Definition of Viceroyalty
Although the form of the viceroyalty was largely linked to the history of colonial America , this does not mean that it had been created specifically for that portion of the Spanish Empire, but it already existed and was, as expected, one of the most important political-legal spaces in which the aforementioned empire was divided.
During the reign of the Catholic kings (15th century), the accumulation of huge territories because of this marriage and future conquests, made the Spanish Empire difficult to control directly. For that, the kings created the form of viceroyalty that could be defined as a regional division within the empire. That portion of land was led by the viceroy, the most important and direct official on the hierarchical scale below the king . Being extensions of large land, normally all functions could be controlled by the viceroy, whether they were political, economic, social and legal functions.
In the case of America, the territories had to organize themselves in this way because, due to their distance from Spain, the presence of the Spanish kings on duty became impossible. Thus, the Spanish Crown organized the regions conquered in viceroyalty that were, in general, very extensive and abundant (therefore, difficult to control even if the officials were in them). The most important viceroyalties of the colonial period were those of New Spain (current territories of Mexico and Central America), that of Peru and that of Nueva Granada (current territory of Venezuela). The case of South America was a separate case since the territories would not be exploited and organized as viceroyalty until 1776, at which time the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata was established.
This viceroyalty would be the one that would last less time since almost forty years later the wars of independence between the Creole and Spanish revolutionaries would begin that would cause the power of the Spanish Crown to end up disappearing from these regions of the planet.