California Missions symbolize a period of oppression in its true sense to a majority of the historians in the US. However, they still stand there as reminders of the beginning of the European interaction with the country. History also reports that the Mission period was not as devastating as is depicted nowadays. In fact, the Anglo-American oppression and their attempts to conquer land through elimination of the Natives is the thing which resulted in genocide. Records also state that they were able to completely wipe out certain villages. Here is a new perspective of the entire aspect.
Why Missions are good for us?
Before Spaniards arrived in California in the year 1769, the Indians lived on what their land offered. Hunting had been the main occupation of the inhabitants therein. It is the Franciscan priests, with the establishment of California Missions who brought about diversity and an improved way of life in the region. Following is an overview of some of the Benefits the Native Indians had from the Spanish Missions in California.
1. Introduction of farming
The Missionaries from Spain were the first to start farming in California. They brought a variety of fruits including apple and fig. History informs that it is Father Junipero who started cultivation in the region. He began planting tobacco in the Mission garden. They also cultivated grapes to be used for sacramental requirements. In a few years, the cultivation became large-scale and the Missions started trading fruits and crops. However, it was only after thirty years that the Missionaries began exploiting the full monetary benefits of citrus fruits.
As you know, California Missions were established as an attempt to expand Spanish economy into America. History reports that the Missions played an important role in the economic development of the region. They are the ones who began business on a large scale; export and import among themselves and with other countries. While the Spaniards exported cattle and other animal products, they imported manufactured goods like furniture. You should also understand that every Mission was designed to be in a position to fulfil every need of its inhabitants.
The beginning of construction on a large scale should be credited to the Spanish Missions in the regions. They built homes and irrigation networks to water the farmland. They also built roads. This in turn improved communication and enhanced business opportunities.
El Camino Real (The Royal Road) which connected all the twenty-one Missions and their outposts is considered to be the longest road built during the time.
Old Mission San Luis Rey
The search for the oldest Mission building which maintains the original structure of the time would take you to Old Mission San Luis Rey. It is both a Catholic church and a great retreat center at present. The museum, the cemetery, the cooking class, the bible study and a course on Mission medication would definitely take you to the 1700’s. Welcome to the oldest among the California Missions; you would love every moment you spend here. Take care to ensure that you contact the administration before going forward with your plans in this direction.
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Explore all known facts from Missions interesting history – visit California Mission Museum at Oceanside, California and book yourself museum tour at this page .
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