California

California

Since a lot of people dream to live on the west coast, especially in California, hence it not surprising that California (third larges state) is the most populous state of the USA. It borders on the Pacific and the states Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, as well as on the Mexican state Baja California.

California is a state of the superlative. The highest, thickest and oldest trees (redwood, pine) of the world grow in California. In the east you will find the famous Sierra Nevada (Spanish: snow -covered mountain) which extends over 400 miles to the south. The Sierra Nevada offers up to 250 days of sun. Furthermore California is one of the 4 majority-minority-states, in which you will find less than 50 % white population. In addition to English most of the population speaks Spanish and several other languages.

The Mount Whitney (4.418 m) is the second highest mountain of the USA, which is just 60 miles away from the desert area Death Valley, the lowest level of the USA.

History

Centuries before the first settlers arrived, namely 9000 - 10000 BC, up to 70 different Indian tribes might have lived on the land which is now California. After 1500 English and Spanish explorers such as Francis Drake or Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo claimed California for their countries.

In 1769 the first permanent settlement was established by a Spanish mission (Alta California). During the Mexican-American War California became independent in 1846, but was assigned to the USA in 1848 as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and became the 31st state of the US in 1850.
Between 1846 and 1848 more than 250.000 people from all over the USA rushed to California (California Gold Rush), among them mainly farmers from the south and west, who not only hoped to find gold but who hoped for a better climate to grow their plants.
After the Civil War, in 1869, California was connected to the rest of the USA by the Transcontinental Railroad line, which helped the Golden State to become economically successful.

Culture and Sights

California is known for its many national parks, beaches and the sunny weather. You can choose from a wide range of activities: If you prefer it to be quieter you might want to enjoy the beautiful nature and beaches. If you like to be more active, you can choose between several sports and shopping in the bigger cities.

For more information click here: www.visitcalifornia.com

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