Summary Of The Trail Of Tears And The California Gold Rush

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The Trail of Tears and the California Gold Rush were two noteworthy events in history that resulted in the movement large amounts of people to a new part of the country. These migrants left their home territories, both forced and unforced, to settle in a location. Perdue argues that the power shift women experienced before the Cherokee removal defined their roles and shaped female gender during the Trail of Tears. By analyzing the California Gold Rush, Hurtado discusses how a woman’s race and class defined her gender. These authors introduce the conversation about how these significant migratory events in history impacted the lives of 19th century women.
The shift of power for Cherokee women is opposite of what we have observed with other
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Since the cult of domesticity had emerged, women had become more attached to their homeland. It was the role of the woman to comfort her family and establish a calm domestic atmosphere, but when the Cherokee were forced to migrate, a woman had to leave her home and her domestic ways. It is evident from the Trail of Tears that, when a woman was pushed to leave her home, her role became much more stressful. Because conditions were harsh throughout the voyage, children died from hunger and disease, families were separated, and much violence occurred along the way. As any mother feels sorrow when she sees her loved ones suffer or she herself is suffering, maybe the “Tears” signify the miseries women faced in such a difficult…show more content…
Many men left their wives and families at home to go to California, leaving them in an area with very few white women. There were Indian women living in California, but men saw Indian marriages as embarrassing and shameful. However, men’s sexual aggressions were strong, so they saw non-white women only suitable for sexual gratification. This opened up a market for prostitution. In this time period, women were limited by the wage economy, so prostitution was a legitimate option for some women.
The California gold rush created opportunities for men and gave women a value and importance, something we have rarely seen in our studies of early America. Even though women were still in the domestic sphere, they had a greater value because they were in high demand. There are not many instances that we have studied in which women are in demand. I wonder if this will slowly open doors for women in other aspects of society and give them value in other, non-domestic,
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