The Course of Mexican History

By Michael C. Meyer; William L. Sherman et al. | Go to book overview

9
The Imperial System Entrenched

THE POLITICAL ADMINISTRATION OF NEW SPAIN

“Do little and do it slowly” had been Viceroy Mendoza’s stated philosophy of administration. It was an attitude less than acceptable to reformers but consistent with royal wishes. The sixteenth-century viceroys, facing many crucial situations, were allowed considerable latitude, but their successors in the seventeenth century were reined in. Later kings and their councils increasingly gathered authority to themselves, discouraging the viceroys and audiencias from independence of thought and action.

Yet given the difficulty of communication and the time lapse between a request for instructions and the response from Spain, a certain amount of autonomy was implicit. Correspondence between colonial officials and the crown was necessarily slow, because for most of the colonial period ships sailed only once a year between Mexico and Spain. It was common for authorities in New Spain to wait many months for guidance. Consequently high officials often made important rulings on their own, pending royal approval. When a crown order seemed contrary to the best interests of the local situation, a viceroy sometimes noted, in all deference, Obedezco pero no cumplo (I obey but do not execute). The process of government was further bogged down by the endless detailed reports, requiring action, sent to Spain by officials, clergymen, and private subjects.

Colonial policy of the Hapsburgs was ponderous and inefficient. But sluggish as the bureaucracy was, the crown concerned itself less with competence than with loyalty. Unable to micromanage a far-flung empire, the Hapsburgs were willing to relinquish considerable control to local elites who could keep the peace in the crown’s name. The preoccupation with conformance and fidelity also manifested itself in the system of checks and balances. Officials were encouraged to comment on and criticize the performance of others. The viceroy was the most powerful individual, but as the judges of the audiencia reported directly to the king and the Council of the Indies and were often at odds

-145-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Course of Mexican History
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 742

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.