New Spain Viceroyalty

File:Nueva España 1795.pngHaving earlier noted a bit about the French Viceroyalty of New France [ - inspired by a visit to those lands - I plan to continue a tour of the colonial New World. Today, I continue with the Spanish Viceroyalty of New Spain.

After the discovery of the New World, Spain and Portugal took the lead in both exploring and colonizing the continents. It was a daunting task - especially for a nation of a population not unlike that of the modern state of Virginia.

Viceroyalty of New Spain in 1795, at its geographical height. The pink is New Granada, of which, Venezuela had been part of New Spain until 1717.

While the Portuguese possessions on the Americas amounted to the enormous territory of Brazil, that of Spain was divided into several "kingdoms" each managed by a Viceroy. North America, Central America (except Panama) and the Caribbean, along with the Philippines in Asia, made up the Viceroyalty of New Spain, governed from Mexico City. South America was initially the Viceroyalty of Peru, with the viceroy resident in Lima, but in the 18th century, the Viceroyalties of New Granada (modern day Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador) and Rio de La Plata (modern day Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay) were established under the Bourbon monarchs. Today, we take a glance at New Spain and the governmental structure of the Viceroyalty:


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  • Artwork Description Viceroyalty of New Spain (18th c.). Mexico City Viceroyalty of New Spain (18th c.). Mexico City. Main Square. Detail. Colonial baroque. Painting...
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Q&A

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Why did Spain form viceroyalties?

For ease of administration. It would have been grossly unwieldy for a 17th-century government to try to administer nearly all of Central and South America from one place.

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What is the capital of new spain?

New Spain was a Vice Royalty created by Spain. It covered parts of
the Caribbean Sea, North and South America, and islands in the
Pacific Ocean.
The capital was Mexico City.