California History - the history of California
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   California   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   California History

   
 

California History


Prior to the arrival of Europeans, California was inhabited by many distinct groups of Native Americans.

The Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo reached San Diego Bay in 1542, and claimed the area for Spain. From 1565, Spanish traders are known to have made visits to the area, and the English explorer, Sir Francis Drake visited the region in 1579. Spain began to colonize the territory beginning in 1769, with the establishment of fortresses (presidios) and missions.

When Mexico became independent from Spain as a result of the Mexican War of Independence (1810 to 1821), the territory became part of Mexico. Following a brief revolt by US settlers (the Bear Revolt - from which California gets its flag) in 1846, California first became an independent republic, and then soon after was annexed by the United States.

In 1849, gold was discovered in the region, a huge number of immigrants arrived. California was admitted as the 31st state of the Union on September 9th, 1850. Following the establishment of transcontinental railroads and highways, migration to California continued and accelerated, a pattern that has to the present day, making the state into the most populous in the Union.

California played a relatively minor role in the American Civil War (1861 to 1865). While it is true that the state was home to some Confederate sympathizers, they were not allowed to organize and their newspapers were closed, and hence the state remained peaceful. The main involvement of California during the war, was that California Column, a force of 2,000 Union volunteers who marched across New Mexico and Arizona (at that time both part of the New Mexico Territory) into western Texas, engaged in some skirmishes with the Confederates, and spent most of the war fighting Apaches.

In the 20th century, California continued to grow both in population and economic important. When oil was discovered in southern California it was, for a time, the most important industry in the state. California also became an important center of movie-making and the entertainment industry more generally. During World War II, the state produced massive amounts of armaments for the Allied war effort. In more recent years, California became a key location in the new computer and high technology industries.


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California: A History (Modern Library Chronicles)

By Kevin Starr

Starr, Kevin
Released: 2007-03-13
Paperback (416 pages)

California: A History (Modern Library Chronicles)
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Product Description:
“A California classic . . . California, it should be remembered, was very much the wild west, having to wait until 1850 before it could force its way into statehood. so what tamed it? Mr. Starr’s answer is a combination of great men, great ideas and great projects.”—The Economist

From the age of exploration to the age of Arnold, the Golden State’s premier historian distills the entire sweep of California’s history into one splendid volume. Kevin Starr covers it all: Spain’s conquest of the native peoples of California in the early sixteenth century and the chain of missions that helped that country exert control over the upper part of the territory; the discovery of gold in January 1848; the incredible wealth of the Big Four railroad tycoons; the devastating San Francisco earthquake of 1906; the emergence of Hollywood as the world’s entertainment capital and of Silicon Valley as the center of high-tech research and development; the role of labor, both organized and migrant, in key industries from agriculture to aerospace. In a rapid-fire epic of discovery, innovation, catastrophe, and triumph, Starr gathers together everything that is most important, most fascinating, and most revealing about our greatest state.

Praise for California

“[A] fast-paced and wide-ranging history . . . [Starr] accomplishes the feat with skill, grace and verve.”Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Kevin Starr is one of california’s greatest historians, and California is an invaluable contribution to our state’s record and lore.”—MarIa ShrIver, journalist and former First Lady of California

“A breeze to read.”San Francisco

Historical Atlas of California: With Original Maps

By Derek Hayes

University of California Press
Hardcover (256 pages)

Historical Atlas of California: With Original Maps
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  • University of California Press
Product Description:
Using nearly five hundred historical maps and many other illustrations―from rough sketches drawn in the field to commercial maps to beautifully rendered works of art―this lavishly illustrated volume is the first to tell the story of California's past from a unique visual perspective. Covering five hundred years of history, it offers a compelling and informative look at the transformation of the state from before European contact through the Gold Rush and up to the present. The maps are accompanied by a concise, engaging narrative and by extended captions that elucidate the stories and personalities behind their creation. At once a valuable reference and an exhilarating adventure through history, the Historical Atlas of California, featuring many rare and unusual maps, will be a treasured addition to any library. Distilling an enormous amount of information into one volume, it presents a fascinating chronicle of how California came to be what it is today.

Copub: Douglas & McIntyre

California: A History, 8th Edition

By Andrew Rolle

Wiley-Blackwell
Released: 2014-09-05
Paperback (456 pages)

California: A History, 8th Edition
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The eighth edition of California: A History covers the entire scope of the history of the Golden State, from before first contact with Europeans through the present; an accessible and compelling narrative that comprises the stories of the many diverse peoples who have called, and currently do call, California home.

  • Explores the latest developments relating to California’s immigration, energy, environment, and transportation concerns
  • Features concise chapters and a narrative approach along with numerous maps, photographs, and new graphic features to facilitate student comprehension
  • Offers illuminating insights into the significant events and people that shaped the lengthy and complex history of a state that has become synonymous with the American dream
  • Includes discussion of recent – and uniquely Californian – social trends connecting Hollywood, social media, and Silicon Valley – and most recently "Silicon Beach"

Dreams of El Dorado: A History of the American West

By H. W. Brands

Basic Books
Released: 2019-10-22
Hardcover (544 pages)

Dreams of El Dorado: A History of the American West
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"Epic in its scale, fearless in its scope" (Hampton Sides), this balanced, authoritative, and masterfully told account of the American West from a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist sets a new standard as it sweeps from the California Gold Rush to the Texas Revolution and beyond.

In Dreams of El Dorado, H. W. Brands tells the thrilling, panoramic story of the settling of the American West. He takes us from John Jacob Astor's fur trading outpost in Oregon to the Texas Revolution, from the California gold rush to the Oklahoma land rush. He shows how the migrants' dreams drove them to feats of courage and perseverance that put their stay-at-home cousins to shame-and how those same dreams also drove them to outrageous acts of violence against indigenous peoples and one another. The West was where riches would reward the miner's persistence, the cattleman's courage, the railroad man's enterprise; but El Dorado was at least as elusive in the West as it ever was in the East.

Balanced, authoritative, and masterfully told, Dreams of El Dorado sets a new standard for histories of the American West.

The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California

By Mark Arax

Knopf
Released: 2019-05-21
Hardcover (576 pages)

The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California
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A vivid, searching journey into California's capture of water and soil--the epic story of a people's defiance of nature and the wonders, and ruin, it has wrought

"[An] exhaustive, deeply reported account . . . Few other journalists could have written a book as personal and authoritative . . . As Arax makes plain in this important book, it's been the same story in California for almost two centuries now: When it comes to water, 'the resource is finite. The greed isn't.'" --Gary Krist, The New York Times Book Review


Mark Arax is from a family of Central Valley farmers, a writer with deep ties to the land who has watched the battles over water intensify even as California lurches from drought to flood and back again. In The Dreamt Land, he travels the state to explore the one-of-a-kind distribution system, built in the 1940s, '50s and '60s, that is straining to keep up with California's relentless growth.

The Dreamt Land weaves reportage, history and memoir to confront the "Golden State" myth in riveting fashion. No other chronicler of the West has so deeply delved into the empires of agriculture that drink so much of the water. The nation's biggest farmers--the nut king, grape king and citrus queen--tell their story here for the first time.

Arax, the native son, is persistent and tough as he treks from desert to delta, mountain to valley. What he finds is hard earned, awe-inspiring, tragic and revelatory. In the end, his compassion for the land becomes an elegy to the dream that created California and now threatens to undo it.

The Great Book of California: The Crazy History of California with Amazing Random Facts & Trivia (A Trivia Nerds Guide to the History of the United States) (Volume 3)

By Bill O'Neill

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (182 pages)

The Great Book of California: The Crazy History of California with Amazing Random Facts & Trivia (A Trivia Nerds Guide to the History of the United States) (Volume 3)
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Product Description:
Are you interested in learning more about California? Sure, you've heard of Hollywood, but how much do you really know about the Golden State? Do you know how it got its nickname or what it was nicknamed first? There's so much to know about California that even people born in the state don't know it all. In this trivia book, you'll learn more about California's history, pop culture, folklore, sports, and so much more!

In The Great Book of California, you'll discover the answers to the following questions

  • Why is California called the Golden State?
  • What music genres started out in California?
  • Which celebrity sex icon's death remains a mystery?
  • Which serial killer once murdered in the state?
  • Which childhood toy started out in California?
  • Which famous fast-food chain opened its first location in the Golden State?
  • Which famous athletes are from California?
Whether you consider yourself a California state expert or you know nothing about the Golden State, you're bound to learn something new in each chapter. You'll be able to impress your college history professor or your friends during your next trivia night!

What are you waiting for? Get started to learn all there is to know about California!

1845-1870 An Untold Story of Northern California: The American Settler's First Documented Accounts of their Unwelcome Arrival

By Daniel Smith

Publication Consultants
Released: 2019-11-01
Paperback (134 pages)

1845-1870 An Untold Story of Northern California: The American Settler s First Documented Accounts of their Unwelcome Arrival
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Product Description:
1845-1870 An Untold Story of Northern California is a revisionist historical non-fiction narrative of the American settling of Northern California, and their difficult experiences with local native conflicts that arose. These hostility's have been eyeballed and extensively written about through the eyes of the indigenous locals. Modern knowledge on the true experiences of the pioneers settling of this specific area of 19th century Northern California, today, is seemingly swept under the rug. This literature serves as a window for the reader to understand the mindsets and culture of the American settlers as they homesteaded the Northern California region from 1845 to 1870. This literature includes massive amounts of information regarding unheard-of regional hostilities and depredations against the American settlers during this time-frame. 1845-1870 An Untold Story of Northern California also exposes and ties-in certain cultural. religious, and legal functions that solidified the history of what truly happened during Northern California's unstable history! A must-have for students, teachers, and history enthusiasts!

California History for Kids: Missions, Miners, and Moviemakers in the Golden State, Includes 21 Activities (For Kids series)

By Katy S. Duffield

Chicago Review Press
Paperback (144 pages)

California History for Kids: Missions, Miners, and Moviemakers in the Golden State, Includes 21 Activities (For Kids series)
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Product Description:

The story of California is the story of dreamers—explorers, gold miners, immigrants, ranchers, moviemakers, farmers, and everyday Americans who headed west for a fresh start. The first native inhabitants arrived 9,000 years ago, ancestors of the tribes who would greet the Spanish in the 1700s. Father Junípero Serra later established a chain of missions along the coast, expanding European and Mexican influence. But when gold was discovered in 1848, the rush was on, and two short years later California became a state. After the gold ran out, other rushes followed, from agriculture to industry, Hollywood to Silicon Valley.

            California History for Kids includes a time line of significant events, a list of historic sites to visit or explore online, and Web resources for further study. And to get a better idea of the scope of California history and the lives of its citizens, readers can:

* create a Chumash rock painting

* play the Miwok Hoop-and-Pole game

* bake and eat hardtack like a gold miner

* design a cattle brand

* decode a railroad cipher

* immortalize their handprints in plaster

* assemble an earthquake preparedness kit

* and more

            Author Katy Duffield tells the rich story of the men and women who, despite challenges and occasional hardships, settled and built the vibrant cities and bountiful farms, ranches, and orchards of the Golden State.

 

California: An Interpretive History

By James Rawls

McGraw-Hill Education
Paperback (576 pages)

California: An Interpretive History
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Now in its tenth edition, this best-selling text continues to provide an up-to-date survey of California history and offers original interpretations of the major challenges faced by the nation’s most populous and economically powerful state.

Highway 99: The History of California's Main Street

By Stephen H. Provost

CRAVEN STREET
Released: 2017-09-15
Paperback (270 pages)

Highway 99: The History of California s Main Street
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  • CRAVEN STREET
Product Description:
Before it was a modern freeway, California’s State Highway 99 was “the main street of California,” a simple two-lane road that passed through the downtowns of every city between the Mexican border and the Oregon state line. Highway 99: The History of California’s Main Street turns back the clock to those days when a narrow ribbon of asphalt tied the state’s communities together, with classic roadside attractions and plenty of fun along the way.

Highway 99 documents the birth, growth, and transformation of the highway; the gas stations, motels, restaurants, and attractions that flourished and declined by the roadside; and the communities, personalities, and historical events that made their mark on the highway. From the migrations of the Dust Bowl to the birth of the Bakersfield Sound to the foundation of America’s fast-food culture, the history of California has happened around Highway 99, and Highway 99: The History of California’s Main Street brilliantly depicts that history.


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