Portal:California

Seal of California.
Location of California within the United States.
Flag of California.svg

California is a state in the Western United States. It is bordered by Nevada to the east, Arizona to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, Oregon to the north, and the Mexican state of Baja California to the south. With over 39.5 million residents across a total area of approximately 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), it is the most populous and the third-largest U.S. state by area. It is also the most populated subnational entity in North America and the 34th most populous in the world. The Greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions respectively, with the former having more than 18.7 million residents and the latter having over 9.6 million. Sacramento is the state's capital, while Los Angeles is the most populous city in the state and the second most populous city in the country (after New York City). Los Angeles County is the country's most populous, while San Bernardino County is the largest county by area in the country. San Francisco, which is both a city and county, is the second most densely populated major city in the country (after New York City) and the fifth most densely populated county in the country, behind four of New York City's five boroughs.

The economy of California, with a gross state product of $3.2 trillion as of 2019, is the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, it would be the 37th most populous country and the fifth largest economy . The Greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies ($1.0 trillion and $0.5 trillion respectively ), after the New York metropolitan area ($1.8 trillion). The San Francisco Bay Area Combined Statistical Area had the nation's highest gross domestic product per capita ($106,757) among large primary statistical areas in 2018, and is home to four of the world's 10 largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's 10 richest people.

What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of Europeans during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Spanish Empire then claimed and colonized it. In 1804, it was included in Alta California province within the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821, following its successful war for independence, but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War. The western portion of Alta California was then organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850, following the Compromise of 1850. The California Gold Rush started in 1848 and led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale immigration from other parts of the United States and abroad and an accompanying economic boom.

Notable contributions to popular culture, for example in entertainment, and sports, have their origins in California. The state also has made noteworthy contributions in the fields of communication, information, innovation, environmentalism, economics, and politics. It is the home of Hollywood, the oldest and largest film industry in the world, which has had a profound effect on global entertainment. It is considered the origin of the hippie counterculture, beach and car culture, and the personal computer, among other innovations. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are widely seen as centers of the global technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California's economy is very diverse: 58% of it is based on finance, government, real estate services, technology, and professional, scientific, and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.S. state. California's ports and harbors handle about a third of all U.S. imports, most originating in Pacific Rim international trade. (Full article...)

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A color lithograph of the Winfield Scott
A color lithograph of the Winfield Scott
The Winfield Scott was a sidewheel steamer that transported passengers and cargo between San Francisco, California, and Panama in the early 1850s, during the California Gold Rush. After entering a heavy fog off the coast of Southern California on the evening of December 1, 1853, the ship crashed into Middle Anacapa Island. ll 450 passengers and crew survived, but the ship was lost.

The Winfield Scott has been the object of numerous salvage operations since the crash, and currently rests underwater as part of the Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary. The wreck site of the Winfield Scott is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848 brought thousands of people to California in search of fortune until the late 1850s. Since neither the Panama Canal nor the First Transcontinental Railroad had been constructed, people emigrating to California from the Eastern United States had three main routes of passage. They could travel over land, which was expensive and dangerous, or they could sail the roughly 14,000-mile route around South America. This was more attractive to some but no less dangerous, due in part to the rough waters of the Drake Passage. In addition to the inherent dangers of either route, the journey often took as long as six months to complete. (Full article...)

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The Port of Redwood City is a marine freight terminal on the western side of the southern San Francisco Bay, on the West Coast of the United States. This marine terminal is situated within the city of Redwood City, California. The port was developed from a natural deepwater channel discovered in the year 1850, at the mouth of Redwood Creek.

State facts

  • Total area: 163,696 mi2
    • Land: 156,002 mi2
    • Water: 7,694 mi2
  • Highest elevation: 14,505 ft (Mount Whitney)
  • Population 39,250,017 (2016 est)
  • Admission to the Union: September 9, 1850 (31st)

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Bertrand Russell in 1907
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS (18 May 1872–2 February 1970), was a philosopher, historian, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, and pacifist. Although usually regarded as English, he was born in Wales. A prolific writer, he was a populariser of philosophy and a commentator on a large variety of topics. Continuing a family tradition in political affairs; he was a prominent anti-war activist, championing free trade between nations and anti-imperialism. He also authored Principia Mathematica (with Alfred North Whitehead), an attempt to ground Mathematics on the laws of Logic and the essay On Denoting. Both books have had a considerable influence on Logic, Set Theory, Linguistics and Analytic Philosophy. Bertrand Russell was born at the height of Britain's economic and political ascendancy.

When he died almost a century later, the British Empire had all but vanished, its power had been dissipated by two world wars and its imperial system had been brought to an end. Among his post–Second World War political activities, Russell was a vigorous proponent of nuclear disarmament, antagonist to communist totalitarianism and an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War.

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Headwaters area of Yulupa Creek

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Woody Allen
In California, they don't throw their garbage away - they make it into TV shows.

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Lake Berryessa
Credit: Gh5046

Lake Berryessa is the largest lake in Napa County, California. This reservoir is formed by the Monticello Dam, which provides water and hydroelectricity to the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to its inundation, the Beryessa Valley was an agricultural region, whose soils were considered among the finest in the country.

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