First Advisor

Victor C. Dahl

Term of Graduation

Fall 1993

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Spain. Ejército -- Colonial forces -- California -- History, California -- Military History



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, 93 p.)


Spanish authorities used two agencies to occupy and control California as a royal province from 1769 to 1821: the church and the army. While the story of the missions and the missionaries has been thoroughly chronicled, little attention has been focused on the men who comprised Spain's military forces. This thesis examines the experience of the royal soldier in California to determine his significance in the Golden State's Spanish colonial era. The journals, diaries, and correspondence of the soldiers, missionaries, explorers, traders, and foreign rivals who visited or occupied the province comprise a major part' of the source material. The variety of viewpoints represented by these · documents facilitated examination from several perspectives. Another valuable primary source was the Spanish frontier regulations, which provided the royal perspective on the military enterprise. Published materials based on documents in the major archival repositories such as those in Mexico, Spain, and the Bancroft Library in California were accessible through works in the Portland State University Library and the Oregon Historical Society which supplied sources pertinent to this investigation. Secondary works by historians provided both a historical background and data on specific aspects of a soldier's life. Cited periodical articles concentrated more specifically on the military experience both in California and the Spanish northern frontier.


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