We explore the long-run impact of the Spanish missions on Native American outcomes in the early twentieth century. Native communities who interacted with Spanish missionaries developed into enclaves which blended Catholicism with native culture. Some survived assaults on their property rights by Mexico and the United States to persist as reservations into the twentieth century. We found that having extensive contact with missions increased the percentage of Native Americans Catholic, decreased crime rates, and increased income from agriculture and overall earnings from wages. Surprisingly, we found no impact on education.
Journal of Historical Political Economy, Volume 2, Issue 4 Special Issue: The Development of the American West: Articles Overview
See the other articles that are part of this special issue.