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The Spanish arrived in California in 1769 with such a plan: it was to protect the lands along the west coast north of their colonial holdings in Mexico and the Southwest from the threatened incursions of the Russians, by establishing a series of Missions, each a day's ride from the other, and along this royal road would journey the holy fathers and their accompanying military support. Their endeavors were planned to be economically supported by the establishment of agricultural estates surrounding the Missions which would be worked by the indigenous peoples of the area acting as serfs in an essentially medieval agricultural system.

 
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