CaliforniaPart 1Patricia FonsecaApril 7, 2012History 141 31136History of the Americas Since 1800Professor Arguello
California Part 1Chapter 2 Laws of the Indies November 1519, Hernan Cortes sailed to Mexico and conquered the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. Spain experienced an important grip on the Pacific. In the hopes of finding a direct path from Mexico to the Indies, Cortes sent Fortun Jimenez to sail west and report his findings. Jimenez crossed the Sea of Cortes and landed in California. At the time, he believed he had landed on an island. The natives soon killed Jimenez. In 1535, Cortes landed in La Paz, naming it “Santa Cruz.” Cortes’ ambition was to find a direct maritime route from Atlantic Europe to the Spice Islands and the Far East. Cortes arranged another expedition to explore the sea between Mexico and California.
California Part 1Chapter 2 Laws of the Indies Cortes was hoping to discover the seven cities of Cibola. Francisco de Ulloa set out in 1539 and discovered that California was actually connected to Mexico, only Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo reached San Diego Bay in 1542, making European contact with the first of the three California harbors. The adventures of Francis Drake exhibited the important role California played as the midway between Southeast Asia and the Far East. The Laws of the Indies were organized in 1680. They comprised town planning as well as a call for integration and interaction of ecclesiastical and secular societies. The Laws of the Indies were implemented as far north as Santa Fe. The intentions of the Laws of the Indies was to close the missions and replace them with a diocesan parish structure under the control of a local bishop.
California Part 1Chapter 2 Laws of the Indies The Jesuits believed in the adaptation of Catholicism while protecting the natives from the invading armies. Eusebio Francisco Kino gained permission by the Council of the Indies to construct Jesuit missions in Baja California. Spain didn’t have the funds or the civilians to settle the area and gave the Jesuits full authority over the 18 missions. In 1759, Spain decided the Jesuits held too much power. Spain wanted to reform and expand their empire. They decided to ban the Jesuits and seize their assets. Father Serra helped set up Jesuit missions in Spanish California but these missions suffered just as the ones prior did due to the lack of a secular civil society. The Jesuit missions were met with great resistance by the Native Americans, we routinely raided the missions causing great devistation.
California Part 1Chapter 3 A Troubled Territory In 1821, Mexico became independent from Spain. The Franciscans ignored, sometimes openly resisted, the authority of Mexican California. Brevet Brigadier Jose Figueroa believed the lands should be secularized for the Indians and not for the arriving colonists. He was placed in charge of this mission but passed away a year later and his plans were ignored. Once the mission was complete, more than 600 land grants had been made and these holdings dominated the economy and defined the society of Mexican California. Rancho life was born. Large extended families became the focus in this era. The leading families of Mexican California lived with great comfort and civility once they established trades with New England, Latin America, and the Far East. This began the process of America acquiring California.
California Part 1Chapter 3 A Troubled Territory Growing trade between New England and China resulted in the development of trade of sea otter pelts off the California coast which, in turn, brought more American ships to California. Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo is recognized for his efforts of trying to establish a civil society in Mexican California before American conquests and his successful transition into the new American order. 1826 marked the first exploration of Northern California and was headed by Peter Skene Ogden. Soon, Mexican California had become a hunting ground for Hudson Bay trapper-traders. Jedediah Smith’s exploration linked California to the interior of the North American continent. Other trappers followed but William Wolfskill settled in Los Angeles as a rancher/vineyardist while growing walnuts and owning the largest orange groves in Southern California.
California Part 1Chapter 3 A Troubled Territory A group of skilled business men arranged a intricate four-way exchange of goods linking California, China and Boston. Senator Benton believed in Manifest Destiny and the peaceful acquisition of non-American territories in the West. Mexican California remained open to the idea of an American identity. Peaceful annexation negotiations had begun between Mexican California and the United States when war commenced. In August of 1846, America had control of the pueblo of Los Angeles. In January 1847, the Californios surrendered to Fremont on a hillside in a ceremony named Capitulation of Cahuenga. Alta California was now part of the United States but political organization still need to be conducted.
California Part 1Chapter 3 A Troubled Territory California experienced a time of great upheaval once it was acquired by the United States. Much of the disarray came from the question of who actually owned the land. Land grants were in question. In 1856, San Francisco was overtaken by the group, the Vigilance Committee which was comprised of right- wing business men. A couple months later the committee disbanded itself. After the Gold Rush, agriculture started to surpass mining as the leading element for the Californian economy in 1879. Productive farms sustained a thriving dairy industry. Napa and Los Angeles saw the birth of wine-making. In 1860, a transcontinental railroad enforced a fully consolidated identity for California. The creation of such a system would need $15 million. Theodore Judah spent two years lobbying Congress for federal support.
California Part 1Chapter 3 A Troubled Territory The Pacific Railway Act of 1862 passed through Congress and was signed by President Lincoln. More than 10,000 Chinese workers to construct the railroad as there weren’t enough Californian men to d the work at the price it was paying. San Francisco became the 10th largest city in the United States by 1870. When the Bank of California failed, San Francisco suffered in a similar way that New York did during their Wall Street Panic of 1873. William Chapman Ralston was drawing on the Bank of California’s deposits to finance different business ventures and in January of 1875, schemes started to collapse. The Bank of California was left with mounds of worthless stock. In August of 1875, panic struck and there was a run on the bank. Already in the throes of a national depression, San Francisco was drained of capital for the rest of the decade. San Francisco started to fill with homeless men.
California Part 1Chapter 3 A Troubled Territory July 1877, some 8,000 people showed up for a rally called Workingmen’s Party. Talks centered on the recent railroad construction and the fact that the labor was given to the Chinese immigrants. After the rally took to the streets and sacked 20 Chinese laundries in Chinatown, the vigilance committee was formed by William Coleman. He organized approximately 4,000 vigilantes to patrol the streets. San Francisco was divided into two armed camps. Denis Kearney started out among the brigade patrolling San Francisco but quickly switched sides, giving speeches of how the capitalists of the city were running the working men into the ground and giving the Chinese immigrants their jobs. By 1881, the Workingmen’s Party of California faded away with many of the supporters changing sides to the Democratic Party being organized in San Francisco by political boss Chris Buckley until the Union Labor Party formed in the 1900’s.