California: A History<br />Tammy Williams<br />
Queen Calafia’s Island<br />California was originally believed to be an island until 1539-40 when it was discovered to be a peninsula.<br />California contains four major habors- San Diego Bay, Monterey Bay, San Francisco Bay, and Humboldt Bay.<br />The highest mountain in the continental United States, Mt. Whitney, is located in California.<br />The California Current helps to mediate equator like temperature so that it is habitable. <br />Approximately 66% of annual rainfall occurs in the upper third portion of the state.<br />
Queen Calafia’s Island<br />The northwest were fishing people:the Yuki, the Tolowa, Karok, Yurok, Hoopa, Wiyot, Mattole, and Wailaki,each skilled at netting and spearing trout and salmon. <br />The western areas were inhabited by the Wintun, Shasta, Yana and Ishi tribes.<br />The Pomo, Maidu, Lile’ek and Wappo favored the more southern regions.<br />The Miwok people throve to the enclaves.<br />With so many languages, many tribes and triblets, Native American California offered a paradigm of linguustic and cultural diversity.<br />
Queen Calafia’s Island<br />These tribes had enough flora and fauna that they did no have a warlike relationship with one another.<br />Their sociology, their communal life – was centered on sweat lodges, where they warmed themselves with steam from water poured on fire-heated stones before plunging into the rivers.<br />External organizations tended toward the simplistic, the internal cultures offered a highly developed heritage of creation myths, totems, and taboos, together with rituals and protocols for stylized warfare and more for pervasive peace.<br />The world itself was anchored in a story that had first been told when Coyote created the world and the human beings in it.<br />The late twentieth century would witness the reemergence of these first Californians as a financial and political force in a postmodernist state.<br />
An Imagined Place<br />Twentieth century witnessed the debut of three entertainment media – film, radio, and television – dependent upon the electronic technologies developed in California.<br />Traditional concerns of literature in California – nature, naturalism, and bohemia – were added the noir worldview and the apocalypse.<br />Though motion pictures did not initially establish themselves in California, a number of films were recorded in the early 1900’s, including The Count of Monte Cristo, In the Sultan’s Power, The Roman, and Carmen.<br />The Selig staff not only appreciate the reliably good weather of LA, they also relished the distance from the subpoena servers constantly being dispatched by the lawyers hired to initiate suits against producers who were not always willing to pay what Edison considered their fair share of licensing and reel footage fees.<br />David Wark Griffith made several movies involving Californian storylines and locations, including The Thread of Destiny, In Old California, The Converts, The Way of the World, and Over Silent Paths.<br />
An Imagined Place<br />By the 1920’s it was apparent that the production of films in Hollywood in corporately owned studios in which screenwriters, director, actor and actresses, technicians and support staff were on salary.<br />Through the 1920s and early 1930s, the film studios – such as founding entities as Fine Arts, Fox, Famous Players, and Metro consolidating to become Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Bros., Twentieth Century-Fox, and Paramount in its final form.<br />Universal, United Artists, and Columbia managing to hold their own.<br />Decade after decade, Hollywood fell into a slump.<br />During the 1930’s, many creative and talented emigrants looking to avoid the conflict traveled to Southern California looking for opportunities to work in the film industry. This move allowed the film industry to become more internationalized.<br />In the cold War that followed, the pro-Soviet sentiments in some of these scripts brought Hollywood on the carpet before the House Un-American Activities Committee.<br />
An Imagined Place<br />The film noir of the late 1940s was inspired by a new genre of writing, the hard-boiled detective story.<br />The sense of California as promise betrayed and doom impending provides leitmotif of writing in the postwar period, most notably in the fiction and essays of Sacrament-born Joan Didion.<br />The two most important post-Jeffers poets of California, William Everson and Gary Snyder, ultimately eschewed politics in favor of a nature-oriented mysticism that had been a persistent theme of imaginative writing in California since the frontier.<br />Wallace Stegner combined environmentalism with keen social observation in a series of fictions set in the suburbs in and around Sanford.<br />California already became by midcentury what is formally became by Census 1990 – the most urbanized and suburbanized state in the nation – and needed to be reminded of its continuing wilderness.<br />Photography in California entered the twentieth century seeming to wish to escape the purely photographic values of Watkins and Muybridge in favor of the self-consciously literary dreaminess of the Pictorial style.<br />
Great Expectations<br />First forty years of statehood, California organized its political and socioeconomic structures and lay the foundations of its built environment.<br />In 1878 the legislature passed the Drainage Act, creating the position of State Engineer and appropriating $100,000 for irrigation, drainage, and navigation studies.<br />William Hammond Hall, appointed as State Engineer, researched and published a series of studies that laid out a comprehensive program for the development of California through extensive water projects.<br />The Wright Act of 1887, empowered local communities to form irrigation and/or flood control.<br />Lux v. Haggin, established the legal and political framework for hundreds of irrigation districts.<br />
In October 1904, the California Development Company cut a second canal from the western bank of the Colorado across northern Mexico into the Imperial Valley, causing a westward wrenching of the Colorado River, which would now run at a level of 25-200 above the rim of the Imperial Valley.<br />The population of California continued its steady growth, reaching 2.3 million by 1910 and 6.9 million by 1940.<br />Given the land mass this is considered a small population.<br />
The majority of newcomers to Southern California were white people from the Midwest.<br />The Mexican American population of the city of Los Angeles, the single largest minority group of the city, tripled from 33,644 to 97,116. <br />The construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct kept thousands of people employed.<br />Fishing industry grew up among the Portuguese in San Diego and the Japanese in San Pedro.<br />By 1929, southern California had emerged into the sunlight as both an imagined and a fully materialized American place.<br />Great Expectations<br />
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