California history can be seen as a history of different phases or periods. The first period was the Native American era, followed by the discovery by the European, the Spanish colonization, the Mexican era and “state era” (which is the current one). The big “events” in the 1800s was, in addition to the Gulf War and the American Civil War, the expansion of the railroad, exploitation of oil resources, and the gold rush in the middle of the century, as well as the abolition of slavery in 1849. In 1900, California became an economic and industrial power. The position has been preserved in the state in the 2000s, although the recent economic crisis now hitting hard against both economy and employment.
California is in addition to its position as an economic and industrial power (despite the current crisis), is also associated with Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the hippie movement, environmental awareness, and Arnold Schwarzenegger (who was the state’s governor from 2003 to 2011). There is also a well-known rivalry between Southern and Northern California, which has historical roots.
People have lived in current California since at least 17,000 years before Christ. The early people of the area were hunters and gatherers. Since it locally was great asset many tribes were not forced to shift to agriculture, but could continue as just hunters and gatherers.
Between 3000 and 2000 BC, a regional diversity developed through the local adaptation.
There was slavery in the region before the Europeans arrived.
The first European who “discovered” the California coast was Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who sailed for the Spanish Empire. Cabrillo was a wealthy conquistador and shipbuilders who had reached a high position in the current Guatemala, where he had many Indian workers. By sponsoring the Guatemalan Governor Pedro de Alvarado, he had been involved in establishing the first shipyard on the Pacific coast. All materials such as rope, blocks, sails, tools, nails, anchors and metal parts, and more had been ordered from Spain and sent to a port on Mexico’s east coast, and then transported overland across Mexico to the west coast where the ships would be built. About 37 years after Cabrillos trip to California, the English explorer Francis Drake did a trip to the region, and pretended then as owner of a portion of the region’s coastal area.
The Spaniards divided California into two regions, Baja California and Alta California, as the provinces of New Spain (i.e., Mexico). Baja California (Lower California) consisted of the Californian peninsula, which now belongs to Mexico, and reached up to the San Diego area, where Alta California (Upper California) took over. The eastern and northern boundaries of Alta California was unclear, since the Spaniards counted all the land in the western United States as their own, even when they have not taken physical possession of the land.
In 1821, Mexico became independent from Spain and Alta California became a state in the First Mexican Empire.
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