Viceroyalty of New Spain

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New Spain (Spanish: Virreinato de Nueva España) was a viceroyalty of the Spanish colonial empire, comprising primarily territories in what was known then as 'América Septentrional' North America.[1][2][3][4] Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire. New Spain was established following the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521, and at its greatest extent included much of North America south of Canada: all of present-day Mexico and Central America (except Panama), most of the United States west of the Mississippi River and the Floridas.

New Spain also included the Spanish East Indies (Philippine Islands, Guam, the Caroline Islands, Taiwan, Sabah, and parts of the Moluccas) and the Spanish West Indies (Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Trinidad, and the Bay Islands).

Administrative units included Las Californias (present-day California, Nevada, Baja California, and Baja California Sur), Nueva Extremadura (including the present-day states of Coahuila and Texas), and Santa Fe de Nuevo México (including parts of Texas and New Mexico).[5]

New Spain was the first of four viceroyalties created to govern Spain's foreign colonies. New Spain was ruled by a viceroy in Mexico City who governed the various territories of New Spain on behalf of the King of Spain. The Viceroyalty of Peru was created in 1542 following the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. In the 18th century the Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada, and the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata were also created.

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