Spanish Imperialism In California

1571 Words 7 Pages
Well known for her luxurious homes, breathtaking coastline, and endless parade of opportunity, California is home to creativity and ingenuity. As you approach the coast and travel down California, her majestic views welcome tourists and captures the hearts of her people. Cities scattered along her coast provide shelter to the once dominating Spanish influenced architecture and culture. From gas stations to schools to the local Trader Joes, the hint of red tiles and stucco walls litter the ever growing cities. But for some the roots of Spanish influence run deeper than the adobe walls and overly vibrant murals. Hidden behind her splendor, California holds a history far from what we now consider the American Dream. In a time where Spanish soldiers …show more content…
During the late 18th Century, Spanish colonization introduced the California Mission system. In hopes, of dominating the rich resources provided by California, Spanish soldiers and missionaries used native labor to help build their empire (Allen 69). The mission system consisted of churches within small cities or pueblos in which missionaries used as means of converting natives to the Spanish culture. Through the following decades, 21 missions would be built down the California coast housing missionaries and Californian natives (Allen 69). Now considered historical landmarks of California’s past, the Mission system has proven to be less of a haven for natives but rather a staple of oppression. While some argue that the colonization of California led to the demise of the Native American population others see the mission system as the epitome of religious and cultural expansion. Through historical accounts during the mid-18th century, light is shed on a controversial moment in California history.
Where some see vibrant colors and Spanish influenced art, others are reminded of their loss of culture and identity. For many, the California Mission system is a reminder of the injustice, oppression, and desensitization brought onto the Native American population. A place that is now adorned with crosses and scriptures was a cesspool of despair and hardship.
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The objective of history is not to persuade individuals on what is morally right or wrong but to stimulate our mind and evoke curiosity. History is a tool that allows individuals to analyze, dissect, and question the past while developing a sense of what is to come. Not only does history provide a glimpse into the past but also as a lens into the future. The California Missions is not the only example in world history where a minority has experienced injustice, oppression, and desensitization. From Columbus to Hitler, history is filled with stories of racism, sexism, and gender inequality yet the cycle continues. The fight for equality still stands as we continue to debate on who is right or wrong. Were the California Missions a success? The answer is simple; I have no idea. What I do know is that I have learned more in the last five months then I did in the entirety of my fourth grade year. In here lies the problem. Our children deserve an un-bias perspective of history. Because through history we are given the opportunity to establish an opinion and articulate the future world we wish to live in. We owe the future generations of our nation the right to know the undeniable truth of their heritage and the ability to form their own opinions. Through opinions and discussion, the door to solutions rise and the hope that we can create a better future

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