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States on the Pacific coast is at Mare Island at the northern end of San Francisco Bay, and the private Union Iron Works, on the peninsula near San Francisco, is one of the largest shipyards of the country. In 1905 more than one-half of the factory product was the output of four cities: San Francisco ($137,788,233), Los Angeles ($34,814,475), Sacramento ($10,319,416) and Fresno ($9,849,001); next ranked Oakland, Stockton, and San José.

The transportation facilities in California increased rapidly after 1870. The building of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific lines are among the romances of American railway history. They joined tracks near Ogden, Utah, in May 1869. The New Orleans line of the Southern Pacific was opened in January 1883; the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé completed its line to San Diego in 1885, and to San Francisco Bay in 1900. The San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake, with trans-continental connexions at the eastern terminus, was chartered in 1901 and fully opened in March 1903. Railway mileage increased 137.3% from 1870 to 1880, and 154.6% from 1880 to 1900. At the close of 1908 the total mileage was 7039.36 m., practically all of which is either owned or controlled by the two great trans-continental systems of the Southern Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé. From 1869 to 1875 registered mail exchanges were opened with China, Japan, Hawaii and Australia. There are now frequent mail connexions from San Francisco with Hawaii, Australasia, and eastern Asia, as well as with American ports north and south. The commerce of San Francisco amounts to some $80,000,000 or $90,000,000 yearly, about equally divided between imports and exports, until after 1905—in 1907 the imports were valued at $54,207,011, and the exports at $30,378,355 (less than any year since 1896). San Diego has a very good harbour, and the harbours of San Pedro (Los Angeles) and Eureka are fairly good and of growing importance. Grains, lumber, fish, fruits and fruit products, petroleum, vegetables and sugar are the leading items in the commerce of San Francisco. Other ports are of very secondary importance. Navigation on the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers was very important in early days, but is to-day of relatively slight importance in comparison with railway traffic.

Population.—The population of California increased in successive decades from 1850 to 1910 respectively by 310.3, 47.3, 54.3, 40.3, 22.4 and 60.1%. (The percentage of increase in 1900-1910 was exceeded in Washington, Oklahoma, Idaho, Nevada, North Dakota and Oregon.) In 1910 the total population was 2,377,549, or 15.2 per sq. m. In 1900 there were 116 incorporated towns and cities; and of the total population 43.3% was urban,—i.e. resident in cities (11 in number) of 8000 or more inhabitants. These 11 cities were: San Francisco (pop. 342,782), Los Angeles (102,479), Oakland (66,960), Alameda (16,464), Berkeley (13,214),—the last three being suburbs of San Francisco, and the last the seat of the state university,—Sacramento, the state capital (29,282), San José (21,500), San Diego (17,700), Stockton (17,506), Fresno (12,470), and Pasadena (9117). Eight other cities had populations of more than 5000—Riverside City (7973), Vallejo (7965), Eureka (7327), Santa Rosa (6673), Santa Barbara (6587), San Bernardino (6156), Santa Cruz (5659), and Pomona (5526).

Of the entire population in 1900 persons of foreign birth or parentage (one or both parents being foreign) constituted 54.2 and those of native birth were 75.3%. Of the latter six-tenths were born in California. The foreign element included 45,753 Chinese (a falling off of 25,313 since 1890), and 10,151 Japanese (an increase of 9004 in the same decade). Twenty-two foreign countries contributed over 1000 residents each, the leading ones being the United Kingdom (91,638), Germany (72,449), Canada (29,618; 27,408 being English Canadians), Italy (22,777), Sweden (14,549), France (12,256), Portugal (12,068), Switzerland (10,974), Japan, Denmark, and Mexico, in the order named. Persons of negro descent numbered 11,045. Almost all the Indians of the state are taxed as citizens. In 1906 of 611,464 members of religious denominations 354,408 were Roman Catholics, 64,528 Methodist Episcopalians, 37,682 Presbyterians, 26,390 Congregationalists, 24,801 Baptists, 21,317 Protestant Episcopalians, 11,371 Lutherans, and 9,110 members of Eastern Orthodox churches. A peculiar feature in the population statistics of California is the predominance of males, which in 1900 was 156,009; the Asiatic element accounts for a third of this number. Since 1885 the eight counties south of the Tehachapi Range, which are known collectively and specifically as Southern California have greatly advanced in population. In 1880 their population was 7.3, in 1890 17.2, and in 1900 20.1% of the total population of the state. The initial impulse to this increase was the beginning of the “fruit epoch” in these counties, combined with a railway “rate-war” following the completion to the coast in 1885 of the Santa Fe, and an extraordinary land boom prevailing from 1886 to 1888. The conjuncture of circumstances, and the immigration it induced, were unusual. The growth of the South, as of the rest of the state, has been continuous and steady.

The Indians were prominent in early Californian history, but their progress toward their present insignificance began far back in the Spanish period. It proceeded much more rapidly after the restraining influence of the missions was removed, leaving them free to revert to savagery; and the downward progress of the race was fearfully accelerated during the mining period, when they were abused, depraved, and in large numbers killed. There have been no Indian wars in California’s annals, but many butcheries. The natives have declined exceedingly in number since 1830, in 1900 numbering 15,377. They have always been mild-tempered, low, and unintelligent, and are to-day a poor and miserable race. They are all called “Digger Indians” indiscriminately, although divided by a multiplicity of tongues.

Government and Institutions.—In the matter of constitution-making California has been conservative, having had only two between 1849 and 1910. The first was framed by a convention at Monterey in 1849, and ratified by the people and proclaimed by the United States military governor in the same year. The present constitution, framed by a convention in 1878-1879, came into full effect in 1880, and was subsequently amended. It was the work of the labour party, passed at a time of high discontent, and goes at great length into the details of government, as was demanded by the state of public opinion. The qualifications required for the suffrage are in no way different from those common throughout the Union, except that by a constitutional amendment of 1894 it is necessary for a voter to be able to read the state constitution and write his name. As compared with the earlier constitution it showed many radical advances toward popular control, the power of the legislature being everywhere curtailed. The power of legislation was taken from it by specific inhibition in thirty-one subjects before within its power; its control of the public domain, its powers in taxation, and its use of the state credit were carefully safe-guarded. “Lobbying” was made a felony; provisions were inserted against lotteries and stock-exchange gambling, to tax and control common carriers and great corporations, and to regulate telegraph, telephone, storage and wharfage charges. The powers of the executive department were also somewhat curtailed. For the judiciary, provisions were made for expediting trials and decisions. Notable was the innovation that agreement by three-fourths of a jury should be sufficient in civil cases and that a jury might be waived in minor criminal cases, a provision which of course was based on experience under the Mexican law. All these changes in the organic law reflect bitter experience after 1850; and, read with the history of those years as a commentary, few American constitutions are more instructive. The constitution of 1879 corresponds very closely to the ordinary state constitution of to-day. The incorporation of banks issuing circulating notes is forbidden. Marriage is not only declared a civil contract, but the laws expressly recognize that the mere consent of the parties is adequate to constitute a binding marriage. The union of whites with persons of African descent is forbidden. Felons twice convicted may not be pardoned except on the recommendation of a majority of the judges of the supreme court. Judges and state executive officers are elected for terms longer than is usual in the different states (supreme judges 12 years, executive officers 4 years). These few provisions