1821, Spain lost California to Mexico after its war of independence,
but instead of a republic, Mexico set up a monarchy with Augustin
Iturbide as Emperor.
Iturbide was executed, and Mexico adopted a Federal Constitution in 1824.
1833, General Santa Ana became President, and together with his
Vice-President, Gomez Farias, instituted the anticlerical Mexican
Secularization Act, which took all mission property away from the
Catholic Church and sold it to those who supported his government.
1834, General Santa Anna suspended Mexico's Constitution and declared
himself dictator. When several States opposed him, he crushed the
His ruthless actions precipitated the Texas War of Independence, 1836, and the Mexican-American War, 1846.
After the war, California was purchased by the United States with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.
1849, workers in California building a sawmill for John Sutter on the
south fork of the American River, discovered gold. Soon prospectors,
called "Forty-Niners," arrived.
became the 31st State on SEPTEMBER 9, 1850. Its Constitution, which
prohibits slavery, stated: "We, the People of the State of California,
grateful to Almighty God for our freedom...do establish this
California Missions, the U.S. Board of Land Commissioners wrote, as
recorded in W.W. Robinson's book, Land in California (Los Angeles:
University of California Press, 1948, p. 28):
Missions were intended...to be temporary...It was supposed that within
that period of time the Indians would be sufficiently instructed in
Christianity and the arts of civilized life."
On May 23,
1862, President Lincoln restored all 21 California missions taken by
Mexican Secularization Acts back to the Catholic Church:
grant unto the...Bishop of Monterrey...in trust for the religious
purposes...the tracts of land described in the foregoing survey."
Spanish Missions were an integral part of California's history, in
2004, Los Angeles County responded to pressure from the ACLU by removing
from its county seal a tiny cross.
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