Viceroyalties of Spain definition and Viceroyalties in Europe


Human history is full of conquests and conflicts between nations and peoples in order to impose their power, authority and government over others. This allowed the extension of the dominions of more powerful nations, allowing to establish control over those of less powerWith the historical period that opens with the end of the Middle Ages and the discovery of America , these conflicts take on a global dimension. It is in this context that the Viceroyalties born . In this article we will discuss you the Viceroyalties of Spain.

Definition of Viceroyalty

If dominating a large mass of people or an enormous territory is complicated, it is even more so if this is to be done from a distance, for this reason the Crowns needed a representative who goes in the name of the King to exercise control; there the viceroyalty arose . The category of Viceroy was created in 1535, it appears as a proof of the increase in the institutional power of the Crown and the search for better control over the conquered territories.

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So … A Viceroyalty is granted by a king in order to exercise a government in his name in a territory that belongs to that kingdom and for which he cannot be directly responsible, either because of the distance or the extent of it . This political institution was also consolidated as a social and administrative institution of the Crown. The position held by a viceroy or a viceroy is what is defined as a viceroyalty.

The appointment of the viceroys depended on the Council of the Indies , an organism of the Spanish Crown created in 1524. This Council advised the king on all government affairs. Thus we see that the king cannot rule alone. Once created the viceroys, the Crown regularly sends officials from Spain to substantiate compliance with the laws in America, these visits begin by the year 1549 .

The first viceroyalty was born at the end of the 15th century ( Middle Ages ) with the aim of governing the distant lands that the Catholic Monarchs had under their power or those that they had also inherited and were governed by the government systems of Europe. The purpose of establishing a viceroyalty was to generate a provincial government of the empire to attend to the affairs of the territories, to follow orders and to depend on the kings. The communications between the metropolis and the colonies were mediated by months of distance in boats, therefore, compliance with the laws in these distant lands was of the utmost importance, all these innovations in politics were aimed at achieving this control.

Viceroyalties in Europe

  • The Viceroyalty of the Indies and Tierra Firme de la Mar Oceano , from 1492 to 1524.
  • The Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1535 to 1821, with capital in Mexico City.
  • The Viceroyalty of Peru that took place from 1542 to 1824, with capital in Lima, Peru.
  • The Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada had two periods, the first was from 1717 to 1723 and the second period was from 1739 to 1819. Its capital was Bogotá, Colombia.
  • The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata , created from the Bourbon Reforms, from 1776 to 1811, with capital in Buenos Aires, Argentina, an important city thanks to the trade that was established through its port.

On the other hand, the kings of Portugal, around the year 1763, in the same way formed a viceroyalty called Viceroyalty of Brazil , which was part of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, Algarve, a State that was ruled by the House of Braganza among the years 1815 and 1822. The Portuguese Crown moved to Brazil in 1808, escaping from the invasion of Napoleon , part of the Portuguese royal family decided not to return to Portugal, thus in 1822 the Independence of Brazil was declared under the command of Pedro I, member of the Portuguese royal family.

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The reigns of Russia and France took the same initiative to establish viceroyalties to be able to administer the territories they had conquered, but which due to their extension or distance were quite difficult to control and supervise directly.

At present the viceroyalties no longer exist , so it is a term that is used clearly to refer to historical studies where everything that happened in the process of colonization of America is discussed . The European powers were in charge of dispossessing the American Indians , the sense of reciprocity and redistribution of the American communities is lost, European domination causes a transfer of one-way goods, from the Indians to the Spanish, without any counterpart.

The most important viceroyalty crown Spanish

The Viceroyalty of New Spain took place from the 16th to the 19th centuries, specifically from 1535 to 1821. Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco was the first appointed viceroy. Mexico City was the capital of this viceroyalty, which was established to control the indigenous city of Tenochtitlán, in the old Aztec Empire , after its fall on August 13, 1521 at the hands of Hernán Cortés , along with his allies. indigenous and other men.

This viceroyalty is considered the most important and largest that the Spanish Empire ever had, its extension covered a huge territory in North America , Central America , and some parts of Asia and Oceania. The greatest amount of wealth for the Spanish Crown was extracted from the mining operations in these regions; Potosí in the viceroyalty of Peru was the other center from which great wealth was extracted, particularly silver. Workers in these mines were the Indians, who were forced to work under the pressure of the conquistadors. Despite having everything against, Native Americans tried to profit from the new political reforms opposing great resistance to domination  .

Because it was a viceroyalty with so much extension, its political organization had to adapt in order to maintain the domain of the Spanish Empire, for this reason they were forced to divide into kingdoms and general captaincies . And these were managed by a governor and captain general .

In the time of the colonists, the Europeans were dedicated to modifying the customs of the indigenous people and the teachings of the Catholic religion were imposed , in addition to imposing the language on them along with other European customs and different cultural manifestations. This also gave rise to the miscegenation between Europeans and indigenous people, so the cultures unquestionably mixed and gave rise to the traditions and customs that characterize Latin American countries today.

The viceregal entered a political and social crisis in the early nineteenth century , but this crisis had been showing signs since the 1780s, and this was encouraging gradually the need for independence from Mexico , the struggle for independence the he began Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla . Finally, on September 27, 1821 , they managed to consummate the independence of Mexico , obtaining victory with an armed confrontation and ending the viceroyalty and the rule of the Spanish Crown.

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