1949 Gold Rush Essay

1516 Words May 2nd, 2013 7 Pages
1949 Gold Rush In 1948 the Gold Rush truly started, it was the beginning of a time of great optimism in California but it had its difficulties and challenges too. It was a time the common man had power in numbers and even people of non-American birth had the ability to make a difference. It was a time when Native Americans and the environment were shoved out of the way of industry. It was a time when even the poorest of the poor had the ability to and sometimes did strike it rich. Because of this gold rush the territory of California became a state and even through hardships California ended up better than it started. California was all around the fastest territory in the Union to become a state. The population of California was 6,500 …show more content…
The amount of different types of people in the newly-founded mining towns was extreme (U.S. History 2). Stories of the gold spread like wildfire and soon anyone that could make it to California by boat were there. The East Coast though did not know if the rumors were true but they later found out from the president himself that they were and people started coming over in mass numbers ("Gold Rush of 1849" 2). The people in these towns soon ranged from wealthy white claim owners to the poor mine working class which was normally people of Mexican descent, African Americans and even poor white men. Chinese people also made up a massive amount of the working population. These towns were much different than the movies depict them though, they were the homes of tired men who worked hard all day and slept all night. Yes, there was normally a bar or two but those were only heavily used on the weekends when the miners would get off work, get drunk and sometimes hire a prostitute if they could afford it. Laws in the mining towns basically became nonexistent, mostly due to the lack of money to pay sheriffs. Sometimes groups of men would get together to catch a criminal if he was being especially disruptive. This same problem also went into the basic public service system. It was not uncommon that whole towns would burn to the ground strictly because there would not be any sort of fire brigade or even a volunteer fire

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