History 471

  • Period: 1524 to

    Council of the Indies

    Spanish Administration that decided where and what to do with Spanish Colonies.
  • 1542

    Spanish make first arrival on shores of what would become California

  • 1551

    Valladolid Debate.

    Debate by Spanish about how Native people should be treated in lands to be colonized. It was decided that they need to be “civilized”.
  • Period: to

    Life of Junipero Serra

    “Father of the Missions”. Established first mission in CA in San Diego. Went on to establish 9 more missions along the coast.
  • First mission established in California

    First Californian mission established in San Diego
  • Period: to

    Missions Established in California

    21 Missions were established along the coast in California, starting in San Diego and working up the coast to San Francisco. Established along coast because the easiest way to get to them was by ship.
  • Period: to

    Spanish Era

    Spanish establish missions, colonize, and rule California during this time
  • Indian Revolt at San Gabriel

    Mounting tensions between Spanish and Tongva people due to forced conversions and prohibition of Native traditions lead to a revolt by the Tongva people against the Spanish. The Tongva people were partially led by Toypurina, a gentile woman who recruited 6 of the 8 nearby Tongva villages to take part in the attack.
  • Jean Francois de la Perouse visits the mission at Monterey

    Captain de la Perouse arrives in Monterey at the established mission there and his later discovered journals give an account of how the missions are run and how the Native Californians are treated.
  • Northwest Ordinances

    Northwest Ordinances adopted by Federal Gov’t.
    Laid out how territories could become states.
    Required people to be counted (not slaves or Indigenous)
    Required white men voter population who could vote on Statehood.
    CA had a slightly different path to statehood because of Gold Rush.
  • Measles epidemic

    Hit San Gabriel and San Francisco missions the hardest, wiped out large portion of Native population.
  • Invasion of Spain

    Napoleon invaded Spain. Setting off the Napoleonic Wars.
  • Period: to

    Napoleonic Wars/Peninsular War

    War for control of Spain and Portugal (Iberian Peninsula). Started with Napoleon (French) invading Spain in 1808.
  • Period: to

    Mexican War for Independence

    Caste system in Mexico based on race/birthplace caused tensions. Mexican born people wanted home-rule independent of Spain.
  • Spanish Constitution Established

    Established Spanish rule of order as a Constitutional monarchy.
  • Period: to

    Russian Settlement at Fort Ross

    One of the many foreign groups that established themselves in CA in 19th century.
  • Period: to

    Mexican Era

    California comes under Mexican rule after Mexico gained its independence from Spain.
    During this time, the economy consisted of ranchos that were granted to people by the territorial government.
  • Chumash Indian Revolt

    Chumash people organized to revolt against Spanish in Ynez mission. Feb 1824-Aug 1824
  • Jedidiah Smith opens Yuma trail

    Trail heading south from Astoria. Previously closed off due to tensions with Yuma people. Opened by Smith and his group of “mountain men”.
  • Estanislao Indian Revolt

    2 year long revolt. 1827-1829
  • Period: to

    Trappers and Mountain Men arrive in CA

    Trappers and mountain men arrive in California bringing with them various skills. Such as butchery, sawmill operation,carpentry, etc.
  • Missions become secularized

    The Mexican government confiscated and secularized the California missions during their war with Spain.
  • Rancho Economy of Mexican California

    The ranchos of California sold meat, tallow, and leather goods throughout the area itself as well as states in the US.
    The people that ran these ranchos were called Californios and their trade led them to become quite wealthy.

    Most of the rancho workers were Native Californians.
    The rancho economy lasted until the 1850s.
  • John Sutter arrives in California

    His land, New Helvetia, separates Russians from Californios.
    Employed Native people and organized them into a sort of military force.
    Helped rescue Donner party.
    Bear Flag Rebellion began at his fort.
    Gold discovered at his mill.
  • Manifest Destiny

    Term coined in 1845.
    Belief that the US had a destiny to explore and take control of Western areas.
    Led to wagon trains of settlers moving westward in search of riches and new life.
    Led to Mexican American war.
  • Major John C Fremont makes 3rd trip to CA

    Was there surveying for the military.
    After he is kicked back out, he takes control of US forces in Mexican/American War
  • Bear Flag Revolt

    Rebellion for independence by American settlers against Mexican authorities such as Mariano Vallejo in Sacramento Valley area at Sutter’s Fort.
  • Battle of San Pasqual

    Bloodiest battle in CA during Mex- Amer War.
    Winner debated.
    22 US dead, but they held the area.
  • Period: to

    Donner Party Disaster

    A series of bad decisions such as leaving late in the season and taking the previously untested Hastings route led to the deaths and cannibalism of 81 people in the Donner party of westward travelers.
  • Period: to

    Mexican American War

    Because of strong feelings of Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, President Polk wanted California (among other western states) to be part of the US.
    Offered 30 mill to Mexico for it, but Mexico refused.
    Polk declared war in 1846.
    Ends in CA in 1847 with Treaty of Cahuenga.
    Ended with Treaty of Guadalupe of Hidalgo in 1848.
  • Treaty of Cahuenga

    Ends Mex-Amer War in CA.
  • Gold discovered at Sutter’s Sawmill

    Gold discovered by James Marshall who was building a sawmill for Sutter at Coloma near modern day Placerville.
    Marshall shows gold to Sutter.
    Sutter’s employees start spreading the news, they are not believed until Sam Brannan sees it and opens a store for gold mining necessities.
  • Period: to

    Gold Rush Era

    Discovery of gold in CA leads to massive westward travel by Americans seeking their fortune.
    Shaped the state of CA like no other event.
    ~250-300k Americans moved to CA.
    Population boomed not just with white Americans but also with foreign laborers such as Chinese people and Latin people as well.
    Happened in 3 phases of people migrating to CA.
    Indigenous population of California suffered greatly due to genocide and exploitation.
  • Clear Lake Massacre

    Massacre of Pomo people on an island in Clear Lake.
    The massacre was a response to the slaying of two white men by the Pomo.
  • California becomes a state

  • $1.1 paid out to Americans to join militias

    CA’s first governor Peter Burnett pays men to hunt down and kill Indigenous people.
  • CA becomes slightly depopulated

    Post- Gold Rush the population in CA declines slightly as people start moving to other parts of the West and Alaska in search of gold.
  • Pacific Railway Act

    Pacific Railway Act passed in order to aid construction of railroad from Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean.
    Authorized Union Pacific and Central Pacific companies to construct the lines.
  • Period: to

    Transcontinental Railroad constructed

    The transcontinental railroad connected the East and West coasts of the US.
    People who worked to build the railroad included ~20,000 Chinese laborers whose efforts and ingenuity were immense but they suffered greatly due to anti-Chinese racism and violence.
  • Pacific Railway Act 1864

    Provided further governmental subsidies to railroad companies to complete construction of railway that would reach the Pacific Ocean.
  • Women get the vote in Wyoming

    As an incentive to close the gender gap, women get the vote in the West first in Wyoming to encourage them to move there.
  • Los Angeles Massacre

    White and Californio men go into Chinatown in LA and murder ~25 Chinese people.
    The goal was to force the Chinese population out through fear.
    This was followed by more anti-Chinese violence throughout the state.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act

    Federal law signed by President Arthur prohibiting the immigration of Chinese laborers into the US.
  • Period: to

    Progressive Era

    Era in California filled with political reform.
    Women received the right to vote in CA during this time.
    Stops to monopolies by the railroad companies were put in place.
    Labor and education reforms were put into place.
  • Lobby for Port of LA to be placed in San Pedro

    Sen. Stephen White fights for port of LA in San Pedro
  • Period: to

    LA Port built

    Built in San Pedro. Is a “free port”.
  • Period: to

    Graft Trials

    Trials in San Francisco that put political leaders on trial for the mass destruction caused by poor planning during the SF Earthquake
  • San Francisco Earthquake

    Absolute devastation of San Francisco occurred due to the Earthquake and subsequent fires and lack of access to water due to poor infrastructure.
  • Women get the vote in CA

  • Progressive Republicans capture state government

  • Hiram Johnson elected 1st CA governor

    In a win for Progressive Republican politics, Hiram Johnson is elected the first governor of CA
  • William Mulholland and LA Water and Power start taking water from Owen’s Valley

    LA’s population boom leads to desperate need for water.
    As a response, William Mulholland and the LA Department of Water and Power decide to start channeling water from the Owen’s Valley, draining it of its resources and devastating its local community.
  • Alien Land Act Passed

    Prohibited people ineligible for citizenship from owning land.
    Affected Japanese, Chinese, and Native people from owning land in California.
  • Child Labor Ban

    Prohibited children under 14 from working in any industry except agriculture.
  • Period: to


    Passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution prohibited alcohol in the United States.
  • Period: to

    Great Depression Era

    The stock market crash of 1929 led to a massive economic depression that left millions of people unemployed.
    Maybe families were forced out of their homes due to the Dust Bowl and they found themselves migrating west toward California.
  • EPIC movement

    EPIC stands for End Poverty In California.
    It was a movement brought about by the writer and gubernatorial candidate Upton Sinclair.
    He wanted a massive overhaul of the CA tax system and guaranteed pensions for workers.
    Those Sinclair did not win the gubernatorial election, the movement was one of the bases for the New Deal program.
  • Period: to

    Dust Bowl

    A period of drought and dust storms that ravaged areas in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, and Colorado devastating farms and lives therein.
    The storms and drought were caused by bad farming practices that eroded the soil, turning it to dust.
    Many families sought escape from the Dust Bowl by migrating westward to California.
  • Period: to

    WWII Era Population Boom in California

    Population of CA grows by ~7M people during WWII.
    Our geographical closeness to the Pacific Theater and our cheap open land made our state a destination for defense spending, and with these new job opportunities came many people to fill them.
    Our population continued to grow post-War as troops came back home to the States and reunited with family that had moved to California.
    Our diversity grew as well with the Second Great Migration and Bracero Program.
  • Period: to

    Second Great Migration

    Harsh and racist Jim Crow laws, segregation, and dangerous working conditions in the Southern US caused an exodus of African American people from the region to seek work and more peaceful lives elsewhere in the US.
    CA’s Bay Area and Los Angeles saw a massive growth in their African American population during this time because of growing defense industry jobs.
  • Period: to

    Mexican Farm Labor Agreement/Bracero Program

    In an attempt to help with the labor shortage, the US signed an agreement with Mexico that brought ~45K Mexican citizens per year into the US to do jobs in agriculture, railroads, and other hard labor industries. These contract workers took up jobs particularly in the agricultural industries of the Southwest and CA.
    Though they were given work, the conditions for the workers were frequently poor and unfair.
  • Executive Order 9066 and Japanese Internment

    EO that called for the internment of Japanese people into camps on the West Coast of the US.
    A long time coming, the internment of Japanese people in the US was led up to by anti-Japanese discrimination starting at the turn of the century.
    Called the “Greatest Forced Migration” in the US and had devastating consequences.
    Very few Japanese Americans were able to have their property returned to them afterward.
  • War Manpower Commission Established

    Agency that managed the labor needs of our country during WWII.
    Two of the most important sections of the commission were based in LA and San Francisco
  • Zoot Suit Riots

    White sailors visiting LA start a 5-day racism fueled riot. They injured 150 Mexican Americans. The police respond by arresting the victims.
  • Port Chicago Disaster

    Explosion at defense plant. Killed 320 people and injured about 400. A majority of which were Black Americans. Caused “mutiny” when Black American sailors refused to return to the site. Led to desegregation of US Navy 4 years later
  • Gonzalo Mendez sues Westminster schools

    Gonzalo Mendez sues the schools of Westminster because the segregated schools are of much lower quality. This leads to the eventual desegregation of all California schools.
  • HUAC Hearing and the Hollywood 10

    HUAC was an anti-Communist government committee.
    They held hearings across the country for 30 years.
    At one of these hearings in 1947, 10 people in the film industry spoke out against the committee and we’re subsequently arrested and jailed as well as being blacklisted from the film industry as a whole.
  • Period: to

    Cold War/Anti Communism Era

    Directly after WWII, tensions between the US and the (then) USSR grew.
    This caused a deep fear of anything Communism related in the citizens of the US.
    In CA, this contributed to a growth in the aerospace industry as the Space Race took hold. It also shaped the culture of the newly built suburbs; people felt safer there because they were indicative of the classic “American Way of Life”.
  • Period: to

    California’s Population Triples

    Over this 40 year period, the population of California boomed from 10 to 30 million people. This was due to migration within the US, immigration from other nations like Mexico, and people joining family here after WWII. This caused a major need for housing and the suburbs of California started being built.
  • Period: to

    California’s Suburban Boom

    As the population grew, the need for housing did as well.
    The GI Bill made housing slightly more affordable for returning veterans. Suburbs were built throughout CA. Tract style housing became a popular way for many homes to be build quickly but not necessarily uniquely. The suburban population of California did not reflect the diversity of the rest of the state. In 1970, over 97% of people who live in the suburbs were white and people of color had trouble buying these homes.
  • Period: to

    Post War Liberalism Era

    After WWII, Center Left Liberalism gained popularity in CA.
    Their goal was to have a government that improved the lives of its citizens.
    Goals included: raising taxes to improve water and freeway infrastructure, adding more public transport (like BART), improving higher education, and moving the Civil Rights movement forward. Began its decline after the Watts Riots and reached its end ultimately in the 90’s with the Rodney King Riots as the state swung toward Conservatism.
  • Freeway and Expressway Act

    Provided 10.5B dollars to build and improve CA’s massive freeway system.
  • Fair Employment Practices Act and Unruh Civil Rights Act

    Both acts made it so that employers could not discriminate against potential or current employees.
    The Unruh Act made it so that victims, whether they were employees or customers, could legally sue for discrimination.
  • State Water Project

    Built the now called Edmund G Brown aqueduct in order to help move water throughout the state.
    Funded by the Burns-Porter Act: 1.75 B dollar bond measure to improve the state’s water system.
    Helped form the wine industry in CA.
  • Donohoe Act and Master Plan for Higher Education

    Created a statewide 3-tiered system for higher education.
    Community colleges, State Universities, and UC schools were established, all with different requirements and specialties.
  • Rumford Fair Housing Act

    Prohibited discrimination in public housing in apartment buildings with more than five units. Did not include banning discrimination in private housing.
    Was protested against and was overturned when Prop 14 went through in 1964. Was brought back in 1968 and still exists today. It also allows for victims of discrimination to pursue legal action.
  • Proposition 14

    Nullified Rumford Act of 1963 and allowed property owners to once again be able to discriminate based on race against people looking for housing. Was declared unconstitutional in 1966.
  • Free Speech Movement

    ~800 Berkeley students started protesting the redlining and racial divide in California. The university voted to remove the student protestors and the students were removed and arrested. Ronald Reagan was an outspoken voice agains the protestors and went on to dump tear gas on Berkeley students 5 years later.
  • Hart Cellar Act

    This Act opened up the US borders to allow a more equal amount of immigrants in from more countries where previously, mostly European immigrants had the luxury of immigrating here relatively easily.
    It also categorized immigrants based on their reasons for immigrating and their ability to work.
  • Watts Riots

    An African-American man named Marquette Frye had a confrontation with the police after he was pulled over for drunk driving. During this confrontation, Frye was beaten with a baton.
    News of what happened and building tensions between police and the African-American community caused a six day period of rioting and unrest in the city of Watts, California as people protested against racism and police brutality.
    During this time, 34 people died and over $40 million worth of property was destroyed.
  • Farmworkers March to Sacramento

    Cesar Chavez lead a group of farmworkers from Delano to Sacramento in order to protest for fair union representation, safe working conditions, and minimum wages.
  • Period: to

    Pendulum of political ideals swung toward Conservatism

    California swung back from Liberalism to Conservatism during the late 60’s and early 70’s as a push to reduce government became more popular. Ronald Reagan became governor and pushed the myth of American Individualism as well as shutting down the state hospital system to reduce spending. The Conservative movement was aimed at preserving their perceived “status quo”.
  • Black Panther Party comes to Sacramento

    Approximately two dozen members of the Black Panther party made their way to the state capitol. They were armed and though carrying a weapon was legal, because they were black, it caused an uproar. This led to anti-gun legislation being passed.
  • Reagan drops tear gas on protestors

    Reagan called the national guard to drop to tear gas on protesters at UC Berkeley who were protesting a parking lot being built.
    He was supported in this by Californians who thought that the students there were suffering from “liberal excess”.
  • All Tribes Group Occupies Alcatraz

    A group of Native American people protest at the sentencing to Alcatraz of 19 Hopi people.
    They ended up occupying the island for 19 months in an attempt to reclaim the land.
  • Period: to

    Liberalism with Fiscal Conservatism

    California aimed to reduce government spending while also focusing on environmentalism.
  • Period: to

    Political Pendulum swings back again to Conservatism

    Reagan becomes president. California has growing concerns about immigration and affirmative action.
  • Rodney King Riots

    An African American Man named Rodney King was beaten brutally by police in LA and it was caught on camera.
    The four policemen that beat him were completely acquitted of any charges.
    After the verdict was read, the city erupted into riots that shared the same painful background as the Watts Riots of almost 30 years before and the ones that occurred after the death of George Floyd 30 almost years later.
  • COVID-19 Pandemic

    Over the past year, the world has been ravaged by COVID-19.
    Though we have had some of the strongest restrictions of almost any state, it has still claimed the lives of almost 63,000 of our citizens.
    There is now a vaccine, but the disease still claims the lives of 50 to 100 people a day in our state alone.
  • George Floyd and Black Lives Matter Protests

    In a painfully similar story to that of the Marquette Frye and Rodney King, George Floyd was a Black American man who had a confrontation with the police.
    Unlike the other two men, Floyd was killed.
    Hundreds of other Black Americans have met unjust deaths at the hands of police and protests have broken out here in CA and the rest of the US against this horribly repeating piece of our history.
  • Recall Election of Governor Newsom

    Governor Gavin Newsom has placed some of the strictest restrictions in the nation on the state of California during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Due to our massive population, the pandemic hit our state very hard.
    Though the restrictions likely saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, many believe he should be recalled for the restrictions he imposed.