Colonial and Spanish PeriodEdit
The first European to explore the coast as far north as the Russian River was a Spanish sailing expedition, led by Spanish captain Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, in 1542. Some 37 years later English explorer Francis Drake also explored and claimed an undefined portion of the California coast in 1579. Spanish traders made unintended visits with the Manila galleons on their return trips from the Philippines beginning in 1565. The first Asians to set foot on what would be the United States occurred in 1587, when Filipino sailors arrived in Spanish ships at Morro Bay. Sebastián Vizcaíno explored and mapped the coast of California in 1602 for New Spain.
Despite the on-the-ground explorations of California in the 16th century, Rodríguez's idea of California as an island persisted. That depiction appeared on many European maps well into the 18th century.
After the Portolà expedition of 1769–70, Spanish missionaries began setting up 21 California Missions on or near the coast of Alta (Upper) California, beginning in San Diego. During the same period, Spanish military forces built several forts (presidios) and three small towns (pueblos). The San Francisco Mission grew into the city of San Francisco, and two of the pueblos grew into the cities of Los Angeles and San Jose. Several other smaller cities and towns also sprang up surrounding the various Spanish missions and pueblos, which remain to this day.
The Spanish colonization began decimating the natives through epidemics of various diseases for which the indigenous peoples had no natural immunity, such as measles and diphtheria. The establishment of the Spanish systems of government and social structure, which the Spanish settlers had brought with them, also technologically and culturally overwhelmed the societies of the earlier indigenous peoples.
During this same period, Russian ships also explored along the California coast and in 1812 established a trading post at Fort Ross. Russia's early 19th-century coastal settlements in California were positioned just north of the northernmost edge of the area of Spanish settlement in San Francisco Bay, and were the southernmost Russian settlements in North America. The Russian settlements associated with Fort Ross were spread over an area stretching from Point Arena to Tomales Bay.
California Gold rush 1816-1824Edit
On August 4th 1816, outside the town of Coloma, a wealthy rancher by the name of Guillermo de Santa a minor noble of the Spanish nobility found gold while bathing in the Rio Americana . Intially wanting to keep it a secret , his cousin Santiago Maximillio de Santa Ana recently engaged to Archduchess of Austria, Clementina Franziska Josepha, 4th daughter of the Hapsburg Emperor Francis l of Austria encouraged his cousin to establish a business but Guillermo refused. News soon spread from Coloma to Sacremento and eventually San Francisco where news exploded like wild fire. From August 1816 to September 1824 the Alta California region exploded in number of Immigrants from all over Europe and especially Spanish loyalists from the Mexican war of independance a decade earlier. During this time 7 of the largest Gold Mining companies sprang up and more and more ranchers cropped up to feed the amount of settlers coming in. The population of Alta California was 15,000 in 1812 and rose to 150,000 in 1822 and again to 176,000 in 1824. Guillermo de Santa the founder of the Pio Pico Impreza de Oro the 3rd Largest Gold Company was begining to have trouble with the local Spanish Govorner who was taxing 20% of all Gold found in Alta California when the Constituiton of Spain forbade Governers from inflicting new taxes (Gold rights were not yet established). When another owner Jacque Renault of the Renault Gold Co. faced similar disputes the two decided to form a commitee of company owners to file a dispute against the governer and soon all 7 of the largest Gold mining companies formed L'a guilde du commerce de la californie translated to the Califronia Commerce Guild on June 24th 1820. The governer saw this as a threat to his operation and called on the local garrison at El Presidio de Al Aleman in San Francisco. Poorly trained and poorly equiped local ranch hands and indigenous natives made the bulk of the Garrison which numbered to 1200. Every company had at least 150 -230 mercenaries to protect their shipments of Gold and other ventures. In total they had 1300 in way of swiss, bavarian and spanish mercenaries with an additional 129 local volunteers.
Sunday, April, 9, 1822 marked the begining of an independant California. The New Mexican governor Andres Villapilrosa a staunch catholic and anti-immigrant especially of Americans, and Europeans saw the Commerce guild headed by immigrants as a challenge to local rule and imposed a tax on Gold exports by 25% and required 10% more sent to the local governing body with the excuse of bettering the infrastructure. Knowing full well they were targeted because of their wealth and status, the Guild refused the tax and kept exporting without paying. That Sunday local soldiers seized a shipment of Gold from the de Santa company and local security got into a brawl with the soldiers which ended up with 2 men shot dead by the soldiers and 5 wounded. This act erupted the locals into a riot and additional troops were called in. The Board convened at the Renault Headquarters and unaminously voted to overthrow the mexican governor and call for independance on grounds of injustice. Almost immediately a letter was sent to the govornors office with the governer famously remarking "A la Muerte decidieron" "They decided on dying" and sent out the garrison troops to arrest the board members. A skirmish ensued on 1092 Piedad Ave. just 4 blocks from the Renault office in San Francisco. 14 soldiers were killed and 132 wounded. And only 4 Board assets were wounded. From then the 246 security unit took Governor Andres Villapilrosa into custody and proclaimed the Republic of The Californias.
The Republican Period 1822-1824 and de Santa revolutionEdit
The new unrecognized state of The Californias drafted a new constituition similar to the United States but instead of Senate and Houses , it decided to be run by a board, much like a company, with The president being elected by the board only and the governors being elected by the local people. The Court Justice was appointed by the President of the board. The board itself hand picked representatives from the 7 companies to represent them, those representatives were the heads of the companies which promoted from the inside. This in turn gave the illusion of a fair system but was utterly corrupt with the board having most of the power to form and change laws as they saw fit to benefit thier companies.
The newly appointed president Guillermo de Santa at age 49 was begining to show signs of early on set dementia and by 1823 was showing signs of erratic behavior. the Presidents term was 4 years and de Santa was only a year in when the board decided to remove de Santa from the presidency. His cousin Santiago a member of the board wanting to keep hs cousin in power as to manipulate and ensure his company thrived from trade secretly dispatched a letter to his father in law in Austria to send him volunteers. Santiago speculated that he may need to reform the entire government to keep his family in power. After a week his father in law responded he could not do so as it might seem like an act of colonialism and upset the balance of power. So Santiago arranged a trip to Austria and began convincing some members of the Nobility to lend him troops and also seek volunteers and award them land and possibly titles for his new government. January 1st 1824, Santiago returned with over 8,000 conscripts and 400 swiss and italian mercenaries.
De Santa Invasion and Austrian occupationEdit
Aware of the actions and what Santiago wanted to do, the remaining board members imprisoned Guillermo in the San Francisco Presidential Palace which was converted from the Renault Building and called on all vounteers to defend the Capital. By 1824 the population of San Francisco was 23,459. Nearby towns were called on to reinforce the meager force of 1200 which was badly equipped with outdated English Brown Bess Muskets and pikes. 800 more were added to the defense. 2000 ill equipped conscripts. (The mercenaries were dismissed once the country became sovereign.) On the other hand the Austrians had modern British Baker rifles. When the Austrian Expedtionary Force reached San Diego, they were met with praise and 200 volunteered to join them in taking the capital. Here at the Port of Castillo they AEF established a supply route , The British had agreed to send supplies . From then Los Angeles was a different story, The governer here thought the Austrians were invaders and wanted to turn California into a colony and rounded up 900 men to defend the town. 2 bronze 9-pounder cannons rained fire on the un supported Lines and the AEF quickly retreated not expecting the town to retaliate or posess artillary. The following morning governor Juan Gabriel dis patched a scout, un sure if San Diego had fallen, coincidentally a scout from the AEF met with the man and surmised he too was a scout and quickly took him out and disguised himself as a trader when he got to Los Angeles. The spy Dillion Harper an American, saw the gun placements and quickly sabotaged them at night and slipped out during the confusion. January 6th, 1824 The AEF marched onto Los Angeles and captured it without a single shot fired. All the defenders were taken prisoner and the governor executed.
After hearing news of the Capture of Los Angeles and San Diego, The board decided to go on the offensive and stop the advance by using hit and run tactics by the local indians, promising citizenship and allowing them to practice thier way of life freely not to interrupt their lives, the achomawi, Atsugewi and Hupa formed a confederation and provided an additional 1000 soldiers. Already low in number from disease centuries ago by contact with europeans. They decided this would be the best way to perserve thier way of life.
Likewise the AEF also recruited local Chumash and promised them they too could keep thier lands undisturbed and provided 500 warriors .
January 7th, 1824 The Battle of San Luis Obispo occured just 10 miles from the mission. AEF lines were ambushed from the ridges around the road and lines quickly formed to repel the attackers. Board snipers harrassed the left flank until Santiago ordered the Chumashi skirmishers to come out of their positions to rain fire on the snipers . The battle left 78 dead Austrians and 14 Board troops 2 were from the ambush the rest, snipers. Santiago then changed his tactics and the Jaegers along with Chumash trackers and skirmishers tracked the ambushers to thier camp and discovered the entire army situated in the mission , they quickly reported the findings to Santiago and Santiago ordered a night raid onto the mission. Caught off guard Board General Pierre Dupont, retreated across his defensive lines and left half of his 2000 troops to be taken as prisoners. Santiago not able to support that many prisoners offered them land in Los Angeles and San Diego if they abandoned Board run California all agreed and left with papers signalling safe passage back to Los Angeles and San Diego.
January 14th, 1824 The city grossly out numbered surrendered to the AEF,and the treaty of Santo Fran was signed. The board was quickly dissolved and all representatives gave the 7 companies and merged to the Pio Pico Gold Company effectively becoming the California Gold Co. owned by the state. Santiago repaid Britain for aid and petitioned California to become a principality of Austria.
The Principality of The Two Californias and The Kingdom of CaliforniaEdit
Soon after the capture of San Francisco January 14th, Santiago de Santa was crowned Prince and California became the Principality of the two Californias. Economic growth and the Industrial revolution made its way into California strengthening the country and more european settlers along with dissatisfied mexican nationals immigrated into the country during much of the 1820's and 30's.
By 1845, California was recognized as an industrial power behind the United States and Annexed the eastern parts of Mexican territory from 1823-1840, Mexico was compensated and frankly didnt care for its northern territory, only texas was not given, and California desprately wanted a port on the Gulf of mexico to recieve supplies from europe easier. So with permission by the mexican government, they set up a small port town of Guernica.
Tensions between Mexico and the US were escalating due to the texas problem and war broke out in 1846. Intially neutral to the conflict, a division of American troops mistakenly believed Guernica to be part of mexico occupied the town despite protests from the mayor saying they were on sovereign California land. When news reached Santiago the prince sent a relief force and ordered the Americans out, taking this to be a sign of agression General Shepard Holmes refused to give ground. So having no choice General Johann Guttenburg ordered his men to capture the town. California declared war on the united states the following day.
Due to war being declared without the permission of Austria, the actions of california were condemned and the status of Principality were to be revoked unless there was a ceasefire. Seeing this as the oppurtunity to break of the yoke of Austrian control Prince Santiago Maximillio de Santa declared himself King Santiago l and renamed the Country The Kingdom of California , May 7th 1846.
Guernica then incorporated the smaller towns of texas, and soon south western texas was completely under california rule and the region was renamed Nuevo Paraiso.