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...
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