Causes Of Racism In California

1175 Words 5 Pages
On January 24, 1848, James Wilson Marshall, a carpenter originally from New Jersey, discovered gold in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Although it was not the first time gold was found in California, this event caused the most migrations of people to California because it had the most substantial evidence that it was real. This was because Sam Brannan brought three wagon loads of gold to the nearby town of Coloma, which resulted in the news of gold being spread through the state, the country, and ultimately the world. Foreign people went to California to get away from the poor conditions of where they were as well as to become rich by mining gold. However, they were treated poorly since they caused heightened competition over gold. Chinese …show more content…
Mexicans left to flee from post-war conditions in Mexico, but were faced with physical punishment, unfair taxes, and a ban. Native Americans started to mine gold in order for them to trade with merchants for items they needed, but ended up facing a type of enslavement and genocide. Blacks left to escape from slavery, but dealt with harassment, losing rights, and being sent back to the South. Overall, this racism and discrimination were due to the fear of the whites ,who feared that the migrations of foreign people would cause them to lose their jobs and gold. Knowing that racism can be caused by fear, one today can attempt to prevent racism in the present and future by analyzing what people fear of other groups. A contemporary example of a conflict that is caused by fear today is the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, which can be stopped by analyzing what the the two groups fear of each other. Although there already was racism towards non-whites before the California Gold Rush, the influx of foreign people to California caused fierce competition over gold and jobs, which led to the discrimination of non-whites who whites blamed for their struggle to find gold and …show more content…
However, this migration caused competition over jobs and gold that resulted in the discrimination of Mexicans. Since Mexico had recently lost the Mexican-American War, Mexico lost five hundred thousand square miles of land to America, which caused many of the people who lived on that land to be kicked off by new American settlers. Therefore, when the news of gold reached the land where Mexicans had previously lived, they traveled to California since it was close and they had nowhere else to go. Additionally, the loss greatly damaged the economy since they spent a great deal of money on a war they had lost. Although there was some hatred between the Americans and Mexicans from the war that just happened years before, the discrimination Mexicans faced was not solely from it since there are few recorded accounts of Mexicans facing direct racism until after they were competing for gold and jobs. Once Mexicans started competing for jobs and gold, Mexicans had to face racism and discrimination. For instance, Joaquin Murrieta was a Mexican who moved to California in 1849 in hope of finding gold. He did very well as a miner, but jealous of his success, white miners used his race as an excuse for hurting him. White miners raped his wife, murdered his brother, and whipped Murrieta. Also, the Foreign Miners’ Tax applied to Mexicans as well as the

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