This mid-17th-century map of New Spain depicts the geography of Mexico and Central America about 100 years after the Spanish made their first entradas into the Caribbean's western mainland. After conquering the two major native civilizations in the area -- the Aztecs in central Mexico and the Mayans in the Yucatan Peninsula -- the Spanish established settlements and extended their political control throughout the region. As recorded on this map, there were three major administrative units -- the audiencias of Guadalajara (northern Mexico), Mexico (the central plateau), and Guatemala (encompassing all of Central America).
The French cartographer Nicolas Sanson, who was also an historian, prepared this map. His cartographic efforts gave rise to a cartographic industry in France, providing competition to the Dutch who dominated the map trade from the late 16th century until the end of the 17th century.
Appeared in Sanson's ''Cartes générales de la géographie ...'' (1676)
Relief shown pictorially.