Martín De Álzaga - Revolution of January 1, 1809

Revolution of January 1, 1809

Liniers and Álzaga became the heroes of the day, but soon they had a mutual conflict, as much as by the failed administration by the viceroy, as that Liniers was French and Spain had declared war on Napoleon Bonaparte's France.

On January 1, 1809, he organized a revolution to depose Liniers. Álzaga took his regiments to the streets (the "Gallegos", "Miñones de Cataluña" and "Vizcaínos", all Spaniards), organized a protest against the viceroy and tried to force Liniers to resign. In his place he would name a Junta, managed by Spaniards with two porteño secretaries: Mariano Moreno and Julián de Leyva. Liniers resignation was on the condition that military command passed to general Ruiz Huidobro, his second in command. This disconcerted Álzaga and gave time for colonel Cornelio Saavedra, commander of the Patricios Regiment. He in turn disbanded the mutinous Spanish forces and forced Liniers to withhold his resignation.

This failed revolution was a precursor of the May Revolution the following year and highlighted the conflict lines between the royalist Spanish and the Creoles and produced a schism that was the start of the May Revolution.

Álzaga was sent to prison to Carmen de Patagones and a trial followed. The mutinous Spanish regiments were disbanded, which eased the way for the May Revolution. The Governor Francisco Javier de Elío, in Montevideo, formed a Junta to govern that city and rescued Álzaga from Carmen de Patagones. The Junta was disbanded when the new viceroy, Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros, arrived in Buenos Aires.

Álzaga took part in the subsequent revolution against Cisneros the following year, and even though he was not present in the open cabildo of May 22, 1810, he it is known he participated in the negotiations to leading to the formation of the Primera Junta, as he placed three members of his party: Mariano Moreno, Juan Larrea and Domingo Matheu.

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