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Pacific Eldorado: A History of Greater California

January 2013, ©2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Pacific Eldorado: A History of Greater California (EHEP002709) cover image
Osborne's work is the first history text to explore the sweep of California's past in relationship to its connections within the maritime world of the Pacific Basin.
  • Presents a provocative and original interpretation of the entire span of California history
  • Reveals how the area's Pacific Basin connections have shaped the Golden State's past
  • Refutes the widely held notion among historians that California was isolated before the onset of the American period in the mid-1800s
  • Represents the first text to draw on anthropologist Jon Erlandson's findings that California's first human inhabitants were likely prehistoric Asian seafarers who navigated the Pacific Rim coastline
  • Includes instructor resources in an online companion site: www.wiley.com/go/osborne
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List of Illustrations xiii

Foreword xvi
Janet Fireman

Preface xviii

Acknowledgments xxi

1 Beginnings: From Fire and Ice to Indian Homeland 1
Timeline 2
Landforms 2
Climates 6
Plants and Animals 8
First Peoples and Their New Homeland 9
Tribal and Linguistic Groupings 12
Material Culture 14
Religion and Social Practices 16
Pacific Profile: Anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber 19
The Chumash: Pacific Coast Mariners and Traders 19
Other Possible Early Voyagers to California 21

2 Spain's Greater California Coast 25
Timeline 25
A Name, a Dream, a Land 27
Cabrillo's Coastal Reconnaissance 28
Globalization Begins: The Manila Galleon Trade 30
Drake, Nova Albion, and Cermeño 32
The Spanish Pacific, Vizcaíno, and Monterey 34
Colonizing California: Missions, Indians, and the Sea 35
Ranchos, Presidios, and Pueblos 42
Gender and Sexuality in a Frontier Society 44
Pacific Profile: Alejandro Malaspina, Mariner-Explorer 45
The TransPacific Fur Trade 46
Hippolyte de Bouchard's Pirate Raids 48

3 A Globally Connected Mexican Province 53
Timeline 53
Mexico's Misrule of California 55
Secularization of the Missions 56
Hides, Tallow, and Rancho Society 59
Fur Trappers 64
Early Settlers and Overland Emigrants 66
Pacific Profile: Alpheus B. Thompson, China Trader 70
"Thar She Blows:" New England Whalers 71
The Charles Wilkes Pacific Expedition 72

4 War and Gold: America's West Coast Eldorado 78
Timeline 78
California and the Pacific Squadron 80
Jumping the Gun at Monterey 81
Polk, the Pacific, and the Outbreak of War 84
California and the Mexican War 88
Gold, Ships, and Wagon Trains 91
Pacific Profile: William H. Aspinwall, President of the Pacific Mail
Steamship Company 95
The World Rushed In 96
Life in the Diggings 97
The Gold Rush's International Economic Impacts 100

5 National Crisis, Statehood, and Social Change 105
Timeline 106
A Constitution, a Legislature, a State 107
Land Disputes and Independence Movements 110
Vigilance Committees and Untamed Politicians 112
Pacific Filibusterers 116
California, the Pacific, and the Civil War 118
Ocean Crossings: The Chinese on Sea and Land 120
Pacific Profile: Norman Asing, Chinese American Restaurateur 123
Californios and Other Spanish-Speakers 124
Indians: A People under Siege 126
African Americans: Up from Bondage 127

6 Pacific-Bound Rails, Hard Times, and Chinese Exclusion 132
Timeline 133
A Transcontinental Railroad, California, and Pacific Commerce 134
Theodore Judah, the Big Four, and the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 136
Chinese Laborers and the Push Eastward 140
The Southern Pacific Railroad and the American West 143
Pacific Profile: Seafaring Journalist Charles Nordhoff 146
Transpacific Steamers 147
Depression and the Anti-Chinese Movement 148
The Constitution of 1879 152
Halting Chinese Immigration 153

7 Eldorado's Economic and Cultural Growth 158
Timeline 158
Water, Land, and Rural Development 160
Commercial Agriculture 162
Black and White Gold 166
Interurban Railways and Southern California's Rise 168
California's Maritime Economy 171
Pacific Profile: David Laamea Kalakaua, King of Hawai'i and Visitor 175
California and the Spanish-American-Cuban-Filipino War 176
A Cosmopolitan Culture 178

8 Anti-Railroad Politics, Municipal Graft , and Labor Struggles 186
Timeline 187
The Battle of Mussel Slough 188
An Angry Widow Sues: The Colton Letters 190
Pacific Gateway: Locating a Harbor in Los Angeles 190
Pacific Profile: Phineas Banning, Port of Los Angeles and
Santa Catalina Promoter 192
Debt Dodging Denounced 193
The Southern Pacific Political Machine 194
The "Queen City of the Pacific:" Boss Ruef 's San Francisco 195
Foiled Reform: The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Graft Trials 197
Maritime and Factory Labor 201
Field Work and the Wheatland Riot 206

9 Governor Hiram Johnson and Pacific-Oriented Progressivism 211
Timeline 212
The Beginnings of Reform 213
An "Aggressive Advocate" and the 1910 Election 215
Regulating the Economy 216
Democratizing Politics, Subsidizing Education 219
Women's Suffrage and Public Morals 220
Water: Cities in a State of Thirst 223
Pacific Profile: George Freeth, Southern California Surfer Extraordinaire 226
San Francisco, TransPacific Racial Tensions, and Angel Island 227
African Americans, Hispanics and Filipinos, Sikhs, and Indians 230
Maritime Trade and the Panama Pacific Exposition 232
The Twilight of Progressivism 233

10 Good Times and Bad in a Pacific Rim Super State 238
Timeline 239
Mass Entertainment: Hollywood Movies, Pacific Fun Zones, and the Olympics 240
Extending California's Water Infrastructure 242
Agribusiness and Banking 244
The 1920s Oil Boom 247
Maritime Enterprises 248
Transportation: Automobiles and Airplanes 250
Pacific Profile: Charles Kingsford-Smith's TransPacific Flight 252
Conservatism Restored 252
Religious Awakenings and Developments 254
Freedom-Minded and Other Women 255
The Great Depression: Strikes and Panaceas 257
Cultural Expression of a High Order 260

11 America's Pacific Bulwark: World War II and Its Aft ermath 267
Timeline 268
Military Installations: Forts, Naval Bases, and Airfields 269
The Wages of War: Shipyards, Aircraft Plants, and Universities 270
Opportunities and Prejudice: Women and Minorities 274
Japanese Imprisonment 277
Pacific Profile: Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Manzanar Inmate and Writer 281
The Postwar Military-Industrial Complex and International Relations 282
Population Growth, Housing, and Discrimination 284
Green Gold: Agribusiness and Labor 287
Governor Earl Warren: Progressive Republican 288
Richard Nixon and the Anti-Communist Crusade 290

12 Liberalism at High Tide 295
Timeline 296
Prosperity, Suburbanization, and Consumerism 297
Entertainment Media, Sports, and Amusement Parks 300
The San Francisco Renaissance and the Arts 302
Politics: Goodwin Knight, Pat Brown, and Reforming Government Operations 305
Enhancing the Super State: Water, Transit, and Universities 306
Students in Dissent, Campuses in Revolt 309
Pacific Profile: S.I. Hayakawa, San Francisco State College President 312
Minorities and Women 313
Coastal Counterculture in the 1960s 317

13 "Gold Coast" Conservatism and the Politics of Limits 323
Timeline 324
From Ultra-Right-Wingers to Mainstream Suburban Warriors 326
Ronald Reagan: The "Cowboy" Governor 328
Governor Jerry Brown: The Zen of Politics and Frugality 331
Crime and Racial Tensions 334
Business and Labor 336
Pacific Profile: Jerry Yang, Co-founder and CEO, Yahoo! Inc. 340
Protecting the Environment and Supplying Energy 341
Governor George Deukmejian's Right Turn 345
Voter Resentment, Term Limits, and Wedge Politics 346
Governor Pete Wilson and a Roller-Coaster Economy 347
Architecture and Fine Arts, Sports, and Entertainment 350

14 The Ongoing Pacific Shift 356
Timeline 357
Immigration, Diversity, and the Politics of Multiculturalism 359
Pacific Profile: Novelist Isabel Allende 364
Governor Gray Davis: An Able Moderate under Fire 365
The "Governator:" Arnold Schwarzenegger 366
Infrastructure Matters: Schools, Transportation, Health Care, and Prisons 369
The High-Stakes Gubernatorial Election of 2010 372
An Economic and Political Colossus 374
Major Environmental and Energy Challenges 381
The Pacific, the U.S Military, and California 383
Still the Pacific Eldorado 384
Summary 385

Review Questions 386
Further Readings 387

Appendix: Governors of California, 1768–2012 389

Index 392

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Thomas J. Osborne is Emeritus Professor of History at Santa Ana College, where he received the inaugural Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award. He earned his Ph.D in history from Claremont Graduate University and is the author and co-author of several scholarly books, articles and reviews, including Paths to the Present: Thoughts on the Contemporary Relevance of America's Past (co-authored with Fred R. Mabbutt) and "Empire Can Wait:" American Opposition to Hawaiian Annexation, 1893-1898.
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• Presents a provocative and original interpretation of the entire span of California history
• Reveals how the area’s Pacific Basin connections have shaped the Golden State’s past
• Refutes the widely held notion among historians that California was isolated before the onset of the American period in the mid-1800s
• Represents the first text to draw on anthropologist Jon Erlandson’s findings that California’s first human inhabitants were likely prehistoric Asian seafarers who navigated the Pacific Rim coastline
See More

“A whole new generation of historians has been discovering California in a new context. ... This textbook—a gift to teachers of California history—will also be useful for anyone seeking to understand the Golden State in a global context.” – Boom: A Journal of California, Spring 2014

"Osborne... does a very good job of updating standard narratives and finding a way to pull them together."   (Southern California Quarterly, 1 May 2013)

 

 “Pacific Eldorado is an innovative and compelling account of California history, and it also offers so much more than a standard textbook.  Thomas Osborne has brilliantly placed California in its ‘greater’ geographic and historical setting—the Pacific Basin—and he has done so in a highly accessible way for students and scholars.  This is a tremendous achievement.” —David Igler, University of California, Irvine

 “A fresh and compelling interpretation of California history that places the state in a new and welcome perspective. This book, in other words, delivers on the promise of its title." —Glenna Matthews, author of The Golden State in the Civil War: Thomas Starr King, the Republican Party, and the Birth of Modern California

"In this splendid volume, Thomas Osborne offers a striking reformulation of prevailing interpretations of California history by introducing the concept of Pacific Eldorado, which elucidates the significant, but heretofore largely unexplored, connections between California and the Pacific world.” —Spencer C. Olin, University of California, Irvine

“From prehistory to the 2010 election, this book masterfully makes California history new and richly engaging. With its compelling human stories and wealth of illustrations, Pacific Eldorado draws us in and keeps us reading. I regretted reaching the end.” —Janet Farrell Brodie, Claremont Graduate University

“A fresh and lively contribution to the history of California.”  —Kerwin Klein, University of California, Berkeley

“Utilizing the latest research, Pacific Eldorado captivates the reader with a balanced, up-to-date, innovative history of California with a Pacific edge. Informative, memorable, and highly recommended!” —Nancy Taniguchi, California State University, Stanislaus  

 “Smartly synthesizes 500 years of California history, from its shifting bedrock to its evolving social dynamics. . . . – a stellar rendering.” —Char Miller, Pomona College, and author of Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism

“Thomas Osborne brings a new contribution to current discourse about California and its past to reveal a grand tapestry of connections and a multi-hemispheric pattern of interaction with the Pacific world.” —from the Foreword by Janet Fireman, Loyola Marymount University

 “Through the pages of Pacific Eldorado new content and important context about California’s lively history beckons readers.  This book explains how California’s past informs its future.”—Larry E. Burgess, Director, A.K. Smiley Public Library

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Instructors Resources
Wiley Instructor Companion Site
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Paperback   
Pacific Eldorado: A History of Greater California
ISBN : 978-1-4051-9453-2
434 pages
January 2013
$46.95   BUY

Hardcover   
Pacific Eldorado: A History of Greater California
ISBN : 978-1-4051-9454-9
434 pages
January 2013
$92.95   BUY

Wiley E-Text   
Pacific Eldorado: A History of Greater California
ISBN : 978-1-118-29235-8
440 pages
January 2013
$92.95   BUY

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