Tejano History

Provincias Internas

Tejanos |

       PROVINCIAS INTERNAS. Establishment of the Comandancia General of the Interior Provinces of New Spain (Provincias Internas) had been proposed by José de Gálvez Gallardoqv during his visitation (1765–71) of the viceroyalty. His initial suggestion of 1768 had been approved in principle by King Charles III in the following year but was not implemented until after Gálvez assumed the post of minister of the Indies on January 30, 1776. In May of that same year the king formally authorized the Provincias Internas, a huge semiautonomous administrative unit that included Texas, Coahuila, Nueva Vizcaya, New Mexico, Sinaloa, Sonora, and the two Californias (Baja and Alta). The first capital of the Provincias Internas was the town of Arizpe on the Sonora River, equidistant between Nueva Vizcaya and the Californias. The rationale for carving this jurisdiction from the viceroyalty of New Spain sprang from the desire to promote administrative efficiency on a frontier far removed from Mexico City, to stimulate economic development, and to protect Spanish realms from English and Russian designs. It also came at a time when Hugo Oconór was in the field as commandant inspector of presidios on the northern frontier. Henceforth, Oconór continued to supervise military matters until his resignation in January 1777, but he was obliged to serve under a commandant general who reported directly to the king, rather than to Oconór's friend Viceroy Antonio María Bucareli y Ursúaqv. The new official with titles of governor and commander in chief of the Provincias Internas was Teodoro de Croix, nephew of the Marqués de Croix, former viceroy of New Spain from 1766 to 1771. Croix's tenure (1776–83) coincided exactly with the years of the American Revolution.


Full article on the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas Online

   Courtesy of the Texas State Historical Association.