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The Trans-Pacific region encompasses California, which does not fit with either the Pacific Northwest or the Southwestern regions, and the nation's two non-contiguous states, Alaska and Hawai'i. At first glance, the states of California, Alaska, and Hawai'i have very little in common. Geographically, they are diverse. Ethnically, they are dissimilar. Culturally, they are very different. However, the tie that binds them, the Pacific Ocean, also contributes to their continuity in that the lives of their people and their politics have been heavily influenced by their position along the Pacific Rim.

Geographically speaking, California is the most diverse of the three. With high mountains, hot deserts, redwood forests, and famous beaches, it is among the most difficult states to generalize. Hawai'i, on the other hand, because of ...

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