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Modern America has established and continues to maintain a positive view of the California Mission System instituted by the Spaniards in the late 1700s and early 1800s This attitude has been popularized due to the United States desire to see their nation as a place of freedom free of blame originally based on Christian morality The problem lies in that history has become subjective Early historians denied the barbaric nature of the mission system releasing the Spanish Catholic Church and the eventual Anglo-Saxon conquerors of fault in regards to the decimation of the Native California Indian population In contemporary America despite revisionist history people continue to celebrate a mythical past full of positive reformation that never truly existed To understand the situation we must first examine the true nature of the history that occurred The Franciscans first arrived in California in 1769 establishing their first mission in San Diego the same year Then came San Gabriel in 1771 San Juan Capistrano in 1776 San Buenaventura in 1782 San Fernando in 1797 San Luis Rey in 1798 La Purisima Concepcion in 1787 and finally Santa Ynez in 1804 According to Carey McWilliams author of Southern California Country there were approximately 30000 Indians in Southern California when the Franciscans arrived During the reign of the mission system the Padres baptized nearly 54000 Indians converting them to Catholicism These Indians have been labeled neophytes or new converts The original intentions of the Padres were simple enough They intended to reach out to these savage peoples bringing them salvation through the Gospel of Christ They intended to purify the church and simplifying life itself This philosophy was inspired by a Dutchman Known as Epicureanism this philosophy focused directly on simplification The Franciscans saw California as a land of opportunity a chance to rid themselves of the Mexican Catholic Church and all its filth and start anew The motives of these Franciscan padres did however change The mission system became
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