The General Captaincy of Chile
(Capitanía General de Chile
) or Gobernacion de Chile
, was an administrative territory of the Viceroyalty of Peru
in the Spanish Empire from 1541 to 1818, the year in which it declared itself independent, becoming the Republic of Chile
. It had a number of governors
over its long history and technically one king
, Philip II
, who was not the reigning Spanish king.
The General Captaincy of Chile was a personal possession of the King of Castile
as were all the other Spanish possessions in the New World
. Kingdom of Naples
and Kingdom of Sicily
, on the other hand, were possessions of the King of Aragon
, who happened to be the same person, since 1516.
The General Captaincy of Chile was first known as New Extremadura (a name which was subsequently given to a part of Mexico) and then as Indian Flanders (Indian as in Indies, here meaning Americas
; Flanders was a Spanish possession, cf. Spanish Flanders
The administrative apparatus of the General Captaincy of Chile was subordinate to the Council of the Indies
and the Laws of the Indies
, like the other Spanish colonial possessions. The day-to-day work was handled mostly by viceroys
and governors, who represented the king's will, e.g., in Aragon, Sicily, Mexico or Peru. The areas of the Americas
, which had been the site of complex civilizations or became rich societies were usually referred to by the Spanish as "kingdoms," such as the "New Kingdom of Granada
," the "Kingdom of......