When Did The Californios' Political Ascendancy In California End ?


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Mary Frederick answered
The political ascendency, of the Calfornios began around 1846 when the Spanish speaking families began to leave California. The United States began ot tke over the political control, which had previously been in the hands of the Spanish Mexicans who settled there.

In 1849 when California declared statehoood, some Californios did win, in the political campaigns in areas of Southern California. However, those who made profits in the cattle sales in the 1850s lived outside their means, and by the 1960s many had lost their ranches, through mismanagement or they fell into the hands of Anglo-Americans.

In the area of San Diego many of the Californios had lost their grip and become penniless. The power they once possessed was long gone as the Anglo-Saxons took over their land. Their rights as citizens were unequal to those of the Anglo-Saxons, and they suffered many hardships under the new government.

The Indians suffered even more than the Californios. Between the War of 1846 and the Civil War, Spanish speaking Californios lost economic status, political power and any form of social influence in California. They were now placed in the same position as they had placed the Indians, in the 1830's as they grabbed their land, forced them into servitude and denied them equal rights. Now the Californios were sufferiing under Anglo-Saxon rule as the Indians suffered under their rule especially in southern California.

By about 1850 the California population reached about one hundred thousand, and only about 8% of the population was Californios. The census of 1847 was a very different picture with about 735, 311 Californios and 424 Anglos. In time there grew a divide between those Californios, who kept the lineage pure and those who intermarried. Divided into the lower class and upper class made little diference in their acceptance among the Anglos. The upperclass still won some poitical races, but there is stength in numbers and the Anglos overruled them.

The plight of the Californios throughout the decade from 1846-1856, resembled a roller-coaster ride for many. While, the Californios lost ground across the State, some few were able to hold their ground in areas, such as Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, however in the area of San Diego, they lost ground from the beginning.

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