The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918 Page: 278
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
residencia was abolished after 1799.6o This was not the case,
however, as the residencia was recognized by laws as late as
The residencia, was essentially a Spanish institution. Its prin-
ciples were inherited from the Romans. It was adapted through
three hundred years to the needs of a vast colonial empire. It
cannot be said that it was a success. Its purpose was to. deter
government officials from abuses rather than to inculcate a sincere
desire on their part to fulfill the duties of their offices conscien-
tiously and justly. The necessity for the residencia would have
been eliminated by a more careful selection of men for offices.
The residencia was the culmination of a period of service in an
office which had been purchased, usually, and which was not re-
garded as an opportunity for service but as a means of yielding the
greatest possible profit to its holder. Aside from the obvious de-
fects of such a system, the residencia came too late in the period
of service, held as it was at the end of the term. It sought to
punish offenders and correct evils rather than to, prevent them.
This was the most serious fault of the residencia.
6"Alcubilla (Diccionario, XI, 477) and Escriche (Diccionario, II, 819)
state that the c6dula of August 24, 1799, abolished the residencia. The
last mentioned authority states that the residencia had proved to be a
grave infliction on. the towns; the judges had mistreated witnesses and
defendants on many occasions, and it was thought advisable to discontinue
the practice of holding these investigations. On the other hand, Escriche
quotes extracts from the laws of August 24, 1799, September 26, 1835, and
November 20, 1841, wherein were provided regulations for the future con-
tinuance of the residencia.
"OSee c6dulas of July 7, 1860, San Pedro, Legislaccin Ultramarina, III,
286; Royal Order of July 25, 1865, Ibid., X, 99; Royal Order of October
25, 1870, Coleccian Legislativa, CV, 442-465.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918, periodical, 1918; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101073/m1/284/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.