California (Chinese: 加州 Jiāzhōu), officially the Republic of California (Spanish: República de California, Chinese: 加州民国 Jiāzhōu Mínguó), is a nation in northwestern Central America: it borders Deseret to the east, Cascadia to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west and Mexico to the south. The country was born amidst the numerous political changes sweeping the Americas in the first half of the 19th century: originally, it was conceived as an Anglophone state which would counter Mexican influence in the area, which rapidly became a bilingual state as numerous Hispanophone settlers in the area too desired to gain independence from Mexico.
The demographic makeup of California was further changed completely during the so-called California Gold Rush: a vast amount of gold was found in the territory of the newly born state, and to exploit these vast resources large numbers of workers from China and other parts of Asia were brought to the territory. They found themselves working in the mines in terrible and dangerous conditions and for abysmal pay: in time, the children and grandchildren of those Asians (mainly Chinese) began to make up more than a third of the population, and underwent a civil struggle to obtain more rights and representation in the country. In the end, a new constitution was drafted after a long period of disorders, granting equal rights and pay to all citizens of California and giving the status of official language to the Chinese language, chosen as lingua franca by the Californian Asians.
Because of its history, California has always been a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities: its population is largely mixed, with white Anglophones and Hispanophones as well as Asians being the three ethnic groups, and also a large number of mixed race peoples. California's vibrant culture also reflects this, taking influence from all of its sources. Its geography is defined by a central, fertile valley running from north to south in its northern part, while the southern areas are more arid and semidesertic. California's economy is based largely on agriculture, naval industry and mining.