Guiding Questions — Mission Legacies

Culture Change and Contact / Long-term Impacts / Mission Legacies

1. Besides religious  conversion and mission building, what were some of the long lasting cultural influences that the Spanish and the missionaries brought to CA?

2. What enduring legacies and understandings can we take away from a study of the California missions? What “macro” lessons can we mine from the “micro” here?

3. Did the purpose or strategy of the missionaries change over time?

4. How did the evolution of missions and mission culture reflect the evolution and transience of borders, frontiers, and cultures?

5. How does the role of ethnocentrism factor into cultural expansion and expression?

6. Although the goal of the Spanish missions was the quick and complete acculturation of the indigenous tribes, did these tribes change or influence the Spanish missionaries culture and way of life? If so in what ways and were they permanent?

7. The history of the missions demonstrates how more powerful cultures can overwhelm longstanding established cultures by forcing acculturation and assimilation both with the Spanish missionaries goal with regards to the indigenous tribes and with the Anglo belief that California must be managed by a superior people – superior to both the Spanish and the indigenous tribes. Where in American culture and society today do we still see attitudes of superiority and as citizens how can we affect changes?

8. Examine the cultural geography of Central California and how location, or sense of place, is impacted by the history of the Spanish encounter to modern day. Who were the main Native peoples living in Central California before the arrival of the Spanish?

9. How did the concept of place change from the late 1700’s through 1820’s; and from 1848 through to the 20th century?

10. Did the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 have any effect on the California missions?

11. Did the Franciscans consider at all the implications of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680?

12. Did the various revolts against the missions change the attitudes of the church towards the native people?