Week 2: First Settlers - Assignments- Introduction to Florida History - Essay Example

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Florida was the first frontier of Europe in the North American continent, with its permanent settlement by Europeans dating back to more than four centuries. The Spanish city of St. Augustine had been established in Florida by the sixteenth century. An expedition directed by an…
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Week 2: First Settlers - Assignments- Introduction to Florida History
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Introduction to Florida History Introduction to Florida History What did the Spanish missionaries accomplish in Florida? Florida was the first frontier of Europe in the North American continent, with its permanent settlement by Europeans dating back to more than four centuries. The Spanish city of St. Augustine had been established in Florida by the sixteenth century. An expedition directed by an experienced Spanish admiral, Pedro Menendez de Aviles, became a success in the founding of St. Augustine by 1565. Through their activities, Spanish missionaries made a lot of accomplishments in Florida. One of the accomplishments made by the Spanish missionaries included the renewal of the city of St. Augustine. The missionaries from Spain introduced in the town churches, a six-bed hospital, fort, a fish market, as well as shops. The Spanish missionaries also built houses in Florida, and this contributed to the expansion of the town. The changes they brought made Florida seem like the then Capital City of the United States (Gannon, 2003).
Other accomplishments made by Spanish missionaries in Florida included the introduction of Christianity and the European culture. The missionaries from Spain spread the gospel of Christianity and introduced their beliefs and customs to the native inhabitants of Florida. The missionaries also introduced formal education in Florida, which benefitted people of the Indian race. The missionaries from Spain also benefitted the Indians through their teaching of cattle rearing, European farming, weaving, carpentry, as well as reading and writing. Another accomplishment made by the Spanish missionaries in Florida included the establishment of two military and political monuments by the end of the 17th Century; these monuments exist up to today. The first monument included Pensacola town founded in 1698 in order to guard against the incursions of the French from the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi Valley (Gannon, 2003).
The second monument that the Spanish built in Florida comprised of the fortress Castillo de San Marcos (St. Mark’s Castle), which was built in St. Augustine. The fortress played a critical role in repulsing a siege by the British. The Spanish missionaries also made an accomplishment of introducing a structure of governance in Florida. This governance structure ensured that inhabitants of Florida coexisted peacefully, and the natives had a voice in the running of affairs in their locality (Gannon, 2003).
Why do you think they did not become victim to corruption and greed like their counterparts in Mexico, Honduras, and Peru?
Unlike their counterparts in Mexico, Honduras, and Peru, the Spanish missionaries did not engage in actions of greed and corruption. This was the case because the Spanish allowed the inhabitants of Florida such as Indians to enjoy the rights and privileges similar to those given to the Spanish. For example, the Florida Indians could own land, inherit offices, chiefs could go on horseback and wear swords. Thus, the rules that protected the original inhabitants of Florida from molestation meant that the Spanish missionaries could not succumb to greed and corruption (Gannon, 2003). Moreover, the missionaries could not have engaged in acts of corruption and greed since their main purpose was the elevation of the spirits and minds of the Indians living in Florida. The mission and the aim of the Spanish missionaries included the humanitarian desire to see the indigenous people of Florida experience development.
Gannon, M. (2003). Florida: A Short History. Florida: University Press of Florida. Read More
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