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The California Gold Rush
Transcript of The California Gold Rush
The California Gold Rush
I LOVE GOOOOLD!
9 days before the conclusion of the Mexican-American War, gold is discovered by Swiss immigrant John Sutter (January 24, 1848)
The Mother Lode
At first, gold could be picked up off the surface
Where the real money is?
Many of the wealthiest people actually didn't mine for gold at all
A little later on, one of Sutter's Native American workers discovered gold...soon news had spread
The news of gold brought about 300,000 people to California.
of the 300,000 people, about half arrived by sea
They came from the East Coast, Oregon, Hawaii, Latin America, Europe, Australia, and China
San Francisco grew from 200 residents in 1846 to about 36,000 by 1852
Roads, churches, schools and other towns were built throughout California. In 1849 a state constitution was written, a governor and legislature chosen and California became a state in 1850
American Gold Miners organized attacks on foreigners
Some 4,500 Native Americans were murdered
California State Legislature passes a tax of $20 a month on all foreign miners (about $560 today)
There were some cases were miners could collect thousands of dollars worth of gold each day
This would amount to 10-15 times more than the daily wage of a laborer on the East Coast
A person could work 6 months in California and make as much as six years worth of wages
Mining eventually moved to more advanced techniques
Women made money by cooking meals, washing clothes, and operating boardinghouses
Levi Strauss made and sold denim to the Miners
Merchants would buy prospecting supplies and resell them for a large profit
a loaf of bread on the East Coast might cost five cents. In California that same loaf will cost 75 cents
Eggs would sell for $1 a piece
Want to send a letter back home? That will cost you $1.25
The Impact of the California Gold Rush
By the mid 1850s, the gold was all but gone
Denim Jeans are now worn by people around the world
Railroads soon ran from coast to coast
The gold found in California totaled $2 Billion (today's money). However, the water has proved to be worth much more. Rivers and lakes were dammed, drained, and redirected across the state to provide irrigation to farmland
The Gold Rush continues today. Instead of miners; actors, writers, and filmmakers are arriving with the same belief of finding fame, fortune, and sometimes even gold.
During the 1840s California's population was compromised of only a few thousand people. Now, almost 34 million people live in California, the third largest state in land area
The Golden State, as it is officially nicknamed, also has an enormous economy.
If California were an independent country, it would have one of the 10 strongest economies in the WORLD
Sutter was a Swiss Immigrant who settled in the Mexico owned California
Sutter became a Mexico Citizen
His idea was to create an agricultural Utopia
However, the discovery of gold technically goes to one of Sutter's employees by the name of James W. Marshall
By 1876, there were 151,000 Chinese Immigrants in the United States
116,000 of those immigrants were in the State of California
The news of Gold Discovery in California came at a good time for China
China was suffering through poverty and ruin due to the Taiping Rebellion
The Chinese also have a passion for work
If they can't secure work at a high wage they will take a job at a low wage
In particular, Chinese who had secured land permits to mine for gold were targeted
Oh and let's not forget