California History

Abbreviated as CA by ABBREVIATIONFINDER, California is a federal state of the United States located on the southwest coast of the country. It has a population of 38 million residents and covers an area of ​​410,000 km². With these data, California is consolidated as the most populous state in the United States and the third largest (after Alaska and Texas).


First explorations and conquests

In 1542, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo was commissioned by Pedro de Alvarado and supported by Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco, the first viceroy of New Spain, to explore the North Pacific, the Baja California peninsula and the Gulf of California or Sea of ​​Cortez, which They had recently been discovered and explored by Francisco de Ulloa, Fernando de Alarcón, Juan de Fuca and Domingo del Castillo.. With these trips it had been shown that the Baja California peninsula was not an island, but was linked to the mainland and surrounded by water by a gulf (California) and the South Sea (Pacific Ocean).

Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo died on day 3 of January of 1543 on the island of San Miguel as a result of an arm snapped to falling into a skirmish with the natives. His remains are believed to have been buried on Santa Catalina Island, off the city of Los Angeles.

The 18 of February of 1543 the fleet headed north again under the command of Bartholomew Ferrelo. With favorable winds they reached the Mendocino Point on March 1, named in honor of Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco, first viceroy of New Spain, sponsor of the expedition. Mendocino Point is near the northern limit of California, so it is likely that the expedition crossed the limits and reached the neighboring state of Oregon.

The territory was explored by Spaniards such as Cabrillo, but shortly after the pirate and privateer Francis Drake claimed in 1579 all the lands north of Punta Loma (now Point Loma) on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Despite this claim, the California region was basically ignored by European powers for the next 200 years.

The situation changed dramatically when the Spanish friar Fray Junípero Serra founded the first Franciscan mission in the San Diego area in 1769. With the support of a small military force, the Franciscan quickly established more missions in San Carlos de Monterrey (California) and the San Francisco Bay.

At the beginning of the 1800s, Russian settlers entered the area after having claimed and obtained Alaska, the Russian presence took shape in a small fort north of San Francisco called Novo Sebastopol (New Sebastopol) which after 1820 was reintegrated to Mexico. In 1816, the Argentine privateer Hipólito Bouchard took the main ports of Alta California for a few weeks; This heralded the end of Spanish colonial rule in the region and the transfer to the new state of Mexico, however, the arrival of English and American ships heading to Vancouver and the areas of Seattle and Portland was verified in the same way more and more assiduously. respectively.

Territory of Mexico

In 1821, California became one of the three interior provinces that Mexico had north of the Rio Grande along with Texas and New Mexico, when this country gained its independence. The secular Mexican government soon put an end to the mission system and many of the settlements were abandoned, the Californian society remaining loosely cohesive.

Conquest by the United States

Mexican control over Alta California or New California (now American California) ended when a group of Americans led by Richard Henry Dana and Sutter plus Colonel Mariano Vallejo, members of the Black Bear secret society, declared independence on June 14, 1846. of the Republic of California. Almost immediately the rebels allowed its occupation by US forces at war with Mexico; even so, in Alta California there was one of the few Mexican victories (San Pascual).

The Mexican defeat in the American Intervention in Mexico snatched California along with the other Interior Provinces from this country in 1848. That same year, gold was discovered in California, more precisely in a place called Coloma within the ejido of Sutter’s Mill (Suter’s Mill), present-day Sacramento, and many people came to the new US territory to search for gold and try their luck. In a few years, the 4,000 residents that there were, had to assimilate the strong immigration.

State of the union

California officially became a state in 1850 and since then the capital was located in Sacramento, replacing Monterrey.

The start of the Civil War divided the residents of the state of California. Most of the Anglo-Saxon residents came from the American South and Midwest, areas that opposed Lincoln’s Republican policy. Nominally the state joined the war for the Union and against secession from the south. However, many Californians joined the insurgents’ cause.

Finally during the war, the federal government managed to control California and the pro-southern sentiment of many of the residents began to die down.

During the first three decades of the 20th century the local economy continued to grow by leaps and bounds. Hollywood began to be a commercial film hub at this time. Los Angeles and other cities benefited from the railroad routes. The economy took a slowdown during the Great Depression. Not even the depression could end the population growth of the state, now fueled by jobless people.

The World War II became a reason for the growth of the economy. During the conflict, citizens of Japanese origin were imprisoned as a preventive measure. The aeronautical industry took on great importance in California in this period. Naval shipyards were expanded into Long Beach, San Diego, and San Francisco.

  • CountryAAH: Offers a full list of cities and towns in California, together with postal codes for each of them, and including capital city of California.

California is the home of Disneyland, Universal Studios, and many other amusement parks. Its beaches are very followed by people who practice extreme sports. Californian culture has notably penetrated other western states of the United States, even creating a term, californization, which calls such influence.

California History