History of California
The U.S. State of California (CA) was admitted as the 31st state of the union on September 9th, 1850. In its earliest settled years, CA was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse locations in North America. With distinct, indigenous cultures numbering more than 70, CA boasts some of America’s most affluent and valuable historical talking points. The Spanish were the first Europeans to begin exploring the territory, initially believing it to be an island, in the mid-1500s. Eventually, Spanish missionaries established 21 Missions and pueblos along the coast that grew into San Diego, San Jose, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
In the early 1800s, Mexico received its independence from Spain and retained control over CA. Twenty years later, American Naval forces invaded Monterey Bay and successfully occupied CA during the Mexican-American War. Finally, in 1847, America secured complete control of CA over Mexico. Shortly after the official annexation, miners struck gold in CA, and a massive influx of people made their way from the east coast to the west coast under the “manifest destiny” to mine for gold in what became known as the “Gold Rush.”
Benefiting the newly admitted state, even more, was the establishment of the Transcontinental Railroad. As opposed to a horse and buggy, Americans on the eastern coast could now take a train across the country and resettle in California. In addition to the gold industry, the Californian landscape was ripe for planting. Shortly after the Gold Rush ensued, California’s agriculture industry began to boom.
Currently, CA is the most populated of all fifty United States. In addition to its booming population, the nearly $3 trillion economies are the largest in the nation and globally. In fact, if CA were a country, its economy would be the fifth-largest in the world. CA has cultivated a reputation for being cutting edge in nearly every industry, from technology to the arts, from innovation and politics. In addition, CS has been a center for American pop culture since the early days of Hollywood. Aside from the metropolitan areas that line the coast from San Diego to San Francisco, the inner, eastern regions are made up of beautiful landscapes that attract people from all over the world to come and visit.
The current capital of California is the city of Sacramento. As of 2016, the United States Census Bureau estimated the population of CA to be 39,250,017. Los Angeles is CA’s most populated city, being home to nearly 4 million people. It currently stands as the second most populated city in the United States behind New York City.
Due to its geographical location, CA has built itself a unique cultural history. While it very much has its cultural roots in western American culture, its shared border with Mexico, and its original history as both a Spanish and Mexican territory, there is a strong Hispanic influence in the cultural makeup of Californians.
California currently holds the most representative seats in the United States House of Representatives, 55. It is a largely Democrat-leaning state, with their two federal Senators representing the state as Democrats. CA has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate in the Electoral College in nearly three decades.
CA Government Offices:
- Governor: Gavin Newsom
- Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis
- Attorney General: Xavier Becerra
- State Auditor
- Secretary of State: Alex Padilla
- Conservation Corp
- Natural Resources
- Office of Emergency Services
- CAL Fire