What If California Was An Island?

fun historical fact back before we had satellites the best way to know what the world looked like was with maps and the best way to get maps was the sail around the world and sometimes those ships wouldn’t sail all the way and some liberties may have been taken sometimes to fill in those gaps like oh well that’s not right back in the 16th century the Spanish were off exploring the coast back then there was a popular romance novel called The Adventures of a splat e’en in the novel there was a mythical island populated by a race of black women this Islands named California that’s right Californians your name is based on that the Spanish couldn’t explore the coast to easily considering the current went south expeditions often failed so the Spanish kind of just filled in the blanks and assumed it was the start to an island and the misconception kind of stuck now today we’re left with boring attached to America California but what if in an alternate timeline the Spanish had gotten it right what if California really was just a vast island broken off from the rest of the continent well here is one alternate scenario since this is a thought experiment really for fun I wouldn’t detail every single fact that would change with scientific precision but Cody you say what about the fault lines they’re happy this video is mostly for fun to show how things would be if the map was actually right how this would happen is a really the important part because look at it it’s so ridiculous I love it so going by the warped perspective of this map this island goes from the tip of Baja California up to around Central Oregon if we’re going by its relation to the Great Lakes the island of California is obviously very large it would certainly be the second largest island in the world surprisingly Greenland is actually bigger in this alternate scenario it would be far more difficult for native people to ever migrate into California but not for the reason you might expect they could have easily sailed there they did that already in the Caribbean the issue is elev if California was an island like the Spanish originally thought this Strait of water let’s call it the strait of Cortez wouldn’t have much of that beachfront property you’d imagine the elevation for the central u.s. is unsurprisingly high so going from land to sea level is steep very steep the coast would appear like Canyon cliffs at minimum their height would scale roughly 13,000 feet along the entire coastline think less cliffs of Dover not even the Grand Canyon for comparison the Grand Canyon is only six thousand feet so these are steep and vast unrealistic cliffs the ramifications of them scientifically is too much to discuss I just want to focus on the human element they constrain migration there is really only a few regions suitable for port cities the coast of Oregon the coast of California and the lowland bays of Sonora fast forward a few thousand years and colonization really doesn’t change at all so we don’t need to worry about that the Spanish explorer the coast and accurately mapped the island perfectly good job guys it’s now the 19th century when Mexico declares independence it brings the low populated territory of Spanish California along with it sadly for Mexico Texas wanted independence too after ten years of Texan nationhood we have the Mexican American War with a few tweaks America would have won the war no matter what sorry Mexico so what changes is the demands the manifest crazy Americans wish to see come true first the strait of Cortez makes American migration to California on foot impossible with these cliffs you could only go to a few areas to sail to the island and this would make the American population in Mexican California far too small for any California Republic rebellion second California is not nearly as important the true prize is the Mexican state of Sonora the low elevation of Sonora would make it one of the few beachfront properties in the West third America might still want the Iowa because manifest destiny but without a California Republic the American military really just invades California anyway first by seizing Sonora then using its beaches to sail across to the island with few military forces it’s likely the island falls to the us-mexico conceits Texas New Mexico California and Sonora go to the US California’s immediate problem is geography simply put they’re really isolated with those two mile high cliffs nobody is crossing into the state anywhere except in these areas if California truly did look like this the transportation system in the US would be a nightmare there would need to be two steps whenever the island is involved be it simply driving or transporting actual goods the interstate system would be two systems one for California and one for everyone else say in this alternate world you and your family took a road trip to California first you wouldn’t drive right to it you would drive all the way to Sonora then take a ferry to reach the island this might seem small but it changes California’s entire destiny California’s long coast and land connection to the US is what made it the six largest global economy trade is everything Los Angeles San Francisco and San Diego boomed because of their naval ports but when California shares no land with the continent it can’t ship goods from its ports to the rest of the country so why would California boomed from trade in this alternate world long story short and wanted the only need for Californian ports is for goods going to California the actual trade to the United States instead goes to the states of Sonora in Washington regions on the coast actually connected to the country the city of Guaymas sits on one of the few low coastal areas in his alternate world it is one of the largest American port cities senora’s main profits are from its geographic location between the west coast in California and yes California would it be the west coast the west coast is the vast cliff sides overlooking the sea it’d be made up of desert Tsing Great Plains this region is far less populated not many cities are built in the desert along a path that leads to the edge of the world the cliffs of Nevada I’d imagine poor pioneers dragging along the desert only to come across a steep cliff and no way to cross so what is actually the point of this video geography is significant in the destiny of a region if California actually had looked like the Spanish thought it did it when it nearly have the influence and economy in this alternate world but this is simply one scenario out of the countless that could happen we’ll never truly know what would happen if California was an island but it’s interesting how significant geography can play a role in how our lies are shaped what do you think would happen this is Cody of altering history hub so if you liked this video don’t forget to subscribe and like and all that jazz this video was in collaboration with all time ten so be sure to check out their video that they just put up to I think that’s really all I have to say
Video source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWMXt_Sr0B0

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