Why did Spain establish missions? And how did they gain control? What impact did this encounter have upon Native peoples, Spanish missionaries and military, the Spanish/Mexican settler population, and California’s natural environment?
Download Primary Source Set: California Missions, the Environment, and the Economy
This lesson introduces students to some of the lifeways of Native Californian communities before the arrival of newcomers (Europeans and Americans). It addresses the ways that foreign contact changed Native people’s lives during the Spanish mission period, including changes to their cultures and the impacts of disease and European plants and animals on Native populations. It also examines shifts in the California economy in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and it introduces students to the life experiences of all people in California during the colonial period (1770s to 1830s).