Baja California

Baja California
Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California  (Spanish)
State
Free and Sovereign State of Baja California
Official seal of Baja California
Seal
Anthem: Canto a Baja California
State of Baja California within Mexico
State of Baja California within Mexico
Coordinates: 30°00′N 115°10′W / 30°00′N 115°10′W / 30.000; -115.167
CountryMexico
CapitalMexicali
Largest cityTijuana
Municipalities5
Admission16 January 1952[1]
Order29th
Government
 • GovernorFrancisco Vega de Lamadrid PAN
 • Senators[2]
Area[4]
 • Total71,450 km2 (27,590 sq mi)
 Ranked 12th
Population (2015)[5]
 • Total3,315,766
 • Rank14th
 • Density46/km2 (120/sq mi)
 • Density rank19th
Demonym(s)Bajacaliforniano(a)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT[a])
Postal code21, 22
Area code
ISO 3166 codeMX-BCN
HDIDecrease 0.765 high Ranked 7th
GDPUS$23.03 billion.[b]
WebsiteOfficial Web Site

^ a. 2010 and later. Baja California is the only state to use the US DST schedule state wide, while the rest of Mexico (except for small portions of other northern states) starts DST 3–4 weeks later and ends DST one week earlier.[6]

^ b. The state's GDP was 294.8 billion of pesos in 2008,[7] amount corresponding to 23.03 billion of dollars, being a dollar worth 12.80 pesos (value of 3 June 2010).[8]

Baja California[note 1] (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbaxa kaliˈfoɾnja] (About this sound listen)), (English: Lower California), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Baja California (Spanish: Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California), is a state in Mexico. It is the northernmost and westernmost of the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. Before becoming a state in 1952, the area was known as the North Territory of Baja California (El Territorio Norte de Baja California). It has an area of 70,113 km2 (27,071 sq mi), or 3.57% of the land mass of Mexico and comprises the northern half of the Baja California Peninsula, north of the 28th parallel, plus oceanic Guadalupe Island. The mainland portion of the state is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by Sonora, the U.S. state of Arizona, and the Gulf of California (also known as the "Sea of Cortez"), and on the south by Baja California Sur. Its northern limit is the U.S. state of California.

The state has an estimated population of 3,315,766 (2015)[10] much more than the sparsely populated Baja California Sur to the south, and similar to San Diego County, California on its north. Over 75% of the population lives in the capital city, Mexicali, in Ensenada, or in Tijuana. Other important cities include San Felipe, Rosarito and Tecate. The population of the state is composed of Mestizos, mostly immigrants from other parts of Mexico, and, as with most northern Mexican states, a large population of Mexicans of Spanish ancestry, and also a large minority group of East Asian, Middle Eastern and indigenous descent. Additionally, there is a large immigrant population from the United States due to its proximity to San Diego and the lower cost of living compared to San Diego. There is also a significant population from Central America. Many immigrants moved to Baja California for a better quality of life and the number of higher paying jobs in comparison to the rest of Mexico and Latin America.

Baja California is the twelfth largest state by area in Mexico. Its geography ranges from beaches to forests and deserts. The backbone of the state is the Sierra de Baja California, where the Picacho del Diablo, the highest point of the peninsula, is located. This mountain range effectively divides the weather patterns in the state. In the northwest, the weather is semi-dry and mediterranean. In the narrow center, the weather changes to be more humid due to altitude. It is in this area where a few valleys can be found, such as the Valle de Guadalupe, the major wine producing area in Mexico. To the east of the mountain range, the Sonoran Desert dominates the landscape. In the south, the weather becomes drier and gives way to the Vizcaino Desert. The state is also home to numerous islands off both of its shores. In fact, the westernmost point in Mexico, the Guadalupe Island, is part of Baja California. The Coronado, Todos Santos and Cedros Islands are also on the Pacific Shore. On the Gulf of California, the biggest island is the Angel de la Guarda, separated from the peninsula by the deep and narrow Canal de Ballenas.

History

The first people came to the peninsula at least 11,000 years ago. At that time two main native groups are thought to have been present on the peninsula. In the south were the Cochimí. In the north were several groups belonging to the Yuman language family, including the Kiliwa, Paipai, Kumeyaay, Cocopa, and Quechan. These peoples were diverse in their adaptations to the region. The Cochimí of the peninsula's Central Desert were generalized hunter-gatherers who moved frequently; however, the Cochimí on Cedros Island off the west coast had developed a strongly maritime economy. The Kiliwa, Paipai, and Kumeyaay in the better-watered northwest were also hunter-gatherers, but that region supported denser populations and a more sedentary lifestyle. The Cocopa and Quechan of northeastern Baja California practiced agriculture in the floodplain of the lower Colorado River.

Another group of people were the Guachimis, who came from the north and created much of the Sierra de Guadalupe cave paintings. Not much is known about them except that they lived in the area between 100 BC and the coming of the Europeans and created World Heritage rock art.[11]

Trail connecting the Spanish missions in the Baja California peninsula.

Europeans reached the present state of Baja California in 1539, when Francisco de Ulloa reconnoitered its east coast on the Gulf of California and explored the peninsula's west coast at least as far north as Cedros Island. Hernando de Alarcón returned to the east coast and ascended the lower Colorado River in 1540, and Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo (or João Rodrigues Cabrilho (in Portuguese)) completed the reconnaissance of the west coast in 1542. Sebastián Vizcaíno again surveyed the west coast in 1602, but outside visitors during the following century were few.

The Jesuits founded a permanent mission colony on the peninsula at Loreto in 1697. During the following decades, they gradually extended their sway throughout the present state of Baja California Sur. In 1751–1753, the Croatian Jesuit mission-explorer Ferdinand Konščak made overland explorations northward into the state of Baja California. Jesuit missions were subsequently established among the Cochimí at Santa Gertrudis (1752), San Borja (1762), and Santa María (1767).

After the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1768, the short-lived Franciscan administration (1768–1773) resulted in one new mission at San Fernando Velicatá. More importantly, the 1769 expedition to settle Alta California under Gaspar de Portolà and Junípero Serra resulted in the first overland exploration of the northwestern portion of the state.[12]

The Dominicans took over management of the Baja California missions from the Franciscans in 1773. They established a chain of new missions among the northern Cochimí and western Yumans, first on the coast and subsequently inland, extending from El Rosario (1774) to Descanso (1817), just south of Tijuana.

19th and 20th centuries

The colonial governors were:
  • 1833: Mexican secularization act of 1833
  • 1848: Alta California is annexed by the United States.
  • 1853: Soldier of fortune William Walker captures La Paz, declaring himself President of the Republic of Lower California. The Mexican government forces his retreat after several months.
  • 1884: Luis Huller and George H. Sisson obtain a concession covering much of the present state, in return for promises to develop the area.[13]
  • 1905: The Magonista revolution, an anarchist movement based on the writings of Ricardo Flores Magón and Enrique Flores Magón, begins.
  • 1911: Mexicali and Tijuana are captured by the Mexican Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Mexicano, PLM), but soon surrender to Federal forces.
  • 1917: On 11 December, "[a] prominent Mexican, close friend of President Carranza" offered to U. S. Senator Henry Ashurst to sell Baja California to the U. S. for "fifty million dollars gold."[14]
  • 1930: Baja California is further divided into Northern and Southern territories.
  • 1952: The North Territory of Baja California becomes the 29th state of Mexico, Baja California. The southern portion, below 28°N, remains a federally administered territory.
  • 1974: The South Territory of Baja California becomes the 31st state, Baja California Sur.
  • 1989: Ernesto Ruffo Appel of the PAN becomes the first non-PRI governor of Baja California and the first opposition governor of any state since the Revolution.
Other Languages
Afrikaans: Baja California
asturianu: Baxa California
azərbaycanca: Aşağı Kaliforniya
Bân-lâm-gú: Baja California Chiu
беларуская: Ніжняя Каліфорнія
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Ніжняя Каліфорнія
brezhoneg: Kalifornia-Izel
čeština: Baja California
español: Baja California
Esperanto: Baja California
hrvatski: Baja California
interlingua: Baja California
Kapampangan: Baja California
kernowek: Baja California
latviešu: Lejaskalifornija
македонски: Долна Калифорнија
مازِرونی: باخا کالیفرنیا
Bahasa Melayu: Baja California
Nāhuatl: Baja California
norsk nynorsk: Baja California
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Quyi shimoliy Kaliforniya
Piemontèis: Bassa Califòrnia
português: Baixa Califórnia
română: Baja California
Simple English: Baja California (state)
slovenčina: Baja California
српски / srpski: Доња Калифорнија
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Donja Kalifornija
Tsetsêhestâhese: Baja California
Türkçe: Baja California
українська: Баха-Каліфорнія
Tiếng Việt: Baja California