There once existed a first-world powerhouse for three hundred years in the western hemisphere. It was democratic, very multicultural, had a complex criminal justice system, and a system of checks and balances. During a three-century period, the nation at hand was a very large sovereign entity. Also, it was a large chunk of the civilized world. The nation was not the United States of America, it was the Viceroyalty of New Spain.
History of the Viceroyalty of New Spain
New Spain was a viceroyalty or an overseas colony that was a part of Imperial Spain. Throughout most of the viceroyalty’s history, its mother country, or Spain, was backed by the much larger French Bourbon Dynasty. France was then under the sanction of the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic church is a religious Christian institution based in Rome, Italy.
The Spanish Inquisition adorned Spain. Also, the Roman Inquisition called Central Italy home. However, the Mexican Inquisition was centered in Mexico City. The Viceroyalty capital of New Spain was Mexico City. Just as Washington, D.C. is the national capital of the U.S., the older viceroys had their own capital. Mexico City was quite beautiful and prosperous for three centuries.
The question concerning the demise of New Spain is more alluring than the origins of the overseas territory. The French Revolution was inspired by the Enlightenment. Moreover, the American War of Independence was greatly censored and filtered by the Viceroy of New Spain. In a similar sense, Silicon Valley Oligarchs censored a New York Post article before the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. The Viceroyalty of New Spain was canceling information to the unwashed masses. Moreso, two centuries later, Facebook and Twitter were censoring online literature.
The Age of Reason meets the Age of Revolution
However, the Age of Reason, and the Age of Revolution, finally reached the viceroyalty. Mexico would win its independence in 1821. The Kingdom of Guatemala would shortly succeed Mexico and become the Republic of Central America. The newly created republic was a short-lived representative democracy. It would be torn apart by civil wars and become the seven modern-day nations of the sub-continent. However, identity politics and class war are tearing the U.S. apart today.
Today, Mexico is in the midst of a decades-long drug-fueled civil war. Regardless, statistically, the North American nation has a lower crime rate than the U.S. The world’s largest democracy had a violent summer in 2020. El Salvador was nearly torn apart by MS13 gang-related violence before nationwide crackdowns lowered crime rates in the nation. However, the U.S. could not stabilize crime in most major cities and many states.
The U.S. is at a very dire time in its history. Nationwide crises concerning open borders, wealth distribution or welfare abuse, and the rise of Marxism threaten the land of the free today. More so, over two centuries ago, the Enlightenment and revolutions, which were imported from Western Europe, threatened the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The overseas territory was at a crucial time in its three-hundred-year history. Moreover, the U.S. is at a very vital time in its nearly 250-year history today. Just as the overseas territory of New Spain was destroyed at the dawn of the 20th century. The United States approaches a very crucial moment in its national history in the early 2020s.
How big was New Spain?
New Spain stretched from the southern tip of northern South America to portions of Anthropology: Brief Sociopolitical Histories of the Three Largest Territories in the World. The fall of the viceroyalty began when Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte of France purchased the Louisiana territory from Spain. In 1800, he brought it back under French control. After the Mexican American War, the lands now known as the U.S. states of California, Oregon, Washington State, and the modern-day South Western United States were lost to the U.S. The U.S. Federal Government would go on to purchase the Louisiana territory from France during the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Mexico would win its independence from Spain in 1821. The Republic of Central America would quickly succeed the First Mexican Empire. Then the sub-continent will shortly break up into seven separate countries.
Also, Great Columbia would succeed in Spain. The nation would consume Argentina before it broke up and became Argentina and most of the present-day nations of Northern South America.
How could the United States avoid such a large disaster?
However, how could the crisis that became New Spain in 1821 be avoided? More importantly, how could a similar crisis be avoided in the U.S. today in 2021, which is exactly two centuries later?
The answer to such a complex question could be found in researching how Spain maintained its overseas presence for such a long period of time. For example, the website Europe reported that after three centuries of a bear market economy of political stability and prosperity, the treaty of Paris ended the overseas territory of New Spain.
In due time, the mother sovereign state of Spain lost her overseas colonies of Puerto Ricco, Guam, and the Philippines. Spain then sold whatever was left of their overseas empire to Germany. Germany was the most recent emerging world power in Europe at the time.
Three centuries of peace and prosperity
Regina Grafe stated that Spain’s international commerce was poor or insufficient from the end of the 16th century to the end of the nation’s overseas colonial and imperial empire in 1821. However, a massive question remains about the nation’s overseas viceroyalty, which is how the Spanish maintained such a complex and massive overseas colonial power after Spain lost their Armada for the following three hundred years.
However, the growing imperial presence across the world might have led to one of the major factors of New Spain’s death, demise, and downfall. Moreover, the simplest way for the Olden Crown of Castile to reach her Italian contemporary was by way of the Mediterranean Sea. Additionally, the Spanish Road was a supply route that traveled from Barcelona to the Benelux by way of the northern Italian Region of Lombardy and the east-central French region of Burgundy. However, the Spanish Road was the simplest way for Spain to reach her Benelux colonies. Moreover, the route was the safest travel road to reach Spain’s colony at the time in history.
The growth of New Spain
H-2 Image Courtesy of Brian Adamson’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
However, Europe reported that the only possibility for Imperial Spain to reach her overseas colonies was for her Navy to cross the entire Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic was very dangerous to sail, as well. In addition, other European nations, such as France, England, and then Holland began to sail to the New World. They were then placed directly in competition with Spain.
Then the Thirty Years War began. Initially, it began in the area now known as Germany. Before it spread like wildfire. The Dutch rebelled against Spain. The Franco-Austrian Skirmish then began. The two conflicts became a part of the Thirty Years Wars, between Northern and Southern Germany. However, the two conflicts were not directly related to organized religions or the Germanic city-states.
The dire end of New Spain
Regardless, it is evident that the fall of New Spain was caused by the fact that the viceroyalty became too big too fast and could not sustain such rapid growth. Moreover, the U.S. is a constitutional republic of at least 325 million people. Counting people in the country illegally, the real number is unknown. In terms of size and population, the U.S. is the third-largest nation in the international community. Only Russia and Canada are larger. Add to the rapidly growing population, in terms of natural-born citizens and immigrants, an open border society, a disarmed police force, and wealth distribution (i.e., socialism), and the question asks how can a once sovereign nation survive without law and order.
Hence, New Spain faltered because its size and population became too vast to manage. However, could the U.S. suffer the same fate as its size and population grow and the nation no longer has sovereign laws to govern them by?
J.H. Elliot on New Spain
Europe reported that J. H. Elliot was one of the most respected historians to write about Spanish history, if not, Elliot was the most respected in the field. Elliot wrote that the 1590s was one of the worst decades for Imperial Span. The following excerpt was reported in Elliot’s “Imperial Spain: 1469-1716,” p. 90.Elliot said that in the 1590s King Phillip II of Spain, and his acts of imperial conquests, caused his empire’s economy to become tired and weary. The King of Imperial Spain had a direct line of silver trade from the Caribbean. Phillip was then tempted to explore uncharted territory.
A growing deficit
In addition, the Imperial Spanish crown acquired mass amounts of debt. Also, it ate up a lot of profit. Plus, the destruction of the Spanish Armada cost the world and the overseas empire 10,000,000 ducats. More so, by the mid-1590s, the Spanish crown was spending more than 12,000000 ducats annually.
Phillip’s overseas and domestic colony revenues would determine if he could keep spending on a very lucrative, high, and massive scale and level. However, Europe reported that by the 1590s it was clear that the Castilian crown’s war chest was heading towards its breaking point. For example, less than 25 percent came from the American silver trade. The rest was either burrowed or was paid for by taxes raised by the royal monarchy across the international Spanish Empire.
The deficit of New Spain and the U.S.
Much like Imperial Spain’s deficit from the late 16th century, today the U.S. owes other nations, especially the People’s Republic of China, a multi-trillion-dollar debt. Additionally, hyperinflation, caused primarily because of the stimulus bills under the current administration in Washington, could be the two factors that could cause an economic correction leading to a second Great Depression originating in the United States. The deficit and inflation could cause a snowball effect that can not be halted after it begins and then takes full force.
The near-bankruptcy of the viceroyalty was near
H-2 Image Courtesy of Miquel Fabre’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Elliot asked how long Spain could tolerate fantasies of imperialism. Europe reported that when the Spanish history historian later wrote of Spain declaring bankruptcy in 1596, he generally answered his initial enigma.
Elliot stated that there were victims that would most logically fall prey to the bankruptcy of the overseas colonial empire. The largest victims of the financial default of Imperial Spain were the fairs of Medina del Campo. Moreover, the fairs had already recovered from the royal bankruptcy of 1575.
Also, they had been regulated regularly since the reforms of 1575 and 1583. In addition, when the fairs began to operate once more in 1598, their better days were clearly behind them. However, in the early 17th century, the financial capital of Spain was Madrid, not Medina.
The nostalgia of a bygone era
Northern Castilian towns were shells of their former selves. For example, Simon Ruiz and his companions still roamed the streets of the region. They remembered a period of time when Spain basked in glory because of the silver trade from the Americas. Regardless, the Royal Spanish Crown could still finance its own overseas empire and viceroyalties.
New Spain was a viceroyalty that was very demographically diverse, it was a first-world viceroyalty and hosted a very large and complex judicial system. In essence, it was very similar to the United States of America. Also, much like the U.S., it existed for a good three hundred years before it began to break down because the viceroy could not maintain such a large size and population.
The U.S. is the world’s largest democracy
The modern-day U.S. is a federal constitutional republic and is the world’s largest democracy. However, the U.S. is the only multi-cultural democracy to exist for such an extended time. Only the Commonwealth of Nations is a very similar diverse democracy and is the world’s oldest democracy.
Most of the world’s largest civilizations of the past are similar to New Spain. Although New Spain was very diverse, most racial and ethnic minority groups in the viceroyalty were kept in order under the vice royal. For example, white Spanish-born citizens were at the head of state, and the children of the white Spaniards were at a close second.
There was then a cultural array of people of mixed races, Black African born slaves, and the indigenous populations of North and South America, and the Anthropology: History, Culture, and Various Eras in Palauand West Indies that were held in check by the Spanish born viceroy, governors, and mayors, and their direct decedents.
“Liberty and freedom is always one generation away from extinction,” Ronald Regan
On the contrary, the U.S. Constitution clearly states that “All men are created equal under our creator.” In the end, the U.S. is the only example of a multi-cultural democracy to strive for close to three centuries with a population of at least 325 million people.
In conclusion, in the words of late U.S. president Ronald Reagan, “liberty and freedom are always one generation away from extinction.” The current generation must not be that generation.
Related: The Flamenco of Andalusia, Spain and its Cultural History
My Country? Europe: The Decline of Spain; Lundqvist-Tobias
J.H. Elliot: Imperial Spain: 1469–1716, p. 190
The United States Constitution
The United States Bill of Rights