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The Imperial ChurchCatholic Founding Fathers and United States Empire$
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Katherine D. Moran

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501748813

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501748813.001.0001

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Making Parallel Histories out of Spanish Missions

Making Parallel Histories out of Spanish Missions

(p.81) Chapter 3 Making Parallel Histories out of Spanish Missions
The Imperial Church

Katherine D. Moran

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the mission celebrations that developed in Southern California, among newly arrived Anglo settlers and tourists, and between the 1880s and World War I. It talks about mission writers who celebrated the Spanish Franciscans that were led by Junípero Serra and founded missions in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It also argues that the celebrations in the Midwest elevated Catholic missionaries to the status of regional and national founding fathers in ways that naturalized U.S. territorial expansion. The chapter mentions the Serra celebrations that contended with the recent history of violence in Southern California. It describes the war with Mexico and ongoing violence against Mexicans, as well as the murder and displacement of Native Americans.

Keywords:   Junípero Serra, Anglo settlers, World War I, Spanish Franciscans, Catholic missionaries, U.S. territorial expansion, Serra celebrations

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