California Gold Rush

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California Gold Rush

Category: Research Paper

Subcategory: History

Level: College

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH

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Introduction
In The Californian Gold Rush, Caughey & Walton (2012), Argue that the gold rush in California commenced after the discovery of nuggets of gold in Sacramento Valley early in 1848. (36). James W. Marshall, who was constructing a saw mill for John Sutter, is accredited with this magnificent discovery that brought a lot of changes to the Gold mining prospects. Rivera & Sheila (2013) Asserts that it attracted thousands of prospective miner who traveled both by air, road and sea. This leads to a huge influx of people within and around California. There was a total of $1 Billion worth of gold in California State that was later extracted in 1852. (31). January 24, 1848, marked the beginning of California’s Gold Rush. During this period, the population of California had increased magnificently and also contributed towards the end of the American war.
Gold rush in California
Rivera & Sheila (2013) asserts that James Marshall at first tried to keep his secret of discovering Gold in California a secret but the Joy was too big for him because of Sutter’s laborers who worked with James Marshall at the Saw Mill. Adventures had several miles of trips to the fort and came out with samples of gold dust that led to the realization of Sutter’s fortunes. It was a great distress that had befallen Sutter only that he could not do anything (56).
Rivera & Sheila (2013) notes that as everybody rushed to California to dig gold, one enterprising man had a different interest in the Gold Rush. Sam Brannan bought a lot of mining equipment and stored them at the Fort (85). Later, this enterprising American took gold flakes to the nearest town, a move that saw Sam Brannan become the first California’s millionaire. News spread like fire that there was Gold free for taking in California. According to Schroeder & Lisa (2011), the fresh discovery of gold were made on a daily basis, and this worked well for the huge number of fortune seeker whose number was immensely growing from all corners of the world. (68). It was becoming clear about the immense extent of the huge deposits of gold in California. The majority of the immigrants seeking fortune in California came in a group during the mid-summer and accessed the gold mine from possible carious routes. These included the Panama short cut, Cape Horn and road, wagons, and sailing ships.
Rivera & Sheila (2013) notes that the aftermath of the California’s Gold Rush led to the internal westward movement of Americans from the states located on the eastern sides of US who were interested in making fortunes (69). The routes that lead to California were inconvenient to a large number of prospective miners due to foods infested by bugs, rampant sicknesses, high expenses and boredom. The other alternative route passed through a rugged terrain that was occupied by a hostile territory. Schroeder & Lisa (2011) Also asserts that there was also global migration of fortune seekers who majorly came from Chile, Mexico, China, Germany, and Ireland. The majority of the gold seekers in California was later reported to come from China (77).
In Californian Gold Rush Cooking, Schroeder & Lisa (2011), Notes that to avoid incidences of theft cases from bandits, the Chinese adopted the culture of smelting their fortune and using them to make other precious household goods, jewelry and utensils. This material was later darkened with soot to cover their true identity while on transit only to be re-melted to recover the original gold. It did not take long before ethnic tensions started erupting in California due to the continued decrease in Gold mines. Kahn & Fran (2012) argues that the creation of foreign miner’s tax by the California legislature led to a large outflux of Chinese prospective miners from California (254). The legislation also led to the restriction of Chinese laborer who were seen to pose competition to the native white Americans for jobs and wages at the gold mine sites. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was enacted to ban any further immigration of Chinese into America and even stopped them from being American Citizens.
Kahn & Fran (2012), Note that Gold mining in California was an easy thing to do. Irrespective of the mining tool one had, the only procedure that one had to do was to dig the places and wash off the dirt. In turn, the residue was the precious metal everyone was looking. Schroeder & Lisa (2011) asserts that there were no taxes levied on the fortunes of the miners because there were no social amenities like roads, electricity, and water (78). Also, the miners worked on their will, and no one was considered somebodies laborer unless it happened to an individual’s will. The entrepreneurial spirit that exist in California today was born from the hard work that the gold miners had during the gold rush in California (256).
Competition for gold in California became fierce and led to huge price wars by the merchants. New technologies were invented to help wash the pay dirt within a short time. The prices of mining tools, clothing, astronomical levels and food also rose to exorbitant levels as a means of locking out specific groups of people. To make a profit; a miner had to struggle to find an ounce of gold every day of mining. It was a tedious work for one to get involved in digging gold from dawn to dusk with the hope of becoming wealthy after the hard work. It was an obsession for every fortune seeker to become a millionaire from the Gold Rush and so many stories came up of so many people who had made a fortune from mining gold in California. In some instances, bad luck could follow the rich strike that people made from the Goldmine.
As the number of fortune seeker continued to grow, the process of getting gold became harder and harder. The year 1853 marked the peak of gold mining in California after which the gold mines continued to shrink with an increasing number of prospective gold miner coming to California to share the little fortune. Even then, those who went back home with nothing to show were lucky to go back healthy after the unfortunate venture in California.
Benefits of the Gold Rush in California
The effects of the California gold rush were immense, first, there was the introduction of staking claims as a means of claiming property rights in California. Also, there was the establishment of the state constitution, governor, and legislature that later propelled California to the status of a State. The increasing number of settlers also led to the expansion of agriculture and ranching to meet the increasing demand of California inhabitants. New methods of transportation were also developed with steamships becoming a major method of transportation of people and goods. By the end of 1869, railroads were built to from California to the eastern parts of United States.
Hudson-Goff, Uschan, & Guus (2013), notes that the California’s Gold Rush also led several fortune seeker identify the other beautiful side of the gold-rich state. Instead of carrying whatever they mined back home, they chose to settle in California because of the rich fertile and productive soils in California (45). According to Kahn & Fran (2012), there were immense changes to the people of California and the land of California. In 1850, California achieved the status of a state despite the diverse population that had formed the bulk of its inhabitants (81). This infrastructural development is an achievement that would not have been realized without the Gold mines. Besides, the state of Economy in California also received a big boost that is still evident up to today. Caughey & Walton (2012) also notes that churches, road, schools, and towns were built to accommodate the increasing number of gold diggers in California. Systems of staking claims that were the only way of showing property rights were later replaced by legal methods (165-170).
Negative Impacts of Gold Rush in California
It is also worth noting that the California gold rush came with equal challenges. Kahn & Fran (2012) argues that the gold rush in California was one of the most significant violent periods that California has ever experienced especially after the end of the 1852 gold boom (56). There were several incidences of antiforeigner and racial attacks. Also, discriminative laws and confiscatory taxes were introduced as a means of driving away the foreign miners from California. Those who were greatly affected were the Chinese and the immigrants who came from Latin America. Hudson-Goff, Uschan, & Guus (2013) Also note that the toll levied on US immigrants was also increased to a high level that very few could afford (89). The rate of vigilantism and crime in California also increased and claimed lives of several mineral and indigenous people in California.
Caughey & Walton (2012), Also asserts that technological advancement also led to the need for financing to mining gold, leading to foreign gold mining companies taking over the whole process of mining gold in California. The result was loose of jobs for those who relied on panning as the only method of retrieving gold from their deposits. Ships diverted their routes to California to transport laborers, miners and gold from and to California. Hudson-Goff, Uschan, & Guus (2013) Explain that employees also deserted other occupation for the gold mines leaving several companies understaffed (98). The Native Americans also deserted their traditional fishing, hunting and food gathering to join other fortune seekers at the California’s gold mine. Women ventured into immorality that led to the erosion of Californian culture. There was also a genocide that claimed the lives of Native Americans who were killed after being forced to work as slaves for the rich gold miners.
According to Caughey & Walton (2012), others viewed the California Gold Rush as a disaster because it decimated the indigenous people who initially lived peacefully. What they experienced was diseases, sexual and human abuse, massacres, starvation and even harassment (77). There was also the destruction of culture, habitat, society and infrastructure that the indigenous people valued a lot. Similarly, Kahn & Fran (2012) asserts that Miners from across the globe continued to invent more destructive mining methods to catch up with the growing competition (111). The California land that previously produced good agricultural products became ravaged due to the torrent of water from the mines running down the hillside.  Hudson-Goff, Uschan, & Guus (2013) Also observes that the towns situated downhill were also affected by flash floods containing a lot of mud (97). Additionally, mercury, cyanide, arsenic, and other toxic product that came out of the gold mines as residue poisoned drinking water. The indigenous forest in California also faced extinction because pines and oak were used as mining timber.
Conclusion
The California gold rush was the largest migration ever witnessed in American history and brought over 300,000 people from across the globe to California. People from Oregon and Hawaii were the first to receive the news of gold discovery, and they arrived in plenty to test their luck in California. The first people to mine gold pick it from the ground and river streams with pans. These groups were referred to as the “forty-niners” because they arrived in 1849. Subsequent year saw gold mines decline after 1852 that registered the highest peak of a gold mine in California. More sophisticated methods of getting gold have invented that lead to degradation of the environment. Despite the negative outcomes of the Gold Rush in California, there were a lot of demographic changes that were realized in California during the Gold Rush.

Bibliography

Caughey, John Walton. 2012. The California gold rush. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Rivera, Sheila. 2013. The California gold rush. Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub. Co.
Hudson-Goff, Elizabeth, Michael V. Uschan, and Guus Floor. 2013. The California Gold Rush.
Milwaukee, WI: World Almanac Library.
Kahn, Ava Fran. 2012. Jewish voices of the California gold rush: a documentary history, 1849-
1880. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.
Schroeder, Lisa Golden. 2011. California Gold Rush cooking. Mankato, MN: Blue Earth Books.

 Caughey & Walton (2012), notes that the gold rush in California commenced after the discovery of nuggets of gold in Sacramento Valley early in 1848.
 Rivera & Sheila (2013) asserts that it attracted thousands of prospective miners who traveled both by air, road and sea.
 Rivera & Sheila (2013) argues that James Marshall at first tried to keep his secret of discovering Gold in California a secret but the Joy was too big for him because of Sutter’s laborers who worked with James Marshall at the Saw Mill
 Rivera & Sheila (2013) notes that as everybody rushed to California to dig gold, one enterprising man had a different interest in the Gold Rush
 Schroeder & Lisa (2011) asserts that the fresh discovery of gold were made on a daily basis,
 Rivera & Sheila (2013) notes that the aftermath of the California’s Gold Rush led to the internal westward movement of Americans
 Schroeder & Lisa (2011) also asserts that there was also global migration of fortune seekers who majorly came from Chile, Mexico and China.
 Schroeder & Lisa (2011) notes that to avoid incidences of theft cases from bandits, the Chinese adopted the culture of smelting their fortune and using them to make other precious household goods, jewelry and utensils.
 Kahn & Fran (2012) argues that the creation of foreign miner’s tax by the California legislature led to a large outflux of Chinese prospective miners from California
 Kahn & Fran (2012), note that Gold mining in California was an easy thing to do. Irrespective of the mining tool one had, the only procedure that one had to do was to dig the places and wash of the dirt.
 Schroeder & Lisa (2011) asserts that there were no taxes levied on the fortunes of the miners because there were no social amenities like roads, electricity, and water
 Hudson-Goff, Uschan, & Guus (2013), notes that the California’s Gold Rush also led several fortune seeker identify the other beautiful side of the gold-rich state.
 Kahn & Fran (2012) asserts that there were immense changes to the people of California and the land of California. Leading to it becoming a state
 Caughey & Walton (2012) also notes that churches, road, schools, and towns were built to accommodate the increasing number of gold diggers in California
 Kahn & Fran (2012) argues that the gold rush in California was one of the most significant violent periods that California has ever experienced
 Hudson-Goff, Uschan, & Guus (2013) also note that the toll levied on US immigrants was also increased to a high level that very few could afford.

 Caughey & Walton (2012) asserts that technological advancement also led to the need for financing to mining gold, leading to foreign gold mining companies taking over the whole process of mining gold in California.
 Hudson-Goff, Uschan, & Guus (2013) explains that employees also deserted other occupation for the gold mines leaving several companies understaffed.
 Caughey & Walton (2012) argue that others viewed the California Gold Rush as a disaster because it decimated the indigenous people who initially lived peacefully
 Kahn & Fran (2012) asserts that Miners from across the globe continued to invent more destructive mining methods to catch up with the growing competition
 Hudson-Goff, Uschan, & Guus (2013) also observes that the towns situated downhill were also affected by flash floods containing a lot of mud.









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