California Gold Rush
By: Sarah Attar
Life Before the Gold Rush
California is going through a big change in the economy, the Gold Rush.California is home to 150,000 native Americans and 12,000 Californians,but most Californians live on huge cattle ranches. A Swiss immigrant,John Sutter bought 50,000 acres of land and is beginning to build his dream empire. He sent a carpenter named James Marshall, to build a saw mill on a nearby American River. James built a saw mill of gold on his land leading to this California Gold Rush happening today.
California Finds Gold
James Marshall’s discovery is leading to the biggest change in economy. Thousands of settlers, known as the 49’ers are racing to California to strike gold. Gold is found in many rivers around the area estimated to pay for the entire Mexican war ten times over! The adventure to reach gold is difficult, most gold seekers are young man. Gold mining towns are popping with saloons, stores, and danger. While stories of getting rich are spreading,sickness, disease, and death are becoming common in California.
Lives of the Gold Miners
Conflicts of the Gold Miners
Conflicts between the Miners
Once easy to find gold was gone, american miners are forcing Native Americans and foreigners such as Mexicans and Chinese out of the gold fields to reduce competition. As the Chinese are being driven out of the gold fields, they are opening shops, restaurants, and laundries. There are so many Chinese owned businesses in San Francisco right now, that they are calling the neighborhood Chinatown. Miners in the California Gold Rush will do anything for the riches of gold and won't let anyone get in their way.
Impact of the Gold Rush
This Gold Rush is coming to an end, but has made an impact on California. Right now about 250,000 people are flooding California. The port city of San Francisco is growing to become the center of banking, money, shipping, and trade. Thousands of Native Americans died by diseases brought by newcomers or they were murdered by miners.
California now has enough people to become a state, but is upsetting the slave and non slave state balance by being a free non slave state. Many Californians are losing land to American settlers. California has become an opportunity for the freedom of slaves. The California Gold Rush has changed the economic growth of this state forever.