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Spanish Settlement of Texas. Which two countries claimed ownership of Texas in the late 1600’s?. Which country do you think had the better claim to owning Texas?. O nce upon a time, there was a wondrous, magical land called Texas. Louisiana: aka “Louisiana” Owned by France.

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Which two countries claimed ownership of Texas in the late 1600’s?

Which country do you think had the better claim to owning Texas?


Once upon a time, there was a wondrous, magical land called Texas.

Louisiana: aka “Louisiana”

Owned by France

Texas: aka “New Spain”

Owned by Spain

Gulf o’ Mexico

Owned by the Sharks

Mexico: aka “New Spain”

Owned by Spain


We have owned Texas for 200years and have nothing to show for it. No towns. No gold. Other countries think Texas is free for the takin’.

(make sure Senor Terry tells you his Elizabeth story)

The King of Spain had a problem...


(French fur trapper)

Why hadn’t Spain built cities in Texas?


I am a typical Spanish rancher. I would like to move to Texas and raise cattle and horses with my family. But if I do…

The King knew that if he sent people to live in Texas, then this is what might happen…


Must...have...animal hides...

Louisiana was full of French trappers hoping to cross over into Texas to hunt, settle, and trade with the Indians.

The Indians preferred the French over the Spanish.

Indians weren’t Spain’s only concern…



How could Spain fix these two problems? By building missions…

Oh no you di-ant!


What was a Spanish mission?

A Spanish mission was a settlement run by Franciscan Friars (Catholic priests).

They invited the Indians to live there.

The priests taught the Indians the Spanish language, Spanish culture, ranching, farming, and the Catholic religion.


Why did Spain build these missions in Texas?

To strengthen their control over Texas.

To keep the French out of Texas.

To teach the Indians the Spanish culture.

To make Texas safer for Spanish people to live there.

Aw, man!


Can’t invade


too many

Indians...I mean,


I love farming!

I’d much rather do this than run around naked hunting buffalo!

Who wants to hunt

and fish all day

when you can go to

school and work

for Spanish people


Stay out of Texas, you dirty Frenchmen!

If the missions succeeded, then this might be the result…

I’d rather learn Spanish than steal horses!

Hola! Me llamo Francisco!

Oh boy! Now I can take my family to live in Texas! It is much safer!


Oui oui! We will take Texas and share it with the Indians!

But if the missions failed….

Here, Mr. Indian. Have some boom-boom sticks to fight the Spanish.


Come live at our mission…You will have food…clothing…shelter. In 5-7 years you will ‘graduate’ and receive a farm of your own!






Why would an Indian go live in a Spanish mission?


A typical Spanish mission.

Acequia: man-made canal that brought water to the mission


Mission Ranch- sheep, horses, cows, pigs.

Blacksmith shop



Indian apartments

Fields- corn, squash, pumpkins, beans, cotton etc.


There are many missions still standing in Texas...However, usually only the chapels remain...The walls and other buildings are mostly gone. Why?


An acequia, which brought water to the mission from a creek or river.

The “Rose Window” at the Mission San Jose in San Antonio. This is an example of the nice architecture found at some missions.


Why did Spain need to get more control over Texas?

What did Indians learn at a Spanish mission?

Which tribes would most likely find mission life attractive?

What are some potential problems that you see with the mission idea?

If you were in charge of a mission, what is something you would do to make it a success?


What was a presidio?

A presidio was a Spanish fort.

The presidio protected the mission from enemy attack. The soldiers also taught Indians to protect the mission. Soldiers also caught runaway Indians.

(Presidios were usually too small and too far away from the mission to do their job.)


What did Indians do at a mission?


Spanish for the Texas Indian


Friar Terry


1. Farming at a Mission

Each mission grew all of its food. Priests and Indians worked in the fields to grow corn, squash, beans, and other vegetables! If the crops didn’t grow, there was a good chance the mission would not succeed!

Work faster! We must have corn for the winter! And watch out for Comanche! We are sitting ducks here!

This is strange...I’m

used to living like a nomad…not staying in the same place all of the time!


2. Mission School

boys girls

2 43


Know: Spanish

Do: Spanish

Show: Learn Spanish

The main purpose of a mission was to teach the Indians to be Spanish. Therefore, the Indians had to go to school. They learned to read and write and speak the Spanish language.


3. Mission Ranch

Each mission had a ranch. Indians raised meat to eat and sheep’s wool to make clothing and blankets.

One of the most important things that missions contributed to Texas culture were the first ranches. Spanish missions introduced ranching to Texas: Each mission had a ranch that raised cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, etc. The Indians helped raise the animals. They were the first cowboys!


4. Religion at a Spanish Mission

I teach the Indians to be Catholic. I also baptize them to wash away their sins. Sometimes I get the feeling that they don’t really understand what I am trying to teach them!

Now I am a Catholic, just like the priests! I have to memorize and recite a bunch of prayers!


Reasons that the

Mission System failed.


4. Drought and Crop Failure

Missions grew their own food! A drought could doom a mission!



Germs spread quickly at missions, causing epidemics. (Think about school- germs spread quickly here- same thing.)

Running Fox

Reason #2 Disease


#1 Reason Missions Failed: Indians Rejected Spanish Culture!

I like my old religion, language, way of life, food, house, and woo-hoo cloth better!


Big deal. The mission system was a failure. Why do we need to know about it?

1. Without missions, there would be no San Antonio.

2. Spanish missionaries named many rivers

3. The Alamo was a mission- there would have been no battle of the Alamo

4. The missions brought cattle, horses, and ranching to Texas

5. The missions failed, which meant that Spain decided to let Americans try and settle Texas.


Reason #3 Indian Attack

My friend Running Fox was the shepherd. We found him floating in the creek, murdered and scalped! Being a shepherd is dangerous! I hope they don’t make me do it!

Keep a good eye on those

sheep. The Comanche killed 5

more last night.


Starter: Fill in the mission vocabulary in your packet!

viceroy: a governor who rules over an area of land for the king

presidio: a Spanish fort that protected Spanish missions and towns

acequia: a man-made ditch that brought water from a river to a mission

catechism: a set of questions and answers about the Catholic religion that Indians living at a mission had to memorize

epidemic: a widespread disease that kills a lot of people