POD: Gold is discovered in California earlier than OTL, in 1838. The Mexican Government uses this new arrival of settlers to fund itself by raising taxes. As a result on May 17, 1840 California declared independence from Mexico and the Californian War of Independence began.
1838: Gold is discovered in California. This sets off a wave of settlers coming to California, coming by land and sea. These people call themselves "Thirty-eighters" because they came in the year 1838. Mexico raises taxes in order to fund itself.
1839: The people in California are angry at the Mexican government for raising taxes. The "Men of Independence" are created. They are a group of people who do not like being part of Mexico and want independence. The Men of Independence gain popularity in California. Mexico becomes alarmed and sends its army to California.
1840: Mexican soldiers fire on protesters in Sonoma. This sends outrage across California and a wave of independence. On May 17, 1840 California declared independence from Mexico. Mexico does not recognize the California Republic and sends its army to stop the independence. Battles break out all across California. The most noted is the Battle of Yerba Buena (OTL San Francisco), where Mexican ships were using the bay to blockade the coast and deny passage to any Californian ships. The Men of Independence are in the war too and were fighting in Somona.
1841: California and Mexico are still fighting. Russia expresses interest in California but because they have not one a battle they do not recognize them. California soldiers cross the Colorado River and begin raiding Mexican towns and supply wagons. They also build a dam to prevent Mexican ships from sailing up it. The Californians are forced to retreat from San Francisco and the Mexicans claim control of the city. Los Angeles, which was taken by rioting civilians, becomes the headquarters of the Californian Republic. The Californians attack San Diego in order to gain a town close to Mexico. After a three-day battle the Californians take the city, which results in Russia recognizing the California Republic. Russian ships blockade the coast of Mexico and force Mexico to end the war with California and recognize them. Mexico agrees and the Treaty of Vladivostok is signed, ending the war and recognizing the California Republic.
1842: The Californian Constitution is written and signed. William B. Ide becomes president of the new country. The Californian military begins training in the ways of the Russians as they have a good alliance. The Californians also placed a claim on Oregon Country, hoping to gain more land. As no one could agree on the boundary it looked like war was beginning so California started building a navy. The Californian Navy resembled the Russian Navy.
1843: The Oregon dispute still continued. Even though Britain and America were occupying Oregon County, California had the manpower to take it as Russia was an ally and supplies had to come from far away for America and Britain. The three sides managed to work out the borders though: Britain got up to the 49th Parallel, America got between the 49th Parallel and the 45th Parallel, and California got between the 45th Parallel and its border. The Oregon Treaty was signed and the dispute ended.