The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Charles Brode was a merchant and property owner in 19th Century Los Angeles, California. He was a member of that city's governing body, the Los Angeles Common Council, from December 5, 1878, to March 13, 1879, when he resigned. Brode was born in Boreck, Prussia, on February 6, 1836, at the age of nineteen he emigrated to Australia, where he was a miner for seven years, he came to the United States, where he engaged in "various kinds of business" in the territories of Montana and Utah. He moved to Los Angeles in 1868 and opened a grocery store on South Spring Street, where the Parisian Suit and Cloak Company was situated. Next to the Hollenbeck Hotel; the building he constructed there was known as the Brode Block. Brode was a director of the German-American Savings Bank and of the Los Angeles Soap Company, he was a member of Turnverein Germania and Pioneers' Society of California. He died of stomach cancer on August 13, 1901, was survived by his wife and six children, Mrs. Emma Friese, Mrs. Louise Bruning, A.
C. Brode, W. C. Brode, Mrs. Oscar Lawler and Leopold Brode. Newspaper clippings and references are held at the Western States Jewish History Archive, UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Access to the Los Angeles Times links may require the use of a library card
Olvera Street is a historic district in downtown Los Angeles, a part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. Los Angeles was founded in 1781, Olvera Street obtained its current name in 1877. Many of the Plaza District's Historic Buildings are on Olvera Street, as well as some of the oldest Los Angeles monuments including the Avila Adobe built in 1818, Pelanconi House built in 1857, the Sepulveda House built in 1887; the tree-shaded, pedestrian mall marketplace with craft shops and roving troubadours is a popular tourist destination. The street has been described as a "Top Five" in the "Great Streets of America" journal. Los Angeles was founded in 1781 by Spanish pobladores, on a site southeast of today's Olvera Street near the Los Angeles River, they consisted of 11 families—44 men and children — and were accompanied by a few Spanish soldiers. They had come from nearby Mission San Gabriel Arcángel to establish a secular pueblo on the banks of the Porciúncula River at the Indian village of Yang-na.
The new town was named El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles. Priests from San Gabriel established an asistencia, the Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles Asistencia, to tend to their religious needs; the pueblo built its own parish church, known today as the "Old Plaza Church." Unpredictable flooding forced the settlers to abandon the original site and move to higher ground in the early 1800s. Spanish colonial rule lasted until Mexican independence in 1821; this period saw Los Angeles's first streets and adobe buildings. During Mexican rule, which lasted twenty-six years, the Plaza was the heart of a vibrant ethnic Californio community life in Los Angeles and was the center of an economy based upon farming in the former flood plain, supplemented with cattle ranching. After the Mexican War, the Plaza remained the center of town. A small alley branching off of the Plaza—Wine Street—had its name changed by City Council ordinance in 1877 to Olvera Street to honor Agustin Olvera, the first Superior Court Judge of Los Angeles County, who owned a no longer existing adobe house nearby.
In the 1880s, the little town grew due to the influx of settlers from Southern States. These joined the Spaniards and earlier English-speaking settlers who had become voting citizens before 1846; as the town expanded, the original area of settlement came to be neglected, served as a neighborhood for new immigrants Mexicans and Sicilians. It included a Chinese community, which relocated to the present nearby Chinatown to make way for the construction of Union Station. During the 1920s, the pace of Mexican immigration increased rapidly. California was the primary destination, with Los Angeles being a common choice; as a part of a movement to preserve what was viewed as California's "authentic" heritage, Christine Sterling began a public campaign to renovate the Francisco Avila Adobe, which evolved into a campaign to remake Olvera street as a modern Mexican-style market place. Sterling's efforts to rescue the area began in 1926, when she learned of a plan to demolish the Avila Adobe, the oldest existing home in the city.
After raising the issue with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Sterling approached Harry Chandler, the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, with a plan to create a Mexican marketplace and cultural center in the Plaza. Chandler was intrigued by the idea of packaging the Plaza area that acknowledged the Mexican heritage of the city while presenting a romanticized ersatz version, an ethnic theme park, he helped by supporting the development plan in The Times. However, by 1928, due to a lack of financial support for implementing her ideas, the project appeared to be doomed. In late November, Sterling discovered a Los Angeles City Health Department Notice of Condemnation posted in front of the Avila Adobe. In response, she posted her own hand-painted sign condemning the shortsightedness of city bureaucrats in failing to preserve an important historic site, her act helped attract additional public interest in preserving the old adobe. The Los Angeles City Council reversed its original order of condemnation.
Support for restoring the adobe rushed in from throughout the city. Building materials came from several local companies, including Blue Diamond Cement and the Simmons Brick Company, one of the largest employers of Mexicans in the Los Angeles area. Los Angeles Police Chief James Davis provided a crew of prison inmates to do hard labor on the project. Sterling oversaw the entire construction project, an excerpt from her diary vividly captures her spirit and sense of desperation for financial support during the construction: "One of the prisoners is a good carpenter, another an electrician; each night I pray they will arrest a bricklayer and a plumber." In spite of ample supplies and forced volunteers, the project lacked solid financial backing until Chandler came forward with capital for the project through funds collected at $1,000-a-plate luncheons with selected businessmen. Chandler established and headed the Plaza de Los Angeles Corporation, a for-profit venture which became the financial basis for the restoration of Plaza-Olvera.
The street was closed to traffic in 1929. On Easter Sunday 1930, Sterling's romantic revival came to pass with the opening of Paseo de Los Angeles. Touted as "A Mexican Street of Yesterday in a City of Today", Olvera Street was an instant success as a tourist site. La Opinión, a leading Spanish language daily, praised the project as "una calleja que recuerda al México viejo". In present day, Olvera Street is home to more than three dozen restaurants, vendors
Treaty of Cahuenga
The Treaty of Cahuenga called the "Capitulation of Cahuenga," ended the fighting of the Mexican–American War in Alta California in 1847. It was not a formal treaty between nations but an informal agreement between rival military forces in which the Californios gave up fighting; the treaty was drafted in English and Spanish by José Antonio Carrillo, approved by American Lieutenant-Colonel John C. Frémont and Mexican Governor Andrés Pico on January 13, 1847 at Campo de Cahuenga in what is now Universal City, California; the treaty called for the Californios to give up their artillery, provided that all prisoners from both sides be freed. Those Californios who promised not to again take up arms during the war, to obey the laws and regulations of the United States, were allowed to peaceably return to their homes and ranchos, they were to be allowed the same rights and privileges as were allowed to citizens of the United States, were not to be compelled to take an oath of allegiance until a treaty of peace was signed between the United States and Mexico, were given the privilege of leaving the country if they wished to do so.
Under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, Mexico formally ceded Alta California and other territories to the United States, the disputed border of Texas was fixed at the Rio Grande. Pico, like nearly all the Californios, became an American citizen with full legal and voting rights. Pico became a State Assemblyman and a State Senator representing Los Angeles in the California State Legislature. On December 27, 1846, Frémont and the California Battalion, in their march south to Los Angeles, reached a deserted Santa Barbara and raised the American flag, he occupied a hotel close to the adobe of Bernarda Ruiz de Rodriguez, a wealthy educated woman of influence and Santa Barbara town matriarch, who had four sons on the Mexican side. She was granted ten minutes of Frémont's time, which stretched to two hours. Frémont wrote, "I found that her object was to use her influence to put an end to the war, to do so upon such just and friendly terms of compromise as would make the peace acceptable and enduring....
She wished me to take into my mind this plan of settlement. I assured her I would bear her wishes in mind when the occasion came." The next day, Bernarda accompanied Frémont. On January 8, 1847, Frémont arrived at San Fernando. On January 10, the combined army of Commodore Robert Stockton and Brigadier General Stephen Kearny re-took Los Angeles with no resistance. Frémont learned of the reoccupation the next day. On January 12, Bernarda went alone to the camp of General Andres Pico and told him of the peace agreement she and Frémont had drafted. Frémont and two of Pico's officers agreed to the terms for a surrender, Articles of Capitulation were penned by Jose Antonio Carrillo in both English and Spanish; the first seven articles in the treaty were nearly the verbatim suggestions offered by Bernarda Ruiz de Rodriguez. On January 13, at a rancho at the north end of Cahuenga Pass, with Bernarda Ruiz de Rodriguez present, John Frémont, Andres Pico and six others signed the Articles of Capitulation, which became known as the Treaty of Cahuenga.
This treaty, signed by the Mexican military commander of the area and a U. S. army colonel, was made without the formal backing of either the American government in Washington or the Mexican government in Mexico City, the ranking U. S. officers in the area were unaware of it. Still, not only was it honored by both national governments, it was and permanently observed by the local American and Californio populations. Fighting ceased. On January 14, the California Battalion entered Los Angeles in a rainstorm, Frémont delivered the treaty to Commodore Robert Stockton. Kearny and Stockton decided to accept the liberal terms offered by Frémont to terminate hostilities, despite Andres Pico having broken his earlier pledge that he would not fight U. S. forces. The next day Stockton approved the Treaty of Cahuenga in a message that he sent to the Secretary of the Navy. In celebration, on or around the date of the original signing, a historical ceremony is conducted at Campo de Cahuenga State Historic Park and site.
From time to time, some of the descendants have appeared, along with actors to re-create this historical moment. Cahuenga, California. Mark J. Denger, "The Treaty of Campo de Cahuenga"
Prudent Beaudry served as the 13th mayor of Los Angeles, from 1874 to 1876. A native of Quebec, he was the second French Canadian and third French American mayor of Los Angeles. Prudent Beaudry was born into a wealthy French Canadian family. After studying in Montreal, he went to New York City to pursue graduate studies in business school. In the aftermath of the Rebellions of 1837 that shook the province of Quebec, he traveled in the United States and promoted the idea of annexing Canada to the United States. Around 1840, he settled in New Orleans where he gained additional experience in commercial activities. In 1842, he created an import-export business with his brothers; because he was responsible for buying stock, Prudent Beaudry needed to travel to Europe. His younger brother Victor left for San Francisco at the height of the California Gold Rush, convinced Prudent to join him so that they might take advantage of the burgeoning business opportunities to be found there. After selling his shares in the Montreal business to his older brothers, Prudent Beaudry moved to San Francisco and invested all $26,000 of his share money in various enterprises targeting the needs of the Gold Rush miners.
Two fires and insufficient insurance left the retail enterprise with only $1,000 left of its stock. In 1853 Prudent moved alone to Los Angeles, succeeded in regaining a respectable amount of floating capital. In 1854 Prudent decided to invest in capital assets in addition to his retail store, he bought different tracts of land, which constituted the "Beaudry Blocks". The rents he earned from his real estate assets yielded him $1,000 per month. In 1855 after Victor rejoined him, Prudent Beaudry left for Europe in order to consult a Parisian ophthalmologist for eyesight problems, he rested in Montreal for five years. In 1861, Victor received a lucrative offer to furnish the Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War; this offer obliged Prudent to take charge again of his business. His profits by that time amounted to a few thousand dollars per year, a considerable amount for the time. Beaudry acquired the Slate Range Gold and Silver Mining Company at a bargain price when the failed Mojave Desert firm found itself unable to pay for goods purchased from Beaudry's store, though his investment failed when the mining enterprise was destroyed by fire set by disgruntled Californian Indian tribe member workers.
Beaudry decided to use his savings to buy inexpensive, undeveloped parcels of land on Bunker Hill above central Los Angeles which featured views of the city at its base and the Pacific Ocean, an undeveloped hilltop he named Angelino Heights. At both locations, Beaudry developed upscale residential districts, he bought property near the Sierra Nevada, built an aqueduct to redirect several mountain streams to his properties. He owned a great deal of real estate in Downtown Los Angeles, located for the most part around Temple Street, Bunker Hill, Bellevue Road, in the Angelino Heights and Arcadia areas. Beaudry became interested in architecture and urbanization, so decided to get involved in city planning. Notably, he made plans for mansions and modest houses; the quality of his work was recognized, the upgraded lands were sold at a high profit. Most of his free time was dedicated to architecture. Beaudry was elected to three one-year terms in the Los Angeles Common Council, the governing body of the city—in 1871, 1872 and 1873.
In 1873 he became the first president of the Board of Trade of Los Angeles. In 1874 he became mayor of Los Angeles. Coincidentally during this time, his brother Jean-Louis Beaudry was mayor of Montreal. In his life, Beaudry decided to get involved in exporting water. Beaudry invested in the Second Street Cable Railway "cable cars" for people traveling up and down the hills of central Los Angeles, he died in 1893 in Los Angeles. The L. A. Times praised him as one of the most visionary men in Los Angeles. Following his will, his body was buried in Montreal. Los Angeles County praised Beaudry in these words: Prudent Beaudry has the record of having made in different lines five large fortunes, four of which, through the act of God, or by the duplicity of man, in whom he had trusted, have been lost. Of such stuff are the men who fill great places, who develop and make a country. To such men we of this day owe much of the beauty and comfort that surround us, to such we should look with admiration as models upon which to form rules of action in trying times.
Beaudry Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles is named for him. The street is on the far west side of his 1874 Bellevue Terrace Tract property, west of Olive Street and north of Sixth Street; the Los Angeles State Normal School, a teachers college and predecessor to UCLA, was built on the tract, where the present-day Los Angeles Central Library is located. Beaudry was instrumental in helping found the towns of Pasadena. History of Los Angeles County: Prudent Beaudry Antoine Bernard, Nos pionniers de l'Ouest, Presses de la survivance française de l'Université Laval, 1992. Joseph Tassé, Des Canadiens de l'Ouest, Compagnie d'imprimerie canadienne, 1878