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California

east san production nation

California, state in the southwest corner of the United States; bordered by Oregon in the north, Nevada and Arizona in the east, Mexico in the south, and the Pacific Ocean in the west.

Land and climate

Redwood forests and the San Andreas fault, origin of periodic earth tremors and occasional earthquakes, are important features of the Coast Ranges along the Pacific. The Sierra Nevada range to the east is the location of several national parks, including Yosemite and Sequoia, and of Mt. Whitney. Between these 2 mountain chains in the central part of the state is the Great Valley, whose fertile acres are drained by the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers. To the north, Lassen Peak, an active volcano, and Mt. Shasta are found in the Cascade Mountains. East of the Sierra Nevada is the Basin and Range Region, which is largely desert. It includes Death Valley, with the lowest point in North America. Generally speaking, the state experiences hot, dry summers and warm, relatively wet winters. Principal cities are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Sacramento.

Economy

California is first among the states in manufacturing and agriculture and ranks among the leading states in fishing and mining. Major manufactures include electronic, electrical, and transportation equipment and processed foods, and some of the world's finest wines. California ranks second among the states in the production of milk, cotton, and oranges. It leads the nation in the production of many fruits, including grapes, avocados, and lemons. Tourism is also a large industry, and Disneyland is a primary attraction. California is the nation's film and television production center.

Government

The constitution of 1879 provides for a governor serving a 4-year term. The state legislature consists of 40 senators, elected for 4-year terms, and 80 members of the Assembly, elected for 2-year terms. California sends 2 senators and 52 representatives to the U.S. Congress.

History

The Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo is usually credited with California's discovery in 1542. The first California mission was established by a Franciscan missionary in 1769. In 1822 California became a province of Mexico. After Mexico's defeat in the Mexican War (1846–48), the area was ceded to the United States. The 1849 gold rush increased the population from 15,000 to over 100,000. The Central Pacific Railroad, completed in 1869, linked California with the East. California became the nation's aircraft center during World War II (1939–45). The postwar population expansion boosted the state's economy, but also created problems that exist today, such as smog and scarcity of water resources.

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