In the early days of the United States of America, thirty different tribal groups resided in the state of California before the arrival of European explorers in the sixteenth century. Among the European powers, the Spanish built the first community in California, and they established a total of twenty-one missions in the state by the late eighteenth century. Many of these missions are thriving to this day, a prominent example among them being the Santa Barbara mission.
In 1821, the Mexican War for Independence took place, and California became a part of Mexico. It remained a part of Mexico until it was acquired by the United States after the Mexican-American War in 1847. The discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada mountain ranges in 1848 gave birth to the California Gold Rush, causing the state’s non-native population to rise from a mere 15,000 to more than 300,000 over a span of two years, which ultimately resulted in the declaration of California as a state in 1850.
During the twentieth century, the population of the state increased steadily, and the California of the present day is the most heavily populated state in the USA with a population larger than 33 million.
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