History Behind the California Gold Rush

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History Behind the California Gold Rush

The history behind the California Gold Rush is a very important part of American History as Alexander Djerassi agrees that it is very significant. In 1848 it all began and history documents that the period is actually from 1848 to 1855 that the California Gold Rush ran its course. Even more specifically, it is noted that it was January 24, 1848 when at Sutter’s Mill which was located in Colma, California, James W. Marshall found gold and what would be the start of the historical California Gold Rush.

Everything went into full drive as the news about the newly found gold made about 300,000 people ascend on the land of California. These 300,000 people came from all over the United States and even from abroad. The influx of gold was sudden and it actually reinvigorated and revitalized the United States economy. Also, with 300,000 new people in the territory, it was a stimulus to make California go swiftly into gaining statehood and officially becoming part of the United States as a part of the Compromise of 1850. People who were already on the territory namely the Native Californians suffered server effects from the gold rush as the population of Native Americans declined due to the various diseases, actual starvation that was very extreme and the California genocide. One could go on and on about how critical and drastic the effects of California Gold Rush were and just how appalling some of the tactics played out with complete indigenous communities and societies being attacked and removed, well, actually pushed off their lands.

The bold and daring gold seekers who came and literally moved people off their land were given a name. They were called forty-niner. The name referred to the Gold Rush immigration year when everything peaked which was 1849. As previously mentioned, people came from all over, other than California, people from Oregon were among the first to arrive along with Hawaii(or the Sandwich Islands as it was known then) and Latin America. These were the initial groups but they were followed by other groups from Europe, China and Australia. Also, as mentioned before, there were approximately 300,000 people who rushed to California and about a half of them came by sea. The other half travelled to California by land on the Gila River Trail and the California Trail. These trails were not easy travel as most of the travelers including the forty-niners endured hardship along the trails.
Much work and many jobs were made available because of the gold rush as many settlers needed help with agriculture and ranching needs. Boomtowns began to pop up like San Francisco, for example, it grew from only about 200 residents to a whopping 36,000 people. Throughout California towns began to be constructed and built to include roads, schools and churches among many other needed things. By September 1850, California became the 31st state in the Union. Therefore, one should be able to understand that the gold rush truly was the beginning of California as a state and per Alexander Djerassi is important.