The California is the State of the United States more populated, with more than 38,4 million inhabitants in 2006. It is located on the west coast of the country. Its political capital is Sacramento but the most populated city is Los Angeles. Its population is very diverse and its dynamic and powerful economy.
Origin of the name
With origin, one indicated under the name of California territory well more vast than State of the United States current, since it was composed of the totality of the Mexican peninsula now known under the name of Baja California and of the grounds which are today in the States of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Wyoming (Alta California).
Some think that the word “California” is a derivative of the name of the mythical paradise of Calafia such as it is presented in Amadis de Gaulle, a Spanish novel of the 16th century of Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, which was in the book a ground difficult to reach where gold is in abundance, inhabited by alive Amazones in caves, and strange animals. Others suggest that the word California would have a closer connection with the first Spanish colonists which, when they entered to California by the heats areas of the south, referred to the area as being " heat like a four" (cali = hot, fornia = furnace). But the etymology can just as easily be caliente fornalia , the Spanish for “heat furnace”, or the Latin calida fornax , climate hot.
California east discovered at the 16th century by the European explorers João Rodrigues Cabrilho, in 1542, and Francis Drake in 1579 but then is already inhabited since more: 13000 years by many born tribes Amerindian, of which the Chumash, Pomo and Salinan. It is colonized by the Spanish only starting from 1765 under the impulse of Charles III. This colonization rests on three pillars: the missions, which convert the Amerindians, the presidios, who ensure the defense of the territory, and finally pueblos, where resident the colonists. They is at that time that the British and the French start to be interested in California, followed by the Russians at the beginning of the 19th century.
Following the independence of the Mexico, California becomes a Mexican State, but the United States is interested very quickly in California, so that they annex it after the américano-Mexican Guerre, in 1847. The Gold rush makes flow more: 200000 colonists in the new territory while weakening the Amerindian populations. California becomes as of 1850 the 31e State of the Union. California is combined with the northerners at the time of the American Civil War then develops quickly thanks to the railroad. The discovery of Oil, the arrival of cinema industry with Hollywood, high technology and the accessible climate make flow the new arrivals: from 1900 with 1970, California passes from 1 to 20 million inhabitants and the State is recognized in 1980 like the eighth greater economy of the world. The Pollution, the tensions racial and immigration are the principal problems which California must face, whose face deeply changed during the 20th century, and who seeks to solve the reverses of his success by taking environmental measures, for example that initiated by the governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006, the Global Warming Solution Act .
See also: Geography of California
Third greater State of the the United States, California covers 410.000 km ², that is to say 4.4% of the total surface area of the United States. It is bordered in the west by the Pacific Ocean, in north by the Oregon, in the east by the Nevada and the Arizona and in the south by the Mexican State of Low-California. It has very contrasted landscapes, with a very fertile central valley, high mountains and extreme deserts. To the extreme is, the Vallée of Dead the shows negative altitudes, up to 86 meters under the mean level of the sea. The chain of the Sierra Nevada traverses Eastern California with a meridian orientation: it is covered with forests of conifers and Séquoia S (as with the Yosemite and the Séquoia & Kings Canyon National Park). It culminates with 4.420 meters of altitude to the Mont Whitney. The climates are very varied according to the Latitude, the slope and altitude: the most arid areas are at the east and the south (Désert of Mojave); the coasts of the North-West are very sprinkled and often misty. The Californian ones concentrate on the Pacifique littoral and live with the seismic risk. Many a Earthquakes is recorded on the Faille of San Andreas. The resources of the basement are abundant and varied: one finds Or, Pétrole and Borax. The center of population of the State is located in the Comté of Kern, in the town of Buttonwillow.
See also: List of the towns of California by population, List of the urban surfaces of California, Municipalities of California
California counts many agglomerations, of which most important are those of the Grand Los Angeles and the bay of San Francisco.
Population of the 10 towns of the most populated California (2004)
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width: 20 fontsize: M textcolor: black color: skyblue shift: (20, - 6) anchor: from
from: start till: 3845.8 text: Los Angeles _ (3 845.541)
from: start till: 1263.2 text: San Diego _ (1 263.756)
from: start till: 904.5 text: San Jose _ (904 522)
from: start till: 744.2 text: San Francisco _ (744 230)
from: start till: 476.5 text: Long Beach _ (476 564)
from: start till: 457.7 text: Fresno _ (457 719)
from: start till: 454.3 text: Sacramento _ (454 330)
from: start till: 397.9 text: Oakland _ (397 976)
from: start till: 342.7 text: Santa Anna _ (342 715)
from: start till: 333.7 text: Anaheim _ (333 776)
fontsize: S pos: (450,20)
text: Many inhabitants (in thousands)
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from: start till: 3845.8 text: Los Angeles _ (3 845.541) from: start till: 1263.2 text: San Diego _ (1 263.756) from: start till: 904.5 text: San Jose _ (904 522) from: start till: 744.2 text: San Francisco _ (744 230) from: start till: 476.5 text: Long Beach _ (476 564) from: start till: 457.7 text: Fresno _ (457 719) from: start till: 454.3 text: Sacramento _ (454 330) from: start till: 397.9 text: Oakland _ (397 976) from: start till: 342.7 text: Santa Anna _ (342 715) from: start till: 333.7 text: Anaheim _ (333 776) TextData= fontsize: S pos: (450,20) text: Many inhabitants (in thousands)
- Osmia ribifloris
- Otary of California
- black Bear
- common Seal
- insular Puma
- gray Fox
- dwarf Fox
- Shark horned sleeper
- Spermophilus beecheyi
- gilded Trout
On the level of the Flore one counts in the state the largest trees (Giant sequoia) and the oldest trees (Pin of Bristlecone). The grasses originating in the State belong to the hardy perennials. After the arrival of Europeans, they were mainly replaced by the invasive species of annual grasses of the Old continent. The Californian hills are known for their characteristic color brown-but in summer.
See also: Demography of California,
The demographic history of California is marked by the Immigration. At the 19th century, the discovery of gold starts a Ruée towards the west. Chinese immigrants also arrive by the Pacific Ocean. In the Years 1920, more than one million people settle in California: this flow comes primarily from Midwest and they are thus domestic currents, which come to enlarge the urban population of the littoral. During the crisis of the Years 1930, the Okie S which flee the consequences of the Grande depression, remake their life in the Golden State . After the Second world war, the area sees flowing of reprocessed in search of sun and the young people attracted by the " dream californien".
Lastly, as from the years 1980, the immigrants are foreigners, mainly Mexico, and sometimes clandestine. On a million legal immigrants in the United States in 2002,30% are in California.
Since the Years 1960, California is the State more populated of the United States, with more than 35 million inhabitants, that is to say 12% of the American population. The political capital of California, Sacramento (407 018 inhabitants; 1,8 million inhabitants in the agglomeration), is in the central valley, but the most populated cities are located close to the coast, with the more pleasant climate.
California is the third state of the United States (after Hawaii and the New Mexico) where the nonHispanic white represent less than 50% of the population. Because of its demographic importance, the Hispanic community plays a big role in the presidential elections: it lays out of the greatest number of Great Electors (55, out of 270 necessary to be elected). In spite of this situation, the role of California to the presidential elections is seldom decisive.
Composition of the population according to the Office of the census of the United States:
See also: Economy of California
California only accounts for with it 14% of the rough National product of the United States. If it were independent, it would be the sixth world economic power. This economic success is based on the American development model, the exploitation of the natural resources with excess, in particular on the level of the water, which is imported since the neighboring states, of which the Arizona with the Colorado. , California is the 16th State of the United States (on 50) for the capital punishment.
At the national level, the State is represented by two senators and 53 deputies, has 55 votes in the electoral college, and thus has the greatest number of Great Electors and members of the Congress. The two senators sitting with Washington D.C are democratic: it is about Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. 33 democrats and 20 republicans represent California with the room of the representatives of the United States.
Formerly republican fortified town, bastion of the presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, itself former governor of the State, California rocked since ten years in the democratic camp, at least at the time of the local or national elections presidential and legislative. Thus since 1992, California chose the democratic candidates at the time of the presidential elections. However, on the level of the counties, the choice is much less clear because the majority of them, in particular in 2000 and 2004, had chosen the republican candidate. In fact, the urban counties densément populated area of San Francisco, Sacramento and north of Los Angeles vote rather for the democrats, whereas the counties less populated and rural like those of Orange and San Diego vote for the republicans.
See also: Counties of the State of California
The State of California is divided into 58 counties. The county is the local government by defect and the 58 counties recover the entirety of the territory. The State counts 478 municipalities ( cities in English) which gathers a great part, but not totality, population of the State. Certain cities are not incorporated, i.e. they are managed directly by the county in which they are, and not by a municipality.
California east of Occidental culture and plunges its roots in the Culture of the United States. However, as an international crossroads, it was strongly influenced during its history by the culture of the various groups of immigrants. The Californian culture is exported and been known in the whole world through the cinema industry of Hollywood, the musical production and the entertainment.
On the level of the government, the purpose of the California Arts Council , composed of eleven members named by the Governor and the Legislature, is to promote the artistic production and créativé in the state. It organizes initiatives like the selection of the California Poet Laureate .
The official language of California is the English; it is the language of the government and teaching. According to the data of the census of 2000, 60,5% of the inhabitants of California being at least 5 years old speak English at the house and 25,8% speak Spanish. The Chinese is the third language most spoken in the State with 2,6% speakers, it is followed by the Tagalog (2%) and the Vietnamese (1,3%). French is spoken by: 135067 people, is 0,43% of the population. Local English the dialect, the English of California, has characteristics compared to English spoken in the east about the United States, which started to interest the linguists since the end of the 20th century, since they did not exist during the Second world war.
The indigenous languages of California are more than one hundred and testify to a great diversity which does of California one of the most various areas of the world at the linguistic level. However, all are threatened although efforts are currently carried out with an aim of revitalizing them. Since 1986, the Constitution of California specified that the English is the common and official language of the State. The linguistic question is in the center various polemics, especially on the level of the Enseignement.
The religious history of the State goes back to the time of the Spanish missions, which convert the Amerindians with the Christianisme. Today, the Christians are always majority: they account for 75% of the inhabitants. Among them, the Protesting S compose the principal group (38%), followed by the catholic (34%). California is the State of the United States where the greatest catholic community is. One counts also an important Jewish community , and a Moslem community in increase. The Temple of Lay Hsi, in California of the south, is the largest Buddhist temple of the United States. The metropolitan Archdiocese of catholic Los Angeles is most important of the country: it gathers approximately five million faithful. The State counts also more temples Mormon S than all the States of the Union, except the Utah.
With the image of the other states of the west of the country, percentage of the population being identified like " non-religieuse" is important in comparison with the remainder of the the United States.
The Los Angeles Times , based in Los Angeles, is the second larger newspaper metropolitan in the United States, after the NewYork Times. The San Francisco Chronicle has a daily pulling of approximately 512.000 specimens in week. The Sacramento Bee and the San Jose Mercury News forms also part of the principal newspapers of the State.
The park Disneyland and the marine Amusement park of SeaWorld with San Diego are the two principal amusement parks of the State with Universal Studios Hollywood. One counts several other parks of the same kind, like Six Flags Magic Mountain, Wild Rivers…
There exist two large deserts in California, which also extend on other Neighboring states: the Deserted of Mojaves and the Deserted of Sonora. Among the great tourist sites of California, one often includes the Algodones Dunes ( Imperial Sand Dunes or Glamis Sand Dunes ), the Death Valley National Park , the Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs , the Lassen Volcanic National Park , the Lava Beds National Monument , the Mont Shasta , the Lake Tahoe , the Mono Lake and the Yosemite National Park .
The principal beaches and coastal parks are Trinidad State Beach , Torrey Pines State Reserve , the Cabrillo National Monument . The tourists also move towards the Spanish missions, the Donner Memorial State Park , the Bodie Historic State Park , the Kings Canyon National Park and the Humboldt Redwoods State Park .
California also counts many museums, of which some have an international repute. With Los Angeles are the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Villa Getty, the Musée of art of the county of Los Angeles ( Los Angeles County Museum off Art (LACMA)), the Natural History Museum off Los Angeles County, the Museum of contemporary art (MOCA) and Huntington Library inter alia. With San Francisco, one can find the California Palace off the Legion off Honor , the Academy of Science of California, Exploratorium and the museum of Asian arts. With Monterey is celebrates it Aquarium of bay of Monterey, one of largest of the world. Hearst Castle, located in the County of San Luis Obispo, is a very visited monument.
California has three public university wide-area networks. The the University of California, which counts ten campuses, is regarded as one of the best systems in the many world and account Nobel Prize among its professors and researchers. The Université of State of California (23 campus) is less selective. Lastly, the system of the California Community Colleges gathers more than 2,5 million students divided on 109 campuses, and is thus more the great system of higher education in the world.
The Amerindian S Californian were distinct from the other people of North America on the level of their musical technique. The European colonists bring with them them musical culture, that the missionaries teach with the converts within the framework of the missions. A typically Californian kind, although mixing with the Mexican and Spanish musical elements, appears at that time. However, after the Gold rush, it loses its popularity with the profit of the musics brought by the new arrivals. California sees appearing thereafter, in second half of the 20th century, the Surf music, Surfing rock'n'roll, the Rock psychedelic and the other branches of the Psychédélisme, the Rock hardcore and the West Coast (rap); represented by very many groups, of which some have an international repercussion. Many groups come from this country, whose punk group Green Day celebrates it.
The official song of the State is " I Coil You, California" , written by F.B. Silverwood and composed by Alfred F. Frankenstein of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestrated since 1951.
Los Angeles and San Francisco lays out both of a network of Métro and tram. San Jose and Sacramento has a network of Light subway. Metrolink serves most of the California of the south and Caltrain connects San Jose and Gilroy to San Francisco. Almost all the counties and the majority of the municipalities manage lines of bus. However, public transport is used very little compared to the East coast of the country. The fast increase in the population starts to pose problem and the State currently wonders if it is necessary to continue to extend the highway network or rather to concentrate and improve the Public transport in the urban areas, and rail links between the main cities. It seems that this last way starts to be borrowed, with, for example, creation a few years ago of the California High Speed Rail Authority , of which the goal is to study the project of a line at high speed, same kind as TGV, between the four principal cities of California. That would make it possible to go from Los Angeles to San Francisco in two hours and half instead of 7:00 in the car.
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