The Spanish Catholic missions of San Diego de Alcalá and Santa Bárbara and the encounters with the Chumash and Kumeyaay Native American tribes: a positive effect

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Southern New Hampshire University
The research will examine the area of Alta California among the Spanish and Native Americans at the Mission San Diego de Alcalá and Mission Santa Bárbara. The initial conclusions about this topic have been that the Spanish did come to dominate, convert people to Christianity, and gain resources to further the Spanish Kingdom. The Native Americans were influenced and changed due to the encounters with the Spanish and there was much devastation of their lands and peoples. However, not all the encounters were negative and damaging. Some positive aspects to the encounters for example were mixed marriages, living together peacefully on the mission, and education. This historical event was more than just stories of destruction of nations and the conversion of Native Americans to Catholicism. From Spain, Latin America, Mexico, and to California, Spanish history has been debated by historians on the impact of Spanish colonization of Native Americans over the years and the majority concluded that it was a negative and horrible experience. This study will open up a discussion and analyze the Spanish colonization in a different way and that is to demonstrate some positive aspects of Spanish colonial times. The ways of religion and how the interactions of individuals and groups influenced one another will be discussed as well. The methodology will be established through looking at this period of time through religious, political, economic, and cultural lenses by historians. (Author abstract)