The administration over the vast territories of the Spanish Empire was carried out by viceroys, who became governors of an area, which was considered not as a colony but as a province of the empire, with the same rights as any other province in Peninsular Spain.
In the scope of the Portuguese Empire, the term "Viceroyalty of Brazil" is also occasionally used to designate the colonial State of Brazil, in the historic period while its governors had the title of "Viceroy".
The Spanish Americas had four viceroyalties:
- Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata
- Viceroyalty of New Granada
- Viceroyalty of New Spain
- Viceroyalty of Peru