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         California is located in the southwestern part of the USA. It is estimated to be the richest state of the USA that is why it is also called the Golden State.

         Between 1850 and 1854, San Jose, Vallejo, and San Fran­cisco served as the temporary capital cities. In 1854, the capi­tal city was permanently moved to Sacramento.

        The main cities are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Bar­bara, San Diego, San Jose, etc. The total area is about 405 000 sq. km. It is the third biggest state of the USA after Alaska and Texas. State population is about 35, 000,000. It has the highest density of population. The largest City of California is Los Angeles, which is the 2nd largest city in the USA after New York city.

          In 2003 the Governor of the state California became the well-known actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

         California’s history is unique. It has been shaped, in part, by its geography. California has four main regions: the tem­perate coastal region, the Central Valley, once an inland sea, the desert, and the mountain region. The imposing Sierra Ne­vada caused California to develop in relative isolation from the rest of the nation. After Americans began to settle in Cali­fornia in large numbers during the nineteenth century, it would usually be weeks before news would arrive to the state from the East.

        Four flags have flown over California: Russian, Spanish, Mexican and the United States.

        The name «California» came from a knightly romance book that was published in 1510. It was about an island paradise near India where beautiful Queen Califia ruled over a country of beautiful black Amazons with lots of pearls and gold. Cortez’s men thought they found the island in 1535, because they found pearls. Later, it was found that the island was re­ally a peninsula.

         The first settlers to arrive in California after the Native Americans were Spanish. Russia had some small settlements, involved in whaling and fur trapping in Northern California, but Russia didn’t attempt to colonize the area except in very isolated areas. Spanish priests were sent to California to con­vert the Indians to Christianity. Spain hoped to make the Ca­lifornia native population into good Spaniards, loyal to Spain. Spain couldn’t find enough Spaniards willing to leave Spain for the New World and her attempts to convert the Indians into Spaniards failed. Spain had made the same errors that the English made with the Colonies. Spain forbade New Spain from trading with any other nation besides Spain, and Spanish set­tlers who were born in Spain were considered to be a higher class than pure Spanish born in New Spain. Even though New Spain had adopted the culture of Spain, the Spanish restric­tions would soon drive Spain from the New World just as the English had been driven out.

        The English began to fight for California almost 500 years ago with Queen Elizabeth I.

        England had ceased to become a real threat since the Ame­rican Colonists had driven England from much of the New World. England had left something dangerous in her stead. It is English culture. Though the United States was a multina­tional state, English culture was the overriding tie that bound these people together.

         It was this discovery of gold that hastened California’s statehood. By the mid nineteenth century, California became a state of the USA because of the Gold Rush which started in earnest in 1849.

         On September 9, 1850, President Fillmore officially made California the thirty-first state.

        Winter comes early in the Californian mountains and many settlers lost their lives, if they tried to cross the hostile Sierra Nevada and penetrate to California from the eastern part of the country in winter.

        The most common method of travel to California from the East for that time was by ship. Settlers would leave the East Coast and have to travel south all the way around the tip of South America. The only other way to get to California was to get off the ship in Panama, cross the isthmus by land, and pick up a ship on the West coast of Panama that was headed north. Many travellers died of disease crossing the tropical Isthmus of Panama.

        Only after the construction of the railroad which linked California to the rest of the country, California itself could offer a lot to the nation.

        The rich Central Valley eventually became known as the breadbasket of the world. California’s mild climate allowed for year-round farming and growing of fruit and vegetables.

        Prior to the Gold Rush, California had more Native Amer­icans than all the other states combined. Now California still has the largest population of Native Americans. California has one of the largest Chinese communities outside Asia in the entire world, the majority of whom live in San Francisco. Cali­fornia has the largest Armenian population outside Armenia. From the economical point of view California is the largest pro­ducer of goods of all the states and the largest agricultural state in the Union. California is the fifth largest economy in the world, if it were a separate country.





  1. Where is California located?
  2. Is it a rich state?
  3. What is the capital of the state?
  4. What are the main cities of the state?
  5. Is it the biggest state of the USA?
  6. How many main regions does California have?
  7. What is the origin of the state’s name?
  8. Who were the first settlers to arrive in California after the Native Americans?
  9. What errors did Spain make in California, which soon would drive Spain out?
  10. When did the English fight for California begin?
  11. What historical event hastened the statehood of California?
  12. When did California become a state of the USA?
  13. What was the most common method of travel to California from the East for that time?
  14. Is the number of native Americans great or not in California?
  15. Is California a large agricultural state?





to be located — находиться, размещаться

to estimate — считать, полагать, оценивать, давать оценку; судить; расценивать

to serve — служить

permanently — постоянно

to move — переехать

density — плотность

well-known — выдающийся, знаменитый, известный, популярный

unique — уникальный, единственный в своем роде

to shape — придавать форму, формировать; получаться

temperate — умеренный (о климате и т. п.)

inland sea — внутреннее море

desert — пустыня

imposing —требующий, предписывающий; внушительный

to cause — послужить причиной/поводом для чего-л.;

to develop — развивать(ся)

to settle — поселить(ся), обосноваться, селиться

to fly over (flew, flown) — развеваться над

knightly — рыцарский

paradise — рай, райское местечко

to rule — править, управлять

pearl — жемчужина

peninsula — полуостров

to arrive in — прибыть, приехать

to be in volved in — быть вовлеченным в, заниматься чем- либо

whaling — охота на китов; китобойный промысел

furtrapping — добыча пушнины, охота на пушного зверя

attempt — попытка; проба; опыт

priest — священник

Christianity — христианство

loyal — лояльный, верный, преданный

willing — добровольный; готовый ( сделать что-л,); охот­но делающий что-л.

to fail — не сбываться, обманывать ожидания, не уда­ваться; потерпеть неудачу;

to forbid (forbade, forbidden) — запрещать; не позволять; препятствовать

to be considered — считать, полагать

pure — чистый, настоящий

restriction — ограничение, сужение

to drive smb. from — изгнать, вытеснить

to fight — сражаться, воевать

to cease — переставать (делать что-л.), прекращать(ся); приостанавливать, положить конец,

threat — угроза

stead — место (место, которое замещается другим лицом, вещью и т. п.); земельный участок

overriding tie — связующее звено

to hasten — спешить, торопиться, делать (что-либо) в спешке

the Gold Rush — золотая лихорадка

in earnest — по-настоящему

prior to — раньте, прежде, до

hostile — враждебный, неприязненный, недружелюб­ный

the Sierra Nevada — горы Сьерра-Невада

to penetrate — проникать внутрь, проходить сквозь, про­ходить

tip — тонкий конец; кончик

to get off — сходить, вставать с (о транспорте)

isthmus — перешеек

to head north — направиться на север

disease — болезнь

railroad = railway

to offer — предлагать

eventually  — в конечном счете, в итоге, в конце концов; со временем

breadbasket — житница (хлебная корзина)

mild — умеренный (о погоде, климате и т. п.); безвет­ренный, тихий, спокойный, ясный

to grow (past grew, p.p. grown) — выращивать, культи­вировать; расти, вырастать

majority — большинство

separate — отдельный; обособленный

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