Students of Colonial Latin America generally credit its Indian mission systems as effective instruments of frontier defense. A study of the Spanish missions of Florida does not support this thesis. The “paper” bulwark provided by the Florida missions when challenged could represent a significant exception to the alleged importance of the defense role of the church in the Indies. Or, it could reveal that the missionaries played an ineffective part in the defense of Latin-American frontiers. Regardless, Florida’s story suggests the need for a critical re-examination of the premise that religious missions held strategic areas beyond the line of established settlements.
Matter, Robert Allen
"Missions in the Defense of Spanish Florida, 1566-1710,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 54
, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol54/iss1/4