California - 2.Version - Referat
• a state with a population of 36 million and an area of 158,402 square miles (410,000 km2), California is the largest U.S. state in population and the third largest in area. There are many big cities. For Example: Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego and San Jose. The capital is Sacramento.
• a land of contrasts. You can find the highest mountain (Mount Whitney - 4,418 metres) only some miles away from the lowest point on the western hemisphere in Death Valley (-86 metres).
• California is one of the warmest states. Lots of fruits and vegetables are grown up there. For example: dates, almonds, grapes and oranges. If you grow plants you need water. But that is a huge problem, because there is a big difference in altitude. The farmers have to pump the water from the big lakes in the ground into their fields. It is very expensive to get water in this way.
• California borders (grenzt) the Pacific Ocean, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and the Mexican state of Baja California. California's geography is rich, complex, and varied.
• The Death Valley is the lowest point of the USA; it is in a national park too. There it is very hot. When the first settlers went through this national park, it was too hot for them and they died. This is the reason why it is called Death Valley.
• The Moyava desert is a hot place where the death valley is too. In this part of California, there is a lot of gold, silver and borax. Borax is a important part of the economy of California.
• The Yosemite nationalpark is the life of San Francisco. The Toulumne River and the O’Shaughnessy dike give San Francisco water and electricity. Without this, there wouldn’t be a California.
• In California there are lots of earthquakes. But why is there such a big rate of earthquakes? Two plates collide at the San-Andreas-Fault. If you can remember, Mr. Mann told us something about it in Geopgraphie.
2. Geographic Landmarks
• California is famous for its beaches and mountains.
• In some areas of California you can go snow skiing in the mountains, and swimming or wind surfing in the ocean, all on the same weekend.
• Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is 22 miles wide, and 72 miles around, at an altitude of 6,200 feet. Mount Whitney in the Sequoia National Park is the highest mountain in the continental United States (not including Alaska). California has many other geographic landmarks such as Yosemite. Other geographic landmarks include Death Valley, Mohave Desert and Mount Shasta.
• California is known as the Golden State. In addition to the gold rush, which brought many settlers to the area, the hills of California are covered with grasses and flora that make the land look gold.
• California also has many coastal redwood forests. The redwood tree, California's state tree, is the tallest tree in the world, with many reaching over 300 feet tall.
• Native Americans lived in California for thousands of years before the first Europeans arrived on the scene. Spanish explorer, Hernan Cortes, discovered the peninsula of Baha California in 1533. He actually thought it was an island, and named it after an imaginary island in a 16th century spanish book.
• The first Europeans to colonize California were the Spanish in the mid-1700s. Father Junipero Serra led a group a missionaries and soldiers to establish the California Missions. In all, 21 missions were established from San Diego to San Francisco. These missions helped to open the territory and led to the creation of other towns and cities.
• In 1821, when Mexico won independence from Spain, California became part of Mexico.
• In 1846, Mexico and the United States went to war to settle territorial disputes. The United States won the Mexican War in 1848, and took control over California.
• Gold discovery in 1849 started the California Gold Rush which brought a flood of prospectors looking for wealth.
• California has a mediterranean climate with lots of warm sunshine and mostly moderate temperatures. California gets rain mostly in the winter months, and mostly in the northern part of the state.
• The hottest recorded temperature in the USA (56,7°C) was there as well. But it's only hot in the South of California. The North of this state is cool, the middle has got a mild climate (San Francisco).
• California has a different set of industries including farming, entertainment, oil, mining and high technology production such as computers, telecommunications and biotechnology.
• Silicon Valley, bridging the San Jose and San Francisco areas, has become a world leader in high technology products ranging from computers to telecommunications and the Internet. It is best known for its ability to create startup companies in emerging new industries.
• The Digital Coast in southern California, around Los Angeles, has become famous for motion pictures and the entertainment industry.
• Sports is also a major industry with many professional sports teams ranging from baseball and football to basketball and hockey.
• There are lots of National Parks in this state like Yosemite or Redwood Forest. The largest living tree you can find in Sequoia National Park (General Sherman 86 m tall). The oldest living tree , a pine (kiefer) in Inyo National Forest, is over 4,600 years old.
• In California, there is a high homicide rate. Eight in 100 000 people are murderers.( 36 Million inhabitants= 2880 Murderers) Compare this to Germany: only 1 in 100 000 people is a murderer.
• There aren’t any new about that, but why? When the news doesn’t report anything, the tourists think it is a nice and friendly state. If everyone know, that there is a so high homicide rate, the tourist industry would suffer. But the industry has a good method: sights. It is the best method to attract tourists.
• One of this sights is the Alcatraz island. It was the best prison in America. No one could escape! Only a few, but they drown in the harbour of San Francisco.
• The Golden Gate Park is something like the Central Park in NY. In There is a museum, a lake and a polo field. With 412 ha the park is the biggest in San Francisco.
• Lombard street is another sight. It is a street which runs only down. One curve after the other one. And everything is full of plants.
• The next sight is the Panamerican Highway. It is a long street, which runs from Alaska down to Fireland. Fireland is in the South of South America.
• The Transamerica-Pyramid is a big Pyramid in the middle of San Francisco. This Pyramid is prepared of glass and it is the safest building against Earthquakes.
• One more sight is the Diego Zoo.It is a zoo with lots of animals, more than in the Wilhelma in Stuttgart.
• Seaworld is something like Diego Zoo but there are only animals, which lives in the water.
• The fisherman’s wharf is a little part of San Francisco. There are lots of pubs and restaurants. Also there live lots of animals. Like in Seaworld, but they aren’t in cages.
• Maybe you have heard about the walk of Fame. That’s a pavement, where stars put their hands and feet into wet concrete in the street. There are names of famous persons: The Beatles, Tom Hanks, Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Steven Spielberg, , Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I think you all know something about these famous persons, which are on the walk of Fame. But you will learn something about Arnold Schwarzenegger now.
• California has got a governor like every state and this governor is Arnold Schwarzenegger.
• He comes from Austria and he was an actor in action movies before he became a governor.
• Schwarzenegger is a Republican like George W. Bush.
• He won the election on 7th October 2003. On 17th November he was swoon in. The people elect the governor every 4 years. When the governor was elected for a second time, he can’t try to be elected a third time.
• Now, when I talk about the rich part of California, there is also a poor region.
• There are lots of homeless people, which must fight against the death.
• If you are unemployed you doesn´t get money from the state like in Germany. You must fight alone and find one or more Jobs.
• California is the state where most people live (31 Millions). Los Angeles is the second biggest city in the USA.
• In the morning, when the people work, there are more than 16 million people in L.A..
• Also, there are many foreigners. Only 66% of the Californians are “real” Americans. The others are African, European and Asian. So sometimes, there’s a big fight between the different peoples.
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