The Governorate of Sonoma (Russian: Сономинская губерния, Sonominskaya guberniya), colloquially known as Sonoma (Сонома), is one of the 18 governorates of the Alaskan Democratic Federative Republic. The governorate is bordered by Oregon in the north and the Mexican state of Nevada in the southeast.
With a population reaching 10 million residents, Sonoma is the most populous governorate within Alaska. Roughly a third of the population resides around the city of Ross, which is also the most populous city within the nation.
The exact origins of the name Sonoma are disputed. It is generally believed to have come from the Spanish translation of the Pomoan word tsonoma. This name roughly translates either as "Valley of the Moon" or "Earth Village" (depending on the exact origins).
Prior to 1850, the Russian Empire colloquially referred to the area simply as Ross (Росс), which was directly taken from the settlements which became the city of Ross. This name was generally seen as a poetic nickname for Russia in the Russian language. When the area became a separate oblast in 1850, the name Sonoma was officially adopted.
The territory of modern day Sonoma was originally included within the Spanish colony of New Spain. It wouldn't be until the early 19th Century that the Russian-American Company (on behalf of the Russian Empire) began to expand their influence within the region. In 1812, Ivan Kuskov would lead an expedition to establish a Russian settlement in the Californias, becoming the basis for the city of Ross along the Slavianka River.
The presence of Russian settlers in the Californias eventually snowballed into the Russo-Spanish War between 1822 until 1824. The boundaries of the governorate were formalized with the Zavalishin Purchase in 1826, with the Mexican Empire agreeing to sell all of its territory northwest of the Sacramento River. Despite the expansion of the Ross Colony following the war, it wouldn't be until the discovery of gold in 1848 that the territory began to bloom. While under the Russian Empire, Sonoma was often regarded as a beacon for the Russian Empire along the Pacific Ocean.
By the turn of the century, Sonoma was among the centers for the Americanist Movement which aimed to establish Russian America as an autonomous entity within the Russian Empire. Despite Alaska's declaration of independence in 1917, Sonoma would continue to push for greater freedoms throughout the Alaskan Wars. Inspired by the Reds of the Russian Revolution, several soviets ("councils") were organized across the governorate (with the one in Ross being the most influential). Though dominated by Socialists, these soviets fought to retain themselves as a democratic voice for the people. In 1921, the governorate formally declared their independence as the Sonoman People's Republic. Future Alaskan President, Taras Ferley, would serve as leader of Sonoma throughout the majority of its independence.
Following the end of the White-controlled government in New Archangel, Sonomans began to favor the reunification of Alaska as a federation and a liberal democracy. Sonoma would formally be admitted into the Alaskan Democratic Federative Republic in late 1931. Shortly after reunification, Sonoma slowly regained its prominence within the reunited nation.