California Gold Rush

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California History
Gold Rush Essay

I disagree with the quote stating that the Gold Rush had relatively small impact on the history of California. I believe that the Gold Rush had a very large impact on California. California went from a cow town to industrial virtually over night. The gold was discovered in 1848. By 1852 400,000 people rushed in. This would be the largest peacetime migration recorded. People came from all over the United States and from other countries like Latin America and China in search of gold. Many of them settled in California permanently. The people that migrated California were from various backgrounds which included the toiling farmer, the briefless lawyer, and the starving student. About 90% of goldrushers were men in their 20's, middle class, eager to make money and they had money to start out. The rapid influx of population is due to the many people seeking sudden wealth. Although the agriculture sums that the farmers garner today are worth much more than the Gold Rush had brought in a century, I believe that the two billion-dollar fortune that the Gold Rush generated was very significant to California's initial economy. The economy basically explodes when gold is discovered. The Gold Rush pulls the United States out of depression. The merchants, hotel owners and travel agents got rich during this time. I'm sure people would have eventually migrated to California because of its warm climate and farm lands, but the success of California today is due to the Gold Rush bringing in the initial population. Migration would have been a lot slower. Most of the original farmers came to California initially seeking wealth through gold digging. Transportation also became significant in the Gold Rush era. There were three main routes to the gold fields. The gold seekers could go by way of the Isthmus of Panama, around Cape Horn, or overland. The most populated route was through the overland. However, this...
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