The land they called Alta California was occupied by diverse groups of natives who had inhabited the area for thousands of years. Spanish colonization of Alta California began when the Presidio of San Diego, the first permanent European settlement on the Pacific coast, was established in 1769.When the Spanish navigator Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo became the first European to see the region, which is present-day California, in 1542, there were approximately 130,000 Native Americans living in the area. The territory was neglected by Spain for more than two centuries due to reports of poverty in the region and a general slowdown in Spanish exploration. Merchant Sebastián Vizcaíno sailed from Mexico to the southern coast of California in 1602, and gave its name to San Diego, Santa Catalina Island, Santa Barbara and Monterrey.
Working with inaccurate maps, Vizcaíno and several later explorers believed California to be an island and became discouraged when they were unable to chart the surrounding seas. The pressure for a settlement came from missionaries eager to convert Native Americans to Christianity, from the intrusion of Russian and British merchants, mainly in search of sea otter skins, and from the search for the Northwest Passage across the North American continent. In 1769, the Spanish viceroy sent land and sea expeditions from Baja California, and Franciscan friar Junipero Serra established the first mission in San Diego. Gaspar de Portolá established an outpost in 1770 in Monterrey.
Colonization began after 1773 with the opening of a land supply route through the deserts of the southwest that aimed to link other Spanish settlements in what are now Arizona and New Mexico with the coast. The 21 missions established by Serra and his successors were a major factor in California's development. While trying to Christianize the Indians of the mission, the parents taught them agriculture and crafts. With the forced labor of the Mission Indians, the fathers irrigated vast ranches and exchanged skins, tallow, wine, brandy, olive oil, grains and leather for manufactured goods brought by U.
S. merchant ships around Cape Horn. The 1850 Commitment Did Not Solve California's Slavery Problem. Political parties were divided according to whether they believed that California should be a free state or a slave state.
A movement led by supporters of California senator Gwin sought to divide California into two states - one slave and one free - as well as promote a republic on the Pacific coast. However, at the start of the Civil War, California sided with the North and provided it with materials and soldiers. After the war, control of the governor's office shifted back and forth between Democrats and Republicans until the end of the century. The political climate after 1876 was characterized by labor problems and those who sought to control mining, irrigation and fruit growing through state funding.
An economic downturn in the 1870s led to increased discontent among unions, resulting in a demand for exclusion of Chinese workers who worked for lower rates of pay than those of “whites”. The problems and turmoil of this period led to the constitution of 1879 which included reforms but discriminated against Chinese people. An exclusion law passed by Congress that year was vetoed by President Cleveland but was followed by a treaty agreement with China that allowed U. S.
UU. This was followed by the China Exclusion Act in 1882 which suspended Chinese immigration for 10 years. In 1902 Congress re-enacted exclusionary legislation against Chinese people which cut off cheap labor making huge single-crop ranches unprofitable leading to smaller farms producing varied crops. Japanese farmworkers were brought in to replace Chinese people but as they succeeded protest over “yellow danger” increased once again.
Japanese turmoil mainly focused on San Francisco affected domestic and international policies. The Gentlemen's Agreement between Japan and United States in 1907 stopped Japanese immigration to United States while Webb's Foreign Land Act designed to prevent Japanese people from owning land was culmination of anti-Japanese lobbying. Therefore primitive population of California bore little physical resemblance to Native Americans of Great Plains apparently shared no language or cultural ties with these nations. Spanish explorers found tip of what is now Baja California in 1533 named it California after mythical island in popular Spanish novel after Treaty of Cahuenga signed early 1847 Pacific Squadron captured every city port Baja California sank or captured all Mexican Pacific Navy they could find due lack rainfall region during growing season agriculture not practical means livelihood early Californians mild climate rich soil allowed these groups live skillfully harvesting processing wild nuts berries catching fish cluttered streams British sailor captain James Cook midway through third final exploration voyage 1778 sailed along west coast North America aboard HMS Resolution mapping coast from California Bering Strait tribes Central Valley surrounding foothills developed early agriculture tribes living mountains north east relied heavily salmon hunting hunting collecting shaping obsidian themselves both these towns missions were California side Colorado River managed Arizona authorities flag state California today based original bear flag continues contain words “Republic California” leaving California way what now Oregon learned early June 1846 war imminent revolt already begun Sonoma California Missionaries military often had contrary purposes their vision what California could become missionaries preferred rely on...