California

Article

August 12, 2022

California is one of the 50 states of the United States, located in the Pacific States region. It is the most populous state in the country, with 39,538,223 inhabitants and the third in territorial extension, surpassed only by Alaska and Texas. California is the largest industrial center in the United States and a national leader in the production of agricultural products. Of the 20 largest cities in the United States, four are located in California: Los Angeles, San Jose, San Diego and San Francisco. Its capital, Sacramento, is also a large city. Southern California is densely populated, with the state's two largest cities (Los Angeles and San Diego) located there. The cities of San Francisco and São José are located in the northern region, as well as the state capital, Sacramento. After contact with Europeans, the Spaniards were the first people to explore and colonize the area in what is now the state of California, and after Mexican independence, they became part of Mexico. The Americans annexed California in the 1850s in a war with Mexico. The state's cognomen is Golden State, which means "golden state" in Portuguese. Its origin is still a matter of debate. The nickname may have come from the 1849 gold rush, when gold mines drew tens of thousands of people from across the country to the region. Another possibility is a reference to the state's native grass, which takes on a golden color in the dry season. Colloquially, the cognomen is also a reference to its climate, which is hot and sunny for most of the year. The state's name comes from the 16th-century novel Las sergas de Esplandián (The adventures of Esplandián), which was written by the Spaniard Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. In this novel, Montalvo described a paradise called California, a paradise that would be located on an island off the west coast of North America.

Etymology

The word California originally referred to the Baja California peninsula of Mexico; later, it was extended to the entire region comprising the present-day states of California, Nevada and Utah, and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming. west coast of North America, led him to believe it was an island rather than part of a larger continent. The name probably derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work, As Aventuras de Esplandián, by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. This work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts. In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It is possible that the name California meant that the island was a caliphate. Quote: Know ye that in the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California, very near to that part of the Earthly Paradise, which was inhabited by black women without a single man among them. , and they lived the way of the Amazons. They were stout of bodies with strong passionate hearts and great virtue. The island itself is one of the wildest in the world because of the bold and rugged rocks. wrote: « Chapter CLVII of As Aventuras de Esplandián» The conventional wisdom that California was an island, with maps drawn to reflect this belief, lasted well into the 18th century. Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal., Calif., and US-CA.

History

First peoples and co