What is viceroyalty?

Viceroyalty is the office of viceroy, the length of time that office lasts and the district governed by this authority that represents the person of the king in the colonial territories.

The viceroy therefore administers and governs in the name of the king. Spain based much of its power on this figure, as the size of its colonies and communication difficulties made centralized management of these lands impossible. The Viceroyalty of New Spain, for example, existed between 1535 and 1821 and encompassed the Empire’s territories in North America, Central America, Asia, and Oceania. Antonio de Mendoza was its first viceroy.

The Viceroyalty of Peru, in turn, was born in 1542 and lasted until 1824. There was a viceroyalty (the viceroyalty of New Granada) that existed in two phases: 1717-1723 and 1739-1819. The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata (1776-1811) was the last one created by Spain in America, with Francisco Javier de Elío as the last viceroy. It is important to keep in mind that Spain was not the only monarchy that developed viceroyalties in other parts of the world. The Viceroyalty of Brazil is known as the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarve, a state ruled by the House of Bragança between 1815 and 1825. There are currently no viceroyalties, so the term is associated with historical studies. In informal language, on the other hand, the concept can be used to name different types of domain that have little to do with the political or social organization of previous centuries. Rise and Fall of the Vice-Reign of Río de la Plata Also known as the Vice-Reign of the Provinces of Río de la Plata, it was created by the Spanish Crown on the American continent and was part of the Empire of Spain. The reform of the Bourbons, which refers to the appointment of Felipe V de Borón as successor of Charles II by himself a month before his death, gave rise to the provisional creation of this viceroyalty on August 1, 1776, until another year later, D. Carlos III officially ordered it, at the suggestion of José de Gálvez y Gallardo, his Minister of the Indies, and decided that the city of Buenos Aires would be his capital.

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The emergence of the viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata took advantage of the rupture that occurred in the viceroyalty of Peru and included Buenos Aires, Tucumán and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Paraguay and the municipalities of Charcas and Cuyo (belonging to the Captaincy General of Chile) , among other territories. To date, these provinces are part of Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and a part of southern Brazil, southeastern Peru, northern Chile and the Falkland Islands themselves. On the other hand, history tells that the African islands Annobón and Fernando Poo (which today are Equatorial Guinea) were also part of the domains of the viceroyalty, although only in theory; the colonization of these lands by the Spanish government was not successful. The viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata began to write its last lines when, between the triumph of the Revolution of May 1810 in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina started the War of Independence, a fact that caused the disarticulation of the viceroyalty and ended up splitting it. Francisco Javier de Elío, known as the last viceroy, left power on November 18, 1811, handing over command to Gaspar de Vigodet, who until then had ruled Montevideo. Three more years were enough for the Second Siege of Montevideo to overthrow Spanish power in the Río de la Plata.

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