The Real Audiencia of Santiago de Guatemala (Spanish: Audiencia y Cancillería Real de Santiago de Guatemala), simply known as the Audiencia of Guatemala or the Audiencia of Los Confines, was a superior court in area of the New World empire of Spain, known as the Kingdom of Guatemala. This area included the current territories of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Mexican state of Chiapas. The Audiencia's presiding officer, the president, was the head of the government of the area. The Audiencia was initially created by decrees of November 20, 1542 and September 13, 1543, and had its seat in Antigua Guatemala (Santiago de Guatemala).
Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.
In common law systems, a superior court is a court of general competence which typically has unlimited jurisdiction with regard to civil and criminal legal cases. A superior court is "superior" relative to a court with limited jurisdiction, which is restricted to civil cases involving monetary amounts with a specific limit, or criminal cases involving offenses of a less serious nature. A superior court may hear appeals from lower courts.
The Viceroyalty of New Spain was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire, established by Habsburg Spain during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. It covered a huge area that included territories in North America, South America, Asia and Oceania. It originated in 1521 after the fall of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, the main event of the Spanish conquest, which did not properly end until much later, as its territory continued to grow to the north. It was officially created on 8 March 1535 as a viceroyalty, the first of four viceroyalties Spain created in the Americas. Its first viceroy was Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco, and the capital of the viceroyalty was Mexico City, established on the ancient Mexico-Tenochtitlan.
The colonization of the area that became the future kingdom began in 1524. In the north, the brothers Gonzalo and Pedro de Alvarado, Hernán Cortés and others headed various expeditions into Guatemala and Honduras. In the south Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, acting under the auspices of Pedrarias Dávila in Panama, moved into what is today Nicaragua.
Pedro de Alvarado y Contreras was a Spanish conquistador and governor of Guatemala. He participated in the conquest of Cuba, in Juan de Grijalva's exploration of the coasts of the Yucatán Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico, and in the conquest of Mexico led by Hernán Cortés. He is considered the conquistador of much of Central America, including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Although renowned for his skill as a soldier, Alvarado is known also for the cruelty of his treatment of native populations, and mass murders committed in the subjugation of the native peoples of Mexico.
Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano, Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of what is now mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century. Cortés was part of the generation of Spanish colonizers who began the first phase of the Spanish colonization of the Americas.
Francisco Hernández de Córdoba is usually reputed as the founder of Nicaragua, and in fact he founded two important Nicaraguan cities, Granada and León. The currency of Nicaragua is named the córdoba in his memory.
The capital of Guatemala moved several times in the first decade of its existence. In 1540 of the city of Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala was founded after Tecpán Guatemala was abandoned due to its vulnerability to attack. However, the second settlement was destroyed in 1542 by a flood, and the new capital of Antigua Guatemala, was founded to replace the old capital. Although the city of Antigua Guatemala became one of the richest of the New World capitals in the subsequent centuries, this city was in turn ordered abandoned in 1776, after a series of earthquakes destroyed it. The third capital was the modern-day Guatemala City.
Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala was the name given to the capital city of the Spanish colonial Captaincy General of Guatemala in Central America.
Tecpán Guatemala is a municipality in the department of Chimaltenango, in Guatemala, on the Inter-American Highway CA-1.
The New World is one of the names used for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas, and Oceania.
In 1543 establishment of the Audiencia defined the territory of the kingdom, which included most of Central America. It was the first institution to define Central America (with the exception of Panama) as a region within the Spanish Empire.
An Audiencia of Los Confines of Guatemala and Nicaragua was created by a royal decree of November 20, 1542, which also established the Audiencia of Lima. The new audiencias divided the territory of the abolished Royal Audiencia of Panama. The governorates of Guatemala, Honduras, Chiapas and Nicaragua, which existed at the time of the decree, were abolished, but some were later restored and new ones created: Honduras in 1552, Soconusco in 1561, Nicaragua in 1565 and Costa Rica in 1574.
A governorate is an administrative division of a country. It is headed by a governor. As English-speaking nations tend to call regions administered by governors either states or provinces, the term governorate is often used in translation from non-English-speaking administrations.
Soconusco is a region in the southwest corner of the state of Chiapas in Mexico along its border with Guatemala. It is a narrow strip of land wedged between the Sierra Madre de Chiapas mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It is the southernmost part of the Chiapas coast extending south from the Ulapa River to the Suchiate River, distinguished by its history and economic production. Abundant moisture and volcanic soil has always made it rich for agriculture, contributing to the flowering of the Mokaya and Olmec cultures, that were based on Theobroma cacao and rubber of Castilla elastica.
The September 13, 1543, decree ordered that the new Audiencia move to Valladolid de Comayagua and that the province of Yucatán be added to its district, but this was not accomplished until 1550.
Comayagua is a city in Honduras, some 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Tegucigalpa on the highway to San Pedro Sula at an elevation of 1,949 feet above sea level.
The Audiencia provisionally moved to Gracias a Dios on May 16, 1544, until the royal decrees of October 25, 1548 and June 1, 1549, ordered its return to Santiago de Guatemala.
Gracias a Dios is one of the 18 departments (departamentos) into which Honduras is divided. The departmental capital is Puerto Lempira; until 1975 it was Brus Laguna.
A royal decree of July 7, 1550, reiterated that Yucatán be separated from the Audiencia of Mexico and incorporated into the one of Guatemala. Finally a decree of January 20, 1553, transferred the province of Soconusco to the Guatemala Audiencia.
On September 8, 1563, Philip II decreed that the Audiencia move to Panama, abolishing a separate audiencia for Guatemala. The borders of the new Panama Audiencia were in east, the coast from the Darién River to the Ulúa River; and in the west, the coast from Buenaventura to the Gulf of Fonseca. The rest of the territories of the former Audiencia of Guatemala were transferred to the Audiencia of Mexico.
On January 15, 1568, a decree reestablished the Audiencia of Guatemala with the same jurisdiction as in 1563, but without Yucatán, which became a permanent territory of the Audiencia of Mexico until the beginning of the 19th century. A royal decree of January 25, 1569, transferred once again the governorate of Soconusco from the Audiencia of Mexico to the one of Guatemala.
Law VI (Audiencia y Chancillería Real de Santiago de Guatemala 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 September 13, 1543; August 6, 1556; September 16, 1560; May 31 and June 18, 1568; November 10, 1593; and August 7, 1596—describes the borders, make up and functions of the Audiencia.
In the City of Santiago de los Caballeros of the Province of Guatemala shall reside another Royal Audiencia and Chancery of ours, with a president, governor and captain general; five oidores , who shall also be judges of criminal cases [alcaldes del crimen]; a crown attorney [fiscal]; a bailiff [alguacil mayor]; a lieutenant of the Gran Chancellor; and the other necessary ministers and officials, and which shall have for district the said province of Guatemala; and those of Nicaragua, Chiapas, Higueras, Cabo de Honduras, Verapaz and Soconusco with the Islas de la Costa; bordering its district in the east with the Audiencia of Tierrafirme, in the west with the one of New Galicia, and in the north with it and the North Sea, and in the south with the South Sea. And we order that the governor and captain general of said provinces and the president of the Royal Audiencia of these, have, use and exercise by himself the government of that land and all its district, in the same manner as does our viceroy of New Spain and determine the repartimientos of Indians and appoint other offices, as said Royal Audiencia used to do, and that the oidores do not interfere with these matters, nor that said president interfere in matters of justice and that he sign with the oidores that which they sentence and decree.
As part of the Bourbon Reforms in 1786 the crown established a series of intendancies in the area, which replaced most of the older corregimientos . The intendants were granted broad fiscal powers and were charged with promoting the local economy. The new intendancies were San Salvador (El Salvador), Ciudad Real (Chiapas), Comayagua (Honduras), and León (Nicaragua). The Audiencia president and governor-captain general of Guatemala became the superintendente general of the territory and functioned as de facto intendant of Guatemala proper. The agricultural, southern region of Costa Rica remained under a civil and military governor with fiscal oversight of only military expenses; the expenses of the civil government were handled by the intendant of León. These intendancies helped shape local political identity and provided the basis of the future nations of Central America.
Central America is located on the southern tip of North America, or is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas, bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The combined population of Central America has been estimated to be 41,739,000 and 42,688,190.
El Camino Real,, sometimes called in English "The King's Highway" is an epithet applied to roads built by the Spanish kingdom and the oldest road in the United States.
The Real Audiencia, or simply Audiencia, was an appellate court in Spain and its empire. The name of the institution literally translates as Royal Audience. The additional designation chancillería was applied to the appellate courts in early modern Spain. Each audiencia had oidores.
The Spanish East Indies were the colonies of the Spanish Empire in Asia and Oceania from 1565 until 1899. At one time or another, they included the Philippines, Marianas, Carolines, Palaos and Guam, as well as parts of Formosa (Taiwan), Sulawesi (Celebes) and the Moluccas (Maluku). The King of Spain traditionally styled himself "King of the East and West Indies".
The Captaincy General of Guatemala, also known as the Kingdom of Guatemala, was an administrative division of the Spanish Empire, under the viceroyalty of New Spain in Central America, including the present-day nations of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, and the Mexican state of Chiapas. The governor-captain general was also president of the Royal Audiencia of Guatemala, the superior court.
The Royal Audiencia of Santiago was an Audiencia Real or royal law court that functioned in Santiago de Chile during the Spanish colonial period. This body heard both civil and criminal cases. It was founded during the 17th century and abolished in 1818.
Alonso de Maldonado Diez de Ledesma , was a Spanish lawyer and a member of the Second Audiencia of Mexico City, which governed New Spain from January 10, 1531 to April 16, 1535. He was also president of the First Audiencia of Guatemala, and in that capacity interim governor of Guatemala from 1536 to September 15, 1539. He was governor of Guatemala a second time, from 1542 to 1548.
The Real Audiencia of Charcas was a Spanish audiencia with its seat in what is today Bolivia. It was established in 1559 in Ciudad de la Plata de Nuevo Toledo and had jurisdiction over Charcas, Paraguay and the Governorate of the Río de la Plata, today Uruguay and northern Argentina. This court oversaw the incredible silver output of the mines at Potosí. It was part of the Viceroyalty of Peru until 1776, when it was transferred to the newly created Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata and began to be referred to as Upper Peru.
The New Kingdom of Granada, or Kingdom of the New Granada, was the name given to a group of 16th-century Spanish colonial provinces in northern South America governed by the president of the Audiencia of Santa Fe, an area corresponding mainly to modern-day Colombia, Panama and Venezuela. The conquistadors originally organized it as a captaincy general within the Viceroyalty of Peru. The crown established the audiencia in 1549. Ultimately the kingdom became part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada first in 1717 and permanently in 1739. After several attempts to set up independent states in the 1810s, the kingdom and the viceroyalty ceased to exist altogether in 1819 with the establishment of Gran Colombia.
The Real Audiencia of Quito was an administrative unit in the Spanish Empire which had political, military, and religious jurisdiction over territories that today include Ecuador, parts of northern Peru, parts of southern Colombia and parts of northern Brazil. It was created by Royal Decree on 29 August 1563 by Philip II of Spain in the city of Guadalajara. It ended in 1822 with the incorporation of the area into the Republic of Gran Colombia.
The Central America bioregion is a biogeographic region comprising southern Mexico and Central America.
The Real Audiencia of Mexico or high court was the highest tribunal of the Spanish crown in the Kingdom of New Spain. The Audiencia was created by royal decree on December 13, 1527, and was seated in the viceregal capital of Mexico City. The First Audiencia was dissolved by the crown for its bungling and corruption and the crown established the Second Audiencia in 1530. Another Audiencia was created in Guadalajara in western Mexico in 1548.
The Real Audiencia of Santo Domingo was the first court of the Spanish crown in America. It was created by Ferdinand V of Castile in his decree of 1511, but due to disagreements between the governor of Hispaniola, Diego Colon and the Crown, it was not implemented until it was reestablished by Charles V in his decree of September 14, 1526. This audiencia would become part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain upon the creation of the latter two decades later. Nevertheless, the audiencia president was at the same time governor and captain general of the Captaincy General of Santo Domingo, which granted him broad administrative powers and autonomy over the Spanish possessions of the Caribbean and most of its mainland coasts. This combined with the judicial oversight that the audiencia judges had over the region meant that the Santo Domingo Audiencia was the principal political entity of this region during the colonial period.
The Real Audiencia of Guadalajara, was the highest tribunal of the Spanish crown in what is today northern Mexico and the southwestern United States in the Viceroyalty of New Spain. It was created by royal decree on February 13, 1548, and was originally located in Compostela and permanently seated in Guadalajara in 1560. Its president was the chief political and executive officer of the district, subordinated only to the Viceroy.
The Real Audiencia de Buenos Aires, were two audiencias, or highest courts, of the Spanish crown, which resided in Buenos Aires. The authority of the first extended to the territory of the Governorate of the Río de la Plata and operated from 1661 to 1671. The second began to function in 1783 and had as its territory the areas of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata not covered by the Audiencia de Charcas, that is to say the intendancies of Buenos Aires, Córdoba del Tucumán, Salta del Tucumán and Paraguay. In 1810, after the May Revolution, it was suspended, and in 1813 the Assembly of the Year XIII permanently disbanded it. The Audiencias resided in the city's cabildo building.
The Real Audiencia de Manila was the Real Audiencia of the Spanish East Indies, which included modern-day Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Micronesia and the Philippines. Similar to Real Audiencias throughout the Spanish Empire, it was the highest tribunal within the territories of the Captaincy General of the Philippines, a dependency of the Viceroyalty of New Spain.
The Captaincy General of Yucatán was an administrative district of colonial Spain, created in 1617 to provide more autonomy for the Yucatán Peninsula, previously ruled directly by a simple governor under the jurisdiction of Audiencia of Mexico. Its creation was part of the, ultimately futile, Habsburg attempt in the late 16th century to prevent incursion into the Caribbean by foreign powers, which also involved the establishment of Captaincies General in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and neighboring Guatemala. With the addition of the title of captain general to the governor of Yucatán, the province gained greater autonomy in administration and military matters. Unlike in most areas of Spanish America, no formal corregidores were used in Yucatán, and instead the governor-captain general relied on other subordinate officials to handle the oversight of local districts. The Captaincy General remained part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, with the viceroy retaining the right to oversee the province's governance, when it was deemed necessary, and the Audiencia of Mexico taking judicial cases in appeal. The province and captaincy general covered the territory that today are the States of Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Yucatán, and nominally the northern areas of Petén and Belize.
The Real Audiencia and Chancery of Lima was a superior court in the New World empire of Spain, located in the city of Lima, capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru. It was created on November 20, 1542 as was the viceroyalty itself, by the Emperor Charles V. The Audiencia began functioning in 1543 and initially had jurisdiction over the entire viceroyalty—virtually all of Spanish-controlled South America and Panama. Later other audiencias were established in the Viceroyalty. The Audiencia functioned until 1821 when the forces of José de San Martín entered Lima.
The Real Audiencia and Chancery of Panama in Tierra Firme was a governing body and superior court in the New World empire of Spain. The Audiencia of Panama was the third American audiencia after the ones of Santo Domingo and Mexico. It existed three times under various guises since it first creation in 1538 until its ultimate abolition in 1751.
The Spanish conquest of Chiapas was the campaign undertaken by the Spanish conquistadores against the Late Postclassic Mesoamerican polities in the territory that is now incorporated into the modern Mexican state of Chiapas. The region is physically diverse, featuring a number of highland areas, including the Sierra Madre de Chiapas and the Montañas Centrales, a southern littoral plain known as Soconusco and a central depression formed by the drainage of the Grijalva River.