The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 89
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Local Government in the Spanish Colonies
The provincial officials, on the other hand, were supposed to be
detached from local ties and local support. The corregidores were
forbidden to appoint tenientes who were natives of the city or prop-
erty owners.25 A governor or other provincial official was forbidden
to marry any woman of his district26 or appoint to office any rela-
tive as close as the fourth grade." Under ordinary circumstances
the governor was only to visit the towns of his district once during
his term of office.28 It was the intention of the framers of the
laws of the Indies that their attachment should be to the crown,
the Council of the Indies, and the viceroy.
This summary does not include all of the local officials men-
tioned in the Recopilacidn, but it does attempt to include all those
whose functions are at all defined. The alf6rez real is twice men-
tioned as outranking the senior regidor,' but his raison d'8tre is not
given, and in actual practise it seems that he varied all the way
from an under officer in the civil militia in the Philippines to an
honorary personality merged with one of the regidores in San Fer-
nando de B6xar, Texas. The mayordomo is mentioned in an early
law2 but his functions are not suggested, although reference is made
in another place to a special land officer who could approve war-
rants on the proprios.3
This paper fails to leave that satisfactory feeling of definiteness,
as to what are local and what are provincial functions, that we are
accustomed to experience in the study of local institutions in Eng-
land and the United States. This is due to the fact that no such
cleavage existed in the Spanish colonies. The governor was ex-
officio the chief municipal authority in the city of his residence.4
The officials of the chief city of a province had functions that per-
tained to the province as much as to the city." The alguacil mayor
of the audiencia was often a regidor, and, on occasion, ranked as
a local rather than a provincial official.6 The ordinary regidor
2"4:8:7, 1652. 25:2:44, 1582 to 1645. 25:2:45, Carlos II.
"85:2:21, 1636. 15:3:13, 1535 to 1590; 4:10:14, 1591.
24:7:2, Felipe II. 84:13:2, 1564 to Carlos II.
45:3:1, 1537; 5:3:14, 1573; 5:3:12, 1557 to 1627.
64:12:8, 1563; 5:4:5. "3:15:80, 79, 84, 1563 to 1618.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/98/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.