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Week 8 Power of the Church

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Tami Friedman

The Power of the Church (Week 8, November 5 , 2013) Religion in the New World: The Spanish Mission System The Jesuits in New France Religion in Virginia Puritan Ideology Praying Towns Terms: Inquisition, Martyrdom, Predestination, John Eliot Spiritual Conquest: Since Columbus’initial voyages, Spain sought to bring Catholicism to natives. Various missionary groups (Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits) sought to teach Indians Christianity, Spanish language and culture in missions, which were constructed by Indian labour. (And harvest coco, not paid labour and they can’t leave). Natives were often rounded up at gun point by soldiers and removed to missions by force. (Forced relocation). Missions employed natives in agriculture and stock raising-Catholic church was the largest holder of Indian slaves. Enforcing the Mission System: Natives were subjected to harsh discipline (runaways were whipped, put in stocks or placed in solitary confinement, those who practiced traditional beliefs were publicly whipped, girls were locked into special dormitories to avoid sexual contact). Natives who resisted were subject to loss of rations, confinement, physical punishment and in rare circumstances execution. Resistance: Natives resisted in a variety of ways (mass rebellion in missions, martyring of priests, individual and collective running away, slow pace of work and destruction of tools, practice of traditional beliefs, gambling, alcohol, fornication). Missions were built near forts. Why do Indians Stay in Missions?: Introduction of livestock and agriculture changes environment and destroys traditional forms of subsistence. Introduction of European diseases (population decline of close to 95% in half of a century of mission rule). Conflict: Conflict between priests and civil authorities who simply want to exploit the labour of Indians and care little of their spirituality. Also conflict between various missionary groups over the right to establish missions in certain locales. Decline of the Missionary Impulse: 1569 Spanish inquisition comes to the colonies based upon fear of “dangerous thoughts”. Most cases heard by the tribunal were for minor offences against morality such as concubinage or for conduct such as blasphemy. Eventually Indians were exempted from the inquisition-argued they were too intellectually inferior to be held accountable for their sins. Continuity of the Missions: As the Spanish colonies spread so too did the mission system. Missions were developed in California and Texas during 18 century as Spanish civilization spread North from Mexico. th Mission system remained basis of conversion until 19 century when Spanish state was successful in diminishing role of Catholic church. French Religious Orders Recollets were first missionaries to come to New France. 1620 opened a Monastery in Quebec hoping to entice natives to become Christians (this was not successful and Seminary closed). 1632 Jesuits were given monopoly over missionary activity. Unlike the Spanish there was virtually no French military presence in New France, so they could not round up Natives by force to require them to attend Catholic services. In addition, the fur trade was based upon the cooperation and alliances with the Natives not slavery as in Spanish colonies. Tactics of the Jesuits: Jesuits learned Native languages and introduced schools and medical care to Natives who lived near Montreal and Quebec. However, unlike the Spaqnish missions, most Jesuits in New France lived among Natives
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