spanish missions in the americas

spanish missions in the americas
November 1, 2020


The northern frontier contained the gold, silver, and other resources desired by the Spanish Empire, but a well-ordered colonial system was needed to extract them. The church and its structures took a somewhat secondary position to the growing towns and communities, and in some cases, mission buildings were converted for other uses. In the missions, they served as teachers, not only instructing natives about Christian doctrine but also teaching them to read, write, sing and play musical instruments. Coincidentally, the missionary’s brother, Pastor Jose Luis, was in the area with his family, visiting from Bolivia. Texas: Mission San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo), 1744. The Jesuit Order, established in the early sixteenth century, was a multinational group organized along military lines. [They live] daily at great risk from enemies and even the Christian [Indians], who for one word of reprehension about their views take their lives.”, The isolation they suffered was exemplified by the fact that they walked “ten, twenty, and thirty leagues one way to the next convent and more for the return trip.” Their only “stipend, alms, subvention or collection money at the altar, which they received, came to one hundred and fifty pesos, which the king gives every year to each priest.”, Feast Day at Estevan del Rey Mission, Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico by Charles F. Lummis, 1890. The missionaries were the first to enter these frontier zones in an attempt to convert native populations to Christianity. The oldest missions in New Mexico and present-day Chihuahua, Mexico were the first to feel the pressures of rebellion. 1. Your email address will not be published. Mission San Jose, photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. The cultures and attitudes of the various pre-existing native societies conditioned the strategies of Spanish settlements. The Missions Initiative proposes a binational collaborative effort to protect and promote Spanish Colonial Mission sites in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. They were expected to learn Spanish and, through hymns, learn to sing or chant in Latin. Answered Where did the Spanish establish most of their missions in the Americas? The first Spanish missions were founded in Florida in 1565 after a number of failed attempts.The Florida missions, which spread from the center of the present-day state to the north (reaching as far as Georgia and the Carolinas), were made of wooden planks and thatch, a modest architecture adapted to native technology. Friars waved the rule of obedience over their heads and the mission guard, meted out whippings to punish disobedience. Log in. Although the friars protested them, the Spaniards imposed two dreaded feudalistic institutions on the Pueblos which would, in the long run, become focal points for rebellion.

Building a case for undertaking this collaboration begins with a brief review of the rich history surrounding these missions and an appraisal of current conditions that reinforces the value and timeliness of such an effort. A calendar of holy days, obedience to Spanish law and taboos of the new culture regarding bigamy, concubinage, and sorcery exposed the mission Indians to new ways. The three Roman Catholic orders built hundreds of missions in New Spain; some elaborate cathedrals and others simple churches. Further, those who did not succumb to the missionaries or saw the friars as threats to their cultures, beliefs, and spiritualism, became enemies. Along with their Indian charges, they, too, toiled in the missions, farmlands, and ranches.

From the early seventeenth century to the early nineteenth century, Franciscan, Dominican, and Jesuit orders of the Roman Catholic Church built missions throughout what is now northern Mexico and the southwestern United States (See map supplement). They were places for religious conversion and served as acculturation and economic centers, vocational training schools, and defensive structures. San Xavier del Bac Mission, Tuscon, Arizona by Carol Highsmith. After 1702 they were destroyed by English raids, and Florida became a solely defensive colony. The basic building material for the Sonoran missions was also adobe; however, due to the absence of a local building tradition, the buildings here followed – in a simplified way – the Mexican Colonial Baroque style.
From 1598 in New Mexico, for example, colonial policies commonly in effect throughout the Spanish empire troubled the economically strapped Pueblo people. The missions provided foodstuffs produced by converts for such ventures. Points of Spanish presence in the United States. They erected hundreds of churches throughout the northern frontier but were eventually expelled by the Spanish government in 1767. While in other places the missions were meant to assemble and sedentarize the native population, among the already sedentary, town-dwelling Pueblo indians the Spanish chose to introduce their missions into the existing settlements, adapting them to their urban structure.The cultures and attitudes of the various pre-existing native societies conditioned the strategies of Spanish settlements. With more enlightened policies in the 18th century, rebellions subsided. The Ten Commandments and the Laws of the Indies provided other lessons in strict obedience. Frequent rebellions rocked the missions of northern New Spain throughout Texas, New Mexico, Pimería Alta (northern Sonora, Mexico and southern Arizona) and California. New Mexico: Mission San Miguel, Santa Fe, 1610, New Mexico: Mission San Francisco de Asis, Taos, 1771. The missions were not solely responsible. To be sure, they were tough frontiersmen, who believed that the discipline they meted out to their converts was for their own good. The Missions Initiative aims to support these active sites as well as build broader support for all sites and among all categories of stakeholders. ; San Juan Capistrano, in the California town of the same name; and San Xavier del Bac near Tucson, Ariz. For information about the Spanish missions in South America, see Jesuit reductions. Today, however, many mission sites remain essential to religious practices and civic activities in these communities.

We got to know each other before I returned to Panama where we lived. Missionaries kept busy throughout their long days, offering their work as a small sacrifice to God. Join now. The second institution was the repartimiento that required the head of household who could not pay the tribute to pay the value of the tribute in labor. History reveals the native struggle for independence throughout the Americas, as rebelling tribes quickly returned to their old native ways while preserving Christian practices and values, which they had integrated into their traditions and customs.
Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser-Alexander, February 2019. In regions such as the present-day United States, with thriving, diverse native cultures and little incentive for the introduction of settlers, missions, managed by religious congregations – initially Dominicans and Jesuits; later Franciscans – played a key role: they carried out the religious conversion of the natives and their assimilation into Spanish culture. After Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821, Spanish institutions fell into disfavor.

We use cookies. The Jesuits established churches in marginal areas such as the harsh deserts of Sonora and the rugged Sierra Tarahumara of Chihuahua. Two weeks later, I returned to the Community of the Cross for some down time. Mission San Xavier del Bac is one of the most ambitious Spanish buildings in the United States. In many cases, the missionaries came to the native peoples, such as those in the Pueblos of New Mexico. Finally, mission Indians were expected to learn a new vocation or trade that would make them loyal and productive citizens of the State. In most cases following revolts, the missions were reestablished with a renewed respect for native values and without the encomienda and repartimiento. The Sonora province, at the time including the southern part of present-day Arizona, was settled by Jesuit Father Eusebio Francisco Kino after 1687.

The basic tools used by the Spanish for territorial settlement were three: missions, presidios and pueblos. The strategic combination of these allowed for the control of large, sparsely settled extents of territory. (Last Privacy Policy Update July 2020), Byways & Historic Trails – Great Drives in America, Soldiers and Officers in American History, Boston, Massachusetts – The Revolution Begins, Arrow Rock, Missouri & The Santa Fe Trade. Ask your question. It is still served by a Franciscan congregation, which took over the mission from the Society of Jesus after their expulsion in 1767. On the other, Junípero Serra’s religious campaign instituted a dense network of missions in which the natives were introduced into Spanish culture and religion. Religious missions were an integral part of the northern frontier of New Spain and were established over a vast area.

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