California

California (i/ˌkæləˈfɔrnjə/) is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third most extensive (after Alaska and Texas). It is home to the nation's 2nd and 6th largest census statistical areas (Greater Los Angeles area and San Francisco Bay Area, respectively), and eight of the nation's fifty most populated cities (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach and Oakland). The capital city is Sacramento.

California's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west, to the Sierra Nevada mountains in the east – from the Redwood–Douglas-fir forests of the northwest, to the Mojave Desert areas in the southeast. The center of the state is dominated by Central Valley, a major agricultural area. California contains both the highest and lowest points in the contiguous United States (Mount Whitney and Death Valley), and has the 3rd longest coastline of all states (after Alaska and Florida). Earthquakes are a common occurrence due to the state's location along the Pacific Ring of Fire: about 37,000 are recorded annually.

The name California once referred to a large area of North America claimed by Spain that included much of modern-day Southwestern United States and the Baja California peninsula. Beginning in the late 18th century, the area known as Alta California, comprising the California territory north of the Baja Peninsula, was colonized by the Spanish Empire as part of New Spain. In 1821, Alta California became a part of Mexico following its successful war for independence. Shortly after the beginning of the Mexican-American War in 1846, a group of American settlers in Sonoma declared an independent California Republic in Alta California. Though its existence was short-lived, its flag became the precursor for California's current state flag. American victory in the war led to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which Mexico ceded Alta California to the United States. Western areas of Alta California became the state of California, which was admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850.

The California Gold Rush beginning in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic change, with large scale immigration from the U.S. and abroad and an accompanying economic boom. Key developments in the early 20th century included the emergence of Los Angeles as the center of the American entertainment industry, and the growth of a large, state-wide tourism sector. The late 20th century saw the development of the technology and information sectors, punctuated by the growth of Silicon Valley. California's prosperous agricultural industry also emerged; at least half of the fresh fruit produced in the United States are now cultivated in California, and the state also leads in the production of vegetables. Other important contributors to its economy include aerospace, education, and manufacturing. If California were a country, it would have the 8th largest economy in the world and it would be the 34th most populous nation.

Read more about California:  Etymology, Geography, History, Economy, Cities, Towns and Counties, Education, Sports

Other articles related to "california":

Rockwell International - Apex and Break-up
... Rockwell International was a major employer in Southern California, Ohio, Georgia, Oklahoma, Michigan, Texas, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and western Pennsylvania ... company moved its headquarters four times from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to El Segundo, California to Seal Beach, California to Costa Mesa, California to Milwaukee, Wisconsin ... as Conexant Technologies (CNXT), which is publicly traded and based in Newport Beach, California ...
John Sutter
... August Sutter (February 15, 1803 – June 18, 1880) was a Swiss pioneer of California known for his association with the California Gold Rush by the ... Although famous throughout California for his association with the Gold Rush, Sutter died almost poor, having seen his business ventures fail while those of his elder son, John Augustus Sutter, Jr ...
U.S. Route 66 - Route Description - California and The Southwest
... US 66 was a highway in California ... Coast Highway (then US 101 Alternate, today's California State Route 1) in Santa Monica, California ... US 66 intersected US 101, I-5, I-15, I-40, and US 95 in California ...
California - Sports
... The State of California is the only US state to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics ... during the 1994 FIFA World Cup took place in California, with the Rose Bowl in Pasadena hosting eight matches including the final, while Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto ... California has nineteen major professional sports league franchises, far more than any other state ...
XERB-AM - Historical Usage
... the original call sign of a border blaster station in Rosarito, Baja California, which was branded as The Mighty 1090 ... - 1050 XECAN - 1100 Mexico Radio Markets Aguascalientes Baja California Baja California Sur Campeche Chihuahua Chiapas Ciudad Acuña, Coah ...

Famous quotes containing the word california:

    The attraction and superiority of California are in its days. It has better days & more of them, than any other country.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    It shone on everyone, whether they had a contract or not. The most democratic thing I’d ever seen, that California sunshine.
    Angela Carter (1940–1992)

    I can’t earn my own living. I could never make anything turn into money. It’s like making fires. A careful assortment of paper, shavings, faggots and kindling nicely tipped with pitch will never light for me. I have never been present when a cigarette butt, extinct, thrown into a damp and isolated spot, started a conflagration in the California woods.
    Margaret Anderson (1886–1973)