Province of Tierra Firme

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Province of Tierra Firme

Provincia de Tierra Firme
1510–1537
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg
TierraFirme.jpg
Spanish map of the Tierra Firme
Status Spanish colony
Capital Santa María la Antigua del Darién
Panama City
Common languages Spanish
Religion
Roman Catholicism
GovernmentMonarchy
King  
 1516–1556
Charles I
Historical era Spanish Empire
 Established
1510
 Creation of the Viceroyalty of Peru
1537
Currency Peso
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Indigenous peoples of the Americas
Viceroyalty of Peru Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg
Captaincy General of Venezuela Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg

During Spain's New World Empire, its mainland coastal possessions surrounding the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico were referred to collectively as the Spanish Main. The southern portion of these coastal possessions were known as the Province of Tierra Firme, or the "Mainland province" (as contrasted with Spain's nearby insular colonies). [1] :15 The Province of Tierra Firme, or simply Tierra Firme, was also called Costa Firme. [2]

Spanish colonization of the Americas Overseas expansion under the Crown of Castile

The overseas expansion under the Crown of Castile was initiated under the royal authority and first accomplished by the Spanish conquistadors. The Americas were incorporated into the Spanish Empire, with the exception of Brazil, Canada, the eastern United States and several other small countries in South America and The Caribbean. The crown created civil and religious structures to administer the region. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Catholic faith through indigenous conversions.

Mainland is a contiguous landmass that is larger and often politically, economically and/or demographically more significant than politically associated remote territories, such as exclaves or oceanic islands situated outside the continental shelf.

Caribbean Sea A sea of the Atlantic Ocean bounded by North, Central, and South America

The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and south west, to the north by the Greater Antilles starting with Cuba, to the east by the Lesser Antilles, and to the south by the north coast of South America.

Contents

In 1509, authority was granted to Alonso de Ojeda and Diego de Nicuesa to colonize the territories between the west side of the Gulf of Urabá and Cabo de la Vela, and Urabá westward to Cabo Gracias a Dios in present-day Honduras. The westernmost portion was given the name Tierra Firme. Other provinces of this region during this era were Nueva Andalucia and Veragua or Castilla del Oro; the main city in Tierra Firme was Santa Maria La Antigua del Darién, now Darién, Panama, near at mouth of the Tarena river. The idea was to create a unitary administrative organization similar to Nueva España (now Mexico), near the Captaincy General of Guatemala.

Alonso de Ojeda Spanish navigator and governor

Alonso de Ojeda was a Spanish navigator, governor and conquistador. He travelled through Guyana, Venezuela, Trinidad, Tobago, Curaçao, Aruba and Colombia. He is famous for having named Venezuela, which he explored during his first two expeditions, for having been the first European to visit Guyana, Colombia, and Lake Maracaibo, and later for founding Santa Cruz.

Diego de Nicuesa was a Spanish conquistador and explorer.

Gulf of Urabá gulf

The Gulf of Urabá is a gulf on the northern coast of Colombia. It is part of the Caribbean Sea. It is a long, wide inlet located on the coast of Colombia, close to the connection of the continent to the Isthmus of Panama. The town of Turbo, Colombia, lies at the mid eastern side naturally sheltered by the Turbo Bay part of the Gulf. The Atrato River flows into the Gulf of Urabá.

Old map of Tierra Firme, showing the initial divisions of the region Map New Kingdom of Granada.jpg
Old map of Tierra Firme, showing the initial divisions of the region

Tierra Firme later received control over other territories: the Isla de Santiago (now Jamaica) the Cayman Islands; Roncador, Quitasueño, and Providencia and other islands now under Colombian control; and the territories of present-day Costa Rica and Nicaragua as far as Cabo Gracias a Dios. The eastern frontier of Tierra Firme also included the east side of the Gulf of Darién or Urabá, the east side of the Atrato and Truando rivers, ending in Cabo Marzo on the Pacific side. Between these limits lie Santa Maria La Antigua Del Darien on the Gulf of Urabá and Jurado on the Pacific side.

Jamaica Country in the Caribbean

Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the fourth-largest island country in the Caribbean. Jamaica lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola.

Cayman Islands British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean

The Cayman Islands is an autonomous British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea. The 264-square-kilometre (102-square-mile) territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, which are located to the south of Cuba and northeast of Honduras, between Jamaica and the Yucatán Peninsula. As of spring 2018, the total population of the Cayman Islands is estimated to be 64,420 making it the second-most populated British overseas territory after Bermuda. The capital city is George Town, situated on Grand Cayman, by far the most populous of the three islands.

Colombia Country in South America

Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a sovereign state largely situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America. Colombia shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and Peru. It shares its maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Colombia is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments, with the capital in Bogotá.

When the Central American states gained independence, the precise frontiers were unclear. For example, some ancient maps and historical references suggest that the entire Caribbean coast as far as Cabo Gracias a Dios was part Tierra Firme or Castilla Del Oro. On the other hand, this would embrace populated regions of the Mosquito Coast that were never under the effective rule of Tierra Firme. Disputes over both of Panama's frontiers were finally solved by agreements with Costa Rica and Colombia, respectively.

Mosquito Coast former protectorate of the United Kingdom

The Mosquito Coast, also known as the Miskito Coast and the Miskito Kingdom, historically included the kingdom's fluctuating area along the eastern coast of present-day Nicaragua and Honduras. It formed part of the Western Caribbean Zone. It was named after the local Miskito Amerindians and was long dominated by British interests. The Mosquito Coast was incorporated into Nicaragua in 1894; however, in 1960, the northern part was granted to Honduras by the International Court of Justice.

Costa Rica Country in Central America

Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. It has a population of around 5 million in a land area of 51,060 square kilometers. An estimated 333,980 people live in the capital and largest city, San José with around 2 million people in the surrounding metropolitan area.

See also

Joannes or Johannes De Laet was a Dutch geographer and director of the Dutch West India Company. Philip Burden called his History of the New World, "...arguably the finest description of the Americas published in the seventeenth century" and "...one of the foundation maps of Canada". De Laet was the first to print maps with the names Manhattan, New Amsterdam and Massachusetts.

Sources

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References

  1. Diaz, B., 1963, The Conquest of New Spain, London: Penguin Books, ISBN   0140441239
  2. Ilia del Toro Robledo. Actas del Cabildo de Ponce, Puerto Rico. Ponce, Puerto Rico: Gobierno Municipal Autónomo de Ponce. Comisión Puertorriqueña para la Celebración del Quinto Centenario del Descubrimiento de America y Puerto Rico, en Conmemoración del Encuentro de Dos Mundos. 1993. Acta # 136 of 28 October 1821. p. 207.