California was first explored by the Spanish. in 1535 Hernando Cortes lead an expedition to La Paz and opened a small colony.
Francisco de Ulloa explores the gulf of California
The Portuguese explorer, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, explores California
The Europeans bring typhus to California and the epidemic kills hundreds of thousands of natives
The great British sailor, Sir Francis Drake, lands north of San Francisco Bay and claims the territory for England but the land is taken by the Spanish
1756 - 1763: The Seven Years War (French and Indian War) due to disputes over land is won by Great Britain. France gives England all French territory east of the Mississippi River, except New Orleans. The Spanish give up east and west Florida to the English in return for Cuba.
Father Junipero Serra founds San Diego De Alcala, the first of 21 missions established by Franciscan priests in California
1775 - 1783: The American Revolution creates the United States of America. The Revolution was due to the British burden of taxes and total power to legislate any laws governing the American colonies. George Washingtonled the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War (American War of Independence
July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence
July 10, 1778 - France declares war against Britain and makes an alliance with the American revolutionary forces
September 3, 1783 - The Treaty of Paris is signed by the victorious United States and the defeated Great Britain
1812: Russian fur traders establish Fort Ross
1812 - 1815 - The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America's Independence
Mexico wins its independence from Spain and becomes California's new ruler. US Trappers, including Jedediah Strong Smith, start trading in the state
The United States invades Mexico from the east starting the Mexican-American War won by the US on July 9, 1846
James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's sawmill in Coloma which starts the Gold Rush
Statehood - The Date that California was admitted to the Union - September 9, 1850. Constitution - California was the 31st State to be admitted to the Union. State Motto - Eureka - motto translated as " I have found it "
The Pony Express starts carrying mail from Missouri to California
1861 - 1865: The American Civil War. In 1859 John Brown raided Harpers Ferry and set in motion events that led directly to the outbreak of the Civil War. outbreak of the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln,a known opponent of slavery, was elected president and in 1861 the South Secedes. The initial Secession of South Carolina was followed by the secession of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. These eleven states eventually formed the Confederate States of America. The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the opening engagement of the American Civil War.
The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signalled the end of the Confederacy
1865 December 6: The Abolishment of Slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S Constitution is ratified, thus officially abolishing slavery
1898 - 1901: The Spanish American War. On December 10, 1898 the Treaty of Paris the US annexes Puerto Rico, Guam, Philippines
Origin of the name of the State - The name is believed to have been derived from a book called 'Las Sergas de Esplandian' by Garcia Ordonez de Montalvo which was written in 1510. The book centres around a mythical Spanish island ruled by a queen called 'Califia' - hence the name California.
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