Talk:History of California

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An editor hjust added a "tooshort" tag to the article. IIRC it took a lot of work to get the article this short yet comprehenisve. Could the editor expand on his view of how the article should look?   Will Beback  talk  00:16, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm going to remvoe the tag, pending a discussion on what's needed in this article.   Will Beback  talk  16:29, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
the 'tooshort' tag says the introduction is not sufficiently descriptive of the article. An intro of a short sentence does indeed seem not sufficient. Hmains (talk) 05:02, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I saw this thread and I think the "lead too short" still applies so I put it back. --Mcorazao (talk) 13:12, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Infobox suggestion[edit]

I made a proposal for a change to the infobox. Please feel free to comment there.

--Mcorazao (talk) 13:04, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Unsupported statements regarding California Indians[edit]

(I am new to making comments about Wikipedia articles, so bear with me.)

I've identified the need for improvements regarding several unsupported statements, assertions, and assumptions about California Indians found in the European Exploration section, as follows:

  • Unsupported statements about the dwellings in which the Indians lived.
  • Unsupported statements about the clothing worn by California Indians.
  • Unsupported statement "The isolation of the California tribes and the poor conditions for growing food without irrigation explains..."
  • Unsupported statement "Without agriculture or migratory herds of animals or fish ..." regarding facts about animal migrations within or across California.
  • No supported statements in the paragraph that begins "Basket weaving was the highest form of art and utility"

I've identified the need for improvements regarding missing information relevant to California Indians, as follows:

  • No statements about the geographical distribution of Indian population in California.
  • No statements about any regional differences about the dwellings in which the Indians lived.
  • No statements about the diets of California Indians who did not rely primarily upon acorns.
  • No statements about the diets of coastal California Indians.
  • No statements about an explanation for the absence of irrigation by California Indians (especially those in Southern California), when tribes just to the southeast (Yuma area) practiced it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by PSholar (talkcontribs) 21:24, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Comments are good, but improvements are better. I hope you take it upon yourself to make some or all of the needed improvements. WCCasey (talk) 07:07, 11 May 2012 (UTC)


There is not obvious POV material in this article. POV assertions should be explained and examined here. Hmains (talk) 03:02, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Section moved from article[edit]

This section is a duplicative mishmash that I can't make heads or tails of - is it supposed to be a lead section or is it just repeating everything below it? I thought I'd move it here for editing and discussion. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 23:40, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Nuke it. Someone spammed a bunch of crap like this all over California place articles. I've been dealing with it as I can, but haven't gotten here yet. It's perfectly well covered in the small section that remains along with the Main article template link that's there. I hope you don't mind that I collapsed it, but it's so long... Feel free to uncollapse, of course, if you'd prefer.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 00:11, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Some parts of that text serve to summarize relevant article text, per WP:LEAD These parts should be retained to build the lead back up to proper size. Everything else should be deleted. Binksternet (talk) 03:55, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Regarding large chunks of text added to this article, there's this March 2012 addition by User:Yo lenin1 who mostly based the text off of a college syllabus published online by professor Chuck Smith of lil' ol' Cabrillo College:
There's also an April 2011 big text addition by Special:Contributions/ who cited some sources but also left many paragraphs uncited. This IP editor from Dublin, California, is very busy in California subjects, adding lots of text with less concern than I would wish for expressing ideas succinctly. The same IP filled the intro up with this mass in March 2011; I think this is most of what puzzled NorthBySouthBaranof and dismayed Alf.laylah.wa.laylah. Other dubious contributions by include this small one, this troubling change to the intro, this removal of cited text plus a large text addition, this huge addition, these two sizable additions from November 2010, and at the very beginning, these sweeping changes from October 2010. The IP editor gets a lot of facts right, verifiable from standard histories, but sometimes wanders off into fringe territory, or adds unneeded details that are not part of the mainstream consensus—details that do not help our poor hurried reader economize on his or her time. In the worst cases the Dublin IP editor gets certain 'facts' utterly wrong. Binksternet (talk) 04:36, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing this up. I see that I commented as long ago as 2011 [1] that the lead had "gotten completely out of hand" but I didn't know how to deal with it; I kind of washed my hands of the article. My bad. Let's do this: let's first agree here on what should be covered in the lead (which is supposed to summarize the contents of the article and should be a couple of paragraphs), and then we can write up a proper lead section. Examples of what should be mentioned (and I do mean just mentioned): Native Americans, European exploration and colonization, Mexican revolution, US annexation, statehood, Gold Rush, transcontinental railroad, post-War growth - what else? --MelanieN (talk) 16:42, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
How about the Russian trappers and their Fort Ross? The California hide trade. There is a lot of misunderstanding about pre-contact agriculture, so maybe we mention the sustainable practices of the early people. The high population density of pre-contact California, holding 1/3rd of all natives living in what would later be the 48 contiguous states. Binksternet (talk) 17:11, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I'll undertake the writing of a proper lead but I think it should wait until the article itself is cleaned up; the lead is supposed to summarize the article's contents, and we would need to know what we are summarizing! --MelanieN (talk) 18:22, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
not sure why youre hatin on me. most of what i added seems to have been conserved in the form of a new section, and everything was sourced and verified.--Yo lenin1 (talk) 20:16, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Dublin IP editor contributions[edit]

See discussion above. I think has added too much material to this article, both too much detail and too much unsupported, unverifiable text. We should start over with this article as it existed before the IP editor began working on it. Here is the diff of October 3, 2010 to right now: [2]. The article was 24kb then but now it is 100kb. Some middle ground must be reached.

I believe this same person is now operating as, especially evident in the contribution history of the Livermore, California, article. Other articles affected by the Dublin editor's too-large additions include Maritime history of California, Tariffs in United States history, Excise tax in the United States, Tariff, California Trail, Californio, SS California (1848), Battle of Monterey, Thomas Cavendish, Women in the California Gold Rush, Oregon Trail, Panama Canal, Panama Canal Railway, British Agricultural Revolution, Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, Conquest of California and Central Overland Route. The editor tried to rewrite History of California to 1899 but was stopped by two other editors and myself. In April 2011, the editor tried to rewrite California Gold Rush but was stopped by Hmains and Owen. An initiative is needed to determine which IP contributions are verifiable and which ones are appropriate weight and detail for an encyclopedia. Binksternet (talk) 17:57, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

So you are proposing to undo all editing since October 2010? That's pretty drastic. It would undo all the junk edits, but also all the positive edits, of which there have been many during that time. But it's probably easier to do that (and then look back through the history and restore the valuable edits) than to try to rewrite the current mess. I endorse this idea but I'd like to hear from a few more people before it is done. Maybe we should invite comment at relevant WikiProjects; one of the causes of the problem is that this page has few watchers. --MelanieN (talk) 13:20, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
I just posted a link to this discussion at the various California WikiProjects. We need more input here. --MelanieN (talk) 18:20, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't see much communication with this editor on his Talk Page. Wouldn't that be the place to start? Also, I would simply remove any information without sources. GeorgeLouis (talk) 23:48, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
I think the best way to go about this is to look at the articles edited, and look at the content which is not verified by a reliable source. Then interested editors can attempt to find reliable sources to support the content, or remove it outright per WP:BURDEN.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 14:46, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. Binksternet (talk) 15:20, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Dividing it up[edit]

What is the point of this 2-part split?

Better divide Californian history into about eight periods, and do a full-length article on each. Then simply put the eight lede sections together, and let that be your single article titled 'History of California'. Valetude (talk) 21:42, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Intriguing proposal. Can you flesh it out with suggestions for the sub-articles? Binksternet (talk) 22:31, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
For example:

1. Pre-colonial 2. Spanish Era 3. Mexican Era 4. American State 5. The Railroad Age 6. Industrialisation 7. Silicon Valley 8. Immigration pressures Valetude (talk) 23:47, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Where would you put the growth of the orange industry? Binksternet (talk) 00:19, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
At whichever historical stage you feel it became significant. Of course, you could re-theme the whole series (Fur trappers, Film industry etc). But I think people prefer the straight sequential style in an article titled 'History of...' Valetude (talk) 01:01, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
    • ^ U.S. 1850 California Census asks state of birth of all residents and lists 7300 residents as born in California. Adding the approximate 200 Hispanics known to be in San Francisco (1846 directory) and an unknown (but small as shown in 1852 CA Census recount) number in Contra Costa and Santa Clara county whose census was lost gives less than 9,000 Californios state wide—including less than 2,000 adult men.
    • ^ The Seventh Census of the United States: 1850 [4] (The census document 1850a-31 pdf gives the California and 1850 and 1852 Census. To get this document download the full 1850a zip file.) Accessed 22 March 2011
    • ^ U.S. 1850 California Census counts 92,597 residents but omits the residents of San Francisco (Alta California newspaper estimated at about 21,000 in 1850) whose census records were destroyed by fire. Contra Costa County (estimated at about 2,000 residents) and Santa Clara County (estimated at about 4,000 residents) 1850 records were "lost" and also not included. This totals a 1850 population of at least 119,000.
    • ^ California 1850 federal and 1852 state census records [5] Accessed 22 March 2011