Free research paper sample on Gold:
The California Gold Rush changed California by creating a larger and more diverse population, establishing San Francisco as one of the premier trade and banking cities in the nation, and the eruption of mining “boom towns.”
By the winter of 1848, rumors of gold had drifted eastward across the country, but few easterners believed them. The gold discovery needed validation and President James Polk delivered that in early December of 1848. Every family within the nation was discussing gold in the west. Thousands of adventurers with a dream left their homes in 1949, therefore getting the name “forty-niners”.
After word spread about the California Gold Rush, people from the west coast of Central and South America began to come, as well as China, and all over the United States, but especially the east coast. From 1848 to 1849 the population rose by 100,000 non Indian peoples. The eastern Americans or Yankees as they were known then quickly established themselves as the elite ruling class. The Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo, which annexed California into the United States, quickly established the native Californians and Indians into the lowest social class. Laws were passed (foreign mining tax) that taxed the Chinese and other non-citizens for mining, and even if they had licenses, local law officials would usually ignore them. Local governments and militias were established by the greater majority white population. Governments passed laws to keep minorities from mining and militias made sure they left the state.
As the economy became denser, the immense population needed places to save their money. Trading from the sea had also stressed a need for a permanent harbor for the west coast of northern California. San Francisco was the place that established all the responsibilities of the mass growth of people. People from all around San Francisco came there to trade with local merchants, and buy goods that were imported. Many banks were opened to establish security for people’s money and loans were given to mainly the white population. San Francisco was the “biggest and best” any west coast city had to offer in California. Masses of people also swarmed to San Francisco to make a living in the diverse economy. Mining stimulated expanding economic growth. Manufactures developed tools while commercial and transportation facilities were established to distribute goods and money.
Boom towns were another change to population because of the gold rush. These small populations grew up around larger mine sites to promote community, trade and socializing. In the Sierra Mountains, several boom towns developed and several even exist today. These towns were known for hard drinking, gun slinging, gambling and fist fighting. The majority of boom towns existed for very short periods of time, because once the gold was gone, so went the people.
The gold rush changed California in several ways. California became much more populated and diverse with non Indian people. The majority of newcomers were from elsewhere in the United States, yet groups from China and Latin America also rushed for the riches! Because the gold rush took place in northern California, San Francisco became the center for mass trade, banking and manufacturing in the state.
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