He took for colleagues some of the strongest and most popular statesmen of the Liberal party, virtually representing the three important groups of men of the Revolution united under his leadershipveteran Liberals like Camacho and Venancio Gonzalez; Moderates like Alonzo Martinez, Gamazo and Marshal Jovellar; and Democrats like Moret, Montero Rios and Admiral Beranger.
On the 10th of October 1883 they concluded a treaty of peace with Chile; the troops at Arequipa, under Admiral Montero, surrendered that town, and Montero himself, coldly received in Bolivia, whither he had fled for refuge, withdrew from the country to Europe.
Even in the Liberal ranks the question aroused furious differences of opinion;Senor Montero Rios, the president of the senate, denounced the infamous attacks on the church; the government itself showed a wavering temper in entering on long and futile negotiations with the Vatican; while in January 1907 the cardinal archbishop of Toledo presented a united protest of the Spanish episcopate againit the proposed law.
Meanwhile, on the 24th of November, the Liberal party had been reconstructed, as the Democratic party, under Seor Montero Rios.
At the instance of the king, who was going abroad, Seor Montero Rios consented indeed to resume office; but his difficulties only increased.
After a while Sagasta resigned in order to let theking show the Dynastic Left that he had no objection to their attempting a mildly democratic policy, on condition that the Cortes should not be dissolved and that Sagasta and his Liberal majorities in both houses should grant their support to the cabinet presided over by Seor Posada Herrera, a former Conservative, of which the principal members were General Lopez-Dominguez and Seores Moret, Montero Rios and Becerra.
The death of Sagasta, on the 5th of January 1903, temporarily brcke upthe Liberal party, which could not agree on a leader; its counsels were directed for the time by a committee, consisting of Seors Montero Rios and Moret, the marquis de la Vega de Armijo, Seor Salvador and Count Romanones.