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New Kingdom of Granada

The New Kingdom of Granada was the name given to a group of 16th century Spanish colonial provinces in northern South America, corresponding mainly to modern Colombia. It became part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717, and ceased to exist altogether with the latter's end in 1819 and the establishment of an independent republic.

Colonial history

In 1514, the Spanish first permanently settled in the area. With Santa Marta and Cartagena (1533), Spanish control of the coast was established, and the extension of colonial control into the interior could begin. The conquistador Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada colonised a large area in the region, by following the Magdalena River into the Andean cordillera, defeating the powerful Chibcha people and founding the city of Santa Fe de Bogota and naming the region El nuevo reino de Granada, "the new kingdom of Granada", after the kingdom of Granada which had existed until 1492 in southernmost Spain.

To establish civil government in New Granada, an Audiencia (a "court of hearing") was established at Santa Fe de Bogota in 1548-1549, a body that combined executive and judicial authority, until a presidencia or governor was established in 1564, assuming executive powers. At this point, New Granada was considered a Captaincy General within the Viceroyalty of Peru. The jurisdiction of the Audiencia court over the surrounding provinces determined the territory corresponding to New Granada, as new provinces were created in the following years.

The governor was loosely dependent upon the Viceroy of Peru at Lima, but the slowness of communications between the two capitals led to the establishment of an independent Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717 (and its reestablishment in 1739 after a short interruption).

Administrative divisions

The New Kingdom was organized several Governments and Provinces:

Government/Province Capital Established Founder
Government of Santa Marta Santa Marta 1525 don Rodrigo de Bastidas
Government of Cartagena de Indias Cartagena de Indias 1533 don Pedro de Heredia
(Alternative Capital of Viceroyalty)
Government of Popayan Popayan 1537 don Sebastian de Belalcazar
Province of Pasto San Juan de Pasto 1539 don Lorenzo de Aldana
Government of Santa Fe (De Bogota) Santa Fe de Bogota 1538 don Gonzalo Ximenez de Quezada
(Capital of Viceroyalty)
Government of Tunja Tunja 1539 don Gonzalo Suarez Rendon
Government of Antioquia Santa Fe de Antioquia 1541 don Jorge Robledo
Province of Choco Quibdo 1648 Manuel Canizales
Government of Panama Ciudad de Panama 1519 don Pedro Arias Davila
Vast Province of Guyana
(special province)
Angostura 1595 don Antonio de Berrios

Main cities

The largest cities of the New Kingdom of Granada in the 1791 Census were

Cartagena de Indias - 154.304

Santa Fe de Bogota - 108.533

Popayan - 56.783

Santa Marta - 49.830

Tunja - 43.850

Mompox - 24.332

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article New Kingdom of Granada

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