Nueva Galicia

Nuevo Reino de Galicia (New Kingdom of Galicia, Galician: Reino de Nova Galicia) or simply Nueva Galicia (New Galicia, Nova Galicia) was an autonomous kingdom of the Viceroyalty of New Spain.[1] It was named after Galicia in Spain. Nueva Galicia's territory became the present-day Mexican states of Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Colima, Jalisco, Nayarit and Zacatecas.[2]

New Galicia
Nueva Galicia
Nuevo Reino de Galicia (in Spanish)
New Kingdom of Galicia
Flag of New Galicia
Official seal of New Galicia
New Kingdom of Galicia (orthographic projection).svg
CountryFlag of Cross of Burgundy.svg Spain
ViceroyaltyFlag of Cross of Burgundy.svg New Spain
Royal AudienceMexico City
Compostela (1548-1560)


Spanish exploration of the area began in 1531 with Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán's expedition. He named the main city founded in the area Villa de Guadalajara after his birthplace and called the area he conquered "la Conquista del Espíritu Santo de la Mayor España" ("the Conquest of the Holy Spirit of Greater Spain"). The name was not approved. Instead, Queen Joanna — at the moment the acting regent of Spain — named the area "Reino de Nueva Galicia."

Guzmán's violent conquest left Spanish control of the area unstable, and within a decade full war had reemerged between the settlers and the Native peoples of the area. The Mixtón War, which lasted from 1540–1541, pitted an alliance of Coras, Guachichils and Caxcans against the settlers. Nine years later the Chichimeca War broke out, this time pitting mostly Zacatecos against their former allies, the Caxcan, who had now allied with the Spanish. Nahuas from the Valley of Mexico moved into the region along with the Spanish as the area was settled. In the last decades of the sixteenth century Huichols also arrived.

Given the growing wealth of the region with the discovery of silver to the north, especially in Nueva Vizcaya, Guadalajara became the seat of the second mainland Audiencia of New Spain in 1548. The Audiencia of Guadalajara had oversight of all the northern mainland provinces of the Viceroyalty. The Audiencia at first was subordinate to the Royal Audiencia of Mexico but was made independent in 1572, with a separate governor or president. This enabled New Galicia to be ruled largely separate from the rest of the Viceroyalty.[1]

There are a number of published chronicles on colonial Nueva Galicia. A 1621 account by Domingo Lázaro de Arregui, Descripción de la Nueva Galicia gives considerable information about the indigenous peoples of the area.[3][4]

In the late 18th century, as part of the Bourbon Reforms, an Intendancy was established in Guadalajara. In 1824, after Mexican independence was consolidated, the kingdom was transformed into the State of Jalisco and the Territory of Colima.

First territorial divisionEdit

Second territorial divisionEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b MacLachlan, Colin; Rodriguez O., Jaime (1980). The Forging of the Cosmic Race: A Reinterpretation of Colonial Mexico. University of California Press. pp. 107. ISBN 978-0-520-04280-3.
  2. ^ Provincias Mayores del Reino de Nueva Galicia (Spanish) Archived 2011-07-25 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ J. Benedict Warren, "An Introductory Survey of Secular Writings in the European Tradition on Colonial Middle America, 1503-1818, entry 105. "Domingo Lázaro de Arregui" in Handbook of Middle American Indians, vol. 13, Guide to Ethnohistorical Sources. Howard F. Cline, volume editor. Austin: University of Texas Press 1973, p. 95.
  4. ^ Domingo Lázaro Arregui, Descripción de la Nueva Galicia. Edición y estudio por François Chevalier. Prólogo de John Van Horne. Seville 1946.

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