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Post  kokke on Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:49 am

New Spain (Spanish: Virreinato de Nueva España) was a viceroyalty, or administrative unit of the Spanish colonial empire, primarily comprised of territories in what is now North America. Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire. New Spain was established following Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521, and by the time it was dismantled in the Mexican War of Independence (1810–1821), it included all of present-day Mexico, much of Central America and the southwestern United States, Florida, the Spanish West Indies, and the Spanish East Indies including the Philippines.

New Spain was the first of four viceroyalties created to govern Spain's foreign colonies; the Viceroyalty of Peru was created in 1542 following the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. New Spain was ruled by a viceroy in Mexico City who governed the various territories on behalf of the King of Spain. In the 18th century the Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada, and the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata were also created. The territories that the Viceroyalty of New Spain ruled included present-day California (Las Californias), Nueva Extremadura (including the present-day states of Coahuila and Texas), Santa Fe de Nuevo México (including parts of Texas and New Mexico), Mexico, Central America (except Panama), La Florida, and the Caribbean. Jurisdiction also extended to the Spanish East Indies.[1]

The main government of New Spain was located in what was known then as América Septentrional (Northern America), namely Mexico.[2][3][4][5] In the 1821 Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire Mexico and Central America as its territory, declared their independence after three centuries of Spanish rule and formed the First Mexican Empire. However, most of the Spanish West Indies including Cuba, and Puerto Rico; and the Spanish East Indies including the Philippine Islands, Guam and the Mariana Islands remained a part of the Spanish Empire until the Spanish–American War in 1898.


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