Council of the Indies


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Council of the Indies

 

(Consejo de Indias; official name, Royal Council and Board of War of the Indies), the high legislative, executive, and judicial body that from the 16th to 19th centuries carried out Spain’s colonial policies in the Americas (referred to as “the Indies” in Spanish documents until the 18th century), Oceania, and Asia. Established in 1511, the Council of the Indies consisted of a president, a chancellor, eight councillors, a procurator general, two secretaries, a cosmographer, a mathematician, and a historian. It had charge of such matters as finances, the conclusion of capitulations (treaties) with the conquistadores, the conversion of Indians to Christianity, the provisioning of expeditions, and the selection of military, ecclesiastical, and civil personnel. It was through the Council of the Indies that Spain plundered newly discovered lands and exploited the native population in its overseas possessions. The Council of the Indies existed until 1809 and at intervals thereafter (1810–20,1823–34, and 1846–47); it was permanently abolished in 1847.

References in periodicals archive ?
In March 1803, Carlos IV convened the Council of the Indies to look into an epidemic of smallpox in South America and study a way to introduce a vaccine throughout the empire.
I was sifting through the correspondence between the viceroys and the Council of the Indies and came across a missive from Viceroy Lemos, dated July 20th, 1790, that not only commended Mesa for the role he had played during the festivities, but had also attached to it six petitions filed by Mesa.
Bourbon efforts to appoint members to the Council of the Indies with experience in the New World filled its ranks with officials who tended to be more knowledgeable of American realities.
When Cabeza de Vaca's men mutinied, he was sent back to Spain in chains to stand trial before the Royal Council of the Indies.
Elliott observes that, particularly during the 1560s, Philip turned his attention to the Council of the Indies and sought to impose the order, discipline, and conformity decreed at Trent on the entire Spanish missionary enterprise (128).
In this analysis, Alvarez offers praise for Palafox, but he is not afraid to comment critically when Palafox made mistakes that ultimately contributed to a denunciation of his reform efforts when the Council of the Indies ordered him to return to Spain.
With Olivares's support, he gained a position on the Council of the Indies, and then became visitor-general for New Spain and Bishop of Puebla de los Angeles, that viceroyalty's richest diocese.
delivered directly to Ensenada while bypassing the Council of the Indies, reflect the personal relationship between the two officials.
The result is that this two-volume study offers both excellent legal history as well as important documentary sources for historians interested in future research on issues as wide ranging as the nature of church jurisdiction, the relationship between the Council of the Indies and Mexico, as well as the broad social history of early Michoacan and Mexico.
His close friend Juan de Ibarra, who held a position of influence at the Council of the Indies in Seville, dissuaded Antonelli from this course.
On April 18, 1790, almost a year after Fuentes' first representation, the Council of the Indies began an investigation of his claims concerning Uztariz.
Although both the Council of the Indies, an advisory body of experienced administrators, and the ministry in The Hague had tried to change the government's attitude, the Indies government had stuck to its earlier position.

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