California Gold Rush Pros And Cons

2707 Words11 Pages
Jake Montgomery

The Gold Rush

Mr. Lewis

December 2, 2014

On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall changed the course of America while overseeing construction at Sutter’s Mill on the American River in Coloma, California when he discovered gold flakes at the bottom of the river. The news of gold quickly spread throughout the world triggering the largest mass migration of people ever seen since the Crusades. Within months, over a hundred thousand Americans along with thousands of emigrants from around the world flocked to California in search of gold. The emigrants exposed the American to new ideas and cultures and helped develop new technologies. These new ideas and technologies helped bring America to its height of power, and developed the American Dream. Despite the positives, the Gold Rush produced several negative side effects which are still visible today. Thus the American gold rush of 1848 was one of the most important events that shaped the United States.
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In many ways the Californian Gold Rush benefited Americans, but it also displayed the cruelty of man and damaged the land. An example of this would be the extermination of the Indian tribes. Many Native American tribes would be eradicated during the Gold Rush and their land taken in search of gold. Another drawback of the Californian Gold Rush is that it ruined the land for agriculture. During the Gold Rush miners would dig up whole plots of land and search through them using a dredge, river or stream. This harmed the land and many areas are still ruined today, or pose an environmental threat. Mexicans and Asians came to California as laborers and were treated poorly. They were also exploited and had been taken advantage. All of these negative effects of the Gold Rush were caused by the Americans search of mineral
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