California Gold Rush Effects

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“Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!" These were the famous words shouted by Samuel Brannan that sparked the fever for riches in many. This simple seven word phrase was the beginning of the largest mass migration of immigrants from all over the world to the United States. This declaration of found treasure was the beginning of a domino effect that would have lasting consequences. This was the beginning of the California Gold Rush. On January 24, 1848, gold was accidentally dug up by James Wilson Marshall while working alongside the American River in what is present day Sacramento Valley, California. Marshall stated, after finding the gold, "It made my heart thump, for I was certain it was gold."
Marshall informed John Sutter, the owner of the land he was working on, of the precious metal he had discovered and the two of them privately decided to keep this hidden from others. However, word escaped in March of
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When the money hungry settlers switched to using hydraulic mining in 1853, much of the land was stripped of its natural beauty. On the contrary, the Gold Rush was an immensely beneficial period of time for the territory of California. The population of non-natives in California had been a measly 800 in March of 1848, but exploded to 100,000 by the end of 1849. With the sudden migration of so many people to this region, California was able to become the 31st state in the Union in 1850. The new state continued to grow, and by the end of the Gold Rush, 1 in 90 people living in the United States lived in California. Not only did the Gold Rush have an effect on the state's population, but it evoked a new dream in the hearts of Americans. It gave people the idea that any man could become successful if he worked hard enough, a dream that many Americans today still believe in and hope for. As Richard Nixon said, "The American Dream does not come to those who fall

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