How Did The California Gold Rush Affected Westward Expansion?

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Since the 1800s the United States has made dozens of accomplishments. From gaining land in the West, to industrializing the nation with modern railroads and canals. What seemed nothing more but a land only for a handful of wealthy residents in the territory of California, will impact the country in various ways. The discovery of gold in 1848 marked the beginning of a wave foreigners and Americans to a new life. The California Gold Rush was a historical event that impacted Westward expansion, allowed a melting pot of immigrants to live the American Dream, and created the establishment of prosperous cities. During the 1830s, only a handful of settlers came to reside in California. “The belief that Americans were destined to settle the continent from coast to coast became known as Manifest Destiny” (Johnston 2). The idea was a chance for Americans to spread the belief of democracy and freedom to the uninhabited land. Amongst the group of people included John Sutter. He owned land along the Sacramento Valley which he called New Switzerland (later known as Sacramento). On January 24, 1848, an employee of Sutter’s by the name of James Marshall was building a sawmill on the American River, he saw shiny metal deposits in the body of water and was certain …show more content…
All the hardships and discoveries made during that time period changed and impacted modern day for the better. It influenced Western expansion in America, it intermingled many cultural backgrounds, and established many cities throughout the country. This phenomenon gave the opportunities to many who worked endlessly for a profit that left many in want of. The event also allowed many to become wealthy and people able to experience the ‘American Dream’. Despite the negatives of what the miner’s had to go through and the sacrifices that have been made, it became worth it for them in the end, as it came with a great incentive of

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