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The California Missions

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1 The California Missions
The Spanish Missions of California


3 Who created the missions and why?
It was King Charles III of Spain's idea, actually. In the year 1768, the monarch* of Spain found himself in a difficult position. Spain had claimed a vast area of land along the western side of North America more than 200 years before. The land was rich, fertile* and near the sea; it was the perfect place to start cities and safe harbors for Spanish ships. So far, however, there had been no Spanish settlements started there. The king had heard that the Russians were interested in settling the land. If Spaniards didn't move in soon, the land would quickly fall to the Russians and be lost to Spain forever. At this time, land was money, and the Spanish monarch could not afford to lose this rich land...

4 Why missions and not hotels?
The king and queen of Spain decided to create a series of farms along the coast. Each would be a day's ride apart. That way, it would be easy to trade and sell not only goods, but information. They would be built by the sea so that they could easily supply ships that came to port* there.

5 Why missions and not hotels?
The only problem with their plans was the lack of labor. With no Spanish people in the area, there would be no one to work on the farms. They soon solved that problem, however, by turning the farms into missions. The missions would be led by Fathers who would pursue the Catholic calling of converting non-believers into Christians. Their converts, the Native Americans, would also work on the missions. This decision solved both problems for the religious Spaniards, but was just the beginning of the problems for the Native Americans.

6 Who actually built the missions?
The missions were designed by the padres, and actually built by the Native Americans they hoped to convert.

7 Who actually built the missions?
The actual labor of the missions fell to the Native Americans. Because they practiced a polytheistic religion, did not speak Spanish, had dark skin and a very different way of life, the natives were viewed as heathens; their way of life was considered inferior by the Spaniards. The Spanish made it clear that working on the missions was not optional.

8 Where were the missions located?
The locations of the missions were all very planned and very deliberate. Each mission was placed one day's ride or hard walk from its nearest neighbors. This made it easier for the Spaniards to trade and sell their food and crafts as well as to share information. They were also very careful to place all the missions near the sea so that ships would have plenty of opportunities to get fresh supplies before heading out to sea.

9 So how many are there anyway?
There were 21 Spanish Missions in California, placed such that they were a day's ride (via horseback) apart and so that they were in proximity to drinkable water, arable land, and the sea.

10 Who lived in the missions?
Padres, Native Americans, and Soldiers

11 Mission San Diego de Alcala
San Diego, California #1

12 Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo
Carmel, California #2

13 Mission San Antonio de Padua
Five miles northwest of Jolon Monterey County, California #3

14 Mission San Gabriel Arcangel
San Gabriel, California #4

15 Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
San Luis Obispo, California #5

16 Mission San Francisco de Asis (Mission Dolores)
San Francisco, California #6

17 Mission San Juan Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano, California #7

18 Mission Santa Clara de Asis
Santa Clara, California #8

19 Mission San Buenaventura
Ventura, California #9

20 Santa Barbara, California
Mission Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, California #10

21 Mission La Purisima Concepcion
Lompoc, California #11

22 Mission Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, California #12

23 Mission Soledad Soledad, California #13

24 Mission San Jose Fremont, California #14

25 Mission San Juan Bautista
San Juan Bautista, California #15

26 Mission San Miguel San Miguel, California #16

27 Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana
Mission Hills, California #17

28 San Luis Rey Oceanside, California #18

29 Mission Santa Inez Solvang, California #19

30 Mission San Rafael Arcangel
San Rafael, California #20

31 Mission Sonoma - San Francisco Solano
Sonoma, California #21

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