The Californias

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The Californias

Las Californias
Map of the Californias (modern region).png
Country Flag of the United States.svg  United States of America
Flag of Mexico.svg  United Mexican States
U.S. States Flag of California.svg  California
Mexican States Flag of Baja California.svg  Baja California
Flag of Baja California Sur.svg  Baja California Sur
Principal cities
Area
  Total569,329 km2 (219,819 sq mi)
Population
  Total43,636,740
  Density77/km2 (200/sq mi)
Time zones UTC-8 (Pacific Standard Time)
UTC-7 (Mountain Standard Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC-7 (Pacific Daylight Time)
UTC-6 (Mountain Daylight Time)

The Californias (Spanish: Las Californias), occasionally known as the Three Californias [1] [2] [3] [4] or Two Californias, [5] [6] [7] are a region of North America spanning the United States and Mexico and consisting of the U.S. state of California and the Mexican states of Baja California and Baja California Sur. [8] [9] [10] [11] Historically, the term "The Californias" was used to define the vast northwestern region of Spanish America, as the Province of the Californias (Spanish : Provincia de las Californias), and later as a collective term for Alta California and the Baja California Peninsula. [12] [13]

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics, human impact characteristics, and the interaction of humanity and the environment. Geographic regions and sub-regions are mostly described by their imprecisely defined, and sometimes transitory boundaries, except in human geography, where jurisdiction areas such as national borders are defined in law.

North America Continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere

North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere; it is also considered by some to be a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.

Contents

Originally a single, vast entity within the Spanish Empire, as the Californias became defined in their geographical limits, their administration was split various times into Baja California (Lower California) and Alta California (Upper California), especially during the Mexican control of the region, following the Mexican War of Independence. As a part of the Mexican–American War (1846–48), the American Conquest of Alta California saw the vast Alta California territory ceded from Mexico to the United States. The populated coastal region of the territory was Admitted into the Union in 1850 as the State of California, while the vast, sparsely-populated interior region would only later gain statehood as Nevada, Utah, and large parts of Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

Spanish Empire world empire from the 16th to the 19th century

The Spanish Empire, historically known as the Hispanic Monarchy and as the Catholic Monarchy, was one of the largest empires in history. From the late 15th century to the early 19th, Spain controlled a huge overseas territory in the New World and the Asian archipelago of the Philippines, what they called "The Indies". It also included territories in Europe, Africa and Oceania. The Spanish Empire has been described as the first global empire in history, a description also given to the Portuguese Empire. It was the world's most powerful empire during the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, reaching its maximum extension in the 18th century. The Spanish Empire was the first empire to be called "the empire on which the sun never sets".

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

Mexican War of Independence armed conflict which ended the rule of Spain in the territory of New Spain

The Mexican War of Independence was an armed conflict, and the culmination of a political and social process which ended the rule of Spain in 1821 in the territory of New Spain. The war had its antecedent in Napoleon's French invasion of Spain in 1808; it extended from the Cry of Dolores by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla on September 16, 1810, to the entrance of the Army of the Three Guarantees led by Agustín de Iturbide to Mexico City on September 27, 1821. September 16 is celebrated as Mexican Independence Day.

Today, "The Californias" is a collective term to refer to the American and Mexican states bearing the name California, which share geography, history, cultures, and strong economic ties. [14] [15]

Etymology of California origin of the name California

California is a North American place name used by the U.S. state of California and the Mexican states of Baja California and Baja California Sur. Collectively, these three areas constitute the region formerly referred to as The Californias. The name California is shared by many other places in other parts of the world, whose names derive from the same original.

Etymology

There has been understandable confusion about use of the plural The Californias by Spanish colonial authorities. California historian Theodore Hittell offered the following explanation:

In very early times, while the country was supposed to be an island or rather several islands, it was commonly known by the plural appellation of "Las Californias" (The Californias). Afterwards, when its peninsular character was ascertained, it was called simply California; but the territory so designated was unlimited in extent. When the expeditions for the settlement of San Diego and Monterey marched, it was understood that they were going, not out of California, but into a new part of it. The peninsula then began to be generally spoken of as Antigua or Old California and the unlimited remainder as Nueva or New California, subsequently more commonly called Alta or Upper California. At the same time the old plural name of The Californias was revived, but with a more definite signification than before. [16]

History

The Californias
Las Californias
Province of New Spain
1767–1804 Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg
 
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg Coat of arms of Californias.svg
FlagCoat of arms
Location of Las Californias Map of the Californias (historical region).png
Location of Las Californias
The Californias within the Viceroyalty of New Spain
Capital Loreto
(1768–1777)
Monterrey (1777–)
GovernmentColonial government
Gobernadores
  1767–1770 Gaspar de Portolá
(first)
  1800–1804 José Joaquín de Arrillaga
(last)
History
  Established1767
  Divided into Alta and Baja California provinces1804
Today part ofFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico

The first attempted Spanish occupation of California was by the Jesuit missionary Eusebio Kino, in 1683. His Misión San Bruno failed, however, and it wasn't until 1697 that Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó was successfully established by another Jesuit, Juan María de Salvatierra. The mission became the nucleus of Loreto, first permanent settlement and first administrative center of the province. The Jesuits went on to found a total of 18 missions in the lower two-thirds of the Baja California Peninsula.

Eusebio Kino Italian Jesuit missionary

Eusebio Francisco Kino was a Jesuit, missionary, geographer, explorer, cartographer and astronomer born in the Territory of the Bishopric of Trent, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. For the last 24 years of his life he worked in the region then known as the Pimería Alta, modern-day Sonora in Mexico and southern Arizona in the United States. He explored the region and worked with the indigenous Native American population, including primarily the Tohono O'Odham, Sobaipuri and other Upper Piman groups. He proved that the Baja California Peninsula is not an island by leading an overland expedition there. By the time of his death he had established 24 missions and visitas.

Misión San Bruno

The short-lived Jesuit mission of San Bruno was established in 1684 on the Baja California Peninsula near the Gulf of California, in colonial Mexico of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The Mission was located at 26°13′57″N111°23′53″W. The location of this mission should not be confused with the location of the present day town of San Bruno which is located about 110 kilometres (68 mi) to the north.

Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó

Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó, or Mission Loreto, was founded on October 25, 1697 at the Monqui Native American (Indian) settlement of Conchó in the present city of Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Established by the Catholic Church's Jesuit missionary Juan María de Salvatierra, Loreto was the first successful mission and Spanish town in Baja California. The mission is located at 26°00′37″N111°20′36″W.

Province of New Spain

A New Map of North America, produced in London following the 1763 Treaty of Paris, five years before the establishment of the Province of the Californias. Note the name "California" placed on the Baja California Peninsula. New Map of North America (1763).JPG
A New Map of North America, produced in London following the 1763 Treaty of Paris, five years before the establishment of the Province of the Californias. Note the name "California" placed on the Baja California Peninsula.

In 1767, the Jesuits were expelled from the missions, and Franciscans were brought in to take over. Gaspar de Portolá was appointed governor to supervise the transition. At the same time, a new visitador, José de Gálvez, was dispatched from Spain with authority to organize and expand the fledgling province. [17]

Gaspar de Portolá explorer and soldier in New Spain

Gaspar de Portolá y Rovira (1723–1786) was a Spanish soldier and administrator in New Spain. As commander of the Spanish colonizing expedition on land and sea that established San Diego and Monterey, Portolá expanded New Spain's Las Californias province far to the north from its beginnings on the Baja California peninsula. Portolá's expedition also was the first European to see San Francisco Bay. The expedition gave names to geographic features along the way, many of which are still in use.

The more ambitious province name, Las Californias, was established by a joint dispatch to the King from Viceroy de Croix and visitador José de Gálvez, dated January 28, 1768. Gálvez sought to make a distinction between the Antigua ('old') area of established settlement and the Nueva ('new') unexplored areas to the north. At that time, almost the only explored and settled areas of the province were around the former Jesuit missions but, once exploration and settlement of the northern frontier began in earnest, the geographical designations Alta ('upper') and Baja ('lower') gained favor.

The single province was divided in 1804, into Alta California province and Baja California province. [18] By the time of the 1804 split, the Alta province had expanded to include coastal areas as far north as what is now the San Francisco Bay Area in the U.S. state of California. Expansion came through exploration and colonization expeditions led by Portolá (1769), his successor Pedro Fages (1770), Juan Bautista de Anza (1774–76), the Franciscan missionaries and others. Independent Mexico retained the division but demoted the former provinces to territories, due to populations too small for statehood.

Department of Mexico

In 1836, the designation Las Californias was revived, reuniting Alta and Baja California into a single departamento (department) as part of the conservative government reforms codified in the Siete Leyes (Seven Laws). The Seven Laws were repealed in 1847, during the Mexican–American War, and the split of the two Californias was restored.

Following Mexico's defeat in the war, most of the former Alta California territory was ceded on 2 February 1848 to the United States, under the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The new Mexico–United States border was established slightly to the north of the previous Alta-Baja border, and the terms Las Californias and Alta California were no longer formally used. The areas in North America acquired by the U.S. were designated as unorganized "territory" under a military governor, pending re-establishment of civilian control and organization. California was the first section of the territory to achieve statehood, two years later.

Geography

The Baja California Peninsula is bordered on three sides by water, the Pacific Ocean (south and west) and Gulf of California (east); while Alta California had the Pacific Ocean on the west and deserts on the east. A northern boundary was established by the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819. That boundary line remains the northern boundary of the U.S. states of California, Nevada, and the western part of Utah.

Inland regions were mostly unexplored by the Spanish, leaving them generally outside the control of the colonial authorities. Mountain ranges of the Peninsular Ranges, eastern Transverse Ranges, and the Sierra Nevada, along with the arid Colorado Desert, Mojave Desert, and Great Basin Desert in their eastern rain shadows, served as natural barriers to Spanish settlement. The eastern border of upper Las Californias was never officially defined under either Spanish or subsequent Mexican rule. [19] The 1781 Instrucciones and government correspondence described Alta California ("Upper California") as the areas to the west of the Sierra Nevada and the lower part of the Colorado River in the Lower Colorado River Valley (the river forms the present day border between the states of California and Arizona). [20]

See also

Related Research Articles

Baja California Peninsula peninsula of North America on the Pacific Coast of Mexico

The Baja California Peninsula is a peninsula in Northwestern Mexico. It separates the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California. The peninsula extends 1,247 km from Mexicali, Baja California in the north to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur in the south. It ranges from 40 km at its narrowest to 320 km at its widest point and has approximately 3,000 km of coastline and approximately 65 islands. The total area of the Baja California Peninsula is 143,390 km2 (55,360 sq mi).

Alta California province of New Spain

Alta California, known sometimes unofficially as Nueva California, California Septentrional, California del Norte or California Superior, began in 1804 as a province of New Spain. Along with the Baja California peninsula, it had previously comprised the province of Las Californias, but was split off into a separate province in 1804. Following the Mexican War of Independence, it became a territory of Mexico in April 1822 and was renamed "Alta California" in 1824. The claimed territory included all of the modern US states of California, Nevada and Utah, and parts of Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

History of California before 1900

Human history in California began when indigenous Americans first arrived some 13,000–15,000 years ago. Coastal exploration by Europeans began in the 16th century, and settlement by Europeans along the coast and in the inland valleys began in the 18th century. California was ceded to the United States under the terms of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo following the defeat of Mexico in the Mexican–American War. American westward expansion intensified with the California Gold Rush, beginning in 1848. California joined the Union as a free state in 1850, due to the Compromise of 1850. By the end of the 19th century, California was still largely rural and agricultural, but had a population of about 1.4 million.

Baja California Federal entity in Mexico

Baja California, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Baja California, is a state in Mexico. It is the northernmost and westernmost of the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. Before becoming a state in 1952, the area was known as the North Territory of Baja California. It has an area of 70,113 km2 (27,071 sq mi), or 3.57% of the land mass of Mexico and comprises the northern half of the Baja California Peninsula, north of the 28th parallel, plus oceanic Guadalupe Island. The mainland portion of the state is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by Sonora, the U.S. state of Arizona, and the Gulf of California, and on the south by Baja California Sur. Its northern limit is the U.S. state of California.

Francisco Hermenegildo Tomás Garcés, O.F.M., was a Spanish Franciscan friar who served as a missionary and explorer in the colonial Viceroyalty of New Spain. He explored much of the southwestern region of North America, including present day Sonora and Baja California in Mexico, and the U.S. states of Arizona and California. He was killed along with his companion friars during an uprising by the Native American population, and they have been declared martyrs for the faith by the Catholic Church. The cause for his canonization was opened by the Church.

Tecate Place in Baja California, Mexico

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José María de Echeandía (?–1871) was twice Mexican governor of Alta California from 1825 to 1831 and again from 1832 to 1833. He was the only governor of California that lived in San Diego.

José Castro Governor of Alta California

José Antonio Castro was a Californio politician, statesman, and military leader who served as acting governor of Alta California in 1835. He was also Commandante General of Mexican forces in northern areas of Las Californias during the Bear Flag Revolt and the Mexican–American War of 1846–1848.

José de Gálvez, 1st Marquess of Sonora Spanish lawyer

José de Gálvez y Gallardo, 1st Marquess of Sonora, OCIII was a Spanish lawyer and Visitador generál in New Spain (1764–1772); later appointed to the Council of the Indies (1775–1787). He was one of the prime figures behind the Bourbon Reforms. He belonged to an important political family that included his brother Matías de Gálvez and nephew Bernardo de Gálvez.

José Joaquín de Arrillaga was an officer of Basque origin born in Aia, Spain, who went on to become seventh (1792-1794) and tenth (1800–1814) governor of Alta California.

<i>Pious Fund of the Californias</i>

The Pious Fund of the Californias is a fund, originating in 1697, to sponsor the Roman Catholic Jesuit Spanish missions in Baja California, and Franciscan Spanish missions in Alta California in the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1769 to 1823, and originally administered by the Jesuits. It became the object of litigation between the US and Mexican governments in the 19th century, with the resolution making legal history in The Hague in 1902.

Eugène Duflot de Mofras was a 19th-century French naturalist, botanist, diplomat, and explorer.

Baja California Territory

Baja California Territory was a Mexican territory from 1824 to 1931, that encompassed the Baja California Peninsula of present-day northwestern Mexico. It replaced the Baja California Province (1773–1824) of the Spanish colonial Viceroyalty of New Spain, after Mexican independence. Along with Alta California, the two territories were split from the Spanish The Californias region.

Santiago Argüello (1791–1862) was a Californio, a soldier in the Spanish army of the Viceroyalty of New Spain in Las Californias, a major Mexican land grant ranchos owner, and part of an influential family in Mexican Alta California and post-statehood California.

Rancho Tecate, or Rancho Cañada de Tecate was a land grant made to Juan Bandini in 1829, by the Mexican governor of Alta California, José María de Echeandía. He granted 4,439 acres of land in the valley of Tecate. A grant to Juan Bandini is recorded as being completed for Rancho Cañada de Tecate on July 12, 1834 under governor José Figueroa.

Felipe de Barri (?-1784) was Comandante of Alta California. He moved there from Loreto, Baja California Sur Pedro Fages served as the Military Governor from July 9, 1770 to March 23, 1774 at Presidio of Monterey, California. Barri has some friction with the President of the Catholic priests of the Franciscan order, Father President Fray Vicente Mora, but for the most part it was time of peace. But, Barri was quick to judge and was suspicious, fearing the return of troubles that the Jesuits were accused of. He and Francisco Palóu, administrator and historian on the Baja and Alta California has some troubles. There was a small revolt at Todos Santos.

Matías de Armona

Matías de Armona also Don Matías de Armona was a governor of Las Californias, serving from June 12, 1769 to November 9, 1770, during Spanish Empire colonial rule of New Spain

Miguel Costansó (1741–1814), original name Miquel Constançó, was a Catalan engineer, cartographer and cosmographer. He joined the expedition of exploration of Alta California led by Gaspar de Portolá and Junípero Serra, serving aboard ship as cartographer and on land as engineer.

References

  1. Wilson Center - Institute of the Three Californias
  2. Freemasons of California: Conference of the Three Californias
  3. The Magic Curtain: the Mexican-American Border in Fiction, Film, and Song
  4. Journal of the Legislative Assembly of California - March 2 2006
  5. JStor The Two Californias During World War II
  6. Two California, Three Religious Orders, and Fifty Missions
  7. Two Californias Meet at the Border to Demand Justice for Farm Workres
  8. the Californias... what we now refer to the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur and the State of California. in California Parks Department: Missions of the Californias
  9. Lieutenant-Governor of California: Commission of the Californias
  10. Cambridge Journal of the Americas - The Arrival of the Franciscans in the Californias
  11. LA Times - Is This the Last Beach in the Californias?
  12. Travels in the Californias, and Scenes in the Pacific Ocean
  13. Stanford Law - The Case of the Pious Fund of the Californias: United States of America Vs. Republic of Mexico
  14. MexicoMatters - Economy of the Three Californias
  15. LA Times - What the Baja Boom Means for Our State
  16. Hittell, Theodore Henry. (2013). pp. 510–511. History of California. London: Forgotten Books. (Original work published 1885)
  17. Richman, I. B. (1965). California under Spain and Mexico, 1535–1847: A contribution toward the history of the Pacific coast of the United States, based on original sources, chiefly manuscript, in the Spanish and Mexican Archives and other repositories, pp.64–66. New York: Cooper Square Publishers.
  18. Bancroft, H. H. (1970). History of California: Vol. II, 1801–1824, pp.20–21. Santa Barbara Calif.: Wallace Hebberd. (Note: Bancroft translated the names of the two new provinces as "Antigua" and "Nueva", but Richman uses Baja and Alta - as on the 1847 map of Mexico.)
  19. José Bandini, in a note to Governor Echeandía or to his son Juan Bandini, a member of the Territorial Deputation (legislature), noted that Alta California was bounded "on the east, where the Government has not yet established the [exact] borderline, by either the Colorado River or the great Sierra (Sierra Nevada Range)". A Description of California in 1828 by José Bandini (Berkeley, Friends of the Bancroft Library, 1951), 3. Reprinted in Mexican California (New York, Arno Press, 1976). ISBN   0-405-09538-4
  20. Chapman, Charles Edward (1973) [1916]. The Founding of Spanish California: The Northwestward Expansion of New Spain, 1687–1783. New York: Octagon Books. pp. xiii.

Further reading