California is the most populous state in the United States. In terms of area, California is the third-largest state in the United States, after Alaska and Texas.
California is also called The Golden State after the California "gold rush" and the state flower the golden poppy.
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Gold discoveries and the US takeover of California in 1848 led to Americanization that became central and northern California, while the southern part retained the Mexican character.
Until the early 1900s. the Southern Pacific Railroad Company had a decisive influence on the state's economy and policy.