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Antonio de Mendoza

Mendoza, Antonio de (äntōˈnyō dā māndōˈthä) [key], 1490?–1552, Spanish administrator, first viceroy of New Spain (1535–50) and viceroy of Peru (1551–52). Of noble family, Mendoza held high offices before going to Mexico, where his wise rule earned him the appellation "the good viceroy." He alleviated the condition of the indigenous people (though opposing enforcement of the New Laws of Bartolomé de Las Casas), fostered religion, and encouraged education. He brought the first printing press to America at the request of Bishop Zumárraga. He quelled numerous revolts, notably the insurrection of indigenous peoples in Nueva Galicia (called the Mixtón War) in which Pedro de Alvarado was killed. By fostering expeditions, especially those under Marcos de Niza and Coronado, he pushed exploration far northward. Industry and agriculture were also developed, bringing prosperity. In brief, he extended and consolidated the conquest begun by Hernán Cortés, and established the sure basis for Spain's long rule in Mexico. Efforts to discredit and oust him, originating with Cortés, ended in failure. In 1551 he took office as viceroy of Peru and again opposed enforcement of the New Laws. The audiencia, however, overruled him.

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

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Latin American History: Biographies

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