The mission communities prospered through the early years of the nineteenth century, but the deteriorated rapidly as Spain withdrew political and practical support of the outposts to concentrate on revolutionary battles within other portions of its far-flung empire. In 1813 and 1828, the extinction of the missions was decreed by Act of the Spanish Cortez. The missions were ultimately abolished in 1845.
Neglect of the missions turned to hostility with the establishment of Mexican independence. The years between 1822 and 1833 marked a continuous effort to free California’s vast mission holdings for open colonization. Year after year and with each successive revolution in Mexico, the missions were despoiled of their property through plundering. In addition, Spain hypothecated the mission property for payment of its national debt. Finally, after the successful overthrow of Spanish control by Mexico, the Mexican congress passed a bill to secularize the missions in Upper and Lower California (August 17, 1833). This bill took control of the mission property away from the friars and placed it in the hands of administrators; it also gave civil officers predominance over the priestly class. The President of the Mexican Republic thereafter issued such instructions to Governor Jose Figueroa, of California, who, in turn, on August 9,1834, issued a decree that in August 1835, ten of the missions would be converted into pueblos or towns.