Guiding Questions — Hispanic Lifeways
Presidio Forts / Hispanic Life
1. How important was the military to the missions?
2. Do historians believe the military presence was necessary for the conversion of the Indian communities?
3. What was the tenure time for priest and their military escort sent to build and develop a mission community? Did the soldiers bring their own families to a new country?
4. How were the missions affected by the location of the presidios? What was the relationship between the missions and the soldiers?
5. How would one compare life in a Spanish mission to that of the life of soldiers in a presidio?
6. In New Spain there was a distinct hierarchy between the “peninsulares,” the “criollos” and the “mestizos.” Was the same social hierarchy as evident in the California settlements or did it develop along other divisions?
7. To what extent can we see evidence of intermarriage between the various cultural groups (Spanish, Russians, African Americans and Native Americans…)?
8. Why was it a good idea to encourage marriage between the Spaniards and the Native Californians? How was it different from how the Europeans treated the Native Americans?
9. How severe were conflicts between the Hispanic settlers and the missionaries? How were disputes settled?
10. It must have been difficult for the Spanish soldiers and missionaries to overcome the many varieties of Native American language and cultural diversities. On average, how long did this take?
11. How did the mission, pueblo, and presidio all work together and what were the goals, purposes and relationships among them?