California People





California People

The first people in California came from East Asia. They traveled across the Bering straits to Alaska. The people formed different groups and tribes and they settled in the vast landscape. The area’s geography consisting of mountain ranges and deserts helped in separating the people. This was beneficial because it meant that the people did not engage in constant warfare. The geography of the region also made traveling more difficult. These first settlers often stayed in large families and clans. More than one hundred dialects were spoken at the time. Some of the tribes in the region included the Karok, Maidu, Mojave, and Modoc among others.

The early people lived a peaceful and healthy lifestyle. They did not practice a lot of agriculture because the area lacked rain. However, it had rich soils and this made it possible for people to harvest wild nuts and berries. They also harvested roots, which made a main part of their diets. They varied their diets by catching fish from the streams. By the time the Europeans began arriving in California, its population was about 300,000. This population decreased significantly when the Europeans arrived. This was mostly because of new diseases introduced to the region by the new settlers. The people did not have a strong immune system and many of them died. By mid nineteenth century, the regions population had decreased by half. The discovery of gold in 1848 changed the population. People from other places such as Hawaii, Mexico, and Oregon came to find gold. In 1847, California had a population of less than 14, 000 people. By 1849, following the discovery of the gold, the population had increased to over 300,000 people (Igler 6).

Works Cited:

Igler, David. A Companion to California History. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Print

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