Monday, June 15, 2015

The Bouncing Ball of California History

File:Bouncing ball strobe edit.jpg
He who holds the ball last, wins.
California has a bloody history.  In fact, there is no country in the entire world that does not have blood soaked ground.  Battles fought, won or lost, changed histories of every country.  In California, where I live, history is like a bouncing ball, it all has to do with "who owns the land now".

Indigenous tribes owned the land, had for centuries or more.  Then Spain arrived, charged by the King and Queen to spread the word of God to the heathens, form places of worship, and establish forts with lots of military. (Many of the Indians died of smallpox.  Those still healthy were torn away from their ancestral homes to become Christians.  Another story, that.)

This was the start of the bouncing ball.  Spain remained the dominant force in millions acres of land from the Mississippi west.  

Then France defeated Spain, taking the land.  France made a deal called the Louisiana Purchase.

Then the mixed population of Spain and indigenous people (now called Mexico) defeated France, taking the land as their own. 

Then elite wealthy in Alta California became the Californios.  

Then Missions were stripped of their massive amount of land, and left with the Mission Churches only. 

The Californios ruled California, but realized that the Americans were sneaking in, inch by inch, settling the land as their own.

Battles, oh there were many battles in California.
my grand-daughters, just because
 The bloodiest battle in California was in the valley of San Pascual (which means Saint “Easter/Peace”).  An essential battle, it closed in the embattled Californios from the east and north.  This battle on December 6, 1846, is always commemorated in the valley, not 15 miles from our house.
Image result for San Pasqual Valley, Escondido CA
Across the Valley

The ball came to a stop with the influx of miners and, through lots of legalities, America claimed the land of California, which became a state in 1850.

Abraham Lincoln signed a document returning the crumbling Missions back to the Catholic Church in 1863.  A copy of the document is at the San Luis Rey Mission (called this, The King of the Missions, since it had the most land and wealth).

The ball ceased its bouncing in America's court. 

The greatest travesty in this bloody history is the theft of the land from the Indian Nation, a bloody travesty which slashed across America. The ball will never cease its bouncing here.


  1. Wow, never knew it changed hands so many times. Religion and greed have caused more wars than anything.

  2. Texas has a similar history. Indian lives and land lost. War with Mexico...

    1. Manifest Destiny...who created that document?

  3. Ah yes, the strange path of California history. Probably why it's so diverse now.

    1. Being on the West Coast and having the gold rush attracted diverse cultures.

  4. I've always felt the Native American Indians had it worse than anyone.

    1. Grrrr. My anger seethes at the thought of the betrayal.

  5. Our indigenous population has endured much the same as your Native American Indians. We still haven't sorted the issues out. Or not in any way which makes me comfortable anyway.

    1. Discrimination lies beneath the surface of the present trying to atone for the past.

  6. Even though I didn't personally do any of these things, this is the type of thing that makes me ashamed of us "white" people. Imagine how different the world would be now, if people had got along and learned from each other right from the beginning instead of all those "take over and force them to be like us" manoeuvres.
    Because we're "better" than they are/were? :(

    1. Treating all as equals and respecting their rights would have made a huge difference in the word. Words of a dreamer, I know.

  7. It's really kind of the story of the world and humankind. I think we may have had it mild compared to some other parts of the world.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Road trippin' with A to Z
    Tossing It Out


Go won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!