The Aristocratic Republic began with the popular "Revolution of 1895," led by the charismatic and irrepressible José Nicolás de Piérola (1895-99). He overthrew the increasingly dictatorial Cáceres, who had gained the presidency again in 1894 after having placed his crony Colonel Remigio Morales Bermúdez (1890-94) in power in 1890. Piérola, an aristocratic and patriarchal figure, was fond of saying that "when the people are in danger, they come to me." Although he had gained the intense enmity of the Civilistas in 1869 when, as minister of finance in the Balta government, he had transferred the lucrative guano consignment contract to the foreign firm of Dreyfus and Company of Paris, he now succeeded in forging an alliance with his former opponents. This began a period known as the Aristocratic Republic (1895- 1914), during which Peru was characterized not only by relative political harmony and rapid economic growth and modernization, but also by social and political change.