A Brief History of the Jesuit Reduction

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A Reduction is a mission town set up by Jesuit missionaries. The Jesuit Reduction started in the 16th century and was an idea of making missions for the native people of Central and South America to reduce the spread of the native population. This Reduction was started by the Spanish government the help Christianize, tax, and govern them also this made it easier for Spain to use the natives they captured as slaves to the crown. The Spanish government at this time was one of the global superpowers they had a lot of control until their lands got too cumbersome to handle. The area that was most influenced by these Reductions was modern day Paraguay in the tribe of the Tupi-Guarani (as seen in the movie “The Mission”) and later spread further south to places like Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia. The Reductions in South America were different from those elsewhere because while the native tribes were expected to convert to Christianity they were not required to adopt European customs and lifestyles. The Reductions ended up having a high degree of autonomy and became very economically successful. Reductions were subject to raids from slave traders and the Spanish helped form an Indian militia to protect the Reductions. The high autonomy level, economic success, and the danger from slave traders led to the expulsion of the Jesuits from Central and South America in 1767.
The Jesuit Reductions started in the early 17th century when priest set out to evangelize the native tribes of Central and South America. Although these practices started in the South Americas they also went north, in Mexico the policy was called congregación, and also took the form of the hospitals of Vasco de Quiroga, and the Franciscan Missions of California, and in Por...

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...al and South America they had their downfalls. Most of these downfalls had were due to the Spanish and Portuguese governments and their suspicions of a growing power in the countries occupied by the Jesuits.

Works Cited

Bakewell, P. J.. A history of Latin America: c. 1450 to the present. 2nd ed. Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell Pub., 2004. Print.
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Graham, R. B.. A vanished Arcadia: being some account of the Jesuits in Paraguay, 1607 to 1767. London: W. Heinemann, 1901. Print.
Lippy, Charles H., Robert Choquette, and Stafford Poole. Christianity comes to the Americas, 1492-1776. New York, N.Y.: Paragon House, 1992. Print.

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