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I am finding a strange inconsistency in sources between those about New Mexico's history and those about Texas. As I know, New Mexico and Texas both started as parts of New Spain, under Spanish rule, but after the Mexican War of Independence, they became part of the United Mexican States.

Under Spain, I find many references of New Mexico being referred to as "the Kingdom of New Mexico", but cannot find similar references to "the Kingdom of Texas". I also see "Province of New Mexico" in some sources. Which is correct?

Similarly, after Mexican independence, these were within Mexico, I find references of New Mexico called "the Territory of New Mexico", but cannot find similar wording in articles to "The Territory of Texas".

What is the correct naming?

  1. When referring to these places politically, should I call them kingdoms, or provinces, or territories under New Spain? How about under Mexico?

  2. When giving their full official title, but translated for English readers, what is the correct name, "Kingdom of New Mexico", "Province of New Mexico", etc.

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  • You will need to specify the exact time period you are interested in, the broad time period you are talking about was during multiple civil wars where different powers (with different names) all vied for control. For instance during the first and second centralist republics New Mexico would have been the department of Nuevo Mexico, while Texas would have been made up mainly of the department of Tejas but also parts of other Mexican departments like Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, etc..
    – ed.hank
    Nov 12 '21 at 13:23
  • I didn't realize it would have changed...I need to know how to name both political regions, from 1500 up to around 1846ish, when they no longer were really part of Mexico. Were they both kingdoms for the entirety of Spanish rule, including under Napoleon, then had numerous name changes under the constantly restructuring "Mexico"?
    – Village
    Nov 12 '21 at 13:38
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    It looks to me like the entire answer to this question is trivially available on the Wikipedia page for the Territorial Evolution of Mexico. In fact, its probably answered just by this animated gif on that page. Is there something you need to know that isn't easily answered from that source?
    – T.E.D.
    Nov 12 '21 at 13:39
  • @T.E.D. I could not find the answer looking at that page, and many other Wikipedia pages. New Mexico's page called New Spain's New Mexico "The Kingdom of New Mexico", but the Texas page has no such reference to a "Kingdom of Texas" or in other sources, hence my question, as sources seem inconsistent, so I wonder how to correctly name them at different times.
    – Village
    Nov 12 '21 at 14:15
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There is no general rule, unless a commonly accepted reliable source exists (and is used) where the names/terminology and dates have been set.

Such a source should be referenced to or only the relevant portion (Texas) listed so that the reader can orientate themselves, thus avoiding confusion.


  • Nuevas Filipinas: Provence of the Kingdom/Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1716-1820
  • Texas: Provence of the Mexican Empire from 1821-1823
  • Coahuila y Tejas: State of Mexico from 1824-1835
    • split into 2 regions (Coahuila and Texas)
  • Republic of Texas: 1836 the region of Texas of the state of Coahuila y Texas declared its independence. The rest of the state was named Coahuila.

See also: Territorial evolution of Mexico - Wikipedia, with maps showing the different areas during the different timeframes.

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  • "Coahuila y Texas" is of course Spanish for "Coahuila and Texas". The history of that territory and its various permuatations of names and boundries is kinda complex, and probably best understood by using the timeline maps on that WP page for reference.
    – T.E.D.
    Nov 12 '21 at 14:45
  • i would also note that the republic of texas claimed land in several mexican states (departments) besides just Coahuila y Tejas, this was a sticking point in later negotiations.
    – ed.hank
    Nov 12 '21 at 15:23
  • @T.E.D. The point is that the reason the OP hasn't found "The Territory of Texas", is because Texas was either a: Provence, part of a state or an individual state. The area, as a territory, was only known under another name (Nuevas Filipinas). First clarity for the names (with possible changes), political type and the timeframe. The actual existing boundries and claims are further details for each case at a particular point of time. Nov 12 '21 at 16:00
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The precise legal and political status of the Spanish possessions in the Americas is a bit uncertain to me.

I have sometimes read mentions of various regions as kingdoms.

For example, the region in northern South America called the Viceroyalty of New Grenada has bee n called by other names.

The Viceroyalty of New Granada (Spanish: Virreinato de Nueva Granada [birejˈnato ðe ˈnweβa ɣɾaˈnaða]) also called Viceroyalty of the New Kingdom of Granada or Viceroyalty of Santafé was the name given on 27 May 1717,1 to the jurisdiction of the Spanish Empire in northern South America, corresponding to modern Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viceroyalty_of_New_Granada

Furthermore, the region was called the New Kingdom of Granada for about two centuries before 1717.

Two centuries after the establishment of the New Kingdom of Granada in the 16th century, whose governor was dependent upon the Viceroy of Peru at Lima, and an audiencia at Santa Fé de Bogotá (today capital of the republic of Colombia), the slowness of communications between the two capitals led to the creation of an independent Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717 (and its reestablishment in 1739 after a short interruption).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viceroyalty_of_New_Granada#Colonial_history

The monarchs of the Spanish kingdoms had a long full title. From 1516 the list of kingdoms they ruled or claimed ended with "the Indias, the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea" their title as ruler of the American possessions.

In 1581 that title was changed to king of "the East and West Indias, the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea".

From 1808 to 1813 Joseph Bonaparte used the title of "King of the Spains, the Indias".

In 1813 King Ferdinand revived the old title including "the East and West Indias, the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea".

http://eurulers.altervista.org/spain.html

So the Spanish monarchs always used one royal title for all of their overseas possessions. They never used a title like King of "New Spain, New Granda, Peru, Rio de la plata" that would imply they were separate kingdoms.

And if various regions of Spanish America were established as official kingdoms, why wouldn't the king of Spain change his title to list those kingdoms separately? Why would any ruler leave some of the kingdoms that they ruled out of their title?

Someone whose full title was:

King of Castile, Leon, Aragon, both Sicilies, Jerusalem, Navarra, Granada, Toledo, Valencia, Galicia, Majorca, Sevilla, Sardinia, Cordova, Corsica, Murcia, Minorca, Jaen, the Algarves, Algeciras, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, East & West Indias, the Islands & Mainland of the Ocean sea; Archduke of Austria; Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Milan; Count of Habsburg, Flanders, Tyrol, Barcelona; Lord of Biscay, Molina;

wouldn't object to adding a few more kingdoms to the list.

On the third hand, the kings of Spain ruled a number of separate European kingdoms outside of Spain. Those were personal unions, kingdoms which had the same monarch as the Spanish kingdoms. They included the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Kingdom of Sicily, and the other Kingdom of Siciy, usually called the Kingdom of Naples. Those kingdoms were administered by viceroys.

here is a link to a list of viceroys of Sardinia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_viceroys_of_Sardinia

And a list of viceroys of Sicily:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_viceroys_of_Sicily

And a list of viceroys of the other Sicily:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_viceroys_of_Naples

If the status of the lands ruled by Spanish viceroys in the New World was the same as the status of lands ruled by Spanish viceroys in the Old World, the Viceroyalties of New Spain, New Granada, Peru, and the Rio de la Plata would be separate kingdoms in personal union with the kingdoms of Spain.

Portuguese Brazil was a kingdom from 1815 to 1822 when it declare dindepence from Portugal.

If the viceroyalties of New Spain, New Granada, Peru, and the Rio de la Plata were separate kingdoms, then along with Brazil they would have been the five largest kingdoms ever ruled by Europeans.

And If the viceroyalties of New Spain, New Granada, Peru, and the Rio de la Plata were parts of the Kingdom of the Indias, the Islands and Mainland in the Ocean Sea, that kingdom would have been by far the largest kingdom ever.

And now the OP says they have found mentions of the Kingdom of New Mexico among the Spanish possessions. So that seems to indicate that the Spanish did not limit their use of the word kingdom to the four viceroyalties, but also used it for smaller regions.

So that is an interesting question. How many regions of Spanish America were called kingdoms, and how usual was it to call them kingdoms, and what was the meaning of calling them kingdoms?

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