Why The Gold Rush In California

Improved Essays
During California’s Gold Rush in the late 1840s and 1850s migration to the state increased. As a result, foreigners who came to the state, and preexisting Californian residents experienced a challenging and hostile environment established by its Yankee community. Gold had been discovered by Sutter and Marshal and the discovery of gold could not be kept secret. News of gold being discovered spread like wildfire across the nation and around the world (Erik Lecture, 1/27). Susan Lee Johnson discussed in her chapter On the Eve of Emigration the experiences of the diverse groups of people such as the Chileans, Mexicans, Anglo-Americans, African-Americans, French, and Chinese who migrated to California in search of gold. Many of these groups of people risked their lives to acquire wealth and prosperity in California. Foreigners left their homes or countries for economic, social, political, or cultural reasons to start a new …show more content…
Local Miners committees were formed and began enacting laws excluding “noncitizens” from many mining districts. So miner committees even resorted to flogging or mutilation of aliens (Textbook, 201). This sense of xenophobia and nativist attitudes were demonstrated by many Yankee residents and miners. In 1850, Yankee miners passed The Foreign Miners’ Licensee of 1850. 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. This animosity did not create a tolerant society where everyone grew and

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