Spanish Colonial Unit Vocabulary

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Description

Vocabulary Terms

Catholicism
the faith and practice of the Catholic church
colonization
one country taking over another area to be used for their benefit
Criollo
someone of full Spanish descent
friar
member of a religious community of men living under vows to maintain a life devoted to God
Mestizo
someone of mixed Spanish and Native American heritage
mission
a type of government with elected representatives
missionary
Spanish settlements designed to convert American Indian tribes to Christianity
Peninsular
people born in Spain. They were typically at the top of the Spanish caste system
presidio
a Spanish fort or military outpost oftentimes designed to protect the missions
priest
ordained minister of a church
smallpox
a contagious disease that killed many American Indians during the establishment of Spanish missions
tejano
someone of Mexican descent who considers Texas their home

Key People

Alonso de León
selected as president of Texas’s temporary government
Antonio Margil de Jesús
wrote the Texas Declaration of Independence, which was modeled after the U.S. Declaration of Independence
Damián Massanet
Colonel of the Battle of the Alamo; ordered by Sam Houston to burn down the Alamo but decided to stay and defend it
Francisco Hidalgo
commander at Goliad; did not follow Houston’s orders to retreat; was captured by General Urrea; he and his 300 men killed
La Salle
although a Mexican-born citizen, this individual supported Texas’ right to influence Mexican law, and commanded a unit at the Battle of San Jacinto

Major Events

First Missions in Texas
In 1690, a soldier named Alonso de Leon and a priest named Damian Mazanet led a party of soldiers and priests into Texas in order to establish missions near the Caddos, in a region that was inaccessible by sea and at least 600 miles away from any other Spanish settlement. They established two missions near Nacogdoches. Mazanet wanted only a handful of soldiers to stay in the area so relations between the natives and friars weren’t undermined. The missions quickly fell apart and the Caddos forced the friars out.

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Updates

The page was updated on 05/13/2022.

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