Franciscan Missions To The Maya - Purpose

Purpose

Spreading Christianity to the newly discovered continent was a top priority, but only one piece of the Spanish colonization system. The influence of the Franciscans, considering that missionaries are sometimes seen as tools of imperialism, enabled other objectives to be reached, such as the extension of Spanish language, culture and political control to the New World. A goal was to change the agricultural or nomadic Indian into a model of the Spanish people and society. Basically, the aim was for urbanization. The missions achieved this by “offering gifts and persuasion…and safety from enemies." This protection was also security for the Spanish military operation, since there would be theoretically less warring if the natives were pacified, thus working with another piece of the system.

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