The Audiencia in the Spanish Colonies

Charles Henry Cunningham

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Editore: Forgotten Books
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  • EAN: 9780259655145

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It seems proper to say at the outset that a general study of the Spanish colonial system convinced me of the need of an extended investigation of the audiencia, which was the central institution in the colonies. It was, however, the circumstance of my being situated in Manila for some years and thus having at my disposal the original documents bearing upon the history of the audiencia which was situated there that led me to study this particular tribunal. At first sight it may appear that something of direct applicability to Spanish-American conditions, which would have been gained by the study of the Audiencia of Mexico, or Guadalajara, or Lima, has thus been lost. Nevertheless, if it is borne in mind that the audiencia system was common to all the Spanish colonies, and that the laws by which it was constituted and regulated applied to the different political divisions of America as to the Philippines, the assumption will not seem wholly unjustified that the Audiencia of Manila may be taken as a typical legal and political institution.

A large part of the time expended in collecting the materials upon which this book is based was spent in the various depositories in Manila. The most notable group of documents there is to be found in the Philippines Library, and it is with pleasure that I express here my obligations to Dr. James Alexander Robertson, the librarian; for not only did Dr. Robertson place at my disposal all the resources of the library, but he contributed generously from his adequate knowledge of Philippine history and afforded continual inspiration during the course of my labors in Manila. I am also deeply conscious of the assistance so kindly rendered by Don Manuel Artigas, chief of the Division of Filipiniana, and by Don Manuel Yriarte of the Philippine Archive.
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