hacia la Cruz del Sur, returns to raise this anguishing topic while referring to us the ideas that came to his mind in seeing Guayaquil, Ecuador's second city, that nation which had the joy of counting among its sons and seeing itself ruled during a few years by an exemplary ruler, an exception among those of the nineteenth century, of the temper and spirit of a Cisneros and of a Phillip the Second, García Moreno in name, to whom Freemasonry gave the supreme award of having died for his religion and for his fatherland, as Pontiff Pius IX exclaimed on hearing the news of his assassination.

Pablo Antonio Cuadra put it this way: «Ecuador 's history — which is just an amplification of the story of Guayaquil — can be a perfect model of independent history. In the short span of a hundred years, thirty five revolutions have scourged its life of liberty. One of these lasted for fifteen years. The rest, where I have not bothered to take into consideration those mutinies and rebellions without transcendence, have filled, with their anarchy, almost all of the rest of the years. Ecuador´s experience is the experience of America. And in a textbook of its history, as it could have been read in the history textbook of any other country in America, I have annotated this brief paragraph: "In general the life of Ecuador during the times of the colony and the Viceroyalty was pacific and serene". I leave here, before the bustling landscape of Guayaquil, this sole question: why?»

And in the light of the philosophy of history, fecund in teachings that should be meditated upon by each and any one who in some way participates in public governance, the solution to this tragic conundrum is clear and simple.

We will not incur in the naivetè of attributing it to the fact of those nations having separated from Spain, in spite of having lived in tranquility all the time they were united to her, since the same evils have unexpectedly occurred in the Metropolis, and with the same veracity it can be written in any textbook on the history of Spain that "in general, until the nineteenth century, life in the Peninsula was serene and pacific", and also at the sight of so many civil wars, pronouncements, dictatorships, and regime changes as in Spain have occurred since the Cortes de Càdiz, we can put to our contempraneous history the anguishing question: why? A false, dispiriting and defeatist topic, quite in vogue nowadays, has established as an indisputable truth that we Hispanics on one or the other side of the Atlantic are by nature ungovernable. But the histories of twenty nations in America and of the Metropolis teach us that it was only beginning in the nineteenth century that we appear to be ungovernable and anarchic.

The cause of the evil rests in that we abandoned the spirit of service and mission that inspired our institutions, to enthrone in its place the antisocial principles of the French philosophers and encyclopedists that triumphed in France with their revolution and in Spain and in America with the Constitution of 1812 and in the constitutions of the recently born republics. Spengler has said something definitive in this respect. He puts it this way in his Decisive Years: "What is called order in the modern liberal constitutions is nothing but anarchy made custom."


How strange it is, therefore, that the peoples that have repudiated the philosophical and governmental principles which gave them peace and order during centuries, have seen themselves in perpetual commotion since they inspired their institutions in those other principles that aside from constitutionally guaranteeing anarchy, lead the nations irremissibly to communism, end and capping foreseen in the nineteenth century by Donoso Cortés, Louis Veuillot, Cánovas del Castillo, and Renan, and in our days by Maurras and Spengler, not to mention but just a few of the most outstanding prophets of what has been happening to us!

It will never be insisted upon enough in repeating that political Truth exists; that fundamental principles and laws exist which govern the life and progress of peoples. Moral laws have in the universe the same reality as physical laws. The difference rests on the fact that physical laws, such as that of gravitation or of communicating vessels, etc. are complied with in a fateful way, whereas the moral laws can be rejected and violated by those obligated to comply with them. Nations can allow themselves the fancy of disowning the laws that govern the political and social relationships and render observance to the dictates of their will, but disorder and anarchy will result as an unavoidable consequence of the natural laws. Nations and individuals can voluntarily embrace corruption and cry "Long live my death!", but do not be surprised by the undesired consequences later.

When a good or a bad phenomenon is produced constantly, regardless of the circumstances of time and person, it is necessary to admit that a law presides in its production, and thus, perpetual misgovernment and anarchy cry out to us that some institution contrary to nature is being maintained and respected which, by perpetually aggrieving some law, brings about the penalty inherent to the breaching of such law.

Until the eighteenth century, all civilized nations recognized that, over and above the will of the rulers and of legislators, there was a natural juridical order derived from the eternal law given to Creation by God, an order  that had as its supreme definer the Church. Good and evil, justice and injustice, were values above the rulers: Kings, Presidents, dictators or Assemblies; and the rulings dictated by these should give acquiescence to those immutable values, common to all humankind. This is why theologians and jurisconsults had a preeminent position in the Courts and Counsels of the Sovereigns.

The French Revolution persecuted the Church to death and established the sum of the individual wills as the supreme organ defining what is good and what is bad, what is just and what unjust, and deified and worshiped human reason, elevating it to the category of goddess. Universal suffrage is an unavoidable consequence of liberalism, which is nothing other than indifference towards the Truth. Repudiating the latter, since such is the equating it in rights with error no matter how monstrous the error may be, extinguishes the right to impose the Truth, and in the position that once belonged to Truth, before which laws and rulers were to submit, as supreme ruling criterion was placed what expressed will of the most, or in periods of exception, what in his fancy ruled the dictator in power. The antichristian aphorism defining that quid quid placuit principi, legis habet vigorem [that which pleases the ruler has the force of law], so contrary to human dignity, came to rule universally. Truth lost its right to rule the nations and in its place was enthroned the fancy of the dictator or of the populace. And since Truth is one, and errors can be infinite, Truth, former principle of union, was persecuted, and spontaneously arose division, fractures, and groups and subgroups, ever more hostile and more bloody.

Liberalism and democracy are essentially disintegrators and, after having dismembered our empire, have continued acting, making separatist regionalisms spring dividing societies into an ever increasing number of parties, which for vital reasons are in perpetual strife, dividing citizens into rival bands, always hostile, and culminating in the so-called class struggle that has filled the streets of our cities and our towns with dead bodies in a growing pace of insecurity and anarchy. But the disintegration has not limited its range of action to the political societies, no matter how minimal they may be, but penetrating the family, society has come to introduce division and discord in the bosom of the family, the cell of every social organization, placing nations at the brink of an abyss of barbarism and destruction unknown in the history of humankind. Fortunately, Mussolini´s genius interposed itself in the course the world was following, stripping Italy of corrupting institutions, showing the way to salvation to those nations threatened by the same evils that corroded Italy in 1922.


France was the first country that put in practice the political principles that derived from skepticism and incredulity in the eighteenth century, and took over the spirit of the French ruling classes, and it was Napoleon who, with his victorious troops, propagated so damaging an ideology throughout the world. Right is he who wrote, referring to the American nations, “Vous n'êtes pas les fils de l'Espagne, vous êtes les fils de la Révolution française” ["You are no longer the daughters of Spain, you are the daughters of the French Revolution"], although he should have completed the idea by saying that contemporary Spain, the one going from 1812 through July 17, 1936, was also a daughter of the French Revolution. Nothing did it have to do, no ideological affinity had the liberal and democratic Spain, be it called a constitutional Monarchy or a workers' Republic, with the eternal Spain, the one who fought against the Half Moon in a struggle seven centuries in duration, the one that evangelized America, the one who was the light of Trento, hammer of heretics, sword of Rome, cradle of Saint Ignatius.... What well-born Spaniard cannot remember with sadness and repugnance those drunken masses, repulsive and destructive, to which sovereignty and power had been handed over, going through the streets of our towns and villages yelling The Marseillaise, recognized as a subsidiary national anthem during the early times following the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic?

No voices were lacking at the very beginning of American independence, presaging the dangerous and frustrating attempts to control and smoothen the claws of the triumphant revolution. Among these, the figures of Simón Bolívar and Agustin de Iturbide stand out. In no public document have the evils of an elective principle  been recognized so timely as in that Plan de Iguala, in which a blood prince was postulated to rule the Mexican empire "cutting off that way the ill-fated attempts of ambition". No other is the essential argument favoring hereditary monarchy which Lope de Vega puts in the lips of a character of one of his comedies: "bequeath was later made / to prevent dissensions / in the new elections"...

The election, the elective principle is in itself evil and corrupting, even if the electors be princes and archbishops, as happened with the Holy Roman Empire, in which the new emperor frequently had to pay back the favors and precise votes for his electoral triumph, ceding to foreign powers pieces of territory, with injury to the dignity and integrity of the state. An elective emperor is a candidate to have his life and reign ended by violent death. The history of the Roman emperors elected by the legions is an uninterrupted history of assassinations and conspiracies, and similarly it is supposed to have happened with our Visigothic elective Monarchy. Iturbide recognized these certain dangers, but defying his own predictions, he accepted the crown and, in a short time, the "ill-fated attempts of ambition", after having made him abdicate, took his life violently without even respecting his condition of father and liberator of the new State.

Bolívar, on his part, also attempted to provide for the evils that were to accompany the establishment of universal suffrage, by trying to slow down its impetus and limiting its powers. In 1816, year when the first Congreso de Angostura met, it turned out to be illusory to prevent the implementation of a government of the people by the people in a nation that was being born to public life. The universal suffrage that the French Revolution advocated began its triumphal march, undermining the monarchies first, and ending up demolishing them after having emptied them of their content and of their reason of being, and they lost the popularity they had enjoyed among the people.

In said Congreso de Angostura, Bolívar attempts to limit the power of universal suffrage by creating an upper chamber with powers equal to those of the popular one, but whose members would be for life and vacancies would be covered by inheritance.

The most outstanding commanders and leaders of the independence would be named senators and, upon their death, they would be succeeded by their children, who would be educated at State´s cost and under its vigilance to better prepare them for the service and functions they would later assume. To counterbalance the incoherence and illiteracy of those elected by universal suffrage, Bolívar wanted to oppose a chamber of persons rooted in their glories, devoted for life to the study of history, politics and the needs of the nation. Lacking an aristocracy recognized for centuries to install in the upper chamber, Bolivar put his eyes on the commanders and generals of the independence, recognizing the heroism and military courage as a constant and very noble fount of any nobility. In states, as happened with the American ones, that would be newly built, nobody had a better right to guide its future, or a more authorized voice than the chiefs of the armies, genuine representatives of the best sons of the nation who, at the price of their blood and life, rescued their nations for specific ideals. No more authentic representation of the combating people, of that which survived and of that which succumbed in the battles, than that constituted by the chiefs and generals that lead them through paths of sacrifice and honor to the summits of the triumph.

Bolivar`s project was rejected in the early sessions of the Congreso de Angostura. Elective and sovereign democracy could not tolerate having at her side a hereditary power based on history, virtue and competence. The terrifying eloquence of the events has proven Iturbide and Bolìvar right. In his last years, persecuted and disappointed, the Liberator of America was to exclaim: "Those of us who have worked for the Revolution have plowed the sea".

The circumstances in Spanish America on inaugurating its independent life were extremely difficult. On the one hand, those nations lacked dynasties of their own, of those families which History has differentiated and predestined to hold the scepters, whose origins are lost in the night of time, without anyone being humiliated or irritated by obeying and venerating them, because they are the incarnation of centuries of history. The new states could have resorted to the Royal Houses of Europe to have them provide their distinguished children to found the national dynasties. That this was not impossible is shown to us by Belgium, who created its dynasty with German princes, or by Greece with English princes; but it is also quite easy to understand that, in the first decades of that century which called itself 'the century of the light' but which, in view of its service record, Daudet called 'stupid' and de Maeztu called 'traitor', the ascending tide of democracy would deliver power to universal suffrage and adopt the republican model as the only one truly in consonance with those principles.

In the new nations, just as in the millenary States, democracy, defeating the resistance opposed to it by religious beliefs, by the sense of honor still persistent in official bodies, and by the throne simulations that shamefully hide their submission to the enemy by disguising their republicanism behind the guise of 'constitutional monarchies', ended up dragging all nations on earth to the trance of liquidation from which some now strive to move away. Donoso Cortés had solemnly asserted in the Spanish Parliament that the elective regime is in itself so corrupting that all societies in which it has prevailed have died of gangrene. And Paul Bourget, referring to France, would say at the beginning of this century that the disorder and misgovernment in public business is a function of elective government. America and almost all States in the world adopted this regime and therefore we should not be surprised that an intrinsically corrupting regime should have corrupted everything. In this way, the premises of liberalism and democracy, inaugurated in 1789, produced their logical consequences, and in our days we have seen the Russian revolution of 1917 in Moscow and in Red Spain. "Bolshevism has its home in Western Europe" Spengler has written. Elsewhere he has added: "democracy in the nineteenth century was already Bolshevism, except that it did not yet possess the courage to reach its ultimate consequences."


To get rid of the evils that asphyxiate the Hispanic American nations, they must undertake, in a radical way and without hesitation, the resolution of two fundamental problems: one is of substance and the other of form. The one of substance consists in the need for the peoples to go back and saturate their life with the faith, Religion and morality. The solution to any juridical, social and political problem that may emerge can be found in the inexhaustible treasure of Catholicism. Without religion, there may be strong, dictatorial, authoritarian, tyrannical States for some time, but the sacred liberty to do good, the precious faculty inherent to human dignity, will not be recognized and will depend upon the fanciful judgment of the ruler in turn. Without religion among the people and the ruler, only two alternate solutions are possible: anarchy or tyranny. Donoso Cortés, in his best speech said: "When repression by religion ceases to exist, no sort of government will suffice; all kinds of despotisms will be too few."

Before saying anything about political forms, let me state in advance my deeply rooted conviction about the primacy of the religious over the political. Politics is a means to produce peace, tranquility and progress to men, so that they are able to fulfill their objectives, but the salvation of the souls, objective sought by Religion, constitutes the highest of objectives, no matter how elevated the rest of them may be. However, in circumstances such as those that Hispanic America undergoes today, the political question presents itself with characteristics of intensity and urgency that demand preferential, I do not mean exclusive, attention over all of the other questions. Not always what goes before is what is most important. Well known is the example of the plough and the ox, in which what is essential for the field is the plough but, nevertheless, the beast precedes it. Finis est prior in intentione sedest posterior in executione, said Saint Thomas. Experience, supreme argument in empiric sciences, teaches with events how institutions exist that corrupt men and nations, but there are also salutary and beneficial institutions. To a Catholic people, as was that of Spain and America, the elective, sceptic and corrupting institutions which were imposed upon them at the beginning of the nineteenth century by certain unbelieving or stupid ruling classes of the time, ended up de-catholizicing and corrupting it.

Inspired in a comfortable pessimism, it is quite common to hear someone say that peoples have the governments they deserve and that, before aspiring to a good government, what they ought to do first is to deserve it, argument which serves many honest and competent individuals to keep themselves far away from any participation in the march of public affairs, and selfishly apply themselves to their private interests, awaiting society to regenerate itself in a spontaneous way. History, however, pronounces itself with the supreme eloquence of events. Out of a divided, impoverished, and anarchic people, Queen Isabella the Catholic, happily assisted by Ferdinand, made a prosperous, united and orderly kingdom. Out of a Church corroded by abuses and vices, fertile ground for heresies and schisms, the will of Cardinal Cisneros forged the Church in Spain, arm and shield of Rome against the Protestant reformation. In the opposite, the lustful fancy of Henry VIII and the selfish convenience of the Virgin Queen, spurious daughter of the former, lead the English people to heresy, and the covetousness of the German princes, nourished with the goods taken away from the convents, gave its greatest champions to the Lutheran reform.

On occasion of the centenary of the conversion of Clovis, king of the Francs, Pius X said that, just as Reccared and following the path of Constantine, with his example and persevering will, introduced his entire people into the bosom of the Church: "Peoples are what their rulers want them to be", words that bring to memory those that Pedro Mártir de Anglería wrote at the time of Queen Isabella the Catholic: "The king wagered; the noblemen were gamblers. Now the Queen studies; we have all become students"

The American nations that want to end the era of intranquility and disorder that so many evils have produced in them, must begin by uprooting the elective and liberal institutions, replacing them with aristocratic ones that approximate, as far as circumstances may allow, an hereditary government. It is necessary to cease using the means of aggregation of wills to seek the truth and the good and, instead, let jurists and theologians devote themselves to this most elevated mission in a constant manner. Institutions ought to be implemented that cease counting wills and opinions but, in their place, examine arguments and ponder the reasons. Science, virtue, and goodness are select and minoritarian products, the making of which should be fostered and the verdicts of which should be imposed.

In the bereavement of dynasties in which the American Nations find themselves, they can begin to organize themselves into aristocratic states of the type that Bolivar had proposed for his upper chamber, in the expectation that, by way of a dictatorship, they can attain a king.

"We need dictators — Cuadra wrote — until the son of a dictator is born. Bolivar's rectifying idea of a President with the right to name a successor responded to that same wish". In the meantime, for these good wishes to become realities, it is urgent to suppress the liberal and democratic institutions and enthrone an intelligent, virtuous, and self-sacrificing minority that, devoted in a continuous manner to the study of the Science and Art of government, so ignored in our times, and with the mind centered upon the benefit and progress of the people, end and object of the actions of the rulers, impose Truth and Goodness by persuasion and by force. The study of the institutions of aristocracy of the Republic of Venice, those of Switzerland before 1789, those of England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, those of the Catholic Church, the only society that, being ruled by celibates, cannot embrace the law of inheritance, and those of Fascist Italy, may yield very beneficial teachings in order to transform the political structure and cut off the anarchy that, just as spring water, spontaneouly flows from the institutions born under the sign of the French Revolution that were implanted in all Hispanic American States.


With words of faith and hope I wanted to lead off these Reflections that evoke the new edition of the book that recounts the last moments of the Spanish Empire. After a very long period during which vile calumnies have been cast against Spain and its greatest figures of the sixteenth and seventeenth century, the clock of History has finally sounded the time of rehabilitation and justice. Cultured Europe, and learned men of all nations, after conscientious analyses and rigorous study of books and documents, turn their eyes towards Imperial Spain to recognize the greatness of the cause for which our Fatherland fought and shed its blood in times decisive for the world. Being separated from my books and annotations, which may perhaps have served to stoke flames in the red Madrid, and far from libraries and archives, I will not attempt to mention the long series of authors and works that in great number I could put forward in confirmation of all the preceding assertions, 

I do not wish, however, to let go unmentioned the very recent publication of the German translation of the work by Englishman R. Travor Davies, titled Spaniens goldene Zeit, 1501-1626, not yet translated into Spanish, about which we read a comment in the Frankfurter Zeitung of last December 4: "a change has been taking place in opinions on the Spanish past, manifested in entirely rectified judgments expressed on characters such as Charles V and Phillip II, change that, even when slow, has been taking hold, with nothing that can be opposed to this new current."

Today, especially British and German foreigners who consecrate themselves to the study of our history are almost legion and, driven only by reasons of scientific probity, have demolished and unmasked the black legend that had defamed us before the world, and have exposed the shining glory of our astonishing past. Even in Hispanic America, where calumny had been sowed freely even by cultural ambassadors sent by Spain, the Truth has broken through and rapidly conquers proselytes. Many are the Americans that publicly congratulate themselves of having been Spanish, and not English, the flags flown by the conquerors. We could adduce to many texts in confirmation of this assertion, but we prefer to present only one which we have just read in a recent article by Eduardo Marquina, consisting in a few paragraphs of the book which with the title of Breve Historia de México, that José Vasconcelos, the Mexican revolutionary politician and Obregón's ex-minister, had published in 1937.

Those paragraphs read: "... Fortunately it were Spaniards who were the first to arrive in our land and, thanks to that, the history of our region is rich unlike that of the area occupied by the Puritans... We entered the ranks of civilization under the standard of Castille that, in its own way, inherited from the Romans but surpassed it by its Christianity ... Is there by chance in the pre-Cortesian indigenous, any unity of doctrine, or even of sentiment, capable of edifying a national soul... ? If we dispense with the Spanish, we will be left like the blacks... In vain did Spain try to contain the deeds begun by the buccaneers of the time of England's Elizabeth... commerce in the New world began to be English... the United States did not occupy themselves in killing Englishmen, they occupied themselves in imitating the English, to feel themselves English in ambition... But once the three-century Christianization during the Colony has been consummated, we should not conform ourselves with being matter of new conquests... we see it in the case of Texas. Nothing has helped the Mexicans that side of the border to change their master. They are worse today because they have been maimed in their soul and socially proletarized... The immediate step of economic emancipation should be the intellectual emancipation and the return to the Hispanic,"

Rubén Darío, distinguished panegyrist of Hispanism and prophet of our coming greatness, in his magisterial Oda a Roosevelt, after describing the greatness of the United States, "the future invasor of the naíve America that has indigenous blood, still prays to Jesus Christ, and still speaks in Spanish", in a superb imprecation  that starts with the moving exclamation: "but the America of ours...", throws down a challenge:

the Catholic America, the Hispanic America,

the America where the noble Guatemoc raised his voice:

"I am not lying on a bed of roses":

that America which hurricanes make tremble but lives from love,

men of saxon eyes and barbarous souls, lives.

And dreams. And vibrates and is daughter of the Sun.

Beware. Hispanic America lives!

Thousands of Spanish Lion's cubs are loose.

It would be needed, Roosevelt, to be God himself,

the Rifleman tremendous and the powerful Huntsman,

to be capable of holding us in your fearful claws,

And though you possess everything, only one thing you lack, and that is God!

Providence seems to have reserved to the Hispanic world a supernatural mission to perform. Spain and America still can become protagonists in World History again. The civil war, which to the national troops that Franco leads to victory is an authentic holy war, is purifying our people with tears and blood prior to reintegrating it to the course of its former greatness, from which one day, to its disgrace, it voluntarily diverted. Perhaps in the mystery of the Lord, the Hispanic world has been reserved to bring back spirituality to earth, evangelizing the new state forms that some nations have implanted so timely when they have found themselves in a trance of death. Spain in the sixteenth century carried out the most perfect type of totalitarian state that History has known. Unanimity of faith, of aspirations, of ideals, and perfect compenetration between rulers and ruled.

How will the relations be between Spain and the Hispanic nations when that moment arrives of the common undertaking or of the conversion into accomplishments of that unity of destiny which José Antonio Primo de Rivera told us about? Ramiro de Maeztu, defender and martyr of Hispanism, with undisputable authority has said: "I do not like the word Empire that has been bandied about these years. I have not the least of interests in having the bureaucrats in Madrid collect tributes from America again", and Acción Española, in April 1935, in an editorial article owed to the pen of de Maeztu, speaking for all its writers, said: "The true Hispanic americanism, the one we see emerging today, should found itself on the positive reality of our common tradition: on Hispanism, of which we are equally children, the Americans and us; on a common pride of our language, on the same concept of justice, on a same sense of potential human equality, on the same tendency to underline the Catholicity of our religion, on the commonality of our destiny while we conceive the dominion of America as a religious mission, until the emergence of the cursed idea of turning the Catholic Monarchy into an economic and territorial power.”

We do not believe that peoples are governed better from afar as from up close, instead, we believe that, on the contrary, all else being equal, they are governed from up close better than from the distance. In general, we believe that every nation has the historical responsibility of cultivating, civilizing and improving the piece of land where its people were born and the men who inhabit it. We do not dream of any class of material imperialism. We do not wish that this booty-State we suffer extends its activities to other nations. And it is not only that we are aware of our current impotence and that no one in this world can do what he wants if the will of the rest opposes his own. We know that all modern nations are victims of a statism that divides peoples into taxpayers and functionaries. It is that we have a sense of state entirely opposite to a booty-State. Our idea is the service-State. We know that as long as we suffer under the booty-State regime, we also cannot be well governed, and as soon as we have established the service-State in our Hispanic nations, nothing will be easier than to endow our Hispanicity or spiritual community with a juridical organ, if we so determine it is convenient.

This juridical organ charged with uniting and pursuing the common ideals of those nations that Rubén Darío saw united in spirit and aspirations and language, can become that dreamed-of Empire (so removed from the exploiting imperialism benefiting that booty-State which de Maeztu execrated), to which many of our brethren on the other side of the seas so insistently refer and which leads them to end their letters and writings with the arrogant and encouraging cry with which, adapting it, I end these reflections: Long live the Empire!

(*) These pages were written as a foreword to the Spanish version of the book with the same title written by Marius André, published originally in French with a preliminary study by Charles Maurras, and published later in Spanish by initiative of Eugenio Vegas by the publishing house he propelled, Cultura Española, in 1939. Some contingent judgments are undoubtedly indebted to the circumstances, but taken as a whole it is quite revealing of the personality of our beloved teacher (Editor's note when re-published in the journal Verbo, N° 451-452 [2007] pages 37-68.)

  1.  From a song called Patriotic Song very popular in Buenos Aires around 1810 which has been transcribed by Carlos Ibargüen in his recent book ´Las sociedades Literarias y la revolución argentina' are the following verses: "Our King Ferdinand / will have in our bosoms / his sacred throne / with eternal love: / We swear him as king / that we will obey him / with our demonstration / of tender liegemen. / But if out of perfidy / the bloodthirsty Corsican / from our Monarch / his scepter usurped, / impregnable bulwark / united we'll stand / to refuse admitting / his tyrannous rule. / Should the dynasty / of the sublime Bourbons / were to be passed to / Joseph the first: / all of us united / with heroic effort shall never adopt / his intruding rule"

  2. It is interesting to note here the intervention that England has had in other decisive moments of our history.. So, in the Battle of Extremoz, that during the reign of Ferdinand IV decided the separation of Portugal, nine thousand Spaniards fought against an anglo-portuguese army made up of seventeen thousand combatants, of which eleven thousand were English. Later on, in the "war of succession", England, that comes as an ally of the Archduke, appropriates Gibraltar, and in the nineteenth century, afer having intervened in favor of the dismembering of our Empire, sends to the Peninsula an Army Corps that fights against Don Carlos and in favor of the Constitutional Monarchy. In the Battle of Oriamendi, the Englidh were defeated by the Carlists and in the cemetery of Monte Urgul in San Sebastián the tombstones of the English officers who died in said action still can be read.

  3. One of these periods is that which Mexico experienced during the long dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz. The prominent French academic Jules Lemaitre, seeing the tranquility and progress that prevailed in Mexico, but without thinking about the ominous future that would follow so unstable a regime, in the same Chapter of his Un nouvel état d'esprit (A new state of spirit) where he said "I do not believe that anything good may come out of the elective system or of the parliamentary system. Tyranny and disorder have sprung from them with complete logic", and that in France it was necessary to have a strong stomach to believe in the 'honest Republic', he would solemnly affirm that he was not a Republican in France but he was such in Mexico and in the United States. Commenting on this position of Lemaitre, Charles Maurras, in the same year 1903, noted prophetically: "Mexico has come out ot anarchy by virtue of the dictatorship of Porfirio Dìaz, who has installed himself in power with his family and with his party. What will he found? A dynasty? Will a new more or less constitutional anarchic period come back?"

  4. Who cannot remember, exclaims painfully the distinguished contemporary writer Alfonso Junco, that less than a  century ago, Califiornia, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico formed part of the New Spain?

  5. Of this liberal and democratic character, with its corresponding religious persecution suffered the ephemerous reign of Maximilian in Mexico.