California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U. S. the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento; the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, the country's second most populous, after New York City. California has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, its largest county by area, San Bernardino County; the City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. California's $3.0 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state, larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world, the 36th most populous as of 2017.
The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies, after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 among large PSAs, is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people. California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation and politics, it is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, the Internet, the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.
S. state. California is bordered by Oregon to the north and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; the state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time and wildfires have become more pervasive features. What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries; the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War.
The western portion of Alta California was organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom; the word California referred to the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. The name derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo; this work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts. In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It's possible.
Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, inhabited by black women without a single man among them, they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with great virtue; the island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the craggy rocks. Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA. Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. Various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000; the Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their political organization with bands, villages, on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash and Salinan.
Trade, intermarriage a
Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in Yosemite National Park, dropping a total of 2,425 feet from the top of the upper fall to the base of the lower fall. Located in the Sierra Nevada of California, it is a major attraction in the park in late spring when the water flow is at its peak; the falls consist of three sections: Upper Yosemite Fall: The 1,430-foot plunge alone is among the twenty highest waterfalls in the world. Trails from the valley floor and down from other park areas outside the valley lead to both the top and base of Upper Yosemite Fall; the upper fall is formed by the swift waters of Yosemite Creek, after meandering through Eagle Creek Meadow, hurl themselves over the edge of a hanging valley in a spectacular and deafening show of force. Middle Cascades: Between the two obvious main plunges there are a series of five smaller plunges collectively referred to as the Middle Cascades. Taken together these account for a total drop of 675 feet, more than twice the height of the Lower Fall.
Because of the narrow, constricted shape of the gorge in which these drops occur and the lack of public access, they are noted. Most viewpoints in the valley miss them entirely. Several vantage points for the cascades are found along the Yosemite Falls trail. Several hikers climbing down from the trail towards the cascades have required an expensive helicopter rescue due to steep and slippery terrain and features. Lower Yosemite Fall: The final 320-foot drop adjacent to an accessible viewing area, provides the most-used viewing point for the waterfalls. Yosemite Creek emerges from the base of flows into the Merced River nearby. Like many areas of Yosemite the plunge pool at the base of the Lower Fall is surrounded by dangerous jumbles of talus made more treacherous by the high humidity and resulting slippery surfaces. In all but the wettest years, the falls cease flowing altogether in late fall. A small number of rock climbers have taken the opportunity to climb the inaccessible rock face beneath the falls, although this is an extraordinarily dangerous undertaking.
Lower Yosemite Fall is accessible near the Yosemite Lodge in Yosemite Valley. The top of Upper Yosemite Fall may be reached via a steep and crowded 3.5 miles hike beginning near Camp 4. The Upper Fall may be reached via several routes from the Tioga Road to the north; the main village of the native people of Yosemite Valley, the Ahwahneechee, was located at the base of the falls. The Ahwahneechee people called the waterfall "Cholock" and believed that the plunge pool at its base was inhabited by the spirits of several witches, called the Poloti. An Ahwaneechee folktale describes a woman going to fetch a pail of water from the pool, drawing it out full of snakes; that night, after the woman had trespassed into their territory, the spirits caused the woman's house to be sucked into the pool by a powerful wind, taking the woman and her newborn baby with it. List of waterfalls "Yosemite Falls". World Waterfall Database. World of Waterfalls.com: Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Valley is a glacial valley in Yosemite National Park in the western Sierra Nevada mountains of Central California. The valley is about 7.5 miles long and 3000–3500 feet deep, surrounded by high granite summits such as Half Dome and El Capitan, densely forested with pines. The valley is drained by the Merced River, a multitude of streams and waterfalls flow into it, including Tenaya, Illilouette and Bridalveil Creeks. Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in North America, is a big attraction in the spring when the water flow is at its peak; the valley is renowned for its natural environment, is regarded as the centerpiece of Yosemite National Park, attracting visitors from around the world. The Valley is the main attraction in the park for the majority of visitors, a bustling hub of activity during tourist season in the summer months. Most visitors pass through the Tunnel View entrance. Visitor facilities are located in the center of the valley. There are both hiking trail loops that stay within the valley and trailheads that lead to higher elevations, all of which afford glimpses of the park's many scenic wonders.
Yosemite Valley is located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains, 150 miles due east of San Francisco. It stretches for 7.5 miles in a east–west direction, with an average width of about 1 mile. Yosemite Valley represents only one percent of the park area, but this is where most visitors arrive and stay. More than half a dozen creeks tumble from hanging valleys at the top of granite cliffs that can rise 3000–3500 feet above the valley floor, which itself is 4000 ft above sea level; these streams combine into the Merced River, which flows out from the western end of the valley, down the rest of its canyon to the San Joaquin Valley. The flat floor of Yosemite Valley holds both forest and large open meadows, which have views of the surrounding crests and waterfalls. Below is a description of these features, looking first at the walls above, moving west to east as a visitor does when entering the valley visiting the waterfalls and other water features, returning east to west with the flow of water.
The first view of Yosemite Valley many visitors see is the Tunnel View. So many paintings were made from a viewpoint nearby that the National Park Service named that viewpoint Artist Point; the view from the lower end of the Valley contains the great granite monolith El Capitan on the left, Cathedral Rocks on the right with Bridalveil Fall. Just past this spot the Valley widens with the Cathedral Spires the pointed obelisk of Sentinel Rock to the south. Across the Valley on the northern side are the Three Brothers, rising one above the other like gables built on the same angle – the highest crest is Eagle Peak, with the two below known as the Middle and Lower Brothers. To this point the Valley has been curving to the left. Now a grand curve back to the right begins, with Yosemite Falls on the north, followed by the Royal Arches, topped by North Dome. Opposite, to the south, is Glacier Point, 3,200 feet above the Valley floor. At this point the Valley splits in two, one section slanting northeast, with the other curving from south to southeast.
Between them, at the eastern end of the valley, is Half Dome, among the most prominent natural features in the Sierra Nevada. Above and to the northeast of Half Dome is Clouds Rest. Snow melting in the Sierra forms lakes. In the surrounding region, these creeks flow to the edge of the Valley to form cataracts and waterfalls. A fan of creeks and forks of the Merced River take drainage from the Sierra crest and combine at Merced Lake; the Merced flows down to the end of its canyon, where it begins what is called the Giant Staircase. The first drop is Nevada Fall. Below is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the Valley; the Merced descends rapids to meet Illilouette Creek, which drops from the valley rim to form Illilouette Fall. They combine at the base of the gorges that contain each stream, flow around the Happy Isles to meet Tenaya Creek at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley proper. Tenaya Creek flows southwest from Tenaya Lake and down Tenaya Canyon flowing between Half Dome and North Dome before joining the Merced River.
The following falls tumble from the Valley rim to join it at various points: Yosemite Falls 2,425 feet Upper Yosemite Fall 1,430 feet, the middle cascades 670 feet, Lower Yosemite Fall 320 feet. Snow Creek Falls 2,140 feet Sentinel Falls 1,920 feet Ribbon Fall 1,612 feet Royal Arch Cascade 1,250 feet Lehamite Falls 1,180 feet Staircase Falls 1,020 feet Bridalveil Fall 620 feet. Nevada Fall 594 feet Silver Strand Falls 574 feet Vernal Fall 318 feet The features in Yosemite Valley are made of granitic rock emplaced as plutons miles deep during the late Cretaceous. Over time the Sierra Nevada was uplifted; the oldest of these granitic rocks, at 114 million years, occur along the Merced River Gorge west of the valley. The El Capitan pluton intruded the valley, forming most of the granitic rock that makes up much of the central part of the valley, including Cathedral Rocks, Three Brothers, El Capitan; the youngest Yosemite Valley pluton is the 87-million-year-old Half Dome granodiorite, which makes up most of the rock at
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is an American national park located in the western Sierra Nevada of Central California, bounded on the southeast by Sierra National Forest and on the northwest by Stanislaus National Forest. The park is managed by the National Park Service and covers an area of 747,956 acres and sits in four counties: centered in Tuolumne and Mariposa, extending north and east to Mono and south to Madera County. Designated a World Heritage site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, mountains, meadows and biological diversity. 95% of the park is designated wilderness. On average, about 4 million people visit Yosemite each year, most spend the majority of their time in the 7 square miles of Yosemite Valley; the park set a visitation record in 2016, surpassing 5 million visitors for the first time in its history. Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. Galen Clark and others lobbied to protect Yosemite Valley from development leading to President Abraham Lincoln's signing the Yosemite Grant in 1864.
John Muir led a successful movement to have Congress establish a larger national park by 1890, one which encompassed the valley and its surrounding mountains and forests, paving the way for the National Park System. Yosemite is one of the largest and least fragmented habitat blocks in the Sierra Nevada, the park supports a diversity of plants and animals; the park has an elevation range from 2,127 to 13,114 feet and contains five major vegetation zones: chaparral and oak woodland, lower montane forest, upper montane forest, subalpine zone, alpine. Of California's 7,000 plant species, about 50% occur in the Sierra Nevada and more than 20% are within Yosemite; the park contains suitable habitat for more than 160 rare plants, with rare local geologic formations and unique soils characterizing the restricted ranges many of these plants occupy. The geology of the Yosemite area is characterized by granitic remnants of older rock. About 10 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada was uplifted and tilted to form its gentle western slopes and the more dramatic eastern slopes.
The uplift increased the steepness of stream and river beds, resulting in the formation of deep, narrow canyons. About one million years ago and ice accumulated, forming glaciers at the higher alpine meadows that moved down the river valleys. Ice thickness in Yosemite Valley may have reached 4,000 feet during the early glacial episode; the downslope movement of the ice masses cut and sculpted the U-shaped valley that attracts so many visitors to its scenic vistas today. The name "Yosemite" referred to the name of a renegade tribe, driven out of the area by the Mariposa Battalion; the area had been called "Ahwahnee" by indigenous people. Yosemite Valley has been inhabited for nearly 3,000 years, although humans may have first visited the area as long as 8,000 to 10,000 years ago; the indigenous natives called themselves the Ahwahnechee, meaning "dwellers in Ahwahnee." They are related to the Northern Mono tribes. Many tribes visited the area to trade, including nearby Central Sierra Miwoks, who lived along the drainage area of the Tuolumne and Stanislaus Rivers.
A major trading route went over Mono Pass and through Bloody Canyon to Mono Lake, just to the east of the Yosemite area. Vegetation and game in the region were similar to that present today; the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century increased travel by European-Americans in the area, causing competition for resources between the regional Paiute and Miwok and the miners and hangers on. In 1851 as part of the Mariposa Wars intended to suppress Native American resistance, United States Army Major Jim Savage led the Mariposa Battalion into the west end of Yosemite Valley, he was pursuing forces of around 200 Ahwahneechee led by Chief Tenaya. Accounts from this battalion were the first well-documented reports of ethnic Europeans entering Yosemite Valley. Attached to Savage's unit was Dr. Lafayette Bunnell, the company physician, who wrote about his awestruck impressions of the valley in The Discovery of the Yosemite. Bunnell is credited with naming Yosemite Valley, based on his interviews with Chief Tenaya.
Bunnell wrote. The Miwok, a neighboring tribe, most white settlers considered the Ahwahneechee to be violent because of their frequent territorial disputes; the Miwok term for the Pai-Ute band was yohhe'meti, meaning "they are killers". Correspondence and articles written by members of the battalion helped to popularize the natural wonders of the Yosemite Valley and the surrounding area. Chief Tenaya and his Ahwahneechee were captured and their village burned; the chief and some others were allowed to return to Yosemite Valley. In the spring of 1852 they attacked a group of eight gold miners, moved east to flee law enforcement. Near Mono Lake, they took refuge with the nearby Mono tribe of Paiute, they stole horses from their hosts and moved away, but the Mono Paiutes tracked down and killed many of the Ahwahneechee, including Chief Tenaya. The Mono Paiute took the survivors as captives back to Mono Lake and absorbed them into the Mono Lake Paiute tribe. After these wars, a number of Native Americans continued to live within the boundaries of Yosemite.
A number of Indians supported the growing tourism industry by worki
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