San Jose (Costa Rica)

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SAN JOSÉ, California, is located seven miles below the southern tip of San Francisco Bay, on Coyote Creek and the Guadalupe River, fifty miles southeast of San Francisco. It is the seat of Santa Clara County. It was founded in 1777 as San José de Guadalupe under the Spanish Reglamento Provisional because the Spanish government wanted to lessen the dependency of the presidios (forts) on the missions for their food supply. It was the first civil town (pueblo) established by the Spanish in what was then known as Alta California. Until the gold rush of 1848 it was the most important town in the province. When California entered the union in 1850, the first state legislature met in San José, but only for a year. Major agricultural products included tree fruits, nuts, berries, vegetables, and livestock, and it was the world's largest dried-fruit packing and canning center.

Beginning with scientific development related to World War II, the entire county became a center for electronics research and space-related technology, ultimately acquiring the nickname Silicon Valley. San José is home to San José State University, the oldest public institution of higher learning in California, founded in 1857. The 2000 census listed the population of San José, the third-largest city in the state, as 894,943.


Arbuckle, Clyde. History of San Jose. San Jose, Calif.: Smith and McKay, 1986.

McCarthy, Francis Florence. A History of Mission San Jose, California, 17971835. Fresno, Calif.: Academy Library Guild, 1958.

Mora Torres, Gregorio. Los Mexicanos de San José, California: Life in a Mexican Pueblo, 17771846. 1994.

Winther, Oscar Osburn. Story of San Jose, 17771889, California's First Pueblo. San Francisco: California Historical Society, 1935.

Carolle Carter

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San José (sän hōsā´), city (1989 pop. 287,535), central Costa Rica, capital and largest city of Costa Rica. San José is the economic, political, and social center of Costa Rica, dominating the Central Valley and the nearby towns, Alajuela, Cartago, and Heredia. During colonial times, the main industry of the region was tobacco raising; by the mid-19th cent., the city had become the center of a coffee-producing area. It is the national distribution point for imports. San José was founded (c.1738) at the beginning of the westward expansion from Cartago; with independence from Spain (1821), it became the center of the country's liberal element and, in 1823, the capital. A modern city, with parks and fine public buildings, including the elaborate National Theater, it has a mixture of Spanish and North American architecture, with many houses set back to have lawns and gardens fronting the street. San José is a stop for international airlines, the hub of the highway system, and the center of the Pacific and Caribbean railroads. It has several universities.

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San José Capital and largest city of Costa Rica, in central Costa Rica, capital of San José province. Founded in c.1736, it succeeded Cartago as capital of Costa Rica in 1823, and soon became the centre of a prosperous coffee trade. Products: coffee, sugar cane, cacao, vegetables, fruit, tobacco. Pop. (2000) 313,262.