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?