Alta California

From Academic Kids

Alta California ("Upper California") was formed in 1804 when the province of California, then a part of the Spanish colony of New Spain, was divided in two along the line separating the Franciscan missions in the north from the Dominican missions in the south. The southern part became the territory of Baja California. The two territories were also alternatively called "California Nueva" (Alta) and "California Vieja" (Baja).

Alta California — covering the land occupied by the modern-day U.S. states of California, Nevada, Utah, northern Arizona and southwestern Wyoming — was recognized as one of the constituent territories of the newly independent United Mexican States with the adoption of the 1824 Constitution following its War of Independence and short-lived First Empire. During the Mexican-American War of 184648 and following the brief interlude of the proclaimed independent California Republic, Alta California was successfully invaded by the United States. The territory was ceded to the U.S. under the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

The last Mexican Governor of California was Pío Pico, who served until 1846.

In the second half of the 19th century, there was a San Francisco-based newspaper called the Alta California (or sometimes the Alta Californian).

Contents

Ranchos of California

Under Spanish rule, all lands in California were claimed by the king of Spain, who granted them to the Catholic Church and to individuals. When California came under control of the Mexican government the missions were secularized and the governors gained the power to grant state lands. Few ranchos stayed intact for long, either growing or shrinking, or changing hands entirely depending on the fortunes of the owners. Some of the more famous ranchos and their descendent communities:

See also

For the Spanish and Mexican control of Alta California

For Russian colonization of Northern California

For the transition to control by the United States

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