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The History of California.
Native American Peoples lived in California for hundreds of years before the first Mexican or Anglo-American settlers reached California. These cultures didn't manage to leave behind any civilization of note.
The area was first colonized by the Spanish, but handed to the Mexicans after Spain acknowledged the country's independence. Later, large numbers of Anglo-American settlers arrived.
Bear Flag Revolt
After US Army Major John C. Fremont arrived in California on a mission to find a route to the Pacific, he began inciting rebellion in the local settlers. This came to a head in June 14th, 1846 when a group of Rebels seized the town of Sonoma and raised the Bear Flag for the first time. This later became known as the Bear Flag Revolt.
The same day, Rebels managed to capture General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, the Commandant of Northern California, who was recorded to declare the inevitability that without Mexico California would be annexed by the United States. The Commandant was later imprisoned in Fort Sutter, a rebel stronghold.
The First President of the Republic, William B. Ide, assumed the office and became the supreme commander of the Californian Militia.
American Troops under Fremont soon arrived to reinforce the Californians, but where persuaded not to seize control by Ide.
The Rebellion Spreads
The Mexican Governor sent 55 men to recapture Sonoma from the rebels in the Battle of Olompali, but where defeated by Ide and Fremont's combined troops. This is the first military conflict in the fledgling republic. In the meantime, the Republic captured several small towns who defected without a fight.
In early July, the United States launched a Naval Assault which captured Monterey, at the time headquarters of the Mexicans. The city was handed over to the Republic and later became a key strategic naval city for the overall campaign. A Californian detachment then was sent to Los Angeles which captured the city with little resistance. An attempt to retake the city by Mexicans and Loyalist Californios was defeated with the aid of US Captain William Mervine's troops, who had been sent to capture the city before news of its capture made it to US command. The Republic suffered its first defeat in the Battle of San Pasqual, although the soldiers fighting there where all American and the city of San Diego was captured regardless.
The Fort Sutter Conference
President Ide and Major Fremont met with Texan and American representatives at Fort Sutter on August 12th. The commanders admitted Californian troops to the Coalition. Command of the Californian Troops was then delegated to more experienced US offices.
The Southern Front
The Californian Militia marched south, to the border with Mexico. The Californian advance halted at the Mexican city of Santa Fe as they waited to establish supply lines and or reinforcements to arrive. The Mexicans then opened negotiations for the end of the war. Terms of the Treaty of Santa Fe, signed by California, Mexico, Texas and the United States (*) where:
- The Empire of Mexico recognized the sovereignty of the Republic of Texas and the Republic of California.
- All Territories West of the Bay of California are hereby ceded to the Republic of California.
- The United States hereby cedes the east half of the territory of New Mexico to the Republic of Texas and the west half of the aforementioned territory to the Republic of California. All other territories between New Mexico and Texas are ceded to the Republic of Texas, and all territories between New Mexico and California are hereby ceded to California.
(*) It should be noted that the US was pressured into signing the treaty, and had previously wished to annex Texas and California. As so, their spoils of war was denied.
The War of Texan Resistance
California and Texas held a Conference in the city of Austin to decide their borders. The meeting was largely chaotic and left much of their borders overlapping in New Mexico.
The United States invaded Texas on May 23rd, 1847, with the intent of annexing it. Texan Militia resisted, and the previously peaceful attempt to annex Texas blew up into the War of Texan Resistance. California, believing it would be next if Texas was Annexed, sent their own Militia to reinforce the Texans. Louisiana declared formal support and helped to arm the Texans, but refused to send troops of its own. Californian-Texan troops where surprisingly successful, and managed to eject the American troops a year into the invasion. The Americans, beaten by not defeated, retreated. The Peace of Texas, October 13th, 1848, ended the war,
After the war, there was some pressure to unify with Texas. Both Texas and California held separate referenda. In Texas, the measure was easily defeated. In California, 60 Percent of the population favoured independence.
President Ide and other high ranking members of the Californian Militia ratified the constitution on November 2nd, finalizing the California Republic. Elections called immediately after saw Ide reelected with an overwhelming majority. His Californian Nationalist Party was the most popular in the nation, followed by the Democratic Coalition of California, a somewhat anti-military party of city-folk which feared dictatorship. The Capital of the Nation was moved to Fort Sutter.
One of the first acts of the Ide Administration was to reform the Militia. The Militia was reorganized into a more effective, more disciplined fighting force. A navy was commissioned to counter perceived threats from Mexico. Ide, a conservative, created a new system to Taxes and Tariffs, which was later altered by the Democratic Coalition. The Farming Industry became the principal economic strong point for the Republic.
Although heavy migration and the growth of farming and fishing in California had already increased the economy, the discovery of gold sparked a gold rush. Thousands descended on California to seek their fortune. This is comparable to the Texas Oil Drive.
To aid this gold rush, a railway through California and Texas to Louisiana was built. It was later connected to the United States.
Texas and California became highly economically tied, and the question of unification once again arose. However, with the discovery of large mineral deposits on the contested border, Californian and Texan Corporations descended. Sporadic fighting among these soon flared up into a small scale war.
Texas Border Conflict
While corporate gangs scrambled and fought along the border, Nationalist Texans called for war. The Californian Militia, under General Fremont (son of the famous John Fremont, who became a Californian Citizen) Marched to the border and seized much of it. The Texans responded, and the two armies met at the Battle of Sherman's Fields. The large amounts of casualties shocked both sides, but mostly just angered the populace into supporting the war.
California began with the advantage, with more artillery pieces, soldiers and weapons due to its economic boom. Texan troops, while more skilled and experienced, where pushed back in multiple battles. Then, however, Louisiana threw its support behind Texas, allowing them to recover their ground. The war stalemated, sputtered and died. Peace was declared by both sides.
The war may have been started to clarify the borders, but ended with them more unclear then ever. In Texas, where it is known as the War of Californian Aggression, the war allowed the Nationalist to stay in power. In California, the wars unpopularity sped the Democratic Coalition into power.
When the Empire of Mexico built the Panama Canal, the riches of California where finally fully open to the rest of the world. Massive amounts of riches where obtained, immigration increased, and California was once again the richest place in the world. The Gold Industry and Agricultural Industry continued well, while the Fishing Industry tripled as California became more and more sea faring. Californian exploration saw new lands discovered, new riches brought back home and the increased diplomatic contact with the Kingdom of Hawaii. A few intrepid sailors established trade routes to Asia, bringing loads of silk, spices, and precious metals home. California quickly became known as the trading capital of the world. The principle stop between California and Asia, Hawaii, was of such importance that it was annexed. Around this time, the Democratic Coalition outlawed slavery.
Expansion and Federation
As California grew northwards, it encountered new hostile tribes of natives. The wars between them and California quickly increased the standing, putting the Nationalists back into power. The Nationalists eventually became the Federalists, and their rivals the Democratic Coalition split into the Liberals and the Socialists. Many new cities and new riches where founded, and it became clear that California was to big to be a direct democracy any more. The Constitution was rewritten, the government altered, states created, and the California Federation was born. National pride in the Federation and the popularity of the military pushed the expansion further as the population boomed. Nearby Expansion from Canada, Louisiana and Texas pushed the four countries into a land race. The fifth potential member, Russian America (later the Empire of Alaska) was forced out of the race as Canada captured Victoria.
The continuing popularity of the Federalists due to their success put most of the country on a pro-military mindset. With the myriad of wars in South America and Africa, the Federal Navy expanded greatly. Interventionism in Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana and Chile made the Federation resented in South America. In California, the "Global Police" Mentality was all the rage and the Navy became wildly popular. A navy man could get discounts most anywhere, and was considered a hero unless proven otherwise.
As the gold and coal industries plummeted, more traffic was rerouted to Cuba and the Maritimes, and Texan Oil drew more immigration, the growth of California slowly stopped. The period of recession was short, but the country lost its boom. The loss of rampant wealth led to the stabilization of the classes in California led to a larger working class and working poor. The Socialists and Liberals gained in popularity, while the Federalist sensation died.
The Liberals where swept into power, and helped stabilized the economy. The Socialist Healthcare system and a Welfare system where adopted. This helped lower the gap between the rich and poor, and the economy slowly started to grow again.
As Mass Communications went up over the globe, California Culture became all the rage. Soon, movies, songs and books made there where selling overseas. The artistic community in California exploded. Soon, homosexuality became legalized, one of the first times it had been in history. As one of the world's cultural capitals, the economy of California skyrocketed.
Trade also boomed again. With the situation in Asia settling after the failed communist mass uprisings, California was once again the portal to the Orient. This helped the economy grow once more.
As a side effect of the economic growth, the conservative Federalists once again gained power.