Spanish Conquistadors The Spanish Conquistadors who explored America found gold and silver. Mining for gold and silver became the most important money-making activity in Spain’s American colonies. To protect its gold and silver mines, the Spanish built presidos. A presido is a fort built in a buffer (land that serves as a barrier) for protection
St. Augustine The largest and most important presidio was named St. Augustine. It was located on the Atlantic coast of Florida on a bay first explored by Ponce de Leon. St. Augustine was built in 1565. It was the first permanent European settlement in America. It was founded 42 years before the English landed at Jamestown.
Building St. Augustine The Spanish were fearful of English pirates and Indian raiders. To strengthen St. Augustine, they built stone walls around the wooden fort. It took 25 years to complete. St. Augustine served as Spain’s military headquarters in North America.
Spain’s Interest in America 1.Grow the Spanish empire. 2.Expand its economy. 3.Spread the Catholic faith
Ranches and Haciendas Realizing that gold was scarce, many Spanish settlers made money by raising livestock and selling the hides and animal fats to nearby markets. Settlers often traded with the Pueblo Indians for corn, pottery, and cloth. Settlers built large haciendas or houses where they raised thousands of cattle and sheep. The settlers wanted to be self-sufficient.
Indian Tribes The settlers brought horses (long extinct) to America which changed the life of the Plains Indians. The Plains Indians learned to tame the horses and use them as transportation which helped them in hunting and warfare. The Navajos learned to raise sheep and weave the wool into colorful clothing and blankets.
Spanish Missions The first Spanish Mission was Nombre de Dios or Name of God. It was built near St. Augustine in 1565. It was the first in a chain of missions that would link the Atlantic coast to the Pacific. Father Junipero Serra, a Spanish missionary, helped build a string of 21 missions in California.
Spanish Missions When the Spanish built a mission, it included a church, ranch and farm buildings. Some missions were built near Indian villages. The Spanish would bring livestock, fruit trees, and seeds for crops. The goal was for the mission to become self-sufficient.
Relations with the Indians The Spanish and Indians learned from one another. The Indians taught the Spanish how to build adobe houses and how to use herbs as medicines. The Spanish taught the Indians how to guide a plow instead of using a stick and hoe in the Indian way.
Relations with the Indians Over time relations between the Spanish and Indians changed. Many Indians were forced to give up their religious traditions, many were forced to work against their will, and missionaries used cruel treatment to control the Indians. Some Indians fought back killing missionaries and destroying churches.
El Camino Real To protect its missions the Royal Road (El Camino Real) was built to connect missions with presidos. The first section was built in the middle 1500s and stretched for more than 600 miles. Many cities such as San Antonio, Texas and San Diego, California began as missions.