Under his auspices laws were passed reforming and strengthening the police force, instituting industrial tribunals, regulating the work of women and children, introducing Sunday rest, early closing, and other reforms. In short, the government, whatever criticism might be levelled at its methods, had accomplished a notable work, and when on the 6th of June 1909 the Cortes adjourned, its position seemed to be assured.
From Cuba it was that Hernan Cortes sailed on the 10th (or 18th) of February 1519 for the conquest of Mexico.
The conquest of Mexico by the Spanish forces under Hernando Cortes (q.v.) in 1520, and the death of the last Aztec emperor, Guatemozin, introduced what is known as the colonial period of Mexican history, which lasted down to the enforced resignation of the last viceroy, O'Donoju, in 1821.
The idea of free government filled the people with enthusiasm, and the principles of a representative legislature were freely adopted, the first care being for the election of deputies to the Cortes of Lisbon to take part in framing the new constitution.
He was turned out in 1843 by a military and political pronunciamiento, led by Generals O'Donnell and Narvaez, who formed a cabinet, presided over by Joaquin Maria Lopez, and this government induced the Cortes to declare Isabella of age at thirteen.
Violent scenes greeted the attempt of the government to procure the suspension of the parliamentary immunities of 140 deputies, accused or suspected of more or less treasonable practices, and when, on the 4th of October, the Cortes reopened after the summer recess, Seor Romero Robledo, the president of the lower house, opened an attack on the ministry for their attempted breach of its privileges.
He proclaimed for the constitution drawn up by the Cortes in 1812, which was unworkable, and which the chiefs of the conspiracy did not propose to restore.
The Cortes went on wrangling for a day and night until, at daybreak on the 3rd of January 1874, General Pavia forcibly ejected the deputies, closed and dissolved the Cortes, and called up Marshal Serrano to form a provisional government.
The necessity for strengthening the Spanish forces in Africa had for some time been apparent; but Seor Maura had not dared to face the Cortes with a demand for the necessary estimates, for which, now that the crisis had become acute, he had to rely on the authorization of the council of state.
On the other hand, on the eve of the meeting of the federal Cortes, he could indulge in no illusions as to what he had to expect from the bulk of the republicans, who openly dissented from his conservative and conciliatory policy, and announced that they would reverse it on the very day the Cortes met.