Baja History – 11,000 years in 200 words.
There have been people in Baja for over 11,000 years. Early hunter-gathers adapted their lifestyle to the environment and left evidence through cave paintings. In 1532, Hernan Cortes (Spanish conquistador) sent explorers to the peninsula. In the 1700’s the Jesuits missionaries, established 27 missions (plus visiting stations) north to Carmel, California. The government deposed the Jesuits in 1840. Silver mining takes over in 1862 to 1926.
- 1810 – Mexico declared independence from Spain.
- 1846-1848 – US forces invaded and the Mexican-American War ended with Mexico losing one-third of its territory. (Land that is now California, Nevada, Utah, parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming.)
- 1917 – The Mexican Constitution was ratified.
- 1952 – Baja California Norte became Mexico’s 29th State, primarily small fishing villages and towns.
- Unable to meet population requirements, Baja California Sur (south) remained a territory.
- 1974 – Baja California Sur became the 31st state when Highway Mexico 1was completed. La Paz is the capital.
- The 28th parallel divides the two states.
- Baja’s population is 4 million, of which 3.2 million are primarily in Mexicali and Tijuana, 764,000 in Baja Sur.
- Economy: tourism, agriculture, fishing, manufacturing. The economic stability of Baja is closely affected by US trade policies.