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A viceroyalty was an entity headed by a viceroy. It dates back to the Spanish conquest of the Americas in the sixteenth century.
In the scope of the Portuguese Empire, the term "Viceroyalty of Brazil" is also occasionally used to designate the colonial State of Brazil, in the historic period while its governors had the title of "Viceroy". Some of the governors of Portuguese India were also called "Viceroy".
The viceroyalty (Spanish: virreinato) was a local, political, social, and administrative institution, created by the Spanish monarchy in the sixteenth century, for ruling its overseas territories.
The administration over the vast territories of the Spanish Empire was carried out by viceroys, who became governors of an area, which was considered not as a colony but as a province of the empire, with the same rights as any other province in Peninsular Spain.
The Spanish Americas had four viceroyalties: