The California missions began in the late 18th century as an effort to convert Native Americans to Catholicism and expand European territory. Spain was responsible for the missions , which scholars believe were attempts to colonize the Pacific coast of North America.
The 21 missions that comprise California’s Historic Mission Trail are all located on or near Highway 101, which roughly traces El Camino Real (The Royal Road) named in honor of the Spanish monarchy which financed the expeditions into California in the quest for empire.
Founded by Catholic priests of the Franciscan order to evangelize the Native Americans, the missions led to the creation of the New Spain province of Alta California and were part of the expansion of the Spanish Empire into the most northern and western parts of Spanish North America.
Father Junipero Serra
San Miguel Archángel
The San Juan Capistrano City Council recently approved plans to use a portion of public land to build a cultural center honoring the area’s Native American tribe, the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation.
One bore the date of 1723, and the other that of 1767. The third bell still hangs at the San Diego Mission and bears a date of 1738. All missions at their founding were to have two bells , one presumably for devotions and the other for the day’s routine, but all missions in time had as many as eight.
1. Native Americans did not want to be converted to Catholicism. 2. The Plains tribes resented the missionaries and their intrusion on their hunting grounds.
Mission San Francisco Solano
Father Junipero Serra
First Spanish colonies Settlements in Loreto, Baja California Sur, were established in 1697, but it was not until the threat of incursion by Russian fur traders and potentially settlers, coming down from Alaska in 1765, that Spain , under King Charles III, felt development of more northern installations was necessary.
The first mission in Texas was established in 1632 near present-day San Angelo. It was a follow-up effort to an initial 1629 missionary trip to the area at the request of the Jumano Indians, which was the first journey into Texas specifically for Christian evangelization.
The Spanish Missions in Texas comprise a series of religious outposts established by Spanish Catholic Dominicans, Jesuits, and Franciscans to spread the Catholic doctrine among area Native Americans, but with the added benefit of giving Spain a toehold in the frontier land.