San Diego in the 1930s offers a real picture of the city's roadside attractions, culture, and history back in the years of the Spanish undertakings before the Second World War. San Diego is a comprehensive and solid guide book that has a colorful story to the residents and thousands of tourists who visit the city annually. Before the book was first published in 1937, San Diego was completely unknown. The city got some notoriety as "America's suicide capital" but was not of much help as nicknames disappear. San Diego found in the southwest is of great importance to the United States and became the first port of the Panama Canal. This book reminds all the readers the changes shaped by seven years of intervening conflict, peace and biotechnology.
According to Kipen (7), he states that, The city comprises of business centers, residential districts and urban suburban areas covering the seashore by 96 square miles, canyons, and mesas. The climate serves as its main product in the city and tourists as its main source for the generation of income. Kipen (13) asserts that, It has one of the best and luxurious harbors along the Pacific coast which has greatly played a role in attracting three main contributors of economic welfare. The fishing industry which is considered as the oldest and operated by the Italians and Portuguese; aircraft industries and the United States Navy in most recent years became active and the tourists who visit San Diego annually (Kipen, 16). Because of its diverse background in the social setup, San Diego consists of different cultural and social pattern. In half of its being, two different racial groups have dominated the area, and they include the Spanish, who completely replaced the Indians in the coastal region of California.
The history of California prolongs from the time of European explorers to the current Spanish explorers who sailed in the coastal area but no permanent settlements established. A Franciscan missionary by the name Junipero Serra instituted an undertaking chain, beginning with San Diego in the year 1769 (Kipen, 27). The missions introduced livestock, European technology, and crops. California's history is all about Gold Rush that happened in the 1800s. The discovery of was in the Sierra Nevada in a place called Sutter's Mill. According to Kipen (6), Gold Rush facilitated population growth in California by a great percentage. He goes ahead to say that, in page (8), More than 300,000 people arrived and settled in California by 1855 and later some left after a year, some averagely rich and others were very wealthy.
California Gold Rush played a great role in the history migrations of the world. The merchants and miners settled in towns and settlements sprang up in Siskiyou County. San Francisco was the nearby seaport that eventually became metropolis overnight a base meant for bankers who acted as financiers of gold exploration. The discovery of the precious metals helped in the smooth run of the state economy. According to Kipen (10), he says that, there was a rapid growth in the banking industry, shipping and wholesaling of commodities in the West Coast region.
Ships provided cheap, easy and slow links along the coastal towns of California and on the main routes connecting to the city (Kipen, 13). The Panama route acted as a shortcut to East Coast to California which facilitated trade. Steamboats were also used in moving supplies and people in the Bay area. With few roads, miners only got their supplies by the pack trains. Soon a better system of wagon roads and bridges for ferries was set up. Pack trains were replaced by large freight wagons, and better roads enabled express companies to deliver packages and mails to the miners efficiently.
After the Civil War came to an end in 1865, there was a rapid growth in northern California. Large mining corporations displaced individual miners. Local railroads were built to ease the movement of equipment along the horn leading to South America (Kipen, 17). The mining companies and railroad companies provided the largest number of job opportunities in the city (Kipen, 22). Southern California with its small population grew rapidly in the 1880s as a result of the arrival of the railroad with numerous connections leading to the east. This enhanced the opening up of the right farmland that attracted Middle West migrants. The unlimited economic prospects and cool climate attracted thousands of people. He goes ahead to state that, (25), The boom launched establishment of real estates and designers platted masses of beautiful cities, most of these promises were not achieved. There were benefits realized out of the boom such as the construction of schools, churches, new industries and hotels.
Progressives shaped a new railroad with massively enlarged powers and enhanced supervision of public utilities under the state (Kipen, 26). Organized businesspeople acted as leaders of these new reforms set in place. The public was seeking lower rates in the railroad which was headed by the merchants and shippers who their aim was stabilizing their businesses only. The businesspeople expected the state regulation to act in their favor and reduce stiff competition in their operations, create a value of their companies and eliminate wrangles between municipal authorities and the county.
Finally, a state with luxurious harbors becomes an attractive place for tourists. Kipen says, (28), San Diego has excellent harbors in the coastal region with a cool climate attracting thousands of tourists who promote income generation in return. With the good roads in place, it enhances movement of produces and people and thus promoting trade. The book also reinforces my interests to explore areas around the word.
Kipen, David. San Diego in the 1930s: The Wpa Guide to America's Finest City. Berkeley; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press, 2013. Print
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