Why is California called the golden state

California

California is a state in the United States of America. It has the third largest area of ​​all American states behind Alaska and Texas and is about the size of Germany and Austria combined.

California has the largest population of any US state. If California were a separate state, it would be ahead of Canada and Australia. The largest city in California is Los Angeles, followed by San Diego, San José and San Francisco. Only in sixth place comes the state capital, Sacramento.

More than 200 languages ​​are spoken in California. After English, Spanish is the most widely spoken language. This is also due to its proximity to Mexico. More than 100 Indian languages ​​are spoken. However, many of these languages ​​are threatened with extinction.

California often goes further in environmental protection than the government in Washington and other states. The laws are stricter here. For example, California's highways have a maximum speed of 55 miles per hour, which is just under 90 kilometers. In most other states, this is 75 mph, about 120 kilometers an hour. In part, this has to do with the well-known Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He became known as a bodybuilder and actor and was governor from 2003 to 2011.

What does the country look like?

Yosemite National Park is one of the most beautiful natural areas in the United States. It is almost four times the size of Berlin. Every year three million people visit the park.

California is very warm and dry. Most of the rain and snow falls in the north, but the water is mainly needed in the south. There are therefore many dams and long canals. Due to climate change, however, there is less and less rainfall. Research on trees showed that in the past thousand years California has never been as dry as it is today.

The "Valley of Death" desert is both the lowest point and the hottest place in the United States. But there are also numerous nature parks and beautiful beaches. The tallest and thickest sequoias can also be found here.

What do people live on?

California is home to Silicon Valley. This is a valley in which a particularly large number of software and computer companies are based. The round building here is Apple's headquarters and is called Apple Park. It is almost half a kilometer in diameter. The park is twice the size of Vienna's Stadtpark.

California has the English nickname "Golden State". That means: Golden State. This is a reminder of the gold rush in the 19th century. The translation gold rush is not quite correct, because the English word "rush" means something like "to storm off quickly". In 1848 workers discovered a small gold nugget on the ranch of the Swiss Johann August Sutter. As the workers divulged the find, prospectors crowded the property. Soon newspapers reported the gold discoveries and even more people came. Ships remained in the ports because the sailors rushed to the gold fields immediately upon arrival. Few gold diggers got rich, most gambled away everything. Traders and merchants were therefore among the winners of the gold rush. One of the winners was Levi Strauss, who invented jeans. But Sutter lost most of his property.

In the years after 1920, the film industry settled in California. That was when the Hollywood film studios came into being. There was still no good artificial light. So the directors either shot outdoors or in a studio with a glass roof. The city of Hollywood became a symbol of a film city.

Silicon Valley is one of the most important locations for the computer and software industry all over the world. Silicon is the basic material for most products in the semiconductor industry. The best-known companies in Silicon Valley include Apple, Intel, Google, Yahoo, eBay, Facebook, WhatsApp, Tesla and Amazon. This region is approximately 70 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide. That is a little longer than Lake Constance and twice as wide.

California is also known as the "Fruit Garden of America". This is also where most of the world's almonds come from. However, a lot of water is used to irrigate the fields. People also consume a lot of water. That is why the water table is constantly falling.

But less water also means more drought. Therefore, wildfires are becoming more common in California. Numerous people died in the great forest fire in 2018. In the small town of Paradise alone, around 9,700 houses burned down. The extinguishing work was hampered by strong winds.


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