Unit 4 - Section 1 Spanish Missions
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Unit Four: Spanish Colonial Section One Notes – Legacy of the Spanish Missions
Where would you build a mission?
What would you need to make it successful?
Settlement in the New World For many years, the only people that were exploring and sending people to the New World were the Spanish. But by the early 1600’s, other countries began to threaten their hold on the New World, such as France and Great Britain.
Building Missions In order to protect what they considered Northern New Spain, the Spanish sent missionaries to set up missions, or religious communities, along the borderland. Though they were built to secure Spain’s claim on the land, they were also to spread Christianity to the American Indians. They wanted the natives to live in the missions and it was appealing to many of them.
Reasons to Live at the Mission • Built by a river, so always near a good water supply • Taught the Native Americans how to grow new crops • Had dormitories, churches, workrooms, barns, fields, and gardens • Protected by presidios, or military bases, that were built nearby • Greater ability to trade with ranchos, or ranches, in the area
El Camino Real El Camino Real (which in English means “The Royal Road”), or the Old San Antonio Road, began as a simple footpath between Indian villages throughout Texas. Later, the Spanish established the expanded the road as a path from Mexico City to the East Texas missions. Once it was built, it led to the growth of more settlement in Texas. Why do you think that happened?
The Pueblo Revolt In the late 1600’s, the Spanish started building missions south of the Rio Grande and among the Pueblo Indians in present day New Mexico. Still, mission life was rough, and a drought and religious tension caused problems. The Pueblo Revolt occurred in 1680, forcing the Spanish settlers out of New Mexico and parts of west Texas.
Corpus Christi de la Ysleta In order to retake New Mexico, the Spanish began building even more missions along the Rio Grande River. Corpus Christi de la Ysleta was the first mission built in Texas in 1682. The mission was established near the Tigua people, in order to attempt to persuade them to live in the missions. Corpus Christi de la Ysleta was located outside of present-day El Paso, Texas.
French Settlements As the Spanish were establishing missions in Texas, France was also trying to claim land in the New World. Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle had already claimed the areas surrounding the Mississippi River for France. He then asked for permission to set up a fort at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Because a colony so close to Texas would anger the Spanish, King Louis agreed!
Fort St. Louis La Salle’s expedition left France in the summer of 1684. On their way to the mouth of the Mississippi River, they became lost and missed their destination. Instead they landed at Matagorda Bay in February of 1685. The people decided to build a settlement several miles inland, which they named Fort St. Louis. It took them over a year to realize that they had landed west of the Mississippi River.
Disaster at Fort St. Louis Once arriving in Texas, the people on the La Salle expedition encountered many problems. Hunger and disease killed many settlers. They were also frequently attacked by the nearby Karankawa Indians. By July of 1685, more than half the settlers were dead. La Salle decided to take a group with him as they headed to Canada for help. On the way, the men argued about how poorly things had turned out, and La Salle was killed by one of his men.
Consequences of Fort St. Louis Because the French had created a fort in what was considered Northern New Spain, the Spanish worried about the French taking even more of their land in the New World. They decided to send people to East Texas to continue to colonize and claim that land for Spain.
Father Damian Massanet Also known as Fray Damian Massanet, Father Massanet was the first missionary to convince the viceroy of New Spain that they should build missions and colonize East Texas. In 1690, Father Massanet was sent to East Texas with the viceroy Alonso de Leon and 100 soldiers to build a mission and presidio in East Texas. Many missions were created in East Texas, but many failed quickly after being founded.
Nuestro San Francisco de los Tejas Built in 1690, Nuestro San Francisco de los Tejas was the first mission built in East Texas, near present-day Crockett. This mission was led by Father Fransico Hidalgo. It was built there in an effort to spread the Christian religion to the local Caddo Indians and a nearby Hasinai tribe (which the Spanish called “Tejas”, meaning friend). After disease hit and the Spaniards learned that the Native Americans did not want to become Catholic, the mission failed and was abandoned.
Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepción This mission was built in 1716 on the Angelina River in order to communicate with the Ainais Indians in the area. Because the French attempted to build Fort St. Louis in the area, the Spanish were worried about the French soldiers attacking their mission. The mission was moved and reopened in 1731 in San Antonio. It is still there today!
San Antonio de Valero This mission was built in 1718 and is now located in present-day San Antonio. Its site was chosen because it was seen as a good halfway point for travelers between Mexico City and the missions in East Texas. The chapel of this mission is famous and now known as the Alamo.
San Antonio de Bexar San Antonio de Bexar was not a mission, but a presidio built across the river from San Antonio de Valero. Both this presidio and the mission led to the colonization of a civil settlement in the area called San Fernando de Bexar. We now call this settlement San Antonio.
Santa Cruz de San Saba This mission and presidio was built in 1757 at the request of the Lipan Apache. They told the Spanish they wanted them to build a mission in the area, and intentionally had them build it on Comanche territory. The Lipans did this in order to begin a war between the Spanish and the Comanche, who were their enemies. The mission was quickly destroyed, but the presidio lasted for a few years.
This is what is left of the presidio of Santa Cruz de San Saba.
La Bahia La Bahia, which included a presidio and a mission near Matagorda Bay, was established in 1722. It was created to settle the lands between the Rio Grande and the Nueces Rivers. The original site of the mission was at the Guadalupe River, but José de Escandón, the military commander and governor of that area, moved the mission. We now call this area Goliad, which was the site of a famous massacre during the Texas Revolution.
San Juan Bautista San Juan Bautista was built in 1700 near present-day Eagle Pass along the Rio Grande River. It was important because it was a great stopping point for explorers coming into Texas from Mexico City on their expeditions.
Antonio Margil de Jesús Antonio Margil de Jesús was a Spanish Fransican priest. He founded several missions in East Texas including Nuestra Seńora de los Dolores and San Miguel de los Adaes. After leaving due to problems in East Texas, he later founded San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo, one of the five missions that is still in San Antonio today.
San Miguel de Linares de los Adaes This mission was built in 1717 and was about 15 miles from the French settlement of Natchitoches in present-day Louisiana. It was built at a time in history when France and Spain were experiencing tension both in Europe and in the New World. Not long after a war began between France and Spain, the Spanish decided to name Los Adaes as the capital of the new province (or colonial state) of Texas. Why would they do this?
The Chicken War
The Chicken War • Cause - French soldiers began attacking Spanish missions in Texas as a result of the war going on in Europe between France and Spain. One incident at the Spanish mission San Miguel de Linares de los Adaes later labeled the fight The Chicken War. • Effect - Because the French were attacking missions, all the missions in East Texas were abandoned.
What do most of the missions have in common?
How did the geographic location of the missions help with the colonization of Texas?
What event happened in 1685 that caused the Spanish to begin to build more missions in East Texas?
What happened in 1718 that was so important to Texas history?