He joined O'Donnell and Espartero in 1854 against a revolutionary cabinet, and shortly afterwards turned against O'Donnell to assist the Democrats and Progressists under Prim, Rivero, Castelar, and Sagasta in the unsuccessful movements of 1866, and was obliged to go abroad.
Castelar et al., in Spanish reviews (1895-1898).
Emilio Castelar y Ripoll >>
EMILIO CASTELAR Y RIPOLL (1832-1899), Spanish statesman, was born at Cadiz on the 8th of September 1832.
On that occasion Castelar delivered his maiden speech, which at once placed him in the van of the advanced politicians of the reign of Queen Isabella.
Castelar was compromised in the first rising of June 1866, which was concerted by Marshal Prim, and crushed, after much bloodshed, in the streets by Marshals O'Donnell and Serrano.
Castelar soon became famous by his rhetorical speeches in the Constituent Cortes of 1869, where he led the republican minority in advocating a federal republic as the logical outcome of the recent revolution.
The short-lived federal republic from the IIth of February 1873 to the 3rd of January 1874 was the culminating point of the career of Castelar, and his conduct during those eleven months was much praised by the wiser portion of his fellow-countrymen, though it alienated from him the sympathies of the majority of his quondam friends in the republican ranks.
Before the revolution of 1868, Castelar had begun to dissent from the doctrines of the more advanced republicans, and particularly as to the means to be employed for their success.
At first Castelar did his best to work with the other republican members of the first government of the federal republic. He accepted the post of minister for foreign affairs.
This resignation was not an unfortunate event for the country, as the federal Cortes not only made Castelar chief of the executive, though his partisans were in a minority in the Parliament, but they gave him much liberty to act, as they decided to suspend the sittings of the house until 2nd January 1874.
On becoming the ruler of Spain at the beginning of September 1873, Castelar at once devoted his attention to the reorganization of the army, whose numbers had dwindled down to about 70,000 men.
To supply the deficiencies Castelar called out more than roo,000 conscripts, who joined the colours in less than six weeks.
Castelar next turned his attention to the Church.
Castelar sent out to Cuba all the reinforcements he could spare, and a new governor-general, Jovellar, whom he peremptorily instructed to crush the mutinous spirit of the Cuban militia, and not allow them to drag Spain into a conflict with the United States.
Acting upon the instructions of Castelar, Jovellar gave up the filibuster vessels, and those of the crew and passengers who had not been summarily shot by General Burriel.
Castelar always prided himself on having terminated this incident without too much damage to the prestige of Spain.
At the end of 1873 Castelar had reason to be satisfied with the results of his efforts, with the military operations in the peninsula, with the assistance he was getting from the middle classes and even from many of the political elements of the Spanish revolution that were not republican.
Warnings came in plenty, and no less a personage than the man he had made captain-general of Madrid, General Pavia, suggested that, if a conflict arose between Castelar and the majority of the Cortes, not only the garrison of Madrid and its chief, but all the armies in the field and their generals, were disposed to stand by the president.
Castelar knew too well what such offers meant in the classic land of pronunciamientos, and he refused so flatly that Pavia did not renew his advice.
The intransigent majority refused to listen to a last eloquent appeal that Castelar made to their patriotism and common sense, and they passed a vote of censure.
Castelar kept apart from active politics during the twelve months that Serrano acted as president of the republic. Another pronunciamiento finally put an end to it in the last week of December 1874, when Generals Campos at Sagunto, Jovellar at Valencia, Primo de Rivera at Madrid, and Laserna at Logrono, proclaimed Alphonso XII.
Castelar then went into voluntary exile for fifteen months, at the end of which he was elected deputy for Barcelona.
In this latter period Castelar acted as a sort of independent auxiliary of Sagasta and of the Liberal party.
As soon as Castelar saw universal suffrage reestablished he solemnly declared in the Cortes that his task was accomplished, his political mission at an end, and that he proposed to devote the remainder of his life to those literary, historical, philosophical, and economic studies which he had never neglected even in the busiest days of his political career.
Castelar died near Murcia on the 25th of May 1899, at the age of 66.