Term Paper: California History

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California and the U.S.


California is one the major industrial hubs of the United States. Before World War II, California was still a highly abundant land with enormous resources but it was only after the Second Great War that manufacturing became the most important sector of Californian economy. This is a huge state, almost like an independent nation-state and can be compared with some of the highest-ranking economic centers around the world. During the 1920s, oil was discovered in California. It was first found in Newhall but with the passage of time, the entire Californian region showed signs of oil reservoirs. With oil discovery combined with God rush, California was soon the richest state in the country. It was during the same time that cinema gained enormous attention as studio system was developed and Hollywood came into existence on the outskirts of LA. California became the most attractive place in the U.S. with its mild climate and economic abundance. During the Second World War, California was found to be an important base since it had a good climate. Various military facilities were established in the region and training camps were also started.

Many women in California joined the war and served the country mostly as nurses and caregivers. Other women divisions were also established so women could participate in war efforts. These establishments included Women's Army Corps (WACs), Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVEs), and Women Air Service Pilots (WASPs). Some women also found jobs in the manufacturing sector during this time.

After the war, the economy and everything else got a major boost. Land was cheap and people bought it and built on it. This resulted in massive economic growth. Real estate became an even bigger industry than oil or agriculture. With the opening of theme parks in 1950s and other places of entertainment, California became irresistible and this resulted in tremendous population growth and by 19670, it has swelled to nearly 20 million. This was partly due to the fact that many people who had come to the state during the Second World War decided to settle in California and this included a sizeable population of African-Americans. This gave rise to racial tension in the state and in 1964, Proposition 14 was approved to allow discrimination in the sale and rent of Real estate.

Apart from this racial discrimination and poor civil rights laws saw sudden increase in racial riots in the state during 1960s. The population and economy both however continued to grow all through 1970s and 1980s. Immigration increased immensely and this state became an immigrant heaven for people from China, the Philippines, and South East Asia. Economy was however still growing and hence while there was burden on the resources of the land, it was still quite bearable compared to some other regions. California was ranked the 8th fastest growing economy in 1980.


Red Scare was the name given to two waves of strong anti-communist sentiment that swept across the United States. The first one occurred around 1917 and lasted till 1920 while the second one appeared in late 1940s and continued throughout 1950s. It was a time of massive hysteria as communism became a massive force to reckon with and United States government did everything in its power to curtail the spread and influence of communism. According to Levin… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"California History."  Essaytown.com.  December 2, 2006.  Accessed October 14, 2019.