Latin American History

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Latin American History The bureaucracy established in the sixteenth century in Latin-America consisted of many parts. These components include the Council of the Indies, audiencias, viceroys and the Church (Lecture, 2/13). The Crown in Spain formed each one of the components as stabilizing factors that strengthened Royal Authority. Each component had certain responsibilities that they needed to uphold and these responsibilities helped to check and balance the powers of the other bureaucratic branches. They worked sort of like the Checks and Balances of our government today. The Crown didn’t want one branch of power to get stronger than another branch so their responsibilities overlapped each other. The Council of the Indies was there to oversee every kind of government activity in the Colonies. The Council of the Indies sits in Spain and does not stay in the Americas (Lecture 2/13). Because of this, the council was not familiar with American affairs and eventually the Crown’s failure to come to grips with basic personnel issues thus weakened the Council of the Indies’ ability to provide high quality oversight and administration . The council also issued laws, made recommendations to the monarch, approved major expenditures in the colonies and heard cases appealed from the American audiencias and the House of Trade . Another component to this bureaucracy was the viceroys. The viceroys were appointed by the king to act as little “sub-kings” in the colonies. As the foremost executives in the colonies, the viceroys were responsible for general administration; the imposition, collection, and disbursement of taxes. The viceroys also administer the construction and maintenance of public works; The maintenance of... ... middle of paper ... ...owing no intention of ever leaving. This limited the potential for advancement. Also given the modest salaries associated with most non-fee-earning positions, the temptation to resort to extralegal sources of income was irresistible for many bureaucrats. This, too, worked against the interest of the Crown . There are many other ways that the sale of offices and appointments decreased chances of Spanish advancement and increased the chance of corruption in the colonies. To conclude, the bureaucracy consisted of the Church, the Council of the Indies, viceroys and audencias. These components worked together to mobilize the new colonies, but eventually because of the sale of offices and appointments the mobilization stopped and the kingdom started to crumble. The once stable bureaucracy that was formed to control the New World slowly grew corrupt and unstable.
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