Golden Gate Bridge

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, the one-mile-wide (1.6 km), three-mile-long (4.8 km) channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the American city of San Francisco,California – the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula – to Marin County, carrying both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.[7]

The Frommers travel guide describes the Golden Gate Bridge as "possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world."[8] It opened in 1937 and was, until 1964, the longest suspension bridge main span in the world, at 4,200 feet (1,300 m).

 

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California Gold Rush

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
California Gold Rush
California Clipper 500.jpg
Sailing to California at the beginning of the Gold Rush
Date January 24, 1848–1855
Location Sierra Nevada and Northern California goldfields
   
Coordinates 38°48′09″N 120°53′41″W
Participants 300,000 prospectors
Outcome 49ers

The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) was a period in American history which began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California.[1] The news of gold brought—mostly by sailing ships and covered wagons—some 300,000 gold-seekers (called "forty-niners", as in "1849") to California.[2] While most of the newly arrived wereAmericans, the Gold Rush also attracted some tens of thousands from Latin AmericaEuropeAustralia, and Asia.

The effects of the Gold Rush were substantial. At first, loose gold nuggets could be picked up off the ground, and since there was no law regarding property rights in the goldfields, a system of "staking claims" was developed. In 1849, a state constitution, governorship, and legislature were established, and as part of the Compromise of 1850, California officially became a US state. Agriculture and ranching expanded throughout the state to meet the needs of the settlers. Roads and other towns were built throughout the new state, and new methods of transportation developed as steamships came into regular service. By 1869,railroads were built across the country from California to the eastern United States.

The California Gold Rush was a particularly violent period for the new settlers of the Wild West. After the initial boom had ended, explicitly anti-foreign and racist attacks, laws and confiscatory taxes sought to drive out foreigners, especially Chinese and Latin American immigrants.[3][4] The toll on internal migrants was also severe: roughly one in twelve perished due to the extraordinarily high crime rates and the resulting vigilantism.[5] While the total of gold recovered would be worth tens of billions of US dollars today, eventually the technological advances reached a point where significant financing was required in order to mine the gold, causing increasingly important mining companies to take over the industry and leading to great wealth for a few. Many of those who had had to rely on simple gathering methods, such as gold panning, returned home with only a little more than they had originally started with.

A radical decrease in the native population that had begun during the Spanish/Mexican era was exacerbated by the major American/European population influx and lawless conditions of the Gold Rush. Much of the reduction was due to disease, but some new arrivals openly advocated genocide against Native AmericansPeter Burnett, California's first governor, declared that California was a battleground between the races and that there were only two options towards California Indians, extinction or removal.[6] The State of California directly paid out $25,000 in bounties for Indian scalps with varying prices for adult male, adult female, and child sizes. It also provided the basis for the enslavement and trafficking of Native American labor, particularly that of young women and children, which was carried on as a legal business enterprise.[7] Miners, loggers, and settlers formed vigilante groups and local militias to hunt the Natives, regularly raiding villages to supply the demand.[8] The Native population of California, once perhaps as high as 705,000 in numbers, but by 1845 already down to some 150,000, further spiraled downward until by 1890 it had reached below 20,000.[9][10][11]

 
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Indigenous peoples of California

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
A map of California tribal groups and languages at the time of European contact.

The Indigenous peoples of California (known as Native Californians) are the indigenous inhabitants who have lived or currently live in the geographic area within the current boundaries of California before and after the arrival of Europeans. With over one hundred federally recognized tribes,[1] California has the largest Native American population and the most distinct tribes of any US state.[citation needed] Californian tribes are characterized by linguistic and cultural diversity.

The California cultural area does not exactly conform to the state of California's boundaries. Many tribes on the eastern border with Nevada are classified as Great Basin tribes, and some tribes on the Oregon border are classified as Plateau tribes. Tribes in Baja California who do not cross into California are classified as Indigenous peoples of Mexico.[2]

 

 

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History of California

 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The history of California can be divided into: the Native American period; European exploration period from 1542 to 1769; the Spanish colonial period, 1769 to 1821; the Mexican period, 1821 to 1848; and United States statehood, which continues to this present day.

California was settled from the North by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years. It was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. After contact with Spanish explorers, most of the Native Americans died out from European diseases.

After the Portolà expedition of 1769–70, Spanish missionaries began setting up 21 California Missions on or near the coast of Alta (Upper) California, beginning in San Diego. (Lower California has always been part of Mexico.) During the same period, Spanish military forces built several forts (presidios) and three small towns (pueblos). Two of the pueblos grew into the cities of Los Angelesand San Jose. When Mexico took over from Spain, it closed all of the missions in the 1830s. They left behind a "Californio" (Hispanic) population of several thousand families, with a few small military units. The Mexican–American War of 1846-48 brought California into the United States. The unexpected discovery of gold produced a spectacular goldrush in Northern California, attracting hundreds of thousand of ambitious young men from around the world. Only a few struck it rich, and many returned disappointed. Most appreciated the opportunities, especially in agriculture, and brought their families to join them. California became a state in 1850 and played a small role in the American Civil War. Chinese immigrants increasingly came under attack from nativists; they were forced out of mining and agriculture and into Chinatowns in the larger cities. As gold petered out, California increasingly became a highly productive agricultural society. The coming of the railroads in 1869 linked its rich economy with the rest of the nation, and attracted a steady stream of migrants. In the late 19th century, Southern California, especially Los Angeles, started to grow rapidly.

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