The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 317
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Booke Reviews and Notices
Again, he quotes Revillagigedo as saying that "by the last decade
of the eighteenth century the powers which belonged to him as
captain-general were not only more distinctive, but more important
than those which he possessed as governor, as vice-patron, or as
superintendent-general of the real hacienda" (p. 196). Dr. Smith
goes on to make in this same chapter what appears to be a more
correct statement of the international situation than the one re-
ferred to above. He says: "After the experiences of the Seven
Years' War, Spain realized the possibilities of serious trouble from
the English, who had taken Manila and Havana in 1762, and had
generally terrorized the Spanish-American coasts." Again: "The
expedition of the English against Buenos Ayres in 1806 showed that
the Court of St. James was in earnest in its designs upon certain
parts of the Spanish colonial dominions." These statements, to-
gether with many others of a similar nature, seem to indicate that
the real opinion of the author is that, on account of the danger
of foreign aggression, the viceroy in the period of which he treats
was primarily a military and not a civil official. Indeed, Dr.
Smith could not more emphatically state his belief that such was
the case than when he says that the military functions "were the
very heart of the viceregal office and were historically and actually
the most important things which the viceroy was called upon to
do" (p. 228). The excellent account given of the organization of
the militia system of New Spain in the last years of the eighteenth
century (and how difficult such a task is only one familiar with
the field can realize) is a welcome contribution, and clears up many
obscure points concerning the methods of controlling the disorgan-
ized forces of the viceroyalty during this period. In this connec-
tion, we might wish that Dr. Smith had been more specific in de-
scribing the functions of the various officials and councils that
co-operated with the viceroy in matters of defence. Such impor-
tant features as the auditor de guerra and the junta general de
guerra y hacienda are passed over without explanation of their
peculiar duties. We should have liked to see also some discussion
of the viceroy's duties in regard to the frontier provinces, to which
only indirect reference is made.
The absence of any table of contents, index, or sub-headings in
the text makes the reading of the book rather difficult. Various
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914, periodical, 1914; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101061/m1/321/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.