Sacramento is the capital of the U.S. state of California and the headquarters of the county of Sacramento. Sacramento is the capital of the U.S. state of California and the headquarters of the county of Sacramento. Located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California, the estimated population of 501,334 in 2018 makes Sacramento the sixth biggest town in California and the fifth biggest in the United States.
Sacramento is the California Legislature and California Governor’s seat, making it the political center of the state and a hub for lobbying and think tanks. Sacramento is also the cultural and economic center of the metropolitan area of Sacramento, with a population of 2,414,783 in 2010, making it California’s fifth largest.
Before the Spanish arrived, the region was populated by California’s Nisenan native peoples. In 1808, after the Blessed Sacrament, Spanish cavalryman Gabriel Moraga surveyed and named the Rio del Santísimo Sacramento, referring to the Eucharist in the Catholic Church. In 1839, the Mexican governor of Alta California, Juan Bautista Alvarado, assigned the responsibility of colonizing the Sacramento Valley to the Swiss-born Mexican citizen John Augustus Sutter, who later established Sutter’s Fort and the Rancho Nueva Helvetia settlement.
After the American Conquest of California and the Guadalupe-Hidalgo Treaty of 1848, Sutter’s waterfront started to be developed and integrated as the City of Sacramento in 1850. Sacramento became a significant business and distribution center for Northern California as a consequence of the California Gold Rush, serving as the terminus for the Pony Express and the First Transcontinental Railroad.