California Essay, Research Paper
California is located far west of the United States. It is widely know
for it?s natural beauty and its huge farms and factories. The state has an
area larger than Germany. Its many cities include Los Angeles, San
Francisco, Sacramento, and San Diego to name a few. The state has
lured many immigrants since the 19th century for it?s gold and mining.
When the first Europeans arrived in the 16th century, the region of
California was all Native Americans. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a
Portuguese navigator exploring for Spain, was probably the first
European to see California. Sailing north from Mexico, he visited San
Diego Bay in September 1542. The next major voyage along the coast
was made by the English navigator Sir Frances Drake in 1579. No
European people made a home of California until Captain Gaspar de
Portal, the Spanish governor of Baja, California, led an expedition
north in 1769. During that journey, forts were established at Sand
Diego and Monterey. In 1822, California was became a province of the
LAND AND RESOURCES
California is a state with very spectacular scenes and natural beauty. Its
highest point is Mount Whitney, which is 4,418m. Its lowest point is in
Death Valley. It is 86m below sea level. This is also the lowest point
in the whole Western Hemisphere.
California has varied topography throughout the state. The main
features are the large Central Valley and the mountain ranges inside of
it. The Central Valley is about 805 km long and 80 km wide. It
includes two major drainage basins that both empty out into the Pacific
Ocean. The valley is bounded by the Klamath Mountains, which is a
very forested mountain range. The southern part of the Cascade Range
borders the Central Valley on the northeast. The highest peak of the
Cascade Range in California is Mt. Shasta, which is 4,317 m.
California has a varied climate because of its topography. Most of the
state has only two seasons, which are the sunny season and the rainy
season. Precipitation is much higher in the north because it is closer to
the Pacific Ocean. Temperatures are kind of mild on the coast with
temperatures being 56 F in Los Angeles and 50 F in San Francisco at
average in January. In July the average temperatures are 72 F in Los
Angeles and 59 F in San Francisco.
California has the richest economy of the United States. Today, service
industries account for 80% of California?s state product. In the 1990?s
the California economy had a big slump that came from downsized
defense and aerospace industries into computers software and
entertainment. Farming was also down because of a big drought that
was the worst in 400 years. California has very important minerals.
Among the most important are crude petroleum, natural gases, boron,
tungsten, sand, gravel, asbestos, copper, feldspar, gold, iron ore,
mercury, potash, soda ash, sulfur, and uranium.
ETHNIC GROUPS AND POPULATION
California is the nation?s most populous state. In the Census of 1990
the population of California was 29,760,021. California has had a high
rate of population growth ever since it became a state in 1850. The
rate slowed down by a lot in the 1980?s due to recession and out-
The majority of the population of California is white but there
are many more minority groups. The state?s Asian population is 10%
of California?s population. It is the fastest growing population in
California. Hispanic people are the second fastest growing ethnic
group in the state. The black population is 7.4% of the California
population. There are also 242,164 Native Americans which is about
1% of the population. The largest religious group is the Roman
Catholic Church which includes Protestant, Baptist, Episcopalians,
Methodist, and Presbyterians. There is also a big Jewish community.
California has 19 big league baseball, hockey, basketball, football and
soccer teams. The San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Los
Angeles Dodgers, Anaheim Angels, and San Diego Padres are the
state?s major league baseball teams. The San Francisco 49ers, Oakland
Raiders, and San Diego Chargers are California?s National Football
League teams. The Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Los
Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers are members of the NBA.
The San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, and the Anaheim Mighty
Ducks are the NHL teams of California. They have soccer teams too
but who likes soccer??
California ranks number one in manufacturing. The leading categories
of fabricated goods in the state are transportation equipment, processed
food, and electronic stuff. The state?s food products include canned
and frozen fruits and vegetables, processed meat, canned fish, and
beverages. The Santa Clare Valley, Sacramento, and Los Angeles area
have many firms that produce and develop electronic equipment.
California each year draws many tourists each year mainly because of
there beautiful weather and endless things to do. Popular sites of
California are the television studios of Los Angeles, Disneyland, San
Diego Zoo, Sea World, Fisherman?s Wharf, Chinatown, and other
parts of San Francisco. The state has eight national parks with
beautiful scenic views.