Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MONSERRAT, aoaquin de (monserrat'), Marquis of Cruillas, Viceroy of Mexico, born about 1710; died about 1770. He entered the city of Mexico, 6 October, 1760, and his administration is noteworthy principally for the creation of the army of New Spain and the visit of Jose de Galvez (q. v.). In consequence of the war between France and England, Spain sent forces to America as a precautionary measure, but, when the Spanish authorities on this continent received orders to provide the French colonies with provisions, war was declared by England in January, 1762, and Sir George Keppel (q. v.) took possession of Havana. When the viceroy learned that the English had attacked Cuba, he fortified Vera Cruz and other Gulf ports, and, as he had only one Spanish regiment of infantry and one troop of cavalry, he at once began to organize the militia, forming and drilling six regiments of infantry and three of cavalry. On 25 August, 1765, Jose de Galvez arrived in Mexico as an inspector with independent power, and began to arrange affairs without consulting the viceroy. The Indians revolted in different parts of the country, and the disagreement between the viceroy, the visitor Galvez, the audiencia, and the inspector of militia, Juan de Villalba, contributed to diminish respect for the Spanish authorities. There is no doubt that Monserrat, by showing the people by the organization of militia what power they possessed, and by the disorganization of the viceregal authority through his disputes, was one of the chief causes of independence. At last the court resolved to supersede him, and he returned to Spain in 1766 to justify himself: but he did not figure again in politics, and soon died.
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