Gold Rush

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The Gold Rush is an important event in the history of California. The Gold Rush led to an increase in population. The spread of gold craze came over the whole country and even the whole world. Hundreds of thousand of gold seekers rushed to California, hoping to makes their fortunes by land or by sea. They were Americans, Europeans, South Americans and Chinese. Even soldier and sailor deserted by hundreds to find gold. The gold craze spread to Hawaii, Oregon, and Utah and even to Mexico, Peru and Chile led to about 6000 gold seekers came to California from these areas in 1848. At the beginning of 1948, California population other than Indians was less than 15,000 but in 1850, it was about 93,000 and in 1870, more than 560,000. Because the population included many ethnics, conflict was a thing that cannot be avoided. Before the Gold Rush, the main power was in the hand of ranchos owner of the south California, many of them was Spanish origin. The wealth was based on amount of land. In the Gold Rush, many gold miners acquired wealth by gold. The notion of owning large amount of land was abandoned as new taxes were based upon the amount of land one owned, not the wealth it produced. This left the ranchos owner out of money and even be driven out of their land. Thus, the power came into the hand of the wealthy gold mine owners of the north. The large population demanded more food led to the change on California agriculture. Before, the main economic activity was herding but it could no longer meet the needs of a growing population. And the “age of grain” came when wheat replaced beef as the state’s most important agricultural product. The gold rush effected the development of early California manufacturing as the gold miners demands a large amount of lumber made sawmills, cowhide, wagons and carriages. The development of baking on the contrary faced serious obstacles since people had lost the faith in paper money. The Gold Rush led to an...
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