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[*] posted on 10-14-2003 at 03:01 PM
Research Paper part 2

The Building of the Missions
The early reports on the Jesuit missions of Paraguay record the use of wood or wattle and daub as the primary building materials for the churches and other structures of the new communities. Building with wood, tapia (walls of earth compressed in a mold), or wattle and daub allowed the rapid completion of buildings, particularly larger structures such as churches. The cartas anuas record the construction of a number of churches in relatively short periods of time: at San Miguel between 1641 and 1643; San Ignacio and Santa Ana in 1644; Loreto 1645-1646; Corpus Christi and Martires in 1647-1649; San Francisco Javier in 1647; Candelaria in 1653; and at San Tome in the years 1663-1666. In the early phase buildings had thatch roofs, but the Jesuits later had burnt roof tiles added because of fires that destroyed mission buildings with thatch roofs. The first references to the use of tiles date to the 1630s and 1640s. As the threat of attack faded and the new mission communities achieved a greater level of stability, the Jesuits directed the construction of more permanent buildings with adobe walls. The first references to the use of adobe in construction date to 1644. The buildings at the second site of San Miguel, occupied from the late 1630s to 1687, reportedly were built of adobe.
In the eighteenth-century the Jesuits directed the reconstruction of many buildings of stone. Nevertheless, during this later phase of reconstruction the Jesuits did not have all buildings rebuilt of stone, and in particular the Black Robes often had housing for the Guarani populations built of less durable materials. In 1749, for example, a memorial for Loreto mandated the construction of housing for the Guarani neophytes with tile roofs to avoid the hazard of fire with thatch roofs. When the Crown ordered the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767, local officials prepared detailed inventories of the missions including the buildings. The Guarani housing at Aposteles, for example, consisted of structures of stone, tapia or adobe, and wattle and daub, but all roofed with tiles. Substantial ruins of neophytes housing does not survive at most of the missions. One exception is at Trinidad, where the remains of arcades stone housing units can been seen today.
The missionaries themselves were amateur architects at best, as acknowledged by Antonio Sepp, S.J., the founder of San Juan Bautista. Sepp noted that he did not have formal training as an architect, but did state that he had traveled around Europe and took ideas for the planning of the new mission from that experience. Nevertheless, Sepp is recognized as having been one of the more skilled missionary-architects. However, during the eighteenth-century phase of reconstruction the missionaries received helped from several Jesuit lay brothers who worked on several churches. The first was Jose Brasanelli, who was also a painter and sculpture. He worked on the churches at Itapua, San Francisco de Borja, Loreto, and Santa Ana. He may also have worked on the churches San Francisco Javier and San Ignacio Mini. The most important of the eighteenth-century architects was Juan Bautista Primoli. Before working in the missions Primoli had designed buildings in Buenos Aires and Cordoba. Primoli was responsible for the churches of San Miguel and Concepcion, and also completed the church of Trinidad along with Fr. Jose Grimau, S.J..
The Jesuits directed the construction of large and impressive churches during the eighteenth-century building phase in the missions. The church at San Miguel is a fine example of the mission architecture. Built between 1735 and 1747, the stone church had three naves. The neighboring church at San Lorenzo, also built of stone, reportedly had five naves and measured 93 x 43 varas. (77.9 x 36 meters), although the church was later remodeled to have only three naves. Details on construction at the Jesuit missions is far from complete, but documents do provide some clues to the development of mission building complexes or at least the churches. The record indicates the construction of four churches at San Juan Bautista. The first two built in 1697 and 1698 respectively were temporary structures, and a new church was built in 1708. Six years later in 1714 work began on a permanent stone church, and a bell tower was added in 1724. Church ruins exist today at four of the Trans-Uruguay River missions: San Miguel; San Juan Bautista; San Lorenzo; and San Nicolas.
There were other structures in the mission building complex in addition to the church and Indian housing. Adjoining the church there generally was two squares of buildings. The first was the cloister that contained the residence of the missionaries, their offices, and store rooms. The second consisted of workshops. Surrounding the central square of the mission community was housing for the Guarani neophytes, built as rows of long multi-apartment structures for Guarani families. A diagram of San Miguel mission prepared around 1756 (see Figure 3) shows that the housing consisted of long buildings with multiple apartments for individual families. The housing units in turn were organized into blocks subject to one of the caciques who continued to govern the families that they brought into the mission. There were public latrines located in the area of neophyte housing. The Jesuits also incorporated a dormitory called the coti-guazu into the plan of the new communities. This was a dormitory for widows, single women, and girls entering puberty, and was a form of social control designed to insure that unmarried women did not have sixxual relations with men and did not entice men into illicit sexual relations. This dormitory was similar in purpose and function to the dormitories built at some of the Baja California missions. Diagrams of several missions prepared in 1784 show the general configuration of the mission building complexes (see Figure 4).
The construction of the Baja California missions followed a similar pattern as discussed above for the Guarani missions, with the construction first of temporary buildings followed by more permanent structures. There was also, as noted above, a major campaign in thje 1750s and 1760s to build more substantial churches at the older missions in the Peninsula, including Loreto, San Francisco Xavier, Mulege, and Comondu. The record of building construction at San Jose de Comondu, established in 1708, exemplifies the development of the cascos during the Jesuit tenure on the Peninsula.
San Jose de Comondu occupied two sites. The mission remained at the first site between 1708 and 1736. Julian Mayorga, S.J., directed the construction of an adobe church and a residence built of stones set in mud. Following the relocation of the mission at the end of 1736 and upon the arrival of Francisco Javier Wagner, S.J., in the following year, construction of a new casco began. Initial construction projects at the new site included the building of an adobe church, residence for the missionaries of the same material, a storeroom, and dormitories for single women and men. Comondu was one of the few older Jesuit missions where the missionaries imposed measures of social control. Writing in a 1744 report on Comondu, missionary Sebastian de Sistiaga, S.J., noted that: ?The boys and girls are brought up separately in the main mission or town with the proper reserve, especially the girls, who are placed in charge of some upright woman of prudent judgment, although an Indian, to take care of them.?
Comondu counted a sizeable population and hence labor force in the two decades following the relocation to the new site. In 1744, the mission had a population of 513, the numbers declined to 387 in 1754, and further dropped to 350 eight years later in 1762. The population experienced decline resulting from disease, particularly smallpox. However, the Franciscans still could mobilize a large labor force for a major construction project. From about 1754 to 1760, the Jesuits directed the construction of a new stone church at Comondu as part of the campaign to build larger churches at a number of the older Peninsula missions including Loreto, San Francisco Xavier, and Mulege. Joseph de Utrera, S.J., visited Comondu in January of 1755, and reported on the progress of the new church. It was designed to have three naves and an arched ceiling, and was the only three-nave church built in the Peninsula missions. The other churches, including the stone church at San Francisco Xavier, only had single naves. He reported that the construction had already progressed on the central nave, but that the two outside naves had not advanced much.
The 1771 report on the Peninsula missions written by Francisco Palou, O.F.M., one of the Franciscans who arrived in 1768 to replace the Jesuits, noted of Comondu mission that ?It has a church, which, like part of the dwelling, is of mason work with vaulted roof and the rest of stone, and all covered with tules.? The 1773 inventory prepared to complete the transfer of the Baja California missions from the jurisdiction of the Franciscans to the Dominicans provide additional information on the stone church and the other types of structures at Comondu and several other of the missions. The inventory described the stone church with three naves church, but did not provide dimensions. The stone church at Comondu was the only three nave church in the Baja California missions.
A later report from 1793 noted the size of the church as 30 x 13 varas, or 25.1 x 10.8 meters. The inventory described the church in the following terms: ?A church with three vaulted naves and three entrances, close to them on the inside are three basins for holy water. [It] is paved with cut stone, and also has wooden grills, a vaulted choir loft in which there is an old organ and bassoon. There are three altars; the principal altar is new and gold leafed, has a sculptured image of Saint Joseph with the Child, his halo in silver, and the blossom on his staff in silver as well. There is also a sculptured image of Saint Michael [the Archangel], and seven panels depicting various saints.? There was also a spacious residence for the missionaries built of stone. The structure also contained offices. Other buildings in the mission complex included several granaries and storerooms, a forge, weaving room, tack room, and shoe shop.
The report of building construction during the Dominican period (1774-1827) is fragmentary, but a surviving report from 1796 lists the construction of a dormitory with a patio for single men, as well as nine stone houses for Indians families. The construction of Indian housing and a dormitory for single men reflected a shift in royal policy that stressed the more rapid assimilation of native peoples in the Americas, as well as greater concern for standards of decency and mortality. Neophytes were to live in European-style houses, and unmarried men and women were to be strictly segregated. This was a general initiative in the missions in Baja California. In 1793, the Dominicans noted that the church at Comondu was richly decorated with three altars, 25 paintings, and six statues. It was also the widest of the mission churches. The residence of the missionaries was described as being of stone and spacious.
Challenges to the New Colonial Order
The natives of Baja California resisted the establishment of the missions. The southern Cape region near the tip of the Peninsula was the focal point of early and recurring armed resistance, and there were major uprisings in 1734-1737 and again in the early 1740s. .The rebels in 1734 killed Jesuit missionaries Lorenzo Carranco and Nicolas Tamaral, and also ambushed the Manila galleon that stopped at San Jose del Cabo shortly after the beginning of the rebellion. Troops brought to the Peninsula from Sinaloa suppressed the uprising, The 1734-1737 rebellion resulted in many deaths, and the troops from Sinaloa rapidly spread venereal disease as they had sexual relations with native women. In the aftermath of the uprising epidemics killed hundreds of neophytes. For example, an outbreak in the fall of 1743 killed more than 500 natives at Santiago mission, and the population dropped from some 1,000 to 449 in 1744 following the epidemic. The population of San Jose del Cabo totaled 1,040 in 1733, the year before the uprising, but declined to a mere 73 in 1755. The epidemic followed on the heels of a second uprising, and the Jesuits described the contagion as God?s vengeance on the wicked neophytes.
The second serious challenge to the Peninsula missions occurred at Todos Santos in 1768 and 1769, as previously described above. Under the reforms introduced by Jose de Galvez, the neophytes only recently transferred to Todos Santos were expected to become a disciplined labor force overnight. Their response was a variety of forms of active and passive resistance, including the destruction of mission property and flight by large numbers of neophytes.
The most serious challenge to the Guarani missions came in the so-called Guarani War (1754-1756), which was a response to Spanish-Portuguese geopolitics in the region, but also reflected the level of self-government in the missions. During the early years of operation the traditional Guarani caciques governed their own clans, and the Jesuits appointed a principal cacique for each mission. The missionaries later introduced a civil government based on Iberian municipal government. Antonio Sepp, S.J., described the structure of the government in the missions in the early eighteenth-century. Sepp noted that: ?In each town one the most prestigious caciques acts as the judge or magistrate, together with other public officials who are elected annually by the council [cabildo] in a general assembly and confirmed by the Spanish governors, as is appropriate. Two judges who carry a staff assist the magistrate; moreover there are four ward bosses, six or eight block commissaries, a supervisor who maintains order between the women and makes them zealously spin and rise for the cleaning of the square and streets, four guardians for the boys and an equal number of guardians for the girls, who take them to catechism class and to work, that is a job appropriate for their strength, for example to pick cotton, chickpeas, broad beans and other dry vegetables, when harvest time arrives. Other officials are the jailer and bailiff, procurator and counter who monthly should count the horses, oxen, cattle, sheep, mules and stud animals. We also have a certain number of field guards, gardeners, tamers, etcetera, moreover four and in some towns eight nurses.. .
The government in the missions reflected the collective voice of the Guarani caciques and their peoples, and was similar to the autonomy enjoyed by the indigenous peoples living in pueblos reales of central Mexico, the Andean Highlands, and other areas of advanced sedentary indigenous culture. In this regard the Guarani missions more closely conformed to the goal of the government of using the mission as an institution to transform indigenous peoples on the fringes of the empire into sedentary and hierarchical societies. The Guarani political autonomy came at a price, however. The male heads of household paid tribute to the Crown, and Spanish officials mobilized the mission militia on numerous occasions to fight the Portuguese, hostile indigenous groups, and the Paraguayan settlers. The political system also fostered a strong sense of collective identity, and the cabildo members defended what they saw as their collective interests. This is best exemplified by the Guarani political leaders of the seven trans-Uruguay missions rejecting the royal mandate to relocate west of the Uruguay River and abandon their communities under the terms of the 1750 Treaty of Madrid. The cabildo leaders articulated a collective voice in defense of what they viewed as their common interests.
The only close parallel to the Guarni mission government on the northern frontier of Mexico was in the Franciscan missions of New Mexico, where the missionaries grafted Iberian forms of municipal government on a clan system similar to the Guarani clan system. In 1680, a massive revolt in New Mexico drove the Spanish out of the province for more than a decade. A number of factors provoked the uprising, but Franciscan efforts to root out the covert practice of traditional religion in played a significant role. Moreover, the survival of traditional structures of power within the pueblos in the New Mexico missions provided the indigenous peoples with leadership that they united behind to achieve the goal of expelling the oppressive Spanish settlers and missionaries. In the Baja California missions, on the other hand, although the missionaries introduced Iberian forms of municipal government, the indigenous leaders did not exercise any effective control.
The Guarani as a collective group did not resist Spanish colonial rule until the 1750s, and then a major uprising among the residents of the seven trans-Uruguay communities (San Miguel, Santos Angeles, San Lorenzo Martir, San Nicolas, San Juan Bautista, San Luis Gonzaga, and San Francisco de Borja) resulted from a plan to relocate the seven missions west of the Uruguay River. In 1750, Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Madrid to adjust colonial boundaries. Under the terms of the treaty the Spanish-Portuguese border was to be set at the Uruguay River. The residents of the seven missions located in what was to become Portuguese territory were to relocate to Spanish territory, or else remain under Portuguese rule. Moreover, the missions were to loose lands east of the river used for ranching and farming.
One provision in the treaty stipulated the transfer of the Portuguese outpost Colonia do Sacramento, established in 1680 in what today is Uruguay, in exchange for some 500,000 square kilometers of territory in what today is Rio Grande do Sul and northern Uruguay. The territory to be ceded included the sites of the seven missions as well as the extensive estancias of the seven missions and Yapeyu, La Cruz, and Santo Tome. The population of the seven missions was to be relocated to Spanish territory. Moreover, the Guarani neophytes were to be allowed to take their moveable property with them. If they had not moved within a year, they would become Portuguese subjects. A secret provision of the treaty stipulated that Spanish and Portuguese forces would collaborate in the expulsion of the Guarani if they resisted, and Spanish officials expected the Jesuit missionaries to convince the Guarani to relocate, and the Crown offered the Guarani leaders 28,000 pesos as compensation. The Guarani leaders of the seven mission communities rejected the plan to relocate from their homes. The members of the cabildos sent a petition to the Spanish governor in Buenos Aires that read in part:: ?Our fathers, our grandfathers, our brothers have fought under the royal standard, many times against the Portuguese, many times against the savages; who can say how many of them have fallen on the battlefields, or before the walls of the New Colony [Colonia do Sacramento] attacked many times. We ourselves can show our loyalty and valor withy our wounds?How does the Catholic King want to reward those services, expelling us from our lands, houses, fields and legitimate inheritances. We can not believe it. By the royal letters of Felipe V, read to us from the pulpit by his own orders, we were exhorted to never let the Portuguese, yours and our enemies, approach our borders?? When the appeal to the royal official failed, the Guarani rose in rebellion. Resistance occurred in two phases.
Under the terms of the treaty a joint Spanish-Portuguese commission was to delineate the new border and set-up boundary markers. On February 27, 1753, the commission arrived at Santa Tecla, a chapel located in one of the estancias of San Miguel. An armed Guarani force prevented the commission from advancing further, and it retreated back to Montevideo and Colonia do Sacramento respectively. In response to the incident at Santa Tecla, the governor of Buenos Aires led a force of some 1,500 soldiers into mission in May of 1754. The Spanish army faced poor weather and lost most of its horses. A Guarani force ambushed a group of soldiers sent to deliver a letter to the Jesuit missionary at Yapeyu, and only a few survived. In August the Spanish force withdrew, but suffered Guarani attacks. The Portuguese force sent in support of the Spanish also faced bad weather and Guarani attacks, and also withdrew. Spanish and Portuguese leaders decided to unite their forces to suppress Guarani resistance, and a joint Spanish-Portuguese army of 3,020 soldiers reached Santa Tecla in February of 1756. The Spanish-Portuguese army routed the Guarani militia at the battle of Caibate on February 10, 1756. The Spanish-Portuguese army suffered three deaths and ten wounded, compared to 1,511 Guarani killed and 154 captured. In the aftermath of the battle the Spanish-Portuguese army occupied the seven trans-Uruguay missions. The retreating Guarani abandoned San Miguel and San Luis Gonzaga, and left the principal buildings in flames. The Spanish occupied and used Santo Angel as the base of operations, and the Portuguese used San Juan Bautista. Spain and Portugal later annulled the 1750 treaty, and Spain regained control over the seven missions. The mission villages suffered physical damage, and the invading Spanish-Portuguese army slaughtered cattle from the estancias to feed themselves. Spain and Portugal went to war over the disputed Rio de la Plata borderlands in the 1760s, and only resolved the boundary disputes with the signing of the 1777 Treaty of San Ildefonso. The trans-Uruguay missions remained under Spanish control until occupied by a Portuguese militia force in 1801.
What was the cost of the Guarani War? One was damage to the buildings of several of the mission complexes, and the pillaging of the mission herds. The uprising and the presence of Spanish and Portuguese troops on mission territory disrupted the functioning of the larger mission economy. Moreover, in the immediate aftermath of the Spanish-Portuguese occupation of the missions, the Guarani population dispersed. A 1756 census of the missions enumerated only 14,284 in the seven missions, down from some 27,000 at the beginning of the war. The implementation of the 1750 treaty and the Guarani resistance had been costly to the Spanish Crown. The expeditions against the Guarani and the boundary commission totaled expenditures of 1,490,689 pesos between 1754 and 1758.
One important lesson from the Guarani uprising was the strong attachment of the indigenous peoples to the seven mission communities that were to be transferred to the jurisdiction of Portugal. The early history of the missions in the seventeenth century was characterized by instability, as the Jesuits relocated the mission communities to different locations because of the threat of attack by Portuguese slave traders and hostile indigenous groups. Moreover, the Jesuits established several new missions with populations from existing communities. Nevertheless, by the 1750s the Guarani had a strong sense of identity tied to each of the seven trans-Uruguay missions, and rose in rebellion to protect their communities. The only parallel to a strong sense of identity with a specific community on the northern fringe of New Spain was again in the case of the sedentary indigenous peoples of New Mexico, where the Franciscans grafted their missions onto existing communities.
The Demise of the Missions
The genesis of the mission as an institution on the fringes of Spanish America dated back to the sixteenth century under the Hapsburg system of governance. The political climate in the Spanish realms changed dramatically after 1700, with the ascension of a new dynasty to the Spanish throne. The new king Felipe V and his successors tinkered with the Hapsburg system for half a century, but then after Carlos lll became king the tinkering transformed into a major reform designed to strengthen royal authority in the Americas and raise new revenues. A new brand of administrators served the king, and they challenged many of the underlying assumptions that had bolstered the Hapsburg system. Enlightened ideas coupled with the drive to augment royal authority influenced many royal officials, and informed their attacks on the missions.
One action by the Spanish government radically changed the Guarani missions in 1767. In that year local officials throughout Spanish America carried out a royal order for the expulsion of the Jesuits, an organization within the Catholic Church that most conformed to the growing anticlerical sentiments shared by officials who viewed the Black Robes as being in a way outside of royal authority. The expulsion order transformed the Guarani and Baja California missions, but in different ways. Secular priests and civil administrators replaced the Jesuits in the Guarani missions, whereas Franciscan and later Dominican missionaries replaced the Jesuits in Baja California, and established new missions after 1768.
One of the immediate consequences was the looting of the accumulated property of the missions at the hands of the civil administrators placed in charge of the temporalities. This can be seen most graphically in the total decline in the number of cattle, an increasingly valuable commodity with the growth in the hide trade through Buenos Aires. The missions owned more than 700,000 head of cattle on the eve of the expulsion, but the administrators culled the herds for their own profit. In 1769, 412,169 head of cattle remained, and in 1788 243,906. However, as discussed above, the administrators of the ex-missions rebuilt the herds of some of the communities including the San Miguel herds (see Table 11).
A second consequence of the Jesuit expulsion was out-migration from the missions, and particularly the seven Trans-Uruguay missions. The exodus from the missions actually began prior to the Jesuit expulsion, but escalated following the removal of the Black Robes. The exodus was both voluntary and involuntary. The Guarani uprising of the 1750s caused a wave of out-migration from the seven missions. Following the crushing of the uprising, the Spanish relocated some 12,000 Guarani to the missions located west of the Uruguay River. In the early 1760s, only about 15,000 Guarani lived in the seven missions following the return of the mission territory to Spain following the abrogation of the Treaty of Madrid. Twice that number lived in the seven establishments in 1750. The Portuguese also relocated Guarani neophytes to Rio Grande do Sul, and settled the Guarani in several communities called aldeias, where they worked on nearby estancias. One such community called Aldeia de Anjos, counted 3,500 residents in 1762, but the numbers declined to 2,563 in 1779, 1,362 in 1784, and 300 in 1814.
Guarani neophytes also voluntarily migrated to the disputed borderland of the Banda Oriental (Uruguay), and established new communities that were independent of the Jesuits. One such community was called Las Viboras, and was first settled in 1758 following the suppression of the Guarani uprising, and about 1,500 people lived there in 1800. An analysis of 1,045 entries in the baptismal registers from Las Viboras for the years 1770-1811 provides evidence of the diverse origins of the Guarani residents of the community. The majority, 784 or seventy-five percent of the total, were children of neophytes who had once resided in the Jesuit missions. Others were from the Franciscan missions in southern Paraguay, and from other areas in the larger Rio de la Plata region. The residents of Las Viboras abandoned the community in 1846 as a result of an attack during a civil war in Uruguay.
Another important cause for the decline of the ex-missions was the physical destruction of many of the mission building complexes in the wars between Portugal, Argentina, and Paraguay over control of the borderlands of the Banda Oriental and neighboring areas in the first three decades of the nineteenth century. The seven missions suffered damages during the 1754-1756 uprising, and the buildings continued to deteriorate following the Jesuit expulsion. In 1789, for example, lightening struck and damaged the church at San Miguel. However, it appears that the housing for the Guarani deteriorated most rapidly. A 1788 report on conditions at Santo Angel Custodio mission noted that of sixty-eight rows of Guarani housing useable in 1777, only seventeen rows could be used.
In 1801, during a war between Spain and Portugal, a Portuguese militia force occupied the seven missions located east of the Uruguay River, which had been reclaimed by Spain following the Treaty of Madrid fiasco and the Guarani War. The Portuguese distributed Guarani mission lands to settlers in grants called sesmarias. The eastern missions served as a base of operations for Portuguese invasions of the region between the Uruguay and Parana Rivers during the turbulent decades of the 1810s and 1820s. Invasions occurred in 1811 and 1812, and again in 1817 and 1818. During this last invasion 3,190 people in Misiones died and another 360 were taken prisoner, and the Portuguese sacked many of the missions. Moreover, a major battle occurred in early April of 1818 at San Carlos that resulted in massive damage to the church and associated buildings. The Paraguayans also attempted to assert sovereignty over the territory between the Parana and Uruguay Rivers, and occupied and sacked the mission communities along the eastern bank of the Parana River in 1817 such as San Ignacio, Santa Ana, Loreto, and Corpus Christi, among others. There were also efforts made by local Spanish military leaders to reoccupy the territory of the seven missions lost in 1801.
The Guarani abandoned many of the missions located in the war zone, and sought refuge elsewhere or were forcibly relocated. The odyssey of a group of Guarani residents of the seven missions illustrates how refugees were caught up in the unsettled political conditions in the region. In 1828, during the last stages of the war between Argentina and Brazil over Uruguay, one Fructuoso Rivera sacked the seven missions, and took some 6,000 Guarani back to Uruguay where they established a new settlement on the Parana River called Santa Rosa de la Bella Union. The refugees remained at the site for five years, but were forced to flee following an attack on the settlement by the militia of the Colorado faction involved in civil war in the region with the Blancos. A group of 860 originally from eleven missions established a new community called San Borja del Yi, and eventually the population of the town reached some 3,500. Of the 860 who settled San Borja de Yi, 139 came from San Francisco de Borja mission. Another 350 from the other six Trans-Uruguay River missions, and 371 from Yapeyu, La Cruz, Santo Tome, and Corpus Christi. The seven missions had declined under Portuguese rule, but Rivera?s attack forced their abandonment.
The demise of the missions of Baja California was very different from the violent end of the seven Trans-Uruguay River missions.. The Jesuit expulsion did not lead to the looting of the missions as occurred in Paraguay. The government replaced the Jesuits with the Franciscans, and lat4er in 1774 the Dominicans assumed control over the Peninsula frontier, and established new missions there in the last decades of the eighteenth-century. The demise of the missions in Baja California was a result, in part, of the drastic decline of the indigenous population. . The populations of the Baja California missions were also greatly reduced in number, and totaled 2,815 in 1804.
The influence of enlightenment and later liberal ideas and the consequences of the eleven-year independence war in Mexico did have a bearing on the demise of the missions of northern Mexico. The numbers of missionaries, mostly Spaniards, declined, and hard decisions had to be made as to which missions to staff on a full-time basis. The Dominicans Baja California could no longer post permanent missionaries to all of the missions. Moreover, there was a growing anti-Spanish sentiment in Mexico in the 1820s following independence that resulted in expulsion decrees at the end of the decade. The decrees exempted Spanish-born missionaries, but it continued to be difficult to find enough missionaries to staff the missions, particularly Spanish-born missionaries who were often viewed as being potentially dangerous agents of the former colonial regime.
The growing anti-clericalism in post-independence Mexico resulted in growing criticism of the missions as colonial anachronisms that retarded the integration of the Indian into society, and liberal reformers targeted the missions for closure when they came to power in the early 1830s. The final secularization law closing the missions passed by Mexican liberals in 1833 merely affirmed the decadence of most of the missions in Baja California. The settlers were the primary beneficiaries of the distribution of land and property from the mission estates.
The Jesuits established missions on various frontiers on the fringe of Spanish America, and coped with different environments and native peoples that either practiced varying levels of agriculture or were nomadic hunters and gatherers of wild plant foods. The Black Robes found that they had to alter the basic blueprint for the mission program as they moved into environments that ranged from lust tropical rainforest to harsh deserts in ways that altered the outcomes based on the model of the indigenous communities in central Mexico and the Andean Highlands. The mission was to be a self-sustaining community of sedentary farmers, ranchers, and craftsmen who would pay tribute and provide labor for Spanish entrepreneurs and bureaucrats for government projects.
When measured against the expectations of the Spanish government for the creation of a new colonial order, the Guarani missions were successful, and emerged as self-governing stable communities. The Jesuits directed the development of extensive and productive agriculture and ranching, and actively participated in the regional economy through sales of yerba mate, cattle hides, and other goods. In contrast, the Jesuits stationed on the Baja California missions found the environment on most of the Peninsula to be too dry to develop agriculture and ranching to the point of achieving a degree of self-sufficiency, and the Jesuits relied on foods imports from the missions in Sinaloa, Sonora, and the Tarahumara region as well as donations and small amounts of funding from the Crown. The inability to feed the neophytes at the missions, particularly in the early period when the number of natives baptized was large, forced the Jesuits to allow the majority of the neophytes to reside in traditional and seasonally shifting settlements. The neophytes living away from the mission center were not under the daily supervision of the missionaries and under these conditions traditional religious practices and shamanism persisted for decades following the establishment of the missions as attested to by complaints made by individual Jesuits about hechizeros. The Jesuits stationed on the missions in the Rio de la Plata generally did not have to deal with the persistence of traditional religion and shamanism, even in large communities with thousands of natives, because the caciques, the traditional Guarani clan leaders, embraced the Jesuit mission program, and retained their power within the mission communities and through the mission cabildo.
At the same time the Jesuits in the Rio de la Plata region faced challenges that their brethrens in Baja California did not have to worry about. That is the threat of violence from arrival colonial power, Portugal. Slave raids by Paulistas stopped the expansion of the Jesuit mission frontier, and forced the Black Robes to retreat west of the Uruguay River. By 1680, and following the establishment of Colonia do Sacramento in the Banda Oriental by the Portuguese, the Jesuit moved several missions east of the Uruguay River, and established new communities. In order to achieve the stability necessary to move east of the river, the Jesuits had to organize a militia system in the missions that existed until the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767, and was employed by local royal officials in campaigns against the Portuguese over the disputed borderlands in the region. The 1750 Treaty of Madrid that was the catalyst for the Guarani uprising in the mid-1750s was an effort made by officials in Europe to establish a definitive boundary in South America, and prevent future conflict. The effort failed, and conflict continued from the 1760s through 1830.
The conflict in the larger Rio de la Plata region hastened the demise of the missions, particularly the seven Trans-Uruguay River establishments. In 1801, Portuguese colonial militiamen occupied the seven missions, and Portugal and later Brazil retained control over the mission district and incorporated the territory into Rio Grande do Sul. The drive towards independence after 1810 ignited a new round of war that resulted in the sacking of many of the missions west of the Uruguay River, and failed attempts by local military officials to reclaim the seven missions. Hundreds of Guarani abandoned the missions during the two decades of strife, and the seven missions in turn met a violent end during the incursion of Fructuoso Rivera from the Banda Oriental. The long history of conflict over control of the Rio de la Plata region resulted in the final depopulating of the seven missions.
The demise of the Baja California missions resulted primarily from the demographic collapse of the mission populations. The hunter and gatherers brought into the Peninsula missions proved to be demographically than the more robust and larger Guarani mission populations, and experienced rapid demographic collapse to the point of near cultural and biological extinction within 150 years of the establishment of the first mission in 1697. Shifts in government attitudes towards the missions by bureaucrats influenced by enlightenment and later liberal ideas lead to a growing momentum to close the missions. The liberal Spanish Cortes in 1813 decreed the secularization of the missions, but local officials in Mexico did not act on the decree. However, following Mexican independence in 1821, the missions came under increasing scrutiny. Growing anti-Spanish sentiment in Mexico coupled with the separation from Spain made it difficult for Dominican officials to staff all of the Peninsula missions, and in the 1820s many of the older missions with small populations went without missionaries. The 1833 secularization law closed a moribund mission program in Baja California.
The Jesuits implemented very similar mission programs in the two regions studied here, but had to modify the mission programs to take into account the harsh arid environment throughout most of Baja California, and the threat of violence on the Rio de la Plata region. The alteration of the basic ground rules for the mission programs significantly altered the outcomes, in some instances in ways that the Jesuits and royal officials did not anticipate and/or did not desire. Nevertheless, and as a bottom line consideration, the Jesuit mission program in the two regions did satisfy royal policy objectives.

Table 1: Demographic Statistics at Santa Gertrudis Mission, 1757-1811

Quinqueenium Estimated
Population Crude Birth Rate Crude Death
Rate Mean Life
1757-1761 1,432 42 63 9.4
1762-1766 1,642 42 63 11.5
1767-1771 1,313 52 74 10.2
1772-1776 798 43 106 2.8
1777-1781 555 52 119 1.6
1782-1786 383 40 121 1.4
1787-1791 280 40 46 20.8
1792-1796 234 41 53 20.1
1797-1801 203 41 45 25.8
1802-1806 198 44 106 5.4
1807-1811 124 44 84 8.3
Source: Robert H. Jackson, Indian Population Decline: The Missions of Northwestern New Spain, 1687-1840 (Albuquerque, 1994), 77.

Table 2: Crude Birth and Death Rates per Thousand Population in the Guarani Missions, 1691-1766
1691 60 34 1747 70 43
1694 65 40 1748 66 43
1707 65 50 1749 71 84
1708 73 47 1750 71 40
1729 68 38 1751 65 43
1732 55 48 1752 60 40
1733 41 133 1753 63 35
1736 46 72 1754 65 41
1737 47 26 1755 66 42
1738 44 172 1756 47 40
1739 38 140 1758 53 54
1740 61 61 1762 51 47
1741 77 43 1763 48 60
1742 71 55 1764 51 135
1743 76 45 1765 45 92
1744 71 43 1766 52 47
1745 70 44
1746 74 45
Source: ; Ernesto Maeder, ?Fuentes Jesuiticas de informacion demografrica misional para los siglos XVll y XVlll,? in Dora Celton, coordinator, Fuentes utiles para lose studios de la poblacion Americana: Simposio del 49o Congreso Internacional de Americanistas, Quito 1997 (Quito, 1997), 43-57.

Table 3: Population of the Seven Trans-Uruguay River Missions, 1641-1827

Year San
Miguel San Nicolas San Borja San Luis San Lorenzo San Juan Santo Angel
1641 1,860 1,803
1647 1,165 1,854
1657 2,101 3,684
1675 3,640
1676 3,830 2,921
1682 3,740 3,548
1687 3,500 3,280
1690 3,512
1694 4,592 2,888 3,933
1698 1,885 5,819 2,832
1702 2,197 4,090 3,354 4,427
1707 4,569 5,380 3,361 2,879
1718 4,194
1719 3,441
1720 3,592
1724 3,972 6,667 2,906 5,045 5,224 4,629 4,052
1729 4,710
1733 6,099 4,923
1740 4,740 2,194 3,291 2,308 1,173 2,171 5,228
1741 4,974 2,279 3,430 2,432 1,311 2,525 5,199
1749 6,695
1750 6,635 4,255 3,435 3,037 1,729 3,221 5,186
1751 6,954 3,913 4,858
1752 7,047
1756 1,035 416 1,668 3,828 4,459 3,347 2,531
1757 2,972
1762 3,275
1768 3,525 4,194 2,761 3,510 4,106 2,687
1778 3,556
1784 1.773 2,388 1,986
1794 2,334
1801 1,900 3,940 1,300 2,350 960 1,600 1,960
1814 706 1,545 1,424 1.412 434 554 320
1822 600 250 400 200 250 300 350
1827 706 404 404 446 258 212 103
Source: Ernesto Maeder, ?La poblacion de las misiones de Guaranies (1641-1682). Reubicacion de los pueblos y consecuencias demograficas,? Estudos Ibero-Americanos 15:1 (June 1989), 49-80. ,? ; Ernesto Maeder, ?Fuentes Jesuiticas de informacion demografrica misional para los siglos XVll y XVlll,? in Dora Celton, coordinator, Fuentes utiles para lose studios de la poblacion Americana: Simposio del 49o Congreso Internacional de Americanistas, Quito 1997 (Quito, 1997), 45-57; Guillermo Furlong Cardiff, S.J., Misiones y sus pueblos de Guaranies (Buenos Aires, 1962), 175-179.

Table 4: Numbers of Livestock and Grain Production (in fanegas) reported at San Ignacio Mission, 1755-1805
Year Cattle Sheep Goats Horses Wheat Corn Barley
1728 100
1729 450
1755 1150 1755 1250 100 500 500
1761 1500 1000*
1771 87 722 43 112
1773 125 558 194 127
1774 215 400 160 118 60 40
1775 234 500 192 104 65 223 30
1776 300 534 220 121 470 160
1780 420 700 300 23
1782 500 600 300 85
1784 433 226 93 600 160
1785 400 71 550 200
1786 380 400 250 82 800 200
1787 472 555 217 107 900 230
1788 360 630 190 103 600 237 15
1793 300 900 150 136 680
1794 340 800 200 121 600 34 3
1795 324 800 100 140 80 80
1796 400 895 200 79 500 10
1797 488 875 297 132 451 100
1798 480 816 230 120 800 150
1799 478 750 250 190 500 50
1800 516 642 282 190 500 20
1801 600 747* 170 400 150
1803 650 520 236 104 350 90
1805 550 300 200 65 200 40
Source: Homer Aschmann, Central Desert of Baja California: Demography and Ecology (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1959), 214-215; Joseph de Urera, S.J., ?Nuevo estado de las Missiones de esta Prov[inci]a de la Comp[ani] de Jesus de Nueva Espana,? W.B. Stephens Collection, General Libraries, University of Texas at Austin; ?Baja California Mission Statistics,? The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Table 5: Livestock and Grain Production (in fanegas) Reported at Santa Gertrudis Mission, 1755-1805
Year Cattle Sheep Goats Horses Wheat Corn Barley
1755 440 45 151 28
1771 113 140 470 142 180 20
1773 196 210 320 118 138 50
1774 169 490 169 109 85 93 15
1775 330 706* 340 20
1776 288 464 548 143 250 118
1780 280 300 470 158
1782 272 177 600 35 200 78
1784 236 223 735 55 147 32
1785 321 88 159 12
1786 236 360 400 68
1787 329 408 350 140
1788 260 61
1793 300 700 200 71 200
1794 230 800 144 95 150 11
1795 120 1060 220 86 300 60 4
1796 60 1250 236 110 280 50
1797 60 1150 300 139 160 8 10
1798 13 1146 290 70 180 14 20
1799 74 2100 600 94 150 50 40
1800 80 2220 550 60 100 14 6
1801 70 2125 635 70 150 15
1803 76 2020 543 62 60 15
1805 96 2227 402 32 35 26
*Includes goats.
Source: Homer Aschmann, Central Desert of Baja California: Demography and Ecology (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1959), 220; Joseph de Urera, S.J., ?Nuevo estado de las Missiones de esta Prov[inci]a de la Comp[ani] de Jesus de Nueva Espana,? W.B. Stephens Collection, General Libraries, University of Texas at Austin; ?Baja California Mission Statistics,? The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Table 6: Net Balance of San Lorenzo Mission in the Oficio de Misiones Office in Buenos Aires and Santa Fe, in Pesos and Reales

Year Buenos Aires
Santa Fe
Year Buenos Aires
Santa Fe
1730 2,952,8 1745 3,922,5 1,009,4
1731 -3,464,4 2,466,5 1746 -1,606,5
1732 2,026,1 1748 -3,461,1
1733 1,733,6 1750 -2,509,8
1734 2,820,2 1751 -3,478,5
1735 3,167,5 7,013,7 1752 -2,943,6
1736 6,931,1 1753 -3,265,7
1737 5,909,8 1755 -4,952,6
1738 -560,5 5,593,5 1756 -2,326,6
1739 -1,034,4 2,446,6 1757 -2,326,6
1740 4,325,6 2,422,3 1758 -2,326,6
1741 2,422,3 1759 -2,326,6
1742 14,428,4 1,668,4 1760 -2,326,6
1743 1,668,4 1761 -2,244,6
1744 9,528,3 1,596,6 1763 -3,849,2
Source: Rafael Carbonell de Masy, Estrategias de desarrollo rural en los pueblos Guaranies (1609-1767). (Barcelona, 1992), 336-343.

Table 7: : Net Balance of the Seven Trans-Uruguay River Missions in the Oficio de Misiones Office in Buenos Aires and Santa Fe, in Pesos and Reales

Year Buenos Aires
Santa Fe
Year Buenos Aires
Santa Fe
1730 10,331p 1r 1745 8,106p 1r 14,122p 1r
1731 -5,860p 7r 14,686p 7r 1746 -3,477p 1r
1732 12,705p 7r 1748 -5,667p 8r
1733 14,676p 1r 1750 -11,850p 2r
1734 18,384p 2r 1751 -14,844p 5r
1735 25,467p 5r 26,075p 1r 1752 -9,618p 8r
1736 28,091p 5r 1753 -4,626p 6r
1737 31,439p 3r 1755 -21,326p 4r
1738 2,570p 7r 23,759p 1r 1756 -15,908p 7r
1739 1,924p 2r 17,498p 4r 1757 -16,016p 4r
1740 12,763p 6r 11,916p 6r 1758 -16,060p 7r
1741 10,992p 2r 1759 -16,060p 7r
1742 22,516p 6r 18,364p 5r 1760 -16,060p 8r
1743 18,364p 5r 1761 -14,529p 2r
1744 12,763p 6r 15,601p 5r 1763 -20,892p 1r
Source: Rafael Carbonell de Masy, Estrategias de desarrollo rural en los pueblos Guaranies (1609-1767). (Barcelona, 1992), 336-343.

Table 8: Yerba Mate Production at Six Ex-Missions in 1787 and 1790, in Arrobas
Ex-Mission 1787 1790
San Juan Bautista 5,000 6,000
San Lorenzo Martir 1,000 2,104
Santo Angel Custodio 5,000
San Luis Gonzaga 6,000 5,300
SanNicolas 4,500 6,260
San Miguel 1,000
Source: Ernesto Maeder, Misiones del Paraguay: Conflictos y disolucion de la sociedad guarani (1768-1850) (Madrid, 1992), p. 163.

Table 9: Sources of Income in Six Ex-Missions in 1787, in Pesos
Ex-Mission Cattle Yerba Mate Cotton Textiles Other
San Juan 4,420 6,250 5,000 1,500
San Lorenzo 3,727 1,250 3,600 2,101 1,033
Santo Angel 4,131 6,250 4,625 2,010
San Luis 4,675 7,500 4,000 7,405
San Nicolas 7,921 5,667 564 8,484 35
San Miguel 20,300 3,750 1,500 3,750 62
Source: Ernesto Maeder, Misiones del Paraguay: Conflictos y disolucion de la sociedad guarani (1768-1850) (Madrid, 1992), p. 167.

Table 10: Livestock Reported at the Seven Trans-Uruguay River Missions in 1768
Livestock S Lorenzo S Borja S Luis S Juan S Nicolas S Miguel S Angel
Cattle 4,557 11,926 7,016 2,535 19,353 18,728 3,003
Oxen 264 1,193 1,475 2,257 1,560 1,000
Sheep 1,056 13,425 2,012 731 2,351 1,691 440
Horses 140 707 359 237 600 1,451 313
Mares 311 753 465 436 1,048 186
Mules 181 124 161 108 206 164 200
Mares for Mules

Burros 6 42 15 89 3
Source: Rafael Carbonell de Masy, Estrategias de desarrollo rural en los pueblos Guaranies (1609-1767). (Barcelona, 1992), 286-287.

Table 11: Number of Cattle (de rodeo) at Six Missions, in Selected Years
Ex-Mission 1768 1771 1783 1790 1801
San Miguel 18,533 20,000 55,584 158,869 73,817
San Luis 6,211 5,525 17,777 14,000 10,030
San Nicolas 19,296 16,446 14,680 26,866 25,150
San Juan 2,630 3,433 29,159 200
Santo Angel 2,231 6,095 14,326 20,457 200
San Lorenzo 4,560 2,312 19,049 3,000
Total 53,461 53,811 150,575 112,397
Source: Ernesto Maeder, Misiones del Paraguay: Conflictos y disolucion de la sociedad guarani (1768-1850) (Madrid, 1992), 152.

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