California is a North American place name used by the U.S. state of California and the Mexican states of Baja California and Baja California Sur. Collectively, these three areas constitute the region formerly referred to as The Californias. The name California is shared by many other places in other parts of the world, whose names derive from the same original.

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  • California is a North American place name used by the U.S. state of California and the Mexican states of Baja California and Baja California Sur. Collectively, these three areas constitute the region formerly referred to as The Californias. The name California is shared by many other places in other parts of the world, whose names derive from the same original. When Spanish explorers in the 16th century first discovered the Baja California peninsula west of the Sea of Cortez, they believed the peninsula to be a large island. The name "California" was applied to the supposed island, and was probably a reference to a mythical island described in a popular novel of the time: Las Sergas de Esplandi├ín. Several other origins have been suggested for the word "California", including Spanish, Portuguese, Latin, South Asian, and American Indian origins. All of these are disputed. California originally referred to the entire region composed of the Baja California peninsula now known as Mexican Baja California and Baja California Sur, and the upper mainland now known as the U.S. states of California and parts of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Wyoming. After Mexico's independence from Spain, the upper territory became the Alta California province. In even earlier times, the boundaries of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean coastlines were only partially explored and California was shown on early maps as an island. The Sea of Cortez is also known as the Gulf of California. (en)
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  • California is a North American place name used by the U.S. state of California and the Mexican states of Baja California and Baja California Sur. Collectively, these three areas constitute the region formerly referred to as The Californias. The name California is shared by many other places in other parts of the world, whose names derive from the same original. (en)
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  • Etymology of California (en)
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