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California (officially the California Republic) is a nation in western North America. After fighting for its independence from Spain, California was involved in a series of expansionist struggles and economic boom. Eventually, after going through immigration and a depression, the California Republic has become one of the most prosperous nations in North America.
See main article: History of California
Government and Politics
California is governed as a republic, with three branches of government — the executive branch consisting of the President and the other independently elected constitutional officers; the legislative branch consisting of the National Assembly and Senate; and the judicial branch consisting of the Supreme Court of California and lower courts. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification. California allows each political party to choose whether to have a closed primary or a primary where only party members and independents vote. The state's capital is Sonoma.
The President of California and the other state constitutional officers serve four-year terms and may be re-elected only once. The California Congress consists of a 60-member Senate and 100-member National Assembly. Senators serve four-year terms and National Assembly members two. Members of the Assembly are subject to term limits of three terms, and members of the Senate are subject to term limits of two terms.
What has been consistent in the last few decades is that California politics has trended towards the Liberal Republican Party and away from the National Republican Party.
The Californian Armed Forces is split into the Army, Air Force, and Navy. There are some 229,000 standing members in the army, 78,000 airmen in the air force, and 67,000 people in the navy (along with a fleet of 58 ships). Each province also has a Provincial Guard which partially acts as the Californian Army Reserve. The standard issue rifle is an M-16 variant known as the CR-87 (Californian Rifle from the year 1978). There is an academy for each part of the armed forces:
- California Military Academy, Est. 1882 (Located in Merced, Upper California)
- California Naval Academy, Est. 1890 (Located in Edmonds, Washington)
- California Air Force Academy, Est. 1951 (Located in Moab, Utah)
California was split into 7 provinces in 1870. Today, there are 12:
- Cascadia (Capital: Olympia)
- Upper California (Capital: San Francisco)
- Lower California (Capital: Los Angeles)
- Nevada (Capital: Carson City)
- Utah (Capital: Salt Lake City)
- New Mexico (Capital: Albuquerque)
- Arizona (Capital: Phoenix)
- Montezuma (Capital: Tucson)
- Colorado (Capital: Pueblo)
- Oregon (Capital: Salem)
- Idaho (Capital: Boise)
- Montana (Capital: Helena)
Each province is furth divided into counties, and separetly into electoral districts.
California is a very diverse country, as a result of immigrant diversion form the United States. Approximaitely 49,700,000 people call California home. Its ethnic makeup is:
- Caucasian/Non-Hispanic white (43.4%)
- Hispanic or Latino (28.6%)
- Asian (15.5%)
- Black/African-American (5.7%)
- Native American (2.6%)
- Multiracial/Other (1.2%)
Due to the sometimes unsuccessful California Indian Wars and John C. Fremont's Indian Lands Act, California retains a much larger American Indian population than other American nations. The majority of blacks that live in California came from Texas to escape slavery, which contributes to Texas's smaller black population. Hispanics have come from the southern border, with refugees from the Mexican partition being the first wave. The Asian population was on the rise since the 19th century, but the breakup of China helped lift it.
The majority of Californians are Roman Catholic. The establishment of Catholic missions in its early days is a part of this. As immigration and settlement increased, different types of Christians poured into the country (especially Protestants). California once had a sizable Mormon population, but they were driven out during the Mormon War. Some 2/3 Native Americans have held on to their traditional beliefs. The country's buddhist/taoist/shinto population is a result of mass immigration from the Far East. California also has a decent-sized atheist/irreligious population.
- Roman Catholicism (33%)
- Protestantism (31%)
- Non-religious (21%)
- Buddhism/Shinto/Taosim/other Oriental beliefs (9%)
- Presbyterianism (4%)
- Other Religions (4%)
- Native American beliefs (2%)
- Judaism (1%)
California's economy is the is the seven largest economy in the world. As of 2008, the gross state product (GSP) is about $2.85 trillion. The state's GDP growth rate slowed to 0.4% in 2008 after having grown 3.1% in 2006 and 1.8% in 2007. As of 2010 California along with USA leads all other states in the number of Fortune 500 headquarters at 57 companies each.
California has nineteen major professional sports league franchises, far more than any other state. The San Francisco Bay Area has seven major league teams spread in three cities, San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. While the Greater Los Angeles Area is home to ten major league franchises, it is also the largest metropolitan area not to have a team from the National Football League. San Diego has two major league teams, and Sacramento has one.
Home to some of the most prominent universities in the United States, California has long had many respected collegiate sports programs. California home to the oldest college bowl game, the annual Rose Bowl, among others.