Unit Four: Spanish Colonial
Section Two Notes – Tension and Life
in Spanish Texas
War Between France and Spain
After years of tension, France and Spain finally
went to war in 1719 in Europe. This affected
The Chicken War
The Chicken War
• Cause - French soldiers began attacking
Spanish missions in Texas as a result of the
war going on in Europe between France and
Spain. One incident at the Spanish mission San
Miguel de Linares de los Adaes later labeled
the fight The Chicken War.
• Effect - Because the French were attacking
missions, all the missions in East Texas were
Aguayo Expedition
Marqués de San Miguel de Aguayo was the
governor of Coahuila, a state of New Spain. He
was ordered by the viceroy of New Spain to
reoccupy the missions in East Texas. They
wanted to keep the French out of Texas after
the war ended. The area, later named Los
Adaes, became the first official capital of
Spanish Texas.
Clashes on the Frontier
Not just the French threatened Spain’s hold on
Texas. The Comanche and the Apache fiercely
resisted the Spanish threat to their land and
life. Often missions were raided and the
settlers were killed or run off. Together these
groups kept Spain from controlling anything
but small areas of Texas.
Life in the Missions
Both Spanish missionaries and Native Americans
lived at the missions. It was a life of work and
worship. The people often struggled for food
and went hungry. Some missions were more
successful than others, such as in San Antonio.
The Indians there adopted the Spanish
culture, and that made them more successful.
Life at the Presidio
Missions were more likely to succeed if there was a
predido near by. Soldiers lived at the presidios.
They worked daily guarding the missions and
supervising the Native Americans as they worked.
Some brought their families to live with them.
The problem was that at many of the presidios,
they were responsible for protecting more than
one mission. The forces were spread thin, and
they could not always protect the missions from
Native American attacks.
Life at the Civil Settlements
• Civil settlements had a diverse population, with
Spaniards, American Indians, and African
• The largest settlement that grew from a mission
was San Antonio.
• The ayuntamiento was the two council, and they
enforced royal and local laws.
• The alcalde served as the mayor, sheriff, and
judge of for the town.
• The economy of the settlements was based on
farming and ranching.
Life in the Ranchos
Some settlers lived on ranchos, or ranches. Some
ranchos belonged to the missions nearby, while
others were owned by wealth land owners. These
land owners were considered the nobility of New
Spain. Vaqueros, or Spanish cowboys, lived and
worked at the ranchos. They were the model for
what we would now consider a cowboy. They
were often expert horsemen, and they created
the very first rodeos with Spanish horses and
Settlers Adapted
In order to live in Texas, Spanish settlers had to adapt to
and modify the environment that they lived in.
• They built homes and home furnishings from timber
and rocks.
• They also built dog run homes, which were built with a
breezeway for shade and to catch the breeze.
• They made clothes from deer hides and other animals.
• They dug water wells so they could have access to
water near their homes.
• They killed animals and grew crops for food.
Spanish Influences on Texas
• The Spanish helped lay out the first roads in
Texas, such as El Camino Real.
• Many names for places and natural features in
Texas are Spanish: Amarillo, Rio Grande, and
other Texas cities and landforms.
• Texas is still affected Spanish influence today
through ranching, farming, architecture, art,
food, language, and music.
• Religion – Roman Catholic
Spanish Influence Examples

Unit 4 - Section 2 Life in Spanish Texas