California History

California State

California History

California has an expansive history to its name and is divided into the Native American period, the European period, the Spanish Colonial period, the Mexican period and its statehood within the United States of America.

California History in the Native American Period

Present day California was inhabited by Native Americans for over 14,000 years. The total number of Native Americans who lived in present day California range from over 100,000 to 700,000 people.

European Explorations of California:

  • Francisco de Ulloa discovered the Gulf of California and travelled to Mexico proving that Baja California was a peninsula as opposed to common beliefs that it was an island. Despite his findings, many people across Europe retained their belief that Baja California was, in fact, an island. He is the first known explorer to have used the name ‘California’.
  • Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was a Portuguese sailor who was recorded to be the first man to walk the present day Californian soil. He landed on San Diego Bay on 28th September 1542. Here, he asserted Spanish rights over California. He further travelled to San Miguel and Pt. Reyes.
  • Francis Drake was an English explorer who travelled the coast of California in 1579. His actual exact landing place is still a mystery but the place he stepped on was claimed for England. Thereafter, many European maps showed Nova Albion (the name he used to denote his place of landing) to the north of Spanish settlements.
  • Sebastian Vizcaino came to the Californian coast in 1602. He travelled extensively from San Diego to Monterey Bay. He was the first known explorer to have conducted a church service on the Californian soil and sidelined Monterey as a place suitable for long time settlement.
  • Later in 1778, James Cook came to California and mapped the western coast of the state up to the Bering Strait.
  • The year of 1786 saw Jean-Francois de Galaup coming to California with an army of scientists and artists who made notes on various aspects of life in the state. They wrote in detail about the people, the mission systems, and the land.

The Spanish Colonial Period of California’s History:

  • Since 1697, the Spaniards set up missionaries in Baja California. For them, Baja California and Alta California were combined into one administrative unit with Monterey as its capital.
  • One can trace back the first European settlement in California to 1769 when Mission San Diego de Alcala was established.  During that period, 21 missions were founded along the coast of the state.

The Mexican Period in California’s History:

  • The First Mexican Empire took Alta California as its state after Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821.

Conquest of California:

  • The Mexican American war saw the invasion and seizure of California in 1846.
  • The American flag was raised in Yerba Buena, which is present day San Francisco, after the onset of the Mexican American war.
  • Robert F. Stockton, with additional men from John C. Fremont’s forces invaded Monterey in the month of July.  After official word of onset of the war was out, the combined forces of American soldiers captured California and within a few short weeks, they were able to establish hold in San Francisco, Sacramento and Sonoma.

Acquiring Statehood:

  • The US military governed California from 1847 to 1849.
  • The Compromise of 1850 allowed the inclusion of California into the United States which ensured a ban on slavery within the state.
  • There were quite a few changes with respect to the finalization of the state capital before Sacramento was allotted that position in 1854.
  • In 1879, a new constitutional convention was put in effect that helped frame a constitution for the state of California.

History of Slavery in California:

California wasn’t new to slavery and one could find records of chattel slavery and involuntary servitude rampant in the area at the time when the place was occupied by Spanish settlements.

California Information

State of California
California Official language(s) English
California Demonym Californian
California Capital Sacramento
California Largest city Los Angeles
California Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles
California Area  Ranked 3rd in the US
 - Total 163,696 sq mi
(423,970 km2)
 - Width 250 miles (400 km)
 - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)
 - % water 4.7
 - Latitude 32° 32′ N to 42° N
 - Longitude 114° 8′ W to 124° 26′ W
California Population  Ranked 1st in the US
 - Total 36,961,664 (2009 est.)
33,871,648 (2000)
- Density 234.4/sq mi  (90.49/km2)
Ranked 11th in the US
 - Median income  US$61,021 (9th)
California Elevation  
 - Highest point Mount Whitney
14,494 ft  (4,418 m)
 - Mean 2,900 ft  (884 m)
 - Lowest point Death Valley
-282 ft  (-86 m)
California Before Statehood California Republic
California Admission to Union  September 9, 1850 (31st)
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)
California Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado (R)
California Legislature State Legislature
 - Upper house State Senate
 - Lower house State Assembly
U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D)
Barbara Boxer (D)
U.S. House delegation 34 Democrats, 19 Republicans
California Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
California Abbreviations CA Calif. US-CA
California Website http://ca.gov/
California State Symbols
California Animate Insignia
California Bird(s) California Quail
California Fish Golden Trout
California Flower(s) California Poppy
California Grass Purple Needlegrass
California Insect California Dogface Butterfly
California Mammal(s) California grizzly bear (State Animal)
California Reptile Desert Tortoise
California Tree California Redwood
California Inanimate Insignia
California Beverage Wine
California Colors Blue & Gold
California Dance West Coast Swing
California Fossil Sabre-toothed cat
California Gemstone Benitoite
California Mineral Native Gold
California Rock Serpentine
California Soil San Joaquin
California Song(s) "I Love You, California"
California Tartan California State Tartan

List of Colleges and Universities in California

Federal institutions

California Graduate Institutions

  • Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey

California Other Academic Institutions

  • Defense Language Institute, Monterey

California State Institutions

California Two-year Institutions

  • California Community Colleges system

California Four-year Institutions

California State University

California Maritime Academy, (Vallejo) California State University, Fresno, (Fresno) California State University, San Marcos, (San Marcos)
California Polytechnic State University, (San Luis Obispo) California State University, Fullerton, (Fullerton) California State University, Stanislaus, (Turlock)
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, (Pomona) California State University, Long Beach, (Long Beach) Humboldt State University, (Arcata)
California State University, Bakersfield, (Bakersfield) California State University, Los Angeles, (Los Angeles) San Diego State University, (San Diego)
California State University, Channel Islands, (Camarillo) California State University, Monterey Bay, (Seaside) San Francisco State University, San Francisco
California State University, Chico, (Chico) California State University, Northridge, (Northridge) San José State University, (San Jose)
California State University, Dominguez Hills, (Carson) California State University, Sacramento, (Sacramento) Sonoma State University, (Rohnert Park)
California State University, East Bay, (Hayward) California State University, San Bernardino, (San Bernardino)

University of California

  • University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley)
  • University of California, Davis (Davis)
  • University of California, Irvine (Irvine)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles)
  • University of California, Merced (Merced)
  • University of California, Riverside (Riverside)
  • University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, San Diego)
  • University of California, San Francisco (San Francisco)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara-Goleta)
  • University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz)

California State Graduate Institutions

  • California State University, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (Moss Landing)
  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco)
  • University of California, San Francisco (San Francisco)

California Private institutions

California Private liberal Arts Colleges

  • Biola University
  • Claremont Colleges, Claremont
    • Claremont McKenna College, Claremont
    • Harvey Mudd College, Claremont
    • Pitzer College, Claremont
    • Pomona College, Claremont
    • Scripps College, Claremont
  • Imago Dei College
  • Menlo College
  • Mills College
  • Mount St. Mary's College
  • Occidental College
  • Point Loma Nazarene University
  • St. Mary's College of California
  • Thomas Aquinas College
  • Westmont College
  • Whittier College
  • Woodbury University, Burbank
  • William Jessup University, Rocklin, California

California Private Colleges and Universities

Academy of Art University, San Francisco Cogswell College, Sunnyvale Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles
Allied American University Concordia University Irvine, Irvine Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena
American Jewish University, Los Angeles Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, St. Helena Pacific Union College, Angwin
Anaheim University West Hills, Los Angeles, California Pacific Western University, San Diego
Antioch University Dominican University of California, San Rafael Patten College, Oakland
Apollos University, Huntington Beach (Online) Fresno Pacific University, Fresno Pepperdine University, Malibu
Argosy University, Alameda, California Golden Gate University, San Francisco Remington College, San Diego
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena Herguan University, Sunnyvale San Francisco Institute of Architecture, Berkeley
The Art Institute of California - San Francisco, San Francisco Holy Names University, Oakland Saint Mary's College of California, Moraga
Azusa Pacific University, Azusa Hope International University, Fullerton Samuel Merritt College, Oakland
Bethany University, Scotts Valley Hult International Business School, San Francisco San Diego Christian College, El Cajon
Biola University, La Mirada Humphreys College, Stockton San Luis Rey College, Oceanside
Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill Santa Clara University, Santa Clara
California Baptist University, Riverside John Paul the Great Catholic University, San Diego Silicon Valley University, San Jose
California Coast University, Santa Ana, California Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach Simpson University, Redding
California College of the Arts, San Francisco La Sierra University, Riverside Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo
California College San Diego (CCSD), San Diego Life Pacific College, San Dimas Southern California Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles
California Institute of the Arts, Valencia Lincoln University, Oakland Stanford University, Stanford
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena Loma Linda University, Loma Linda Trinity International University
California InterContinental University, Diamond Bar Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles Trinity Life Bible College, Sacramento
California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks Master's College, Newhall Touro University, Vallejo
California National University, Northridge Mayfield College, Palm Springs and Cathedral City TUI University, Cypress
California Pacific University, Escondido Monsbey College, Watsonville University of La Verne, La Verne
California University of Management and Technology, San Jose Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey University of Northern California, Petaluma
California University of Management and Sciences, Anaheim, California [1] National Hispanic University, San Jose University of Redlands, Redlands
California Southern University, Santa Ana (online) National University (California), San Diego University of the Pacific, Stockton
Capital Bible College, Sacramento NewSchool of Architecture and Design, San Diego University of San Diego, San Diego
Chapman University, Orange Northwestern Polytechnic University, Fremont University of San Francisco, San Francisco
CapStone University, Riverside, California/Riverside Northern Coastal College, Crescent City, California University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont University of West Los Angeles 

California Sports

Club Sport League
Oakland Raiders American football National Football League
San Diego Chargers American football National Football League
San Francisco 49ers American football National Football League
Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Major League Baseball
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Baseball Major League Baseball
Oakland Athletics Baseball Major League Baseball
San Diego Padres Baseball Major League Baseball
San Francisco Giants Baseball Major League Baseball
Golden State Warriors Basketball National Basketball Association
Los Angeles Clippers Basketball National Basketball Association
Los Angeles Lakers Basketball National Basketball Association
Sacramento Kings Basketball National Basketball Association
Anaheim Ducks Ice hockey National Hockey League
Los Angeles Kings Ice hockey National Hockey League
San Jose Sharks Ice hockey National Hockey League
Chivas USA Soccer Major League Soccer
Los Angeles Galaxy Soccer Major League Soccer
San Jose Earthquakes Soccer Major League Soccer
Los Angeles Sparks Basketball Women's National Basketball Association
Stockton Cougars Soccer Professional Arena Soccer League

California Professional Sports

  • National Football League
    • Oakland Raiders
    • San Diego Chargers
    • San Francisco 49ers
  • National Basketball Association
    • Golden State Warriors – Based in Oakland
    • Los Angeles Clippers
    • Los Angeles Lakers
    • Sacramento Kings
  • National Hockey League
    • Anaheim Ducks
    • Los Angeles Kings
    • San Jose Sharks
  • Major League Baseball
    • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – based in Anaheim
    • Los Angeles Dodgers
    • Oakland Athletics
    • San Diego Padres
    • San Francisco Giants
  • Major League Soccer
    • Chivas USA – based in Carson
    • Los Angeles Galaxy – also based in Carson
    • San Jose Earthquakes – based in Santa Clara
  • Women's National Basketball Association
    • Los Angeles Sparks
  • Women's Professional Soccer
    • FC Gold Pride (Bay Area) – based in Hayward

California Landmarks

  • Angora Lakes
  • Black Chasm Cave
  • Bubblegum Alley
  • California's Great America
  • Cannery Row
  • Carson Mansion
  • Castle Crags
  • Chutes Park
  • Cold Spring Tavern
  • Coleman National Fish Hatchery
  • Disneyland Resort
  • Fort Independence (California)
  • Fort Tejon
  • Harris Ranch
  • Heavenly Mountain Resort
  • Hollywood Sign
  • Idora Park
  • Japanese Village and Deer Park
  • Knott's Berry Farm
  • Lobero Theatre
  • Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain
  • Marine World/Africa U.S.A., California
  • Mission Inn
  • Mitchell Caverns
  • Mojave phone booth
  • Neptune Pool
  • Pacific Biological Laboratories
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Parker Dam
  • Pharaoh's Adventure Park
  • Randy's Donuts
  • Robber's Roost (Kern County, California)
  • Rubel Castle
  • San Diego Zoo
  • San Francisco Zoo
  • Santa Anita Park
  • The Donut Hole
  • USS Bennington Monument
  • Washington Park (Los Angeles)
  • Wawona Tree
  • World's tallest thermometer