Viceroyalty of New Granada with characteristics Causes of creation

Viceroyalty of New Granada

One of the territorial units in which the Spanish Crown divided its territories in America. In this article we will provide you information about the Viceroyalty of New Granada.

The viceroyalty of New Granada, also called the viceroyalty of Santafé or the New Kingdom of Granada, was one of the territorial units in which the Spanish Crown divided its territories in America, from the rise to the throne of the Bourbon dynasty .

The viceroyalty was created in 1717 , but in 1724 it was dissolved due to financial difficulties. Then, in 1739 it was established again and between 1810 and 1822 its territory was successively occupied by the pro-independence and royalist armies , until its final independence on May 25, 1822 . 

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Characteristics of the Viceroyalty of New Granada

The main characteristics of the viceroyalty of New Granada were the following:

  • It was organized on the previous audiences of Quito , Santa Fe and Panama, which were part of the viceroyalty of Peru and the eastern territory of Venezuela, which was part of the Audiencia of Santo Domingo.
  • It was a legal order established on structures that had geographic autonomy and an ancient tradition of their own. As a consequence, their political organization was highly variable.
  • Its capital was Santa Fe de Bogotá , the current capital of Colombia. This city, added to Tunja and Quito, were the most important of the viceroyalty. Outside of them, the population was established in rural areas, more modest cities, small towns and Indian towns.
  • The main source of wealth of the viceroyalty were the gold mines and the extraction of emeralds .
  • The cultivation of products for export such as tobacco and cocoa was also important, which was carried out in large estates using African slaves as labor. The rest of the activities, such as manufacturing and agriculture, were carried out on a small scale for regional consumption.
  • Due to the incorporation of new taxes, between 1780 and 1781 there was a communal uprising, similar to those that occurred in the viceroyalty of Peru, but mainly carried out by Creoles.

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Causes of the creation

The main causes of the creation of the Viceroyalty of New Granada were the following:

  • The need for the Spanish Crown to concentrate power and exercise more effective control over a region that, due to its remoteness from the centers of government, tended to behave autonomously .
  • The Bourbons’ interest in securing the coasts of the region, especially the port of Cartagena , from where the gold left for Spain, as it was constantly attacked by English and Dutch pirates and corsairs.

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