California: Part 1 By: Tommy Marinelli Professor Arguello History 141
Chapter 3: A Troubled Territory Shortly after Mexico gained independence from Spain, both Baja and Alta California were classified as a territory. Mexico tried to model itself after the US with a civil society and it’s thoughts of political equality among citizens. Californians didn’t want the change, including the Spanish-born royalists and the Rancheros, who just wanted to be left alone. Uprisings against missions began, and in 1833 the Mexican congress demanded they be secularized and distributed to Hispanicized Indians and New Colonists.
Chapter 3: A Troubled Territory In the late 1700s, more and more sailors, scientific explorers, and New England whalers that were trading with china began to enter the region off the coast near Monterey. Of the scientific explorers, many found the land inland of Monterey very informative and promising. However, Americans were only interested in the new land for trade, not size. Sea otter pelts became a mass trade along the coast of California. Russians and Frenchmen began coming to shore and started trying to make lives for themselves, and were at most times welcomed by the locals. Sea Otter Pelts
Chapter 3: A Troubled Territory John Charles Fremont was an Army captain who ventured to Monterey in January of 1846. March 9th-10th, Fremont took his men to the shores of Klamath lake after a meeting with Marine Lieutenant Archibald Gillespie, who he claimed to have brought him messages to seize California. In Late May, Fremont began to capture California. On July 7th, 1846, Marines showed up at Monterey and raised the American flag. By August 13th, Los Angeles belonged to the US. However, because of Gillespie’s mismanagement, Los Angeles was taken over in an uprising. Several attempts were made, but the US was defeated in Los Angeles and it was not until January 10th, 1847 that the US was able to reclaim it. Fremont was court-martialed for mutiny, for assuming he was governor of California. He was pardoned by President Polk, who was grateful for Fremont’s accomplishments in California.
Chapter 4: Striking it Rich The Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty transferred California from Mexico to the US in 1848 for 15 million dollars in cash. The Southern states wanted free choice state while the Northern states wanted free state. John Sutter bought land, then leased the land to indentured Native Americans and immigrants. Sutter’s partner James Marshall started a mill on the American River. A Mormon leader, Sam Brannan, brought 224 Mormon immigrants to California. Sam Brannan
Chapter 4: Striking it Rich In 1848, gold was discovered in the riverbed of the American River near the sawmill. Congress and President Polk heard about the gold, and the Gold Rush began. Immigrants from all over the US and the entire world came to California for gold. Within only 3 years, the population was already at 225,000 and San Francisco had it’s beginnings. Courts and a criminal justice system were put into place to decrease the rate of homicides and violence during the Gold Rush. San Francisco became the 10th largest city in the US.
Chapter 4: Striking it Rich Governor Bennett Riley wrote the proclamation to redesign the government of California. The people of California were able to elect delegates. Army major Robert Garnett designed the state seal. The state seal includes the goddess Minerva, a grizzly bear, and the San Francisco bay. In the fall of 1849, California was an American state. Senators wanted California to be accepted into the Union. California was accepted as a free state.
Chapter 5: Regulation, Railroad, & Revolution California was redesigned over and over for the first three decades through politics, law, and urbanization. Controversy on who owned the land in California. In 1851, the Land Commissioners began hearing land claims from owners. This lasted two decades. In 1856, a private committee was created that took over for the police and judicial powers. The city was ruled with the governor watching. After the hangings of four people that they were after to seek justice they disbanded. 1850-1854, the state capitol was changed 6 times to four different cities, finally locating itself in Sacramento.
Chapter 5: Regulation, Railroad, & Revolution Theodore Judah came to California to build the railroad between Sacramento and Folsom in 1854. In 1857, his pamphlet was published that included the plans to build a railroad through the Sierra Nevada mountains. The railroad would pass the Sierra Nevada and continue East across the country. In 1862, the Pacific Railway Act was passed, allowing funds for Judah’s railway. Charles Crocker ran the building of the Central Pacific Railroad of California. Thousands of Chinese men were hired to build the tracks. It was finished in 6 years. This was the first transcontinental railroad, finished in 1869. The Central Pacific and Union Pacific tracks were joined in Utah.
Chapter 5: Regulation, Railroad, & Revolution The Bank of California was founded by William Ralston. This became the leading financial institute in the West. In 1857, the bank failed because of Ralston’s bad investments, starting up a panic in the city of San Francisco. The depression brought 154,000 people to California and ultimately lead to a large homeless population in San Francisco. The Chinese were attacked by unemployed Americans that were angry at them for taking up their jobs. In 1879, the constitution was rewritten, as demanded by the Americans during the depression. Railroads, large land owners, and large corporations mostly ran the country.