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California is a state on the West Coast of the US. The state capital is Sacramento. In California live more than 36,550,000 people. It is the most populous state in the US. About 43 percent of the populations are White Americans, 36 percent Hispanics, 12 percent Asian American and 6 percent African American. Ten percent out of the White Americans are German ancestry. The state has the most Roman Catholics (10 millions) of any state and a large Protestant population (530 thousand), a large American Jewish community (470 thousand), and an American Muslim population.
57 percent of the habitants speak English and 28 percent Spanish. You are also can find Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese and Korean as mother tongue. Nearly 40 percent of the US Asian Americans lives in California. Exactly over 200 languages are known to be spoken and read in California. This makes the state one of the most moderate, cosmopolitan and open-minded societies on the planet.
California borders on the Pacific Ocean, Nevada, Arizona and the Mexican state Baja California. It has an area of 414,000 square kilometers and is the third largest state in the US (and the 59th of the world).The length of California is 1,240 kilometers and the width 400 kilometers.
The highest mountain outside of Alaska is the Mount Whitney is with a height of 4,421 meters in California. Hundreds of kilometers away is the desert Death Valley where the lowest (Badwater, 85.5 meters below sea level) and hottest point of the US can be found. Deserts in California make up about 25 percent of the area. California has also many beaches and nature parks. The most popular nature park is the Yosemite National Park. California became the 31st state of the US on the 9th of September in 1850.
The most famous cities of California are Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.
Los Angeles is the largest city in the state of California. Los Angeles is nicknamed “The City of Angels”. Los Angeles has over 1,290.6 square kilometer and a population of 3.8 million. Los Angeles is a world center of business, entertainment, culture, fashion, media and education. Some of the important buildings of California are the Hollywood Sign, the Kodak Theater, the Hollywood Boulevard, Disneyland and Griffith Park. In 1910 the first movie was shot in Hollywood and that was the start for Los Angeles as a movie capital.
San Diego is the second largest city in California. It has an area of over 963.6 square kilometers and a population of 1.26 million. San Diego is hosting the United States Navy, the US Coast Guard and the US Marine Corps. In San Diego there are SeaWorld, the Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo with over 800 species.
San Francisco is the fourth most populated/populous city in California with an area of over 600.7 square kilometer. San Francisco has a population of over 760,000. San Francisco is famous for the Golden Gate Bridge, the Golden Gate Park, Alcatraz Island, the cable cars and the Coit Tower. It is a popular tourist destination.
Los Angeles and San Francisco have also a popular China Town. All of them have beautiful beaches too.
The most popular Events in California are the Annual Academy Awards for the best films and the Annual Grammy Awards for the best music.
One of the most interesting historical episodes of California is the Gold Rush that is also the reason why the nickname of California is “The Golden State”. The Gold Rush started in 1848 when gold was discovered by James Marshell at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma. More than a hundred thousand men, women and children came to California to find gold. Near Highway 49 you can find many gold mines. The effects of the Gold Rush were substantial. San Francisco grew and many other cities were built round San Francisco. Railroads were built and a system of laws and government was created. The negative effect was that the Native Americans were attacked and driven away.
California is governed as a republic with three branches of government: the executive branch consisting of the Governor of California and the other independently elected constitutional officers; the legislative branch consisting of the Assembly and Senate; and the judicial branch consisting of the Supreme Court of California and lower courts. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification. Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is currently serving as the 38th governor of the state California. He is an actor and an Austrian-American Bodybuilder. He was first elected on the 7th of October 2003 and reelected on the 7th of November in 2006.
At the moment is a big political topic the gay marriage. Since June 2008 gay marriage are allowed in California but many people in California are against the gay marriage.