The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 102
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102 The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
different from those of the old, and so powerful that, instead of the
newer community, as was usual, it was the older that was forced to
struggle for equality and justice.
Before the discovery of gold, the dominant, almost the sole,
interest in California was pastoral and agricultural. The province
was held, in great estates, by a slender population subsisting easily
by raising stock and grain. By far the larger portion of the popu-
lation lived in the southern district. But with the discovery of
gold the centers of population shifted to the north and to the
Sierras, where the dominant interest was in the mines, and where.
the lands were not owned, but leased. In the middle of 1818, it is
estimated, there were in California about 7500 Hispano-Cali-
fornians, 6500 Americans, and a negligible number of foreigners.'
By the end of 1849 the population had increased to about 100,000,
most of whom were newcomers seeking for gold. The sparse popu-
lation of the southern part of the territory was still made up largely
of Hispano-Californians, satisfied with old conditions, and glad to
be left free to enjoy their landed estates. To these there was grad-
ually added a new element, also interested primarily in agricul-
tural and grazing pursuits. The two sections, therefore, were mani-
festly divergent, one an old, Mexican, sparsely settled, land-owning
community, the other a. new and numerous mining people, who
leased their lands.
I. THE MOVEMENT FOR DIVISION BEFORE ADMISSION TO STATEHOOD
Under the military regime of the United States inaugurated by
Commodore Sloat, when in July, 1846, he took Monterey and pro-
claimed California free from Mexican rule and a territory of the
United States, there was not much occasion for sectionalism, and
little opportunity for its expression within California territory.
But the changes in population and interests which took place during
the next three years prepared the way for a sectional struggle. A
part of the American population, restless under military rule, with
its few offices for which to run, and feeling the need for a well-
organized civil government, especially after the influx of popu-
lation due to the gold excitement, set about securing what they
desired. Through the interest of President Taylor, the co-operation
'Bancroft, History of California, VI, 71, note.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914, periodical, 1914; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101061/m1/106/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.