Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/314

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with the new light of education and advancement, forced the Catholic clergy to direct the storm they could not breast.

The new constitution still clung closely to that curse upon its body politic, which has been so fruitful in revolutionary throes. It provided for a concordot with the Holy See, which was to throw nearly the whole of Mexican church management into the hands of the Roman Pontiff.

The clergy figured to exempt themselves entirely from any church if government controlled over their property and monopolies; the old shadow of caste crept into it; the secular and parochial clergy were confined to the lower offices, such as parish priests; all the bishoprics, deaneries, and chapters could only be filled by old Spaniards. It will be remembered that the lower order of church offices had been the only ones during colonial rule to which the Creoles and mixed races were eligible. Thus, the old feeling of caste still shook its head above the soil of Mexico, and, united with the clergy, cursed the land it had already desolated and ruined.

It is unnecessary to run through the long list of revolutions which have torn this country of Mexico in her struggles to free herself from her inherited miseries. The number of presidents and dictators who have followed each other in rapid succession, shows what a terrible struggle and fratricidal strife has been going on at the very door of the United States for nearly a half century, from the date of the revolution of Iturbide.

Some of the presidents ruled but a short time; among them was our distinguished friend, Gen. Santa Anna, who ruled for a few months in 1839, and Gen. Bravo (who had command of the castle of Chapultepec in this war), who followed him, ruling, in all, eight days, and so on; in fact, the list is too numerous to mention; and the changes will not cease until the United States spreads its wings of protection over it.

Tuesday, September 28, 1847.-This morning some of our men went into the houses the Mexicans moved out of, and helped themselves to some clothing. They brought in some splendid silks, velvets and other valuable things. At the same time exposed to the firing from the enemy,