Royal Audiencia of Mexico
The Royal Audience of Mexico (Spanish: Real Audiencia de México) was the highest tribunal of the Spanish crown in the Kingdom of New Spain or the Kingdom of Mexico (not to be confused with the Viceroyalty of New Spain— named after the kingdom—which had a higher hierarchy and controller). It was created by royal decree on December 13, 1527, and was seated in Mexico City.
Hernán Cortés decided to establish a government in the town of Coyoacán, south of Lake Texcoco, because Tenochtitlan was in ruins after the conquest. From here he governed with the title of Captain General and Justicia Mayor. Also from Coyoacán left many of the expeditions of conquest with the goal of subduing the indigenous peoples of the various regions that would become the Viceroyalty of New Spain.
The first Real Audiencia in Mexico was created in 1528 and headed by the corrupt Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán, who was opposed by the first bishop of Mexico, Juan de Zumárraga. Four years later, in 1532, the Viceroyalty of New Spain was created, although the first Viceroy, Antonio de Mendoza, would not arrive in Mexico until 1535. The Viceroy took over the executive functions of government from the Audiencia and served as its President. In the following decade as more mainland civilizations were conquered a second audiencia was created in Guadalajara.
Law III (Audiencia y Chancillería Real de México en la Nueva España) of Title XV (De las Audiencias y Chancillerias Reales de las Indias) of Book II of the Recopilación de Leyes de las Indias of 1680—which compiles the decrees of November 29, 1527; December 13, 1527; July 12, 1530; April 22, 1548, November 17, 1553; and January 19, 1560—describes the borders and functions of the Audiencia.
Law XXXXVII, of the same book and title, is the Decree of Philip III of January 30, 1600, which mandated that when the office of viceroy was vacant, the Audiencia of Mexico became the acting viceroy, directly governing the provinces of New Spain and overseeing the area of the Audiencia of Guadalajara in administrative matters.
- Arregui Zamorano, Pilar (1981). La Audiencia de México según los visitadores (siglos XVI y XVII). México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas. ISBN 968-5801-96-7 .
- Ruiz Medrano, Ethelia (1991). Gobierno y sociedad en Nueva España: segunda audiencia y Antonio de Mendoza. Zamora (Michoacán, México): Gobierno del Estado de Michoacán, El Colegio de Michoacán. ISBN 968-7230-69-X.
- Spain (1680). Recopilación de las Leyes de Indias. Titulo Quince. De las Audiencias y Chancillerias Reales de las Indias. Madrid. Spanish-language facsimile of the original.
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