Godoy found himself between two parties, the Liberals and the Ultramontanes, who agreed only in hatred of himself.
Silvela endeavoured to unite in what he styled a Modern Conservative party the bulk of the followers of Canovas; the Ultramontanes, who were headed by General Polavieja and Seor Pidal; the Catalan Regionalists, whose leader, Duran y Bas, became a cabinet minister; and his own personal following, of whom the most prominent were the home secretary, Seor Dato, and the talented and energetic finance minister, Seor Villaverde, upon whose shoulders rested the heaviest part of the task of the new cabinet.
He behaved constantly like a wary and cautious trimmer, avoiding all extreme measures, shaking off compromising allies like the Ultramontanes and the Regionalists, elbowing out of the cabinet General Polavieja when he asked for too large credits for the army, taking charge of the ministry of marine to carry out reforms that no admiral would have ventured to make for fear of his own comrades, and at last dispensing with the services of the ablest man in the cabinet, the finance minister, Seor Villaverde, when the sweeping reforms and measures of taxation which he introduced raised a troublesome agitation among the taxpayers of all classes.
These Arabian ultramontanes had no word for the doubter.
Conflicts between Gallicans and Ultramontanes, in which Richelieu claimed to hold an even balance.