The Gold Rush’s Lasting Legacy on the Environment
The California Gold Rush from 1848 to 1855 was a time filled with excitement and prosperity, in which thousands of people came to California to pull gold from the now Sierra Mountains. Gold was one of the most sought-after mineral on this planet, often treasured for its monetary and aesthetic value. Gold has been a rarity due to its difficulty in extracting and refining. Gold is often only extracted through placer mining, hydraulic mining, and lode mining. The promise of a fortune, and the mass migration left a lasting legacy in California’s history. However, the biggest lasting legacy left was the processes that were time consuming, heath risking, and environmental damaging.
The California …show more content…
Settlers went into searching father to discover it was found below earth’s surface that requires more digging deep within the mountains, often most difficult gold extraction. This often requires explosives, underground drilling, or underground tunnel system. This was dangerous for the settlers due to the fact underground tunnels are unpredictable with their high temperatures and collapsibility. The last method was hydraulic mining, this was used when gold discoveries began to subside, settlers needed to search for gold they dug even deeper. This required new technology, however this technology caused more destruction than good to California’s …show more content…
Setters used mercury to recover gold more easily. Mercury mixed with gold made a gold-mercury chemical reaction in which the gold was sorted through the sediment and attracted to the mercury. Hundreds of pounds of liquid mercury were added to sluices, with large volumes of water added, it made even the finer of gold easier to collect. Settlers even went to such lengths as mercury-lined panning plates. However, mercury evidently was lost during the mining process, and ended up either flowing to the downstream environments, leaking into underground soil or bedrock. Small mercury particles were often floating on the top of the water for miles past the mining sight. Mercury was the quick fix that settlers were looking for. However, this quick fix caused a life-time of destruction, mercury found its way not only contaminating the water supply and soil but through the food chain. More often found on the wildlife and vegetation, especially in the tissues of fish in the rivers, thus causing serious health issues to humans eating high amounts of fish.
Overall, the California Gold Rush based on history did not have many contributions and positives to the environment. The race for economic prosperity, and striking gold came at a cost with the destruction of the environment. The difficulty of extracting gold took a toll on the farmlands, hillsides, and mountains of the Sierra Nevada
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However, these factors not only contributed greatly towards the outcome of the Klondike gold rush, but also resolved to have a long-lasting effect on a larger scale. For example, the economical trade mentioned in this Gold Rush changed the economy in Alaska and the United States. Also, the harsh environments documented by prospectors allowed future generations to realize the difficulty and fraud of the Gold rush, consequently causing the Klondike Gold Rush to be known as “The Last Great Gold Rush.” Therefore, these factors must not be avoided or under looked as they contribute significantly towards the event as a
On January 24, 1848 James Wilson Marshall found flakes of gold in the American River at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Marshall was a carpenter from New Jersey working on a water-powered sawmill owned by John Sutter, a German-born Swiss man who founded the colony of New Switzerland, later to be known as Sacramento. Marshall and Sutter tried to keep the news of the discovery out of the public ear, but word got out, and around March, at least one newspaper was out reporting of gold being discovered at Sutter’s Mill. At first, when the news hit San Francisco, there was disbelief about the discovery until a storekeeper, Sam Brannan, shocked the public with a vial of gold from Sutter’s Mill.
This is event is know as the California Gold Rush. The Beginning The Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848. It began when a man whose name was John W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget in the American River while constructing a sawmill for John Sutter, who was a Sacramento agriculturist.
Even though there has been some positives to the California Gold Rush. There are some negatives to the Gold Rush and one of those negatives is the affect that it had on the environment. The environment during and after the Gold Rush was horrible because of all of the trees they cut down, the hydraulic mining, and the mercury that they used to separate the gold from the ground. According to my first site, “The Gold Rush also had a severe environmental impact. Rivers became clogged with sediment; forests were ravaged to produce timber; biodiversity was compromised and soil was polluted with chemicals from the mining process.
The California Gold Rush was a rush of people in search of gold in California. The gold was discovered in the Sacramento Valley in early 1848 which sparked the gold rush. The rush was a huge influence in how America was shaped into what it is today. It shaped California into what it is today. Without this gold rush California would be like it is today but it would have taken way more years and it wouldn’t be such a diversely populated state.
With the 1848 Gold Rush, traveling miners wanted temporary settlements while the settlers wanted permanent living. These mining camps were full of promiscuous behaviors and the miners moved out of the towns when the mines were emptied. The homes that were once occupied suddenly became vacant. These houses were sold for next to nothing and families moving west often find them as a safe haven.
The Gold Rush supposedly inspired the largest mass movement of people in world history because of the incredibly large masses of gold being found in the West. People found thousands of dollars in gold and people of all different cultures and backgrounds moved Westwards in hopes of finding gold as well. The Gold Rush left a positive effect on American History because Americans became wealthier and more foreigners came to California which expanded diversity. To start, Americans were able to sell this gold in exchange for loads of money. One man who only had a piece of land that was four feet square “got thirty pounds of gold in less than a month.”.
It left behind many legacies, ideas, and opinions. If the California Gold Rush never happened, perhaps California wouldn 't be a state and most definitely wouldn 't be the diverse area it is today. In California there is diversity, economy, and hope which wouldn 't be here if it weren’t for new races migrating to California. On the flipside, without the Gold Rush California would have a more stable population of Native Americans in California, and it would have mountains and rivers that we don 't have today. The California Gold Rush did, however, change the United States and the American Dream
People in America during this time seeking for opportunities out west that they did not think they had in the east. During this time, gold was discovered in California that attracted many people not just from America, but all over the world. Plus, the government encouraged people to go mining for gold by giving miners cheaper land to live on out west. As stated in the Homestead Act of 1862, United States Congress, a law providing free land for citizens of the United States in western territories. This act encouraged people to mine for gold in California so they could have cheaper land than they would anywhere else.
Argue for or against a resolution in Congress to create as national monument for those who moved to the West in the 1850s and 1860s, also known as pioneers. The discovery of gold in the Sacramento area in early 1848 started the Gold Rush, which is one of the most significant events that shaped American history during that time. Thousands of prospective gold miners, mostly men, traveled by sea or over land to San Francisco and the surrounding area in search of wealth. Whatever the motivation, the pioneer men and women endured tremendous hardships and sacrificed a great deal to settle in the West Coast. For this reason, I feel that Congress should create a national monument for the pioneers who moved to the West in the 1850s and 1860s.
Discovery of Gold The discovery of gold introduced immigrants, gold rushers, miners, loggers, railroads and infrastructure community to Washington State. The immigrants or settlers came to Washington to look for gold and the discovery of gold helped increasing the population in Washington. In order for gold to be found, there were prospectors, miners and loggers that were there to find a way to complete their mission by finding gold. After gold has been discovered, it introduced an infrastructure community in small towns across the west.
It was discovered on January 24th 1848 by James Marshall in California. A quarter million people migrated to California for the chance to get rich and other personal reasons. Foreigners from all around the world came to America to either search for gold or the new opportunities open. As time progressed corporations were formed that could buy new technology and workers to search for gold and several boom towns had formed in California. As more and more people moved west the United States faced another issue.
The Gold Rush, beginning in 1848 and ending in 1855, was a period in American history which opened the doors of opportunity to a new group of immigrants, the Chinese. The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill, California, in 1848 was the cause of mass Chinese immigration that would last for decades to come. When James Marshall discovered gold in 1848, there were fifty-four recorded Chinese in California, this number quickly rose to 116,000 by 1876. Title (Chinese Immigration During the Gold Rush: The American Encounter) The California Gold Rush allowed for immigrants, such as the Chinese, to encounter the various beliefs and suspicions of the American society.
C. The gold rush affected many other things in California as well. a. San Francisco’s newspaper was closed due to all the employees quitting their jobs to gold mine. b. California became a state of the U.S. after the California Gold Rush occurred. c. Because California was so new to the U.S., there was no governing rule in the state, this meant that robberies were common and there was not much the people could do about it.
California is the “beauty of the eye of the beholder” since all people who come from different background, race, and religion are able to set their own dreams without being criticized. People especially immigrants have viewed California as the “land of opportunity,” which influenced them to leave everything behind in their hometown, to sacrifice their time and to focus on their dreams. Despite the fact that California was lauded as a utopian society, people soon found out that they were going through endeavors and couldn’t overcome them quickly as possible. In fact, Mr. Rawls wanted to express the grievances, struggles, and success that people endure in their rise to the California dream in his short essay, “California: A Place, A People,