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Internet Lessons for Learning About Spanish Colonial North America

Spanish Colonization of New Spain: Benevolent? Malevolent? Indifferent?
Exploration led to a dramatic increase in European wealth and for the exchange of cultural ideas, the introduction of different foodstuffs, the study of flora and fauna in various parts of the world, and the intellectual expansion of knowledge.

However, as the colonies became the source of wealth for the mother countries, the lives of the indigenous population were molded to fit the desires of the conquerors. Mexico, and much of the southwestern United States) Spanish ranchers, farmers, and miners wanted easy access to free Indian labor and found ways to obtain it. Other Spaniards, especially missionaries, wanted the native populations treated with compassion, with the goal of converting them to Christianity. Bureaucrats were often caught in the middle.

Students gain a better grasp of the contradictions inherent in the colonization and missionization of New Spain. Standards 5.2.2, 5.4.5, 7.7.11 and background 8.8.2

A Bishop's Description of the Christianized Indians of Spanish Florida, 1675
This description of life in the Spanish Florida missions was written in 1675 to Queen Mariana of Spain by the bishop of Cuba, Gabriel Díaz Vara Calderón. The bishop had just returned from an arduous ten-month inspection of Florida's Franciscan missions, all of which fell under his jurisdiction. By his count, Bishop Calderón administered the rite of confirmation to 13,152 Indians. Standards 5.3.1 and 5.4.5

Welcome to the Settlement of the New World: A Brochure for Newcomers
Learn about the settlement of the colonial borderlands through the experience of the Canary Islanders in Texas. Analyze the immigrant experience of the Islanders and consider their interactions with new peoples and environments on the colonial Texas frontier. Research themes include: economic development and opportunities; the challenges of climate and geography; interactions with Native Americans and other settler groups; frontier political and social institutions; and the roles of women, soldiers, and stock herders. Produce a brochure for use by the Canary Islanders. Standards 5.4.5, 5.8.5, and 8.8.5

Pecos Pueblo: Where Cultures Meet
Examine the interactions between the people of Pecos Pueblo, a culture that was centuries old when its people were contacted, and their Spanish conquerors in the sixteenth century. Locate New Mexico, and the Spanish Southwest borderlands on a map of the United States. Describe the major cultural changes that were introduced to the region and to Pueblo Indian culture by Spanish conquest. Discuss the ways that Pueblo Indian people responded to Spanish contact and conquest and
apply this understanding to a discussion of how Hispanic people responded to American conquest in the mid nineteenth century. Standard 5.4.5 and 8.5.3

Life in Presidial California
The presidio, one of three frontier institutions upon which Spanish colonization relied, was a fortified place--a garrison. Its function was to provide military protection to a district. Soldiers were assigned to scout, eject intruders, and provide escoltas (escorts) for missionaries. The presidio also served as the heart of government and judicial activities and a communication and supply center. Enlisted men were assigned construction duties at the presidio, or to agricultural and ranching tasks on the rancho del rey (presidial farm). During off-duty hours the soldiers worked as skilled artisans or laborers as time allowed (1). After learning when and where the presidios in California were built, learn about the differing views of Father Serra and the Spanish Governor Pedro Fages on how the presidios should be run. Standards 4.2.5, 4.2.6 and 5.4.5

California Missions
On a summer day in 1769 in the Spanish territory of California, the first permanent Catholic mission was established in San Diego. By 1823 there were 21 missions stretching along the California coast from San Diego to San Francisco. The development of towns and cities in California is linked to the locations of the missions. In this lesson you will tour the missions and collect answers to questions for an information treasure hunt. Standard 4.2.3, 4.2.4, 4.2.5, and 4.2.6

How did European Colonies in North America Differ?
Look at colonial America from a geographic perspective. Locate the physical features of North America, the boundaries of lands controlled by the English, French, Spanish and Dutch, and explain how geography influenced claims and settlement. Describe the economic, political, and social factors that influenced the development of the colonies. Create a persuasive poster to bring immigrants for a specific colony. Standard 5.2.4, 5.3.1 and 5.4.5

Cortes and the Aztecs: Different Views of the World
Explore the differences between the Spanish and Aztec views of the conquest of Mexico through these six exciting activities. For example: Make your own Aztec Codex; Make Your Own Conquistador Compass; Host an Aztec News Tonight (a mock news broadcast from the Aztec perspective); Use Art to Interpret History (examples of poetry and visual art); Letter from Marcos (read about Chiapas Today to see the impact of the conquest); and Debate the Cortes Quincentennial Resolution. Requires Acrobat Reader. Standards 5.4.5 and 7.7.3

Cabeza deVaca: Human Rights and the Exploration of North America
Spanish, French, English, Dutch and Portuguese explorers came to America. Learn about Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca, where he explored and how he related to the people he found. How was Cabeza de Vaca similar to and different from other conquistadors? Which route do you think Cabeza de Vaca took? What does "meeting the other" mean to you? What basic rights do YOU think all people possess? This lesson will be enhanced through the PBS program and website "Conquistadores" http://www.pbs.org/opb/conquistadors/home.htm There are six lessons in this unit. They require Acrobat Rader to access. Standards 5.3.1, 5.3.2, and 7.7.3

Gran Quivira: A Blending of Cultures in a Pueblo Indian Village
Learn about the Puebloan Indians before, during and after Spanish contact by examining the ruins of three villages in the Salinas Basin in central New Mexico that were home to Indian people from 1000 to the 1600s. Spain established missions throughout the Salinas basin in an attempt to Christianize and bring the roughly 10,000 Indian people living there into Spanish society. The mission system did not survive long in the Salinas basin, and by the late 1670s, the inhabitants of this once thriving area were all but gone. What happened? What can we learn about the people from studying the archaeology. Standards 5.3.1, 5.3.2

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