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Charcas (chärˈkäs) [key], Spanish colonial audiencia and presidency in South America, known also as Upper Peru and Chuquisaca. Charcas roughly corresponded to modern Bolivia but included parts of present Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Paraguay, encompassing a territorial expanse that led to disputes and wars after independence had been won. It was established in 1559 and was attached to the viceroyalty of Peru until joined (1776) to the newly created viceroyalty of La Plata. The prosecutor of Charcas, José de Antequera y Castro, led (1721) the first major creole uprising against viceregal authority. The city of Sucre was sometimes called Charcas.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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