California and the Gold Rush of 1849 Essay

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"Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!" said Samuel Brannan, as he ran through the streets of San Francisco waving a bottle of gold dust in the air that he purchased from John Sutter’s Fort. The encounter of gold nuggets in the Sacramento Valley in early 1848 triggered one of the most crucial occurrences to influence American history during the beginning of the 19th century, the Gold Rush. The Gold Rush of 1849 (1848–1855), also known as the California Gold Rush, was one of the most captivating happenings during westward expansion. The Gold Rush of 1849 is also a fundamental event that not only impacted California but the United States as a whole and individuals from throughout the world. Thus, despite laborious toilers and their …show more content…
Moreover, the Mexican government had ordered padres, or Spanish priests, to leave California and mission lands were given or sold to the rancheros. As land all over California was given away, the rancheros grew wealthier, not from gold, but from cattle and the size of their land; this era was known as the “golden years” of the ranchos. Mexico’s land grant plan was to secularize the Franciscan missions so the government could take control of the missions away from the Catholic Church, thus offering the land and livestock to Californians and converted Native Americans. As more Americans came to California in the mid- and late 1830s, organized wagon trains of American settlers began to develop, called parties to prevent danger while migrating to California. The Donner Party contained 81 men, women, and children, plus George and Jacob Donner, left their homes to set out to California in April 1846. After facing numerous difficulties, from starvation and cannibalism to unfortunate weather, the 48 members of Donner Party were finally rescued in January by a group of individuals near Sutter’s Fort. All in all, the vast land in California demonstrates positive outcomes for Mexico, however several negative outcomes for strangers.
In the mid-1840s, the United States wanted access to Pacific Ocean seaports. Although President James K. Polk wanted to purchase

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