June 8, 2010

California

You often hear that immigration just means that California is being repopulated by its rightful owners, so it's interesting to note how minimal Spanish / Mexican settlement of California actually had been. A reader points out that, as far as he can tell, 1910 marks the earliest Census Bureau estimate for "white population of Mexican origin." In California in 1910, only 48,391 people fell into that category, just 2.1 percent of the total population of California. In contrast, they comprised 7.0 percent of the population of Texas in 1910.

California's Hispanic tradition was enthusiastically amplified by romantic Anglos from Helen Hunt Jackson's 1884 novel Ramona onward. For example, Zorro, the comic book superhero Californio, was invented by Johnston McCulley in 1919. The restoration of the 21 California missions was paid for by William Randolph Hearst.

45 comments:

Chris said...

Glad you brought this topic up. Nobody ever talks about it.

At the time of the Mexican-American War, the entire population of what is now L.A. county was around 3,500. The city was essentially an outpost set up by Spain to discourage the British or Russians from moving in. By contrast, one hundred years after the war, after a huge influx of American migrants, the population of LA County had grown to 3.5 million, a thousandfold increase.

There's a good reason Los Angeles's Mexican-era name was Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of the river of Porziuncola." It was a village. It's also the reason a group of fifty(!) U.S. Marines were able to march without resistance into the city in 1846 and occupy it.

Dutch Boy said...

In 1848 the non-native population of California was estimated to be no more than 15,000. But after gold was discovered, the population burgeoned with U.S. citizens, Europeans and other immigrants during the great California Gold Rush. By 1854 over 300,000 settlers had come.[16]

-Wikipedia article "California"

Anonymous said...

I believe I've read before that at the time of the Mexican War California's Spanish speaking population was approximately 7000 people.

-HeinleinFan

Hereward said...

At the time of the Mexican War, there were between three and six thousand Californios - residents who could plausibly claim any Spanish blood. If you were a Spanish speaking Chumash living on a mission you were, of course an Indio. And naturally, the dumpy five-footers who are so much in evidence nowadays were still confined to the Yucatan peninsula or the Sierra Madre.

Mark Doane said...

According to the PDF you linked to, sometime between the 1910 and the 1920 Censuses a single Mexican moved to Vermont.

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

So in other words, even though California may have at one time been under Mexican jurisdiction - or ownership if you prefer - they did not really do anything to exercise control over the area, and when they lost the war in 1848, they were forced to cede that territory. To be fair, they were paid $15,000,000 in compensation, which was probably just about the fair market value for that amount of unimproved real property at the time.

Strangely enough, in the world of real estate you can actually lose control over your property if you fail to do certain things, like stopping a neighbor from establishing an easement by prescription. This is a type of easement "obtained by open, notorious, and hostile use," which I think is a pretty good description of what the Mexican government is up to.

Anonymous said...

One could say that the righful owners of California would be its first inhabitants, which certainly were not Mexicans.

Harry Baldwin said...

At the beginning of the Gold Rush, which occurred right after the Mexican War, the population of San Francisco (then Yerba Buena) was under 1,000. The population increased to 25,000 in one year. Granted, many of those were Hispanic, from Chile and other South and Central American countries as well as Mexico, but they were immigrants, just like the '49ers.

Arizona and its environs too had very few Mexican inhabitants, due to the predations of Apache and Comanche Indians.

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite subjects.

The first mission in Alta-California was established only in 1769, some two and a half centuries after Cortes founded modern Mexico. Father Serra and Portola (both Catalans, btw, probably not native Spanish speakers) were sent by the Spanish government specifically to populate the (uncivilized) territory, as both Russians and English (as in Alaska and British Columbia) were working down the Pacific Coast. So even if you include Spanish rule, we are talking about 80 years total.

Even in the interior Spanish/Mexican grasp of Arizona and New Mexico were tenuous. The area is often marked 'Apacheria' on old maps. Cormac Marcarthy's Blood Meridian is about one of the expeditions of mercenaries the Mexicans used to hire, basically, to kill as many Indians as possible.

MEChista's of course are more into the 'indigenous' thing -- one claim is that since some of the tribes of the Southwest spoke languages distantly related to Nahuatl (the family is called Uto-Aztecan), that Mexicans own this land. Not too far from Hitler's Aryan (i.e. Indo-European) ideology, mutatis mutandis

stari_momak said...

I now see Chris already mentioned the Brits and Ruskies -- sorry for the repeat.

Ricardo said...

Isn't California's primary today? You've got two candidates (both Jews, incidentally), running against open borders: Steve Poizner and your friend Mickey Kaus. And you've written two posts on Michael Chabon this week and none on them. Why not?

Anonymous said...

"Arizona and its environs too had very few Mexican inhabitants, due to the predations of Apache and Comanche Indians."

My understanding as well. It's also my understanding that of all the lands the US annexed in 1848, the only areas with large Spanish-speaking populations were California and northern New Mexico, and relatively speaking, those populations weren't that large.

-HeinleinFan

Toadal said...

Steve said: You often hear that immigration just means that California is being repopulated by its rightful owners

We have to take our possessions and flee. I'm very good at that. I was the men's freestyle fleeing champion two years in a row.

Dennis Mangan said...

Isn't California's primary today? You've got two candidates (both Jews, incidentally), running against open borders: Steve Poizner and your friend Mickey Kaus. And you've written two posts on Michael Chabon this week and none on them. Why not?

Would a post on Feinstein and Boxer work?

agnostic said...

"So even if you include Spanish rule, we are talking about 80 years total."

Just before the Mex-Am War, Mexicans would show the Anglo tourists around the missions, noting that:

"Some of these buildings are over 20 years old..."

The Bear said...

California's Hispanic tradition was enthusiastically amplified by romantic Anglos from Helen Hunt Jackson's 1884 novel Ramona onward.

You say "romantic Anglos," I say "Yankees." Check out Ms Jackson's Wikipedia entry. It could be the bio of just about any 19th century Transcendentalist do-gooder.

Ricardo said...

"Would a post on Feinstein and Boxer work?"

Only if you care more about the Jew thing than about illegal immigration or who your next governor should be. Which seems to be the case. So now you get to choose between open borders advocate Meg Whitman and open borders advocate Jerry Brown.

Maybe you can talk about Kevin MacDonald's theories with your new Mexican neighbors?

ASTRA said...

THIS IS VERY TRUE THAT AT THE TIME OF MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR THE ENTIRE POPULATION WAS AROUND 3,500 THIS IS A FACT....

Anonymous said...

Well, Texans used to be taught that the hispanic population of Texas when the anglo settlers wrested it away from Mexico was 4,000, and most of those, presumably, were government employees and soldiers. Perhaps the higher percentage figure is just due to Texas having a much smaller absolute population at that time.

Dahinda said...

A post on the American Heritage blog makes a great point: "The total population of the Mexican Cession (Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, California, and parts of Colorado) in 1848 was around 15000. The area we acquired from Mexico was “Mexican” because that country had inherited Spain’s claim to the territory."

http://www.americanheritage.com/blog/200612_5_743.shtml

Dahinda said...

Many California city and place names were originally English/ American sounding and were later changed to sound more like they had a Spanish origin. Coaling Station became Coalinga, Wineville became Mira Loma etc..

rob said...

Of course Mexican California didn't have many people. There wasn't much water there before Anglos built the water infrastructure.

1/32nd Spaniard said...

Did you know that the Spaniards tried to colonize the interior of eastern North America many decades before the English did? - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_San_Juan - that was the first inland settlement attempt by any Europeans. It was two centuries before Europeans tried to settle that far inland in NC again.

Anonymous said...

California sounds like South Africa in as much as the native population moved toward the white populations with accelerating speed even coming from great distances to be as close to whites as possible.

Sam said...

It's a moot point.

Mexicans will soon be the majority in California. They are not going anywhere. They have it back.
The best thing to do is officially transfer the state to Mexico.

Though in another generation it won't look all that differnet than the rest of Mexico and it will be Oregon and Washington dealing with illegal immigration.

eh said...

OT

NBA gets an 'A' for diversity

The league had slight decreases for blacks in front-office positions but is still the best among men's pro sports. Women made up 44 percent of professional employees at the league offices...The study shows 77 percent of the NBA players were black,...

And the big boss is a Jew. So they really deserve an A+.

For that matter, so does California; I knew there was a tie-in somewhere.

Anonymous said...

America seems to be fighting back - unlike a lot of nations in Europe. Maybe the American solution to the differential fertility of the poor will be different. If so it's likely to be dramatic and bloody.

Modern First World nations underwent a "demographic transformation" some time ago.That means that they had much lower fertility rates than previously. The poorer, darker and Third World nations around them then started to out breed the rich northerners.

If the dusky primitives followed the same path as the northerners it was hoped that they too would begin to curtail their numbers. If that was to be the case, all you had to do was keep them out for a couple decades until they modernized. Soon the borders would stabilize - or so it was assumed. This is one of the reasons why some wanted a fence on our lower border - seal the border and wait.

Economists like to assume the "rational man". They like to think that their models and analyses are everywhere relevant. They think that all people everywhere behave the same under contingencies that effect their self interest. That is to say the rules that apply in the First World will also apply in the Third World when they just get a little more money together.

When I first studied "Development" at San Francisco State University in 1965 they had a term for it - "The Take Off Point".

The Take Off model said that at some point all societies would suddenly and spontaneously begin to self invest and grow rich. Race and differential population abilities were never mentioned. Africa was assumed to be destined for modernity - space program, nuclear power, Nobel prizes etc...

One of my (white)friends went off to Kampala to watch it all happen. He was optimistic. He refuted my pessimism by direct experience, he had - so he said - seen African blacks building a modern society in the jungle. His timing was such that he would have gotten to Uganda just about when Idi Amin came to power. I never heard from him again.

Lynn and Vanhanen's work suggest that a fence won't be enough. Just keeping the Mexicans and Mayans out isn't going to enough. Given the post 1965 experience of black Africa there is little hope today that most Third World people will ever rise. Lynn and Vanhanen, if they had predicted a winner among the world's nations would have probably chosen China and Korea. These East Asian countries have among the highest IQs in the world. Take Off theory looked to Africa for the next prosperous and productive nations. Lynn and Vanhanen looked to Asia.

This implies that the native American Indian peoples from south of the border will always be poor. Or at least they will be poor for a very long time. A passive fence won't fix the problem but most Americans are repulsed by the alternatives.

Darwin and most of those in nineteenth century who thought about it assumed that the advanced races would eliminate the less advance races. The currently very popular novelist Robert Harris has written that decoding human DNA will result in whites devising a plague for blacks only. I doubt if this is possible, but for the first time in my life time these sort of solutions are again in the air.

Albertosaurus

rob said...

has written that decoding human DNA will result in whites devising a plague for blacks only.

Practically, if one were so minded, it would be hard to top nature on that one. HIV tends to infect bisexual men and the promiscuous women who sleep with them. Sound like any population you know?

Chris said...

...Robert Harris has written that decoding human DNA will result in whites devising a plague for blacks only.

Probably not possible. If somebody wanted to create an infectious agent that did that, it would need to be replicating. If it replicates, it will evolve. Once it's free to evolve in the wild, it may well just end up evolving to infect indiscriminately.

Bonus said...

One reader refers to 15 thousand or so pre-Gold Rush Californians (I do vaguely remember hearing estimates going as high as 30 thousand). On my father’s side, I am descended from two of those pre-Gold rush Californians that the reader refers to (they were German). Of those early 'Californians' (the Indians, that yes the Spanish largely wiped out, never called it California before the Spanish arrived), the Spanish had precious few Spanish (and I use the term Spanish, and not Mexican, with precision here). That was a problem the Spanish recognized but where unable to lure enough Spaniards to California (largely because pre-Gold Rush, it wasn’t viewed as a great get rich quick place relative to Central or South America).
The problem was so accute for the Spanish (no, not the Mexicans, but the Spanish in Spain Spanish who ran the place) that they recruited from places like Northern Ireland where they gave rather large land grants to even Protestant Irish of all people. As a child I used to hunt out toward Point Reyes on one of the last large working cattle ranches run by the Murphy family (it was purchased by the government, along with several other by eminent domain, and made a park/'recreation area'). My father and I attended literally the last roundup at Point Reyes (I can tell you readers there was not one ‘Mexican’ in attendance, Portugese-Americans, Irish-Americans, Spanish-Americans, etc., but no ‘Mexicans’). The original land grant holder was called Don Timoteo (full name - Don Timoteo Murphy). In addition, the Spanish were compelled to import other Europeans (e.g., Portugese, who they viewed as competitors at the time, but were at least Catholic), not English, French, or Russians (the empire competition thing). In short, the pre-Gold Rush history of California is almost solely of Europeans and Indians (and I do not mean Central American Indians that currently call themselves 'Mexicans', but various North American Indians). In short, it is beyond ludicrous to suggest that “immigration just means that California is being repopulated by its rightful owners”. For me, Papua New Guineans have a better historical claim to Sweden than largely Central American Indians (call them ‘Mexicans’) do over California. It’s just silly historically/demographically, and even legally (i.e., given theTreaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the compensation given, as well as the fact that the citizens that Spain had put in place didn’t want anything to do with latest reincarnation of ‘Mexico’. Steve doesn’t realize how right he is on this one.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting about the last roundup in Point Reyes. Thanks for posting this history.

I'll think about that the next time I'm hiking out there.

For what it's worth, there are many Spanish names in Coastal British Columbia as well. For example, Juan de Fuca Straight, Gabriola Island, and the San Juan Islands. Still, those early Spanish explorers seem to have left no trace of themselves.

I do like the California Missions. Still, I was supremely annoyed recently when I read a protesters poster which read "We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us." I asked the protester about this and they proceeded to tell me that the Americans had unlawfully annexed California from the Spanish.

Truth has a way of getting away from itself.

-Puritan Descendant in SF

Anonymous said...

His timing was such that he would have gotten to Uganda just about when Idi Amin came to power. I never heard from him again.

Then leave no Kampala fridge unopened!

Anonymous said...

The Argentine claim on the Falkland islands also rests on a prior Spanish claim.

Unlike California, no Spaniards - and certainly no Argentinians - ever settled on the islands. Its only inhabitants have been British settlers.

The original Spanish claim also seems somewhat ambiguous. So the Argentine claim is purely a paper one.

ATBOTL said...

"America seems to be fighting back - unlike a lot of nations in Europe. Maybe the American solution to the differential fertility of the poor will be different. If so it's likely to be dramatic and bloody."

Huh? Most European countries have immigration restrictionist political parties winning significant shares of the vote. In some countries, these parties are part of the governing coalition. America is the country that stands out for not having any organized opposition to the majority's dispossession.

The media in Europe is often less PC too. Major newspapers have front page stories on the racial disparities in crime rates. Imagine the New York Times having a front page headline saying "Blacks commit most rapes in city." The equivalent has happened a number of times in Europe recently.

BamaGirl said...

The western part of the Florida panhandle also has many Spanish named places (Santa Rosa Island, Perdido Bay, Pensacola -named after "Panzacola", etc)
There were decent-sized Spanish settlements of a few thousand colonists there at several points, but they all eventually failed and the settlers dispersed to Mexico or Cuba. The claim that California somehow "belongs" to Mexico/Mexicans is no more legitimate than them fabricating some claim to the former Spanish colonies in Florida.

Anonymous said...

"Imagine the New York Times having a front page headline saying "Blacks commit most rapes in city." The equivalent has happened a number of times in Europe recently."

Maybe in a few Eastern Bloc countries. Mainland Europe has long since outlawed these kinds of observations.

Anonymous said...

Slightly OT, but I had a rather bizarre conversation with a French woman recently.

We were discussing Martin Luther King Day. She mentioned that her kids were just learning that slavery happened in the US. She had the view, which I often encounter, that Europeans were innocent as the virgin snow when it comes to slavery.


Apart from the fact that she seemed oblivious to the long fight to end slavery both in Europe and the Americas, she laughably tried to correct my use of the term "African-American."

In a kind of uppity French way, she proceeded to tell me that the French don't use the term noir, it being too direct. They use the English word "black."

She could tell that I was nonplussed with her explanation.

Jerry said...

Anonymous said:

"Imagine the New York Times having a front page headline saying "Blacks commit most rapes in city." The equivalent has happened a number of times in Europe recently."

Maybe in a few Eastern Bloc countries. Mainland Europe has long since outlawed these kinds of observations.

1. Impossible to have these headlines in EE because those countries do not have a minorities problem comparable to that of Western Europe.

2. There is a large body of water dividing "the mainland" from Eastern Europe?

3. In England, the Daily Mail has some very suggestive anti-immigrant articles sometimes.

Anonymous said...

"The Argentine claim on the Falkland islands also rests on a prior Spanish claim.

Unlike California, no Spaniards - and certainly no Argentinians - ever settled on the islands. Its only inhabitants have been British settlers.

The original Spanish claim also seems somewhat ambiguous. So the Argentine claim is purely a paper one."

Well, there was a colony of sorts set up by Luis Vernet which the Argentine nationalist "historians" have spun into a full Argentine claim; however Luis Vernet's papers have survived, and from that we know that Vernet asked permission from the British government to set up his colony, as Britain still claimed the islands. Vernet even asked for British military protection of his colony.

In reality Vernet's "colony" was a private venture which included a lot of non-Argentines, plus a penal colony, all working loosely under what passed for the Argentine government at the time, the United Provines. That constitutes the Argentine claim: a very brief commercial colony owned and run largely by people of non-Argentine origins or questionable Argentinian loyalties.

And contrary to the Argentine nationalist histories which are taught to all Argentine school children, the British did not "eject" the colonists; in fact they were invited to stay by the British. Most left because most of them hated life in the Falkland Islands.

The British eventually got people to come from similar environments in Europe (the Hebrides, Orkneys, Shetlands, Faroes, Norway, etc) to settle the Falklands. There are few if any Falklanders with Argentine blood because the Argentines left as soon as they could.

Anyone interested in the Falklander's view of their history and a good refutation of the Argentine nationalist claims, should read this pdf:

http://www.falklandshistory.org/gettingitright.pdf

Anonymous said...

Since the Mexicans are claiming California based upon the prior Spanish claim, will they also claim Central America and the Philippines? After all those areas were also part of New Spain.

Anonymous said...

I remember the Falklands war.

Up until the war many on the left here were very angry about British arms sales to the 'fascist' regime in Argentina.

Upon the Argentine invasion they then found themselves wholeheartedly in support of Argentine rule of the Falklands and took to calling them the Malvinas, some stil do.

The change was that quick, literally overnight. I could almost believe that somewhere there is a recorded speech where the paradigm shift takes place - in mid-sentence.

"I utterly condem this tory government and its cynical support of a fascist, military dictatorship in Argentina and, and whats that you say? Invasion? Eh? And furthermore believe the best hope for peace is a smooth transition of sovereignty of the Malvinas to Argentina."

It was a most instructive time politically.

Anonymous said...

And another thing!

A further irony, which the left is determined to overlook, unto the end of time it seems, was the Argentine defeat soon led to the fall of the military junta. The one they had been complaining about in the first place.

David said...

>One could say that the righful owners of California would be its first inhabitants, which certainly were not Mexicans.<

True! Give the land back to the Solutreans.

http://tinyurl.com/32po6ua

Anonymous said...

Most of Spanish North America was lightly populated because of the ferocity of Indians. Which brings us to the real point: where did Mexico or the Spanish empire get title to this land? Where are all the tears over the Mexicans seizing poor old Lo's land? Like all "anti-racism" that sort of thing is reserved for whites only.

Anonymous said...

Up until the war many on the left here were very angry about British arms sales to the 'fascist' regime in Argentina.

Upon the Argentine invasion they then found themselves wholeheartedly in support of Argentine rule of the Falklands...

The change was that quick, literally overnight.

June 1941 all over again!