Parliament had degenerated into a congeries of personal groups, whose members were eager only to overturn cabinets in order to secure power for the leaders and official favors for themselves.
He did not object to some of his political friends, like Silvela and Elduayen, entering the cabinets of King Amadeus, and in 1872 declared that his attitude would depend on the concessions which government would make to Conservative principles.
An endeavour was at the same time made to interest the cabinets of Europe in influencing the British government on behalf of Persia.
Throughout the revolutionary period he represented in cabinets with Prim, Serrano and Ruiz Zorilla, and lastly under King Amadeus, the advanced Radical tendencies of the men who wanted to give Spain a democratic monarchy.
The appliances were modern but the cabinets were old and solid.
The cabinets which administered the affairs of the colony during these years were those of Sir Frederick Whitaker, Sir Harry Atkinson (3), Sir Robert Stout (2), Mr Ballance, Mr Seddon, Mr Hall-Jones and Sir Joseph Ward.
This was justly regarded by him as an important service to his country and one of the triumphs of his career, and he hoped to obtain further successes with the assistance of Germany, but the cordial relations between the cabinets of St Petersburg and Berlin did not subsist much longer.
On that occasion Bismarck helped Gorchakov to ward off the threatened intervention of France and England, and he thereby founded the cordial relations which subsisted between the cabinets of Berlin and St Petersburg down to 1878, and which contributed powerfully to the creation of the German empire by defending the Prussian cabinet against the jealousy and enmity of Austria and France.
Sagasta left the palace to form the first of several cabinets over which he presided continuously for five years.
Under the more moderate ministers of succeeding years he again held various appointments, but refused to join the reactionary cabinets of the close of the reign of Charles X.