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Viceroyalties

The viceroy is the highest and direct representative of the Spanish Monarchy in America and their man of trust. The viceroy position of the Indies appears in the Capitulations of Santa Fe, which were signed by Columbus and the Catholic Monarchs in 1492, but it will not consolidate until it is known the extension of the new territories and the importance of the cultures that are settle. This position means that the viceroy has the same powers of the Spanish government (captain general, governor, president of the Royal Audience, inspector of the overall economic system of its territory and in religious matters, he is the vice patron). Its lasting depends upon the royal authorities.

The oldest viceroyalties in America are the Viceroyalty of the New Spain (1535), being its main capital, Mexico and with jurisdiction in the current Central and North America; and the Viceroyalty of Peru (1542) with Lima as capital and extended through all South America, except for Venezuela and Panama. There were also other territories that co-existed like the Philippine Islands, Marianas and Carolinas at the Pacific Ocean, as well as Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Venezuela at the Caribbean.

In the 18th Century, it is impossible to have control over all South America, due to the extension of its territory. For that reason, the Viceroyalty of New Granada is created in 1717, constitute by the current Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela with Santa Fe de Bogotá as capital. This is part of the measure to strengthen the defense of the Caribbean. In the other hand, the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata in 1776, has Buenos Aires as capital and constitutes the current states of Argentina, Bolivia, the South of Brazil, part of Chile, Paraguay and part of Peru and Paraguay.

In this period, the proposal of the inspector José de Gálvez (1720-1787) to create a new viceroyalty at the North of New Spain is discussed, due to the need to stop the Anglo-American expansion. Finally, it will only be created the Comandancia General de las Provincias Internas de Nueva España (Commandancy General of the Internal Provinces of the North) in 1776, with Arizpe as Capital including from West to East the provinces of California, Sorona, Silanoa, Chihuahua, New Vizcaya, New Mexico, New Santander, Coahuila and Texas

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