Secularization of the California Missions


With Mexican independence from Spain came the disintegration of the government of the missions. Always intended to be some day turned over to the Indians who inhabited them, the rapid and chaotic secularization that occurred in 1834 resulted instead in the enrichment of local politicians, the displacement of the native residents, a temporary halt to religious functions, and, sometimes, the physical destruction of the missions themselves.

Source: James Hennesey, SJ, American Catholics: A History of the Roman Catholic Community in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981.