When Was California Founded?

The California State Capitol.
The California State Capitol.

The state of California is located on the west coast of the US and is the third largest state in the country by land area. The current population of the state of California stands at 39.6 million people making it the most populous state in the country. Sacramento is the state capital of California while Los Angeles is the largest city in the state and the largest city in the country after New York. California became the 31st state to join the Union on September 9th, 1850.

Indigenous People of California

California had been inhabited by humans for thousands of years before European arrival. Some of the Indigenous groups that were known to live in the area that is now California include the Cahuilla, the Karok, the Miwok, the Patayan, and the Yana. 

California Under The Spanish

Sebastian Vizcaino in 1602 explored the coastal areas of California and mapped the area as part of New Spain. Between 1769 and 1770, Missionaries from Spain set up 21 missions in California and at the same time several military forts were established, as well as three small towns. The mission of San Francisco grew to become the city of San Francisco, while the other two towns grew to become the city of Los Angeles and San Jose. It is believed that the epidemics such as diphtheria and measles brought by the Spanish colonists were responsible for decimating the local natives who never had the natural immunity against the diseases.

California Under Mexican Rule

The Mexican War of Independence in 1821 led to the independence of Mexico from Spain, and similarly, California became independent as well. The next 25 years California remained an independent country with a relatively remote with sparse population. The missions which controlled most of the fertile lands in the region were secularized and became the property of the government of Mexico in 1834. During this time ranches were the most important economic activity in the area.

The Republic of California

In 1846, there was a rebellion by the American settlers in California against the Mexican rule, and it was mainly in Sonoma which has been termed the Bear Flag revolt because of the flag they had used which had a Bear, a red stripe, and a star with the inscription of the words the California Republic. The president of the republic was William B. Ide who was the leader of the revolt. The Republic of California was short lived because in the same year the Mexican-American war broke out (1846-1848), which eventually culminated in the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga on January 13, 1847, which put California under the control of the US.

The Economy of California

California has the largest economy than any other state in the US, and in 2017 it was worth $3 trillion, which was higher than the combined economies of Florida and Texas. The economy of California is the world’s largest sub-national economy, and when it is ranked among other nations around the world California comes as the fifth largest which is ahead of countries such as France, UK, or India


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