California statehood

    When did California become part of the United States?


    California facts
    What number is California in the Union?
    On February 2, 1848, Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and give control of a vast territory, including present day California, to the United States. At the time of signing, both US and Mexico were not aware that nine days prior to the day of signing the treaty, gold was found in California. The ensuing 'Gold Rush' brought several thousand propsectors to California. As California's population exceeded the minimum population required for a state to be admitted into the union (60,000), Californians sought statehood and, after heated debate in the U.S. Congress arising out of the slavery issue, California entered the Union as a free, nonslavery state by the Compromise of 1850. California became the 31st state on September 9, 1850.

    Fun California facts

    California facts
    California statehood
    Territorial disputes between Mexico and Texas escalted into a war between United States Mexico on May 13, 1846. After losing the war, Mexico had reluctantly ceded much of its northern territory, including present-day California, to the United States by the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. When the Mexican diplomats signed the treaty, they pictured California as a region of sleepy mission towns with a tiny population of about 7,300-not a devastating loss to the Mexican empire. Their regret might have been much sharper had they known that gold had been discovered at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California, nine days before they signed the peace treaty. Suddenly, the greatest gold rush in history was on, and “forty-niners” began flooding into California chasing after the fist-sized gold nuggets rumored to be strewn about the ground just waiting to be picked up. California’s population and wealth skyrocketed. Most newly acquired regions of the U.S. went through long periods as territories before they had the 60,000 inhabitants needed to achieve statehood, and prior to the Gold Rush, emigration to California had been so slow that it would have been decades before the population reached that number. But with gold fever reaching epidemic proportions around the world, more than 60,000 people from around the globe came to California in 1849 alone. Faced with such rapid growth, as well as a thorny congressional debate over the question of slavery in the new territories, Congress allowed California to jump straight to full statehood without ever passing through the formal territorial stage. After a rancorous debate between the slave-state and free-soil advocates, Congress finally accepted California as a free-labor state under the Compromise of 1850, beginning the state’s long reign as the most powerful economic and political force in the far West.