The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 63
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The Parrilla Expedition to the Red River
list closed with, "Do not embarrass the troops with too much work,
nor the citizens who are met with words under any pretext.""2
In following these preparations one can catch a glimpse of the
position of the central government of New Spain. It was, of
course, acknowledged to be the final and absolute authority, subject
only to the laws of the king. In practice, this was not so. The
bureaucratic administration of the Spanish colonies was fairly well
developed and both by law and by custom the respective spheres
of the local administrator and the central executive were well
defined. The history of New Spain is full of examples of the
nullification of royal and viceregal orders, either by active opposi-
tion or by the equally effective inertia of the citizenry.
In the discussions at Mexico City there was a general tone that
seemed to show a realization that the viceroy could with difficulty
enforce the orders which were in direct opposition to the wishes
of the people and their local magistrates. The auditor, Valcarcel,
made several references to this condition when he tried to dis-
courage the idea of an expedition. Since the central power was
weak it is not surprising that effective co-operation between the
governors of the different provinces was almost impossible.
The memorials presented by the inhabitants of Nuevo Le6n
showed the independent feeling and spirit of the frontier settlers,
as well as the lack of interest in the welfare of other regions than
their own. The reference to their rights under the "laws of the
king" remind one of the similar claim to the "rights of English-
men" put forward in the English colonies about the same time.
Even in the official circles at Mexico City the viceroy was far
from supreme. The predominating feature was the advice of the
chief officials, the fiscal, the auditor, and the members of the
audiencia. With rare exceptions the decrees of the viceroy say,
with minor variations, "As the fiscal asks and the auditor sub-
scribes." This does not include the numerous orders connected
with routine administration. In these cases the viceroy depended
upon his secretarial staff. It is not to be supposed from what has
been said that an active and aggressive viceroy might not have
been able to dominate the formation of policies, but only that con-
ditions were such that the ordinary human would find it much more
convenient to let affairs take their course.
23Gatuno, instructions to Ollarsum, May 10, 1759, Aucilio, pp. 30-32.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940, periodical, 1940; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/m1/71/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.