Forgotten by its European discoverers for centuries, to the point of appearing on numerous maps of the 17th and 18th centuries as an island, California has become one of the most developed regions and with the highest standard of living in the world.

The state of California is the third in extension in the United States, 411,049 km2, only surpassed by Texas and Alaska. It is limited to the north with Oregon, to the east with Nevada and Arizona, to the south with the Mexican state of Baja California and to the west with the Pacific Ocean. The capital is Sacramento.

Physical geography

According to youremailverifier, the territory of California presents several contrasts: there is Mount Whitney (4,418m), the second in the country in altitude, and the Valley of Death, 82m below sea level. From the north to the south and over 720km extends the Great Valley, a flat tectonic cesspool that offers exceptional conditions for agriculture.

The Sierra Nevada forms the backbone of the relief; between it and the Costa chain lies the central Great Valley. To the north is the Cascatas mountain range, with a mild climate, with moderate variations between winter and summer. There are two climatic regions: the northern region, which receives an average of 2,500 mm of rainfall per year, especially on the slopes facing the ocean, covered with spruce, cedar and red pine forests, and, a little further south , of redwoods; and the southern one, with a Mediterranean climate, dry and sunny summers, rains in the winter, being able to receive 350 to 400mm of rain on the coast each year, although the central valley, sheltered by the mountains, receives less than 350mm; dry and poor vegetation covers the non-irrigated areas, especially with subtropical cacti and palms and oaks. In the Sierra Nevada there are several lakes of glacial origin, the largest being Tahoe; and three national parks: Kings Canyon, Sequoia and Yosemite.


The first settlers settled in California were of Anglo-Saxon ancestry, but from 1850 onwards gold exploration attracted immigrants from different countries: China, Ireland, France, Italy, Mexico, Russia and Japan. relation to the Orientals, with the edition of a series of discriminatory laws that were maintained until the middle of the 20th century. After 150 years of continuous immigration, the white component predominated, but California is the American state with the largest contingent of Latin Americans, Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese and Vietnamese. More than ninety percent of the population lives in cities and 75% are concentrated in the main clusters: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim; San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose; and San Diego. They are all located in the southern half of the Californian coast.


The total value of goods and services produced in California is only surpassed by those of the United States together, Japan, Germany, France and the former Soviet Union. The state is the main agricultural center in the United States, with emphasis on the production of cotton, grapes, tomatoes, rice, asparagus, oranges, soybeans, corn, in addition to meat and milk and its derivatives. One third of the canned and fruit juices produced in the United States come from California. Fishing and forestry are also important.

Mineral extraction is particularly noteworthy, thanks to the large production of oil and natural gas and the exploitation of the mines of silver, gold, copper, lead, in addition to deposits of zinc and borax. The aircraft and film industries contributed to the phenomenal growth of Los Angeles. San Francisco is one of the most important ports in the United States and San Diego is home to a large naval base.

Another very strong segment is tourism. California has the largest expressway network in the world and intense air traffic, especially along coastal cities. As it corresponds to a region with a high standard of living, California has an advanced system of education, health and social benefits for its inhabitants.


Sighted in 1542 by the Spanish Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, for a long time California aroused little interest. Its first colonization fell to Spanish missionaries, and from 1769 onwards Friar Junípero Serra and successors founded missions in which the Indians practiced commercial agriculture. With Mexico’s independence in 1821, the region came under Mexican jurisdiction. In 1841 the first caravan of English-speaking settlers from Missouri arrived in California, but California’s heyday began with the discovery of gold in 1848, just days before the area passed into the domain of the United States, according to the treaty with Mexico, which ended the war of 1846-1847. In 1850 California became the 31st American state.