In the case of California, the Spanish colonizers of Mexico made a concerted attempt to advance northward and establish Catholic missions. San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, and a slew of other towns are all named after a mission that was established there. When the missions were closed down by the Mexican government after about 50 years, they were given back to Spain or France according to how long they had been operating. In the case of California, it went to Spain. As part of their agreement with Spain, indigenous people were allowed to remain on the land but weren't granted full citizenship rights. They became known as "neophytes" because they had just arrived in the country without any previous ownership rights.
After Mexico won its independence from Spain, most of the neophyte communities wanted nothing more to do with the foreign invaders and decided to move west toward the American territories. However, due to disease and starvation caused by the missions' policies of enslavement and forced labor, only a few hundred survived the journey. Those that did reach the new American territory were able to start over again thanks to the federal government's help. Most of them worked for a time on agricultural settlements before moving onto town sites that were being explored by pioneers looking for opportunities beyond farming.
As time passed, more and more cities were founded by immigrants from Europe who were interested in life outside the missions.
(more) Loading.... California includes about 500 cities, with around 30 of them beginning with the letters San or Santa. California was a Spanish colony, and Spain populated it by commissioning the Catholic Church to build 21 missions stretching from San Diego to Sonoma. The missions were intended to protect the settlers from the indigenous people and to convert them to Catholicism.
The first mission built was San Gabriel on March 13, 1771. It is the only one still standing. Today it is a national monument and part of a city park. It is located in Los Angeles County.
Other missions followed, most notably San Francisco de Asis in what is now San Francisco. But not all missions succeeded. La Purísima Mission near Lompoc was destroyed by an earthquake in 1812. And Santa Ana River Station was abandoned after only a few years because it was too far away from any town or village.
California became a U.S. state in 1848. The following year, it was divided into counties. These are the most common cities in California with the name San. This list excludes towns that are considered large villages but aren't cities themselves such as Palm Desert and Palo Alto.
San Antonio Missions National Park: San Antonio
Santa Ana River State Vehicular Recreation Area: Santa Ana
This area contains the majority of the cities with Spanish names (Florida, California, Texas, etc.). Since they were conceived in Spain The ones in the west were part of Spanish Mexico, and after Mexico gained independence, they were captured by the US following a conflict. The ones in the east were originally colonies of the Netherlands or France, but after they were conquered by Spain they too became parts of Mexico.
So basically, all of these places got their names after Spanish politicians, priests, or soldiers. There were no real reasons given for naming them after people. Sometimes it was just because they liked the sound of the name, or it could be because it reminded someone living there of a friend or relative back home. But most often it was simply because those in power decided so.
After Mexico won its independence in 1821, it tried to maintain good relations with both the US and Spain. So most of the Mexican governments until 1846 named places after Spanish or Portuguese citizens that had already been taken over by America. That's why you'll sometimes see places in Mexico with Spanish names.
Since then, Mexico has become one country, so there are no longer any other countries who would want to show support for their citizens by naming places after them.
Also worth mentioning is that not all of these places are actually in Mexico.
Because Mexico and California were both a part of La Nueva Espana (New Spain, the North American Spanish colonies). Because such locations were found by Spanish explorers and labeled on a map with a specific name. It afterwards became Spanish territory, and subsequently Mexican territory. The names, of course, were in Spanish. California was first spotted by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542; he called it Tierra de Buena Verdad (Land of Good Truth). The area was later claimed by several countries, including France and England. In 1821, Mexico gained independence from Spain. One year later, it included what are now California and Texas among its territories.
The United States acquired California from Mexico in 1848 at the end of the Mexican-American War. The state became the 31st in the nation to join the Union.
In the years following its acquisition by the United States, California's economy grew based mainly on agriculture. During this time, there also were efforts made to move the state away from being dependent on one industry. In 1893, the Southern Pacific Railroad built a line through California which helped the state develop its central coast region. In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Tennessee Valley Authority to improve life for farmers by providing electricity to areas suffering from power shortages. The TVA also improved management of water resources in the south.
Today, California's economy is based on technology, trade, and services.