Provincia of Alta California

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Date: 1769 to 1848
Location: Alta California consisted of California Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona, about half of New Mexico, about a quarter of Colorado, and a small section of Wyomingmap
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Categories: Southern US | California colony | California Territory | California First Families | California | California History | Mexican-American War | Western US.

Alta California of Nueva Espana in what would become California, Arizona, Nevada and part of Colorado

See the project, Wild Wild West and Westward Ho Projects to develop profiles covering the years 1800-1925

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

"Know, that on the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California very close to the side of the Terrestrial Paradise; and it is peopled by black women, without any man among them, for they live in the manner of Amazons" Rodríguez de Montalvo, Garci (1526) [1496].Las sergas de Esplandián

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1535 California was first explored by the Spanish. in 1535 Hernando Cortes lead an expedition to La Paz and opened a small colony.

1539 Francisco de Ulloa explores the gulf of California

1542 The Portuguese explorer, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, explores California

1545 The Europeans bring typhus to California and the epidemic kills hundreds of thousands of natives

1579 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.

1769 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 Washington led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War (American War of Independence

1776 July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence

1778 July 10, 1778 - France declares war against Britain and makes an alliance with the American revolutionary forces

1783 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

1820 Mexico wins its independence from Spain and becomes California's new ruler. US Trappers, including Jedediah Strong Smith, start trading in the state

1822-1846 - Rancho Days of California and San Luis Obispo County started when the Mexican government awarded 35 land grants in San Luis Obispo County between 1822 and 1846.

1832 - 1832, the Mexican government offered California land to soldiers who had fought for Mexico with its War of Independence with Spain. The applicants had to be citizens of Mexico and Catholic.

1846 The United States invades Mexico from the east starting the Mexican-American War won by the US on July 9, 1846

1846 Donner Party

June 14 1846 Americans in Northern California rebel against Mexican authorities in the Bear Flag Revolt, proclaiming California a republic.

1848 James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's sawmill in Coloma which starts the Gold Rush

1848 Mexican Cession of 1848 is a historical name in the United States for the region of the modern day southwestern United States that Mexico ceded to the U.S. in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Mexican Cession consist of present day U.S. states of California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona, about half of New Mexico, about a quarter of Colorado, and a small section of Wyoming;

1850 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 "

1860 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.

1865 The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signaled the end of the Confederacy

1865 1865 December 6: The Abolishment of Slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S Constitution is ratified, thus officially abolishing slavery

1898 1898 - 1901: The Spanish American War. On December 10, 1898 the Treaty of Paris the US annexes Puerto Rico, Guam, Philippines

The Spanish and Mexican governors of California and the dates of their accession were: Gaspar de Portola, 1767; Felipe de Barri, 1771; Felipe de Neve, 1774; Pedro Fages, 1782; José Antonio Romen, 1790; José J. de Arrillaga, 1792; Diego de Borica, 1794; José J. de Arrillaga, 1800; José Dario Arguello, 1814; Pablo Vicente de Sola, 1815; Luis Antonio Arguello, 1823; José Maria de Echeandia, 1825; Manuel Victoria, 1831; Pio Pico, 1832; José Figueroa, 1833; José Castro, 1835; Nicolas Gutierrez, 1836; Mariano Chico, 1836; Nicolas Gutierrez, 1836; Juan B. Alvarado, 1836; Manuel Micheltorena, 1842; Pio Pico, 1845.[1]

Colony Origin/History

Original Structure

Evolution of Government Structure


  • American Indians
  • Spanish
  • Americans from the East
  • Gold rush settlers
  • Chinese helping with installation of railroads

Migrating From the Northern, Eastern and Southern Colonies

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Native Americans

Indentured Servants


Economic Resources and Information

Conflicts Within The Colony

establishment of the colony until the inclusion in the USA.

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Resource Page New Mexico

Resource Page California

the following states were derived from California; New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and part of Colorado

the following state was derived from parts of Utah, New Mexico, Kansas and Nebraska

Resource Page West la Florida

Resource Page East la Florida

Flags Over Early California

University of Southern California Digital Library

[Selected works from the permanent collections of eight California museums]

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Images: 4

Alta California
Alta California

Mojave Desert
Mojave Desert

California, Territories of New Mexico And Utah
California, Territories of New Mexico And Utah

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On 9 Dec 2014 at 09:36 GMT Paula J wrote:


December 9, 2014