The California Dream: How The Gold Rush Impacted California

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2nd Draft Research Paper The Gold Rush, known as an event that pushed California into statehood, is positively remembered by the public. However, outlooks of the California Dream was not as glorious as the media at the time made it to seem. Rumors and myths at the time attracted miners. News sources had claimed that gold came in "lumps the size of a man's hand" -- "an inexhaustible supply." The seemingly easy riches, freedom, and adventure attracted immigrants from all over the world. At the time, miners were not bound by the Mexican laws nor any laws of the state. The environment became perfect for the miners, now free from any limits set by society, to act as they pleased. With the attraction of miners who sought for riches, came the criminals…show more content…
When the gold on the surfaces of the land was claimed quickly, miners began seeking other ways to mine gold. They discovered that there were still gold in the mountains, and invented new ways of mining. The miners invented hydraulic mining which used high pressure hoses to wash away entire hillsides. This may seem like a good innovation and advancement because of the growth of mining technology itself. However, it negatively affected California because it carved up the land, which the effects could be seen near the sierras to this day, and washed mud and silt into rivers, which caused the rivers to become brown from the waste. The streams and rivers were made into dams, then drained, then rerouted. It killed fishes in the rivers and subsequently the wildlife. It also caused aggravation of the Native Americans who became deprived of their resources. Ten years after the arrival of the Forty-niners, the places previously gold fields became wastelands with “caved-in hillside, heaped debris, and tree stumps.” Sanitation and the rushed housing during the Gold Rush was terrible. Miners were too busy mining for gold to organize a basic infrastructure. Water became contaminated and streets were almost impassable with rats and trash scattered everywhere. The conditions were harsh with little rewards, which gave San Francisco a bad…show more content…
As competition increased and resources decreased, conditions worsened and people became more desperate for their riches. The lawless activities now focused on claiming the land from the non-white miners and drive them away from the sites with a large amount of gold. The violence showed the greed during the Gold Rush and it negatively impacted the image of Americans but it’s not mentioned often. The non-Americans were driven out and attacked by the guilds of Anglo miners. "Non-Americans" were subjected to high fees and taxes and were treated unfairly by the Anglo miners. The non-Americans were also banished from land claims. Native Americans, Chinese, and Latinos were either discouraged by the restrictions or chased out by violence. Native Americans (who formerly worked for the whites) escaped into the Sierra mountains. The alienation acts during the Gold Rush actively encouraged racism and spread ideas of the inferiority of
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