What Impact Did Colonization Have On Native Americans In California?

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Jeremy Whitley Profile
Jeremy Whitley answered
Comparing and contrasting the multiple views in regard to the impact that colonization had on the Native Americans in California is not a simple task. As with any opinion, one can convey the message that their feelings are justifiable. Their success, however, depends upon who the audience is under many topical circumstances. The ability for a scholar or religious supporter to adduce the positive aspects within their deliberation is often times biased. If they were not completely confident in their stance, they would not voice their beliefs to begin with.

In 1785, after Father Junipero Serra had passed away and Francisco Palou served his short stint in office, Fermin Francisco de Lasuen came into the picture. He replaced several of Serra's "unappealing" structures with magnificent edifices as an illusionary pacifier. Not long after this revamping, de Lasuen transformed each mission into a sort of polytechnic facility. Here, the Indians were trained in working fine leather, operating tile factories and carpentry shops, and producing exquisite mural paintings. This clandestine approach to "helping" them was part of a larger schema. The number of missions within California increased from nine to eighteen under this fallacious viceroy. Holding a grand populace of 20,000 Indians as hostages, more or less, it was proclaimed that this was the highest enumeration yet.

As the first non-Spanish explorer since Sir Francis Drake, de La Perouse brought to vessels to Monterey in representation of the French. The immediate impression was a positive one. It appeared as though the Spanish really cared for the well-being of the Indians and de La Perouse felt that missions were a mark of true ingenuity. However, he concluded internally, that the arduous accomplishments of these people would most likely not be interminable. Soon de La Perouse got a glimpse into how the Indians were motivated. He quickly changed his opinion of the Spanish from a group of wholesome caregivers to plantation managing slave-drivers. Those who attempted escape were hunted down by soldiers brandishing artillery. The situation at hand closely resembled the slave plantations of Santo Domingo.

Colonization had an extremely negative effect on the natives; there is no doubt about it. The benefits that are reaped now because of their behaviours are not worth the bilious efforts it took to get here. If California had been left to the Indians, we may still see it as an island or a third world country, but it would be natural and all of us would be inhabitants of another locale. There is of course justifiable reasoning on behalf of the Spanish as to why the west coast of America was so desired. I, for one, do not agree with the methodology of how it was achieved, but it is history and we should learn from the past.
Penny Kay Profile
Penny Kay answered
They were mostly wiped out. The Spanish got their before other European powers who were colonizing the East coast. Disease, Abuse, outright killing and torture. Some tribes totally wiped out, others taken captive, and worked to death. Some moved to Canada, or other states. Read "Bury my heart, at 'Wounded Knee", by D.Brown.

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