San Jose, California

Encyclopedia Article


The third largest city in California (after Los Angeles and San Diego), San Jose is located about 50 miles southeast of San Francisco. Its inland location and semi-arid climate make for mild, sunny weather year-round. The area of the Santa Clara valley, in which San Jose is located, along the Guadalupe River, was inhabited by the Costanoan Native peoples until the arrival of European settlers in the mid-1800s. In 1877, Spanish farmers established the first permanent settlement in California at the site of what is today the city of San Jose, and named it Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe. When the Americans took over the state in 1846, the town functioned briefly as California's capital, which was moved to Vallejo in 1852, and then permanently to Sacramento in 1854. Farming and agriculture continued to be the basis of San Jose's slowly-growing economy until World War II when aircraft, motor vehicle, and electrical machinery firms built large plants in the city, generating a rapid growth in both population and land area. In the 1990s, with the rise of the high-tech computer industry, the city became known as the hub of Silicon Valley, which resulted in increasing population diversity, rising cost of living, and many of its neighborhoods turning into affluent suburbs.

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"View of the San Jose from the Museum of Jade, 2005" by Wikipedro is licensed under CC BY-SA.

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