A Quick History Lesson
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A Quick History Lesson
Historically, Baja California has always been the bad boy on Mexico's block. Rugged terrain, tough-as-nails natives, and its relative isolation from the rest of the country kept the Spanish at bay for 100 years after they had colonized the rest of the country.
When the Spanish finally managed to establish missions, European diseases decimated the native population. Finally, the native population decided to fight back against Spanish colonial powers. The war—fought mostly guerrilla-style on the Mexican side—started on September 16, 1810, and lasted for 10 years, when their efforts, along with a military coup in Spain (with many repercussions) finally paid off.
In 1853, during the land-hungry era of Manifest Destiny, American adventurer William Walker captured La Paz, on the east coast, and declared himself president of the new Republic of Lower California. Within months, the Mexican government flexed its muscles and forced Walker to flee (though he later went on to invade Nicaragua and install himself as president).
Baja California Sur remained remote, sparsely populated, and rarely visited until the construction of the Carretera Transpeninsular, or Highway 1, in 1973. In spite of an increase in population and tourism, the region has kept its individuality—the mission architecture, cave paintings, Sahara-like heat, and rugged terrain are unlike anywhere else in the country.
Today, the luxury resorts of Baja Sur have brought a new population to the region: visitors from around the globe looking for sunny escapes and warm, turquoise waters.
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