Contest For California: From Spanish Colonization To The American Conquest

July 23, 2019|
Contest For California: From Spanish Colonization To The American Conquest by Stephen G. Hyslop
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California''s early history was both colorful and turbulent. After Europeans first explored the region in the sixteenth century, it was conquered and colonized by successive waves of adventurers and settlers. In Contest for California, award-winning author Stephen G. Hyslop draws on a wide array of primary sources to weave an elegant narrative of this epic struggle for control of the territory that many saw as a beautiful, sprawling land of promise.

In vivid detail, Hyslop traces the story of early California from its founding in 1769 by Spanish colonists to its annexation in 1848 by the United States. He describes the motivations and activities of colonizers and colonized alike. Using eyewitness accounts, he allows all participants-Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo-American-to have their say. Soldiers, settlers, missionaries, and merchants testify to the heroic and commonplace, the colorful and tragic, in California''s pre-American history.

Even as he acknowledges the dark side of this story, Hyslop avoids a simplistic perspective. Moving beyond the polarities that have marked late-twentieth-century California historiography, he offers nuanced portraits of such controversial figures as Junípero Serra and treats the Californios and their distinctive Hispanic culture with a respect lacking in earlier histories. Attentive to tensions within the invading groups-priests and the military during the Spanish era, merchants and settlers during the American era-he also never loses sight of their impact on the original inhabitants of the region: California''s Native peoples. He also recounts the journeys of colonists from Russia, England, and other countries who influenced the development of California as it passed from the hands of Spaniards and Mexicans to Americans.

Exhaustively researched yet concise, this book offers a much-needed alternative history of early California and its evolution from Spanish colony to American territory.
Stephen G. Hyslop is an independent scholar who has written extensively on American history and the Spanish-American frontier. He served as editor of a 23-volume series on American Indians for Time-Life Books and is coauthor of several books published by the National Geographic Society.
Title:Contest For California: From Spanish Colonization To The American Conquest
Product dimensions:460 pages, 9 X 6 X 1.63 in
Shipping dimensions:460 pages, 9 X 6 X 1.63 in
Published:July 23, 2019
Publisher:University of Oklahoma Press
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9780806164496

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