Audiencia of Guatemala

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      The Audiencia of Guatemala, a subdivision of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, was created in1544. An "Audiencia" literally means an audience or court. It was the highest governmental authority in the territory. The governor, or captain general, was appointed by the Spanish monarch and was responsible only to him or her. In practice, the governor frequently ignored orders from Spain and acted independently. For this reason, the Audiencia of Guatemala was frequently referred to in colonial times as the Kingdom of Guatemala.
     The design on the stamp is a sixteenth century Spanish Map of the Audiencia of Guatemala. It was issued in observance of the 495th anniversary of Columbus' departure from Palos, Spain for the Indies.

SCN 392

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