The fact that the army and the people should unite after all these revolutionary actions means that rifles also embrace each other, for now it is an armed people that is fused with an army that has rebelled. This will have immediate results in the institutionalizing of a triumph: a general at the head of the army and of the people as a symbol of triumph and strong support, which assures the permanence of goals they have achieved.

The whole program of the militia and of revolution came to be epitomized in the name of victorious generals, as if, in fact, they themselves, in their own person, were "the principal article of faith for their followers."

The fortunes of revolution fell thus into the hands of Espartero, of O'Donnell, of Prim, generals who have in common the ultimate objective of their action, succinctly expressed in the Manifesto of Manzanares: "…we want the preservation of the throne but without the elite coterie that dishonors it."

One senses that in its triumph, the people knows not what to do if it does not embrace the strongest man, the victorious general, transfering their victory into the hands of a class to whom will go all honor in their loyalty to the Crown.

It is not surprising that those who spread democratic and republican ideas through lowly neighborhoods of Madrid, in the heat of the actions of July, would stampede, running cap flung in air, for those, such as military men, who were bearing gloriously their loyalty to the throne. The plebeianization of the Crown was producing thus very profitable dividends.

Who would dare take their queen away from the people!

In this way sufficient ground and resources were held to channel, by aid of victorious generals and the better educated classes, the people's triumph waiting patiently their time, and undermining it in such way that with the passing of two or three years, it could dissolve without great protest, the very institution that had led the people to victory.

Then is the hour for the Duke of Ahumada, when he says in July of 1843 that the country is "most tranquil and without militia to excite it," or when the modern sounding Viluma states, "No more National Militia!" And even Madoz, a temperate progressive that he is, can think that the revolution must be considered as ended.

Never until 1868, does the presence of the people in the street pose any threat to the throne, not even in the most radical of the revolutions which it will lead in all the century. That one was in July of 1854, which was considering, amidst the firing of guns directed by Gándara and the erection of barricades, its triumph in every way an armed insurrection, that it would permit the entry into Madrid, like conquerors, those who had not won it by action of armies.

The whole problem of these popular revolutions and insurrections is rooted, in part, in that the group that leads them lacks political resources and organization to administer the triumph, and also, in that whoever does the administering cannot rely, for operation of a government, on a people with a permanently standing army.

On one side, the growing popular frustration, and on the other, the upsurge of militarism and simultaneously, the weakness of governments that emanate from insurrections, including those that end in victory, like those of 1840 and 1854.

A mixture of people in the street, military men in power and unstable governments, all is the result of this series of "revolutions Madrid-style" which never cease destroying one social order to impose another.

All of that seems to change in the last of the century's revolutions, carried along by its own dynamics beyond the traditional objective of saving the throne but getting rid of the favored coterie. From the first days, democratic, republican even socialist ideas are opened, by way of minorities of the middle class, to wider sectors of the people.

It is not by chance that the spread of those ideas coincides with the bringing in of new public works and the great developments planned to bring water, and convert the city into a center of railway communications.

A strong economic expansion begun in 1856, due in no small way to the new progressive legislation, attracts to Madrid great masses of workers who will find precarious employment in the works on the canal, in the lines of the electrical network and the adjoining constructions, in the widening growth of the city, in plans of interior reforms and new buildings, with which it is proposed to make stand out the presence of Madrid as a worthy capital of the monarchy.

An incipient salaried working class begins to assert its existence, and with it, lawyers, journalists and professionals will find propitious terrain to try spreading ideas of democracy, republic and socialism.

Along with the working class, the university world, also in expansion, is ready to listen to what the propagandists of the new ideas may have to say to it: the words of Castelar awaken in the University as much enthusiasm as does the haranguing of officers in the militia.

In fact, when news of the battle of Alcolea arrive at the capital, the people, who sally out again into the street, do not demand the eviction of Isabel II, "that woman." Her own politicians were criticizing her situation as impossible. In Madrid there asserts its presence for the first time as a body separate from the revolution, a democratic party that forms its own board and distributes arms to the people.

The Provincial Board, presided over by Madoz, directs itself to the people of Madrid to tell them that the Bourbon dynasty had come to an end. If the sovereign people, whom they invoke, is to survive, the Bourbons will have to go.

"Viva the soverign people!" and "Down with the Bourbons!" These are the cries equivalent to revolution.

What is meaningful in all this, and what puts this revolution in the track of others is, on the cry of "Viva national sovereignty!" there follow similar "Vivas" for the navy, the army and the generals.

Not even when the people's revolution has turned democratic in objectives, and further when they have succeeded in expelling the queen, can it dispense with the strong arm of the army!

General Prim had already written a proclamation destined to live in celebrity, that there was nothing greater nor more just than revolutions, when they are ¨necessary by the misery of the people and the suffering of the army."

Of the first there was no doubt. The crisis of 1866 had brought misery and hunger again, which the City Government wanted to solve with charitable subscriptions.

Of the second, it sufficed that Prim and the other insurgent generals believed it. In any case, it is significant that now, as in the first insurrections and revolutions of the century, people and army march united.

As far as Madrid was concerned, this time the revolution included the naming, by the Revolutionary Board elected on the way to universal suffrage, of a new City Administration headed by a ¨popular Mayor,¨ Nicolás María Rivero, as its front man, an old disaffected progressive and creator of the democrat party.

His first care will be, - the Mayor says in his first manifesto,- to attend to the most urgent necessities of social life, to organize popular force, stimulate industry, regulate commerce, bring work for the masses, aid for the indigent, and liberty, order and security to all.

It is the quintessence of the bourgeois ideal of life: produce, do business, work, aid: all free, secure, well ordered. It is no longer necessary to be ashamed of belonging to the middle class. Between various popular revolutions, economic growth and demographic expansion of the city which was occurring during the long reign of Isabel I, it occupies a stable position in society.

Now that the Crown and the Court have been dislodged from front rank, - once that the first and urgent task of bringing work and security to all in liberty and order, - they will undertake "great material improvements which, by making Madrid a worthy capital of a great nation, will be for the future a permanent, living memorial of the September Revolution."

Of that most glorious revolution which has restored the stained honor of the nation!

Viva the union of army and people!

Viva liberty with order!

Copyright © 2002 by JLL & JRP

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