The California Essay

Submitted By robby678
Words: 1037
Pages: 5

the California’s gold rush OF 1849 and how it changed and shaped AMERICA’S
WEST

EN1320

Gold, since the beginning of civilization has been the focal point of wealth and power. The alluring power of gold stirred the untapped desires of man all though out history. Causing great changes in civilization and molding us to what we are today. The same holds true to the American gold rush in 1849 in California. How that gold rush shaped American economy and the west of the Americas in that time frame. The gold discovery that caught the eye of the world and brought attention to California happened on January 24, 1848 two week right before the peace signing negotiations between the Mexico and American governments (hittell, 1999) . In short the Mexican government gave up a huge discovery in the California’s lands that they had control over at that time. Neither the America nor the Mexican governments knew the magnitude of the discovery in California until the singing was over. The gold discovery that changed America happened in Sacramento Valley, most likely one of the most significant events to shape American history during the first half of the 19th century (The Gold Rush of 1849). As the news spread about the discovery of gold people by the thousand poured into San Francisco and the surrounding area by land and sea by the end of 1849 over 100,000 nonnatives California’s occupied the California claim lands. Before the 1849 discovery records showed that occupies was less than a 1000 before the 1848. (The Gold Rush of 1849). On January 24, 1848 the man who made the first discovery in California was James Wilson Marshall, a carpenter originally from New Jersey, found flakes of gold in the American River at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Coloma, California. (The Gold Rush of 1849) At the time of the discovery Marshall was working to build a water-powered sawmill owned by John Sutter, a German born Swiss citizen and the founder of a colony of Nueva Helvetia of New Switzerland. The colony would later be known as the city of Sacramento. As Marshall later recalled of his historic discovery: "It made my heart thump, for I was certain it was gold." (The Gold Rush of 1849) After the discovery Marshall and Sutter tried to hide the finding for as long as they could. The word got out about their finding around mid-March and it rumors spread like wild fire. By mid-June, some three-quarters of the male population of San Francisco had left town for the gold mines, and the number of miners in the area reached 4,000 by August. (The Gold Rush of 1849) As time went on more settlers came to the California’s claims, as the populations grew, groups formed. One of the most famous of the miner groups are known as the “Forty Niner’s”. (The Gold Rush of 1849)The name Forty Niners came for the year that the gold rush took off in and these miners flooded the California’s mines by the tens of thousands. (hittell, 1999)
These miners made a fortune during the rush of 1849. Most of it was because of the state that California was in at that time. Though the treaty that was made by America and Mexico California now belonged to the U.S but only as a territory. According to Wikipedia there were no laws or system in place for this new frontier, meaning that the land of gold was lawless and was ripe for the taking. There was no private land and no taxes on the miners or on their claims so anything that they found was pure profit. To have some type of order in the field the miners did use a claim system for mining. If they was working a piece of land it was your as long as your was actively working it. This system worked well as long as all party’s was honest. (TUCKER, 2012) As the gold was found in the mining fields the California economy as well the U.S and other county’s economies grew. The gold itself was extracted from the ground found its way in many different paths. According to Wikipedia, a…