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Compare and contrast spanish, mexican and american periods in CA history - Essay Example

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The Spanish were the people that gave the region the name it is called today, it was during a Spanish exploration to the region of the…
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of Lecturer 16 October Compare and contrast Spanish, Mexican and American periods in CA history The history of California can never be complete without mentioning the influence that the Spanish, Mexicans and the Americans had on the city. The Spanish were the people that gave the region the name it is called today, it was during a Spanish exploration to the region of the New World as it was called then that, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo named the region California in 1542. Thus, the Spanish could lay claim to the region than the Mexicans and even the Americans.
The Spanish settlement actually started in the eighteenth century and since the Spanish periods, agriculture has been an integral part of the Californian economy. Thus, the Spanish period boosted the economy of California through agriculture. The Spanish periods was a time that Cattle rearing became very common amongst the people of California as this was introduced by the missions. California began to be under Mexican control in 1825. The dominance of the Mexicans of California was after their independence from Spain in 1821. Alta California, which was when the name of the region became an official territory of the Mexicans in 1825. Some influential Californians were distraught by the wealth and affluence of the Spanish missions and they sought help from the Mexicans and the newly independent Mexico helped to suppress the powers of the Spanish rule in California. Thus, the people of California were actually the ones that invited the Mexicans to come to their aid and rescue them from the hands of the Spanish missions. The Mexicans converted the mission lands in California to settlement region in 1833. The end of the Spanish rule in California saw the fading of the missions in the region and the emergence and further development of cattle ranching in the region as the lands that were seized from the missions were used for ranching and trade by the Mexicans. Thus, it could be inferred that, the Mexican period was more acceptable to the people of California than the Spanish period (Rolle 21-23).
The Mexican period ended in the 1840s and there was actually a series of bloodless strife between the indigenes of California and the Mexican authority up to the time that the Mexican rule lasted in the region. The American settlement in California actually started towards the end of the Mexican period in the region. The Americans that initially went to the region before the 1840s were adventurers, fur trappers, and sailors. In 1840, hundreds of American settlers lived in California and this increased the numbers of United States settlers during the initial stage of the American periods in the history of California. As a result of the growing influence of the American settlers, the Mexican government was hostile towards the Americans in California as the Mexicans feared that, this trend would make the United States to annex California to their country. In spite of the fact that, it was the Mexicans that reduced the numbers of the Spaniards in California, they were too weak to control the increasing number of American settlers in the region. If there is any hallmark that was recorded in the history of California, it is in the discovery of gold in the region. While the Spanish improved the economy of California through agriculture, the American period was the time that gold was discovered in the region and apart from boosting the economy of America, the gold rush in California boosted the economy of the United States of America as a nation (Rolle 45-47).
History has it that Franciscan friars from Spain entered California in 1769 and they tried to convert the Native Americans in the region to Roman Catholicism. They also used this to establish the control of the Spanish over the region and they succeeded in setting up twenty-one (21) missions along the coast of California. The Franciscan missionary in California was actually used to make the inhabitants subjects of the Spanish king as they taught the Native Americans Christianity in order to prepare them to be under Spanish ruler-ship at that time. Thus, the Spanish periods influenced the religion of the region as they played a part in making the region a Catholic dominated city. The Americans also had an influence on the religion of California as they introduced Protestantism to the region. American settlers introduced Protestantism to the region in the 1830s as the Mormons came to the region during the nineteenth century from Utah. The American period also played a part in the Protestant faith of the region as they were the ones that introduced Protestantism to the region (Rolle 50).
It was the Franciscan missionaries that founded the earliest schools in California towards the end of the eighteenth century and this was during the Spanish periods. The American periods also saw the creation of more schools in the region. Thus, the Spanish periods and the American periods also improved the education of California but little could be said about the Mexican period in this regard. The influence of the Spanish period in California is so great that Spanish remains the second most widely spoken language in the region. During the gold rush, the Northern part of California was greatly influenced by the Americans, while Southern California remained Mexican. For this reason, Northern California was influenced by the culture of the Americans, while Southern California maintained the Mexican culture (Rolle 68-71).
It should be noted that the Spanish periods was the first in the history of California followed by the Mexican periods and then the American periods. It was the Mexicans that kicked the Spanish out of California, while the Americans kicked the Mexicans out of the region. It was during the Spanish and the Mexican periods that huge grants of land were given to some whites and Hispanics that settled in the city of California. It was the Treaty of Guadalupe that made the Americans to honor these land grants.
Work Cited
Rolle, Andrew. California: A History. 5th ed. Illinois: H. Davidson, 1998. Print Read More
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