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Bernardo de GálvezSpanish Hero of the American Revolution$
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Gonzalo M. Quintero Saravia

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469640792

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469640792.001.0001

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Viceroy of New Spain

Viceroy of New Spain

(p.281) 8. Viceroy of New Spain
Bernardo de Gálvez

Gonzalo M. Quintero Saravia

University of North Carolina Press

On May 25, 1785, Bernardo de Gálvez arrived in New Spain as acting viceroy, and was confirmed shortly afterwards. Upon his arrival Gálvez adopted a new style of governance which made him very popular with the commoners while raising eyebrows among the elites.Gálvez implemented, or started to implement, a vast array of reforms. The theatre designed as an instrument of popular education. The military was strengthened and re-organized. Mexico city’s urban infrastructure was improved. Plans for the reconstruction of the vice royal palace at Chapultepec were drawn. Education was promoted through the inauguration of the Royal Academy of San Carlos. A new Indian policy was also adopted and implemented in order to pacify the Northern Frontier of the viceroyalty that included a new model for the Spanish Crown’s relationship with the Apache nation. Shortly after Gálvez’s arrival, a severe famine broke out in New Spain. Using the resources of the colonial administration and the collaboration of the Church, public policy measures were put into place; information was collected; indirect taxes were suspended; public health measures were inplemented; a tight price control was adopted; and profiteers were severely prosecuted. After a short illness, Bernardo de Gálvez died on November 30, 1786, after turning forty.

Keywords:   Bourbon reforms in New Spain, Spain’s Indian Policy in New Spain

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