Definitions for junipero serra

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  1. Serra, Junipero Serra, Miguel Jose Serra(noun)

    Spanish missionary who founded Franciscan missions in California (1713-1784)

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  1. Junípero Serra

    Junípero Serra, O.F.M., known as Fra Juníper Serra in Catalan, his mother tongue, was a Spanish Franciscan friar who founded the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco, which at the time were in Alta California of the Las Californias Province in New Spain. He began in San Diego on July 16, 1769, and established his headquarters in Monterey, California at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo. The missions were primarily designed to convert the Indians, and develop self-sufficient landed enterprises. The architectural design of the mission continues to be a major influence on California architecture. Serra not only dealt with church officials, but also with Spanish officials in Mexico City, to deal with his frequent controversies with the military officers who commanded the nearby garrisons. He brought to California the European products that eventually became central to the state's agriculture empire: oranges, lemons, olives, figs, grapes, and vegetables, as well as cattle, sheep, goats, and horses. He was not eager to see Spanish settlers move to California and therefore he made no effort to develop export crops that would have built the economy and attracted settlers. The treatment of the Indians at the missions has been controversial, for they were under tight controls, were given corporal punishment, and were not allowed to leave.


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