Missions in California

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Casey Eynon
US History
Roselle
November 20, 2012

In the early days of the North American continent more than one different groups of people were trying to settle the land and claim it as their own. One group in particular was the Spanish. They built missions in California to make their presence in the area known and to convert the Native Americans into Christianity. They served as religious and military outposts.

These missions were established to convert Native American into Christianity. Obviously not all people wanted this, and they were treated harshly. Although, others jumped right into it and began the praise and worship rituals like they had been doing it their whole life. The Native Americans that just could not seem to think it was right to convert to a way of thinking that was not their own, were treated extremely harsh by the Spanish. Father Junipero Serra committed his existence to converting and spreading the word of his God, and founded the first mission in San Diego. Many Native Americans tried to escape the Spanish rule, but were often caught and put to death.

The Spanish were particularly afraid that they would be conquered by the British or the Russian. In an attempt to prevent this they built missions. These missions were boarders set up around the state to keep the British and the Russians out and secure what they believed was rightfully theirs. They tried to prevent the Russians from intruding on the coast because the Russians liked to hunt for seal and other wild sea game quite close. Their main fear was that they would try to establish some kind of settlement to be closer to their hunting area and make a profit of selling it to the Spanish.

The Spanish constructed twenty-one missions from Sonoma to San Diego, known as “The Royal Highway”. These missions brought safety, conversion, and many differt foods like livestock, fruits, and grains. This was an important thing for the Spanish people to start this civilization, but many...
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