Taken together, this selection of documents from the Genaro García Manuscript Collection provides a unique insight into the day-today processes upon which colonial rule relied. In one sense, the visita led by Gálvez had comprised many small actions. However, the end result-- the reformed, more efficiently running New Spain--was worth more than the sum of its parts. Gálvez’s decisions on the ground in New Spain between 1765 and 1771 had a direct impact on the next two decades. From the time his visita ended until his death in 1787, he worked with the king to bring similar changes to other Spanish territories. Every time he issued a new mandate about local governance or commissioned a table about the yearly profits from an industry, he was paving the way for imperial change.
These sources--key for understanding the inspection process-- are rich with information about bureaucratic functions, financial exchanges, and professional relationships. They illuminate both local histories and imperial phenomena. As a result, they are valuable resources for future research into the political, economic, and institutional history of the Spanish Empire.
The inspection brought Gálvez to many parts of modern-day Mexico. This map identifies all the locations cited in these documents.