Peru, Viceroyalty of


Peru, Viceroyalty of

Second of the four viceroyalties established by Spain to govern its domains in the Americas. Founded in 1543, it initially included most of South America, but it lost jurisdiction over much of its territory to other viceroyalties over time. Peru, with its wealth of silver, was considered Spain's most valuable possession in the Americas. By the late 18th century, Indian rebellions had destabilized the region, and the viceroyalty was unable to defend itself when the revolutionary forces of José de San Martín entered Lima in 1821. It became part of Peru and Chile in 1824. See also New Granada; New Spain; Viceroyalty of Río de la Plata.

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