José de Gálvez: Visitor-General of New Spain (1765-1771)

By Herbert Ingram Priestley | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
THE EXPEDITION OF 1767

In the present chapter an attempt is made to give an account of the activities of the visitor-general from the time of the coming of Croix ( August 23, 1766) to the close of 1767. In previous chapters it has been necessary to present accounts of many of his activities which began before and extended beyond the period at present under discussion. The salient feature of this period was the expulsion of the Jesuits from New Spain, which resulted in the military and judicial expedition made by Gálvez into the mining region of Guanajuato and to Valladolid.

After the assumption of office by Croix, the affairs of the visitation moved with rapidity. The visitor and the viceroy worked together in perfect harmony, initiating at the start most of the measures with which the visitation is credited. Preliminary steps were taken to obtain information upon which to base reforms of municipal finance (propios y arbitrios), the alcabala was investigated, and the decision reached to place its collection in the hands of the towns and districts (por encabezamiento), instead of in the hands of individual tax-farmers or under administration of the central government.1

Other revenues were also reorganized. The pulque revenue of Puebla, the powder revenue, and the playing-card revenue were all placed under crown administration--the latter not without opposition from Velarde, fiscal of the audiencia. Arriaga upheld Gálvez, however, and the fiscal was not able to obstruct the work, as he had been in the tobacco revenue.2 The visitation of the subtreasuries of Puebla and Acapulco was begun, involv-

____________________
1
Gálvez, Informe General, 101, 134.
2
Arriaga to Gálvez, March 11, 1766, 88-5-21; Gálvez, Informe General, 119.

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