California is the most populous U.S. state. It is the third-largest state by land area, and is known for its varied climate and geography as well as its diverse population. In the 18th century California was part of the Spanish Empire, later becoming part of Mexico, who then ceded it to the United States after the Mexican War.
The California Gold Rush began in 1848,opening the region toa large influx of people and an economic boom. In the early 20th century Los Angeles became the center of the entertainment industry,and an important tourist area. Along with California's prosperous agricultural industry, other industries include aerospace, petroleum, and computer and information technology. California ranks among the ten largest economies in the world. If it was a separate country, it would be 34th among the most populous countries, just behind Poland.
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