The Colonization Of The Native Americans Essay

1118 Words Dec 2nd, 2014 5 Pages
In the late 17th century, Spain wanted to expand its territory and wealth, which lead to the Mission System Alta California to colonize the territory. From 1769 to 1823, Franciscan missionaries built twenty-one missions along the coast of California in territories occupied by various Indian tribes. The goal of these missions was to convert the Native Americans to Catholicism and to teach Natives the European lifestyle. While participation in the missions was voluntary, the Native Americans were not aware of the difficult journey ahead of them. The Mission System did more bad than good; it caused one of the most devastating death tolls in history and never fully completed its goal. Although the missions introduced vegetables, cattle, horses, ranching, and technology in Alta California, the consequences proved to be fatal for the natives, wiping out most of its population because of harsh labor, poor living conditions, and disease.
In the beginning, the Indians welcomed the Spanish with fascination and curiosity and were glad to have trading partners. However, assimilation proved to be a difficult and an unsuccessful process. Soldiers who forced Natives to convert to Catholicism and learn European-style agriculture, leatherworking, and textile production in schools assisted the missions. Once the Natives learned the occupations, they were expected to provide labor outside of the missions. Many Natives willingly accepted the mission lifestyle because of empty promises and…

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