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FROM PROVINCES TO STATES: the Spanish Viceroyalties, audiencias and provinces in America

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By  Periklis  Deligiannis

european aggresion

European knights of the 15th century. The heavy  cavalry of the Conquistadores belonged to this type. The native Central and South American warriors could do very little against these armoured and mounted war machines.

Viceroyalties_Audiencias_16th_Ce

Viceroyalties and Audiencias, 16th Century

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the initial Spanish colonies in the Americas were divided administratively in two viceroyalties: the Viceroyalty of New Spain, comprising the Caribbean, Mesoamerican, North American and Pacific colonies of Spain, and the Viceroyalty of Peru comprising her South American colonies.
Each Viceroyalty was divided in audiencias. The audiencia was a high court of justice exercising judicial, political and military power in the Spanish colonies.
The Viceroyalty of New Spain was divided in the audiencias of Nueva Galicia (modern NW Mexico and SW USA), Mexico (modern Central Mexico and the Caribbean coast of the US), Guatemala (Chiapas, Yucatan and modern Central America), Hispaniola (Cuba and Florida) and Santo Domingo (Haiti/Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico and all the lesser islands of the Caribbean, plus “Little Venice” i.e. modern Venezuela). The Viceroyalty of New Spain included also the Philippines and all the other Spanish islands of the Pacific.

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ENGINEERING PATIENTLY A GLOBAL EMPIRE: The HAPSBURG EXPANSION-PART II

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 Lepanto 1571

The  Battle  of  Lepanto  (1571)  was  a  great  naval  victory  of  the  Habsburgs  against  the  Ottoman  Turks.

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By  Periklis    Deligiannis

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Eventually  Joanna  (Juana)  was  left  the  only  heir  to  the  Spanish  throne,  and  she  and  Philip  became  the  essential  rulers  of  the  Spanish  Empire  after  the  death  of  Isabella  in  1504  (her  father,  Ferdinand  of  Aragon,  had  no  formal  rights  to  the  throne  of  Castile,  i.e.  the  bigger  kingdom).  Their  son,  Charles  of  Habsburg,  the  future  Charles  V,  was  meant  to  hold  the  greatest  inheritance  of  thrones  and  territories  in  Europe  and  overseas.  In  1506  Philip  the  Handsome  died,  and  in  1507  Joanna  was  found  unable  to  rule  due  to  mental  illness  and  was  removed  from  the  throne.  Her  father,  Ferdinand,  ruled  Castile  and  Aragon  as  a  regent  until  his  grandson  Charles  come  of  age.  The  two  federated  Iberian  kingdoms  remained  officially  segregated  until  Charles  later  joined  and  assimilated  them  into  the  Kingdom  of  Spain  (1516).  Thus  the  Habsburgs  absorbed  the  Castilian  dynasty  of  Trastamara  (both  Ferdinand  and  Isabella  were  Castilians)  as  it  had  happened  with  the  Burgundian  dynasty.

 Harquebusiers

A  fine  representation  of  Hapsburg  Spanish  harquebusiers  of  the  1st  half  of  the  17th  cent. (copyright:  Adrian G Vzon)

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