Causes Of Racism In California

Improved Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    citizens. The Americans believed since they won the war against the Mexicans, that previously land and gold was supposed to be theirs and not the Mexicans who stayed to become Americans. Violence erupted in gold mines and citizens were being harassed by farm poachers. Anglo militia robbed and killed Mexican citizens to acquire land for farming and to steal gold mining jobs. The Land Act of 1851 gave squatters in increase in illegal actions such as violence or harassment to try to keep lands they robbed from previous owners.…

    • 1133 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Massacre At Mystic Analysis

    • 2276 Words
    • 10 Pages

    A lot of people thought it was a joke or a rumor, but one of Sutter’s worker took a vial of gold to San Francisco as proof. After that, people made their way to Sutter’s land in California, driven by a lust for gold. Soldiers, farmers, and people from all walks of life came to Sutter’s land on the hope of making easy money. The gold rush began only amongst Californians, but in the summer of 1849, word reached other parts of the country and people from all over came to California for their shot at the big money. These quick “fortunes” made people spend recklessly, a “symptom” of the “gold rush disease” that the men mining for gold suffered from.…

    • 2276 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Stories like these are far too common among men in the gold mines” (“Primary Sources). Gold never ran out, it just got harder to find over time. These prospectors thought they could spend all of their money and just hunt for more gold. Little did they know that gold would get harder to find. The American Gold Rush lasted from 1848-1857 with about 300,000 prospectors involved (“California Gold Rush.”).…

    • 1114 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Jamestown Racism

    • 1105 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Along with Americans, immigrants from different parts arrived to California for a chance to find gold and accumulate wealth. The immigrants were discriminated against by the white miners, they “ organized extralegal groups that expelled “ foreign miners”- Mexicans, Chileans, Chinese, french, and American indians- from areas with gold” (Foner 478). The racism made many of the immigrants leave the state and try to find other ways to obtain money. The racism towards the Indians continued during the Gold Rush time. The “ Gold seekers overran Indian Communities.…

    • 1105 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    To appease their gods they gave human sacrifices, thousands each year, which greatly diminished their fighting force against the Spanish. This tradition led to tension against other surrounding people, as they had to take part in religious ‘flower wars’ against the Aztecs, where the goal is to capture as many people as you can for sacrifices. The tributes of human sacrifices required of conquered city states did not help lessen tensions, and many of these conquered states harboured a strong resentment towards the Aztecs and wanted revenge from giving up their loved ones simply for the religious practices of the Aztecs. And so when the Spanish came, asking for help in bringing down the empire they gladly joined. This gave the Spanish a huge advantage by dramatically increasing the size of their army and providing them with knowledge of the land.…

    • 2703 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This law indicated that every noncitizen miner who wants to mine is required to take out a license and pay a monthly twenty dollar fee (Miner’s License Document, Sec. 6). This regulation was really expensive for many foreigners and resulted in driving them out from mining operations. Thus, the migration of foreigners to California was not seen as favorable to its existing residents. Yankee Americans stressed extreme bigotry toward newcomers coming to the state and belittled the native Californian residents.…

    • 332 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Almost everyone has heard about the California Gold Rush at some point, it brings up images of hermits panning for gold in a river. In actuality the California Gold Rush is much more than that. Many things throughout American would not be the same without the California Gold Rush. The California Gold Rush caused a huge boom in civilization in the western part of the United States of America, because of it there was a boom a population growth in a short period of time. It caused many of the major cities that the United States still has, also it played a huge part in the building of railroads.…

    • 1452 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The North wanted America to remain as a whole, however, the South wanted separation from the union so that they could expand on slavery. The Federal Government look at the actions of the South as if the south was trying to assert authority over the government so that they could abolish laws that they did not agree with. The Federal Government did not like that one bit, and this is when tension started to build. The south tried expanding their territory into the north in order to build strength, however, the north had more money, and resources. The Gold Rush sprung into action which caused many immigrants to move west, completely eliminating the chances of the south making Western states into slave states.…

    • 1146 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In Chapter 4 of Mexicanos by Manuel G. Gonzales it talked about the American southwest of 1848-1900 in four different states: California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. In California, after the Mexican American War, the Spanish –speaking society worsen. On January 24, 1848 gold was discovered by James Wilson Marshall and an employed carpenter named John Augustus Sutter in Coloma. In 1848, miners forced their way into the Sierra foothills, after a year the small stream became a huge spreading into territories. Out of the miners, the most successful were the Latin Americans from South America and Northern Mexico.Most Hispanic miners would reach the gold fields before the other competition.…

    • 503 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The California Gold Rush affected the state of California in many ways, let alone the entire country. It changed the idea of success for all the people of the nation. Before the Gold Rush, most Americans did not even think about becoming wealthy; they thought more about holding just enough land to get them by in life. Land owners and farmers wanted to keep their families independence from working for wages, so when the Gold Rush fever sparked up, people could not resist. Why work so hard with plowing fields when you could be rich and set for life?…

    • 1335 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays