Susan Lee Johnson in her book, Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush, gives a collections of histories of the same event from multiple sources’ perspectives. She does not try to decipher which interpretation or version of events is the accurate one. Johnson believes that the multitude of versions is more telling of the actual themes that were bing played out in this area of the southern mines of California. Johnson tackles issues of labor in these mining camps throughout her book. She pays close attention to the Anglo-American migrants and their disgruntled claims against the system of peonage employed by Sonoran and other Latino patrons. At this time in the eastern United States labor systems and the use of immigrant labor
Linda Gordon gives a micro-history of the 1904 orphan kidnapping incident which happened in the Arizona mining town Clifton/Morenci. A historian at NYU, Linda uses her background as a historian of women and feminism to address nationalism, race, and identity on the frontier in The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction. Gordon focuses on race relations and their construction between the “Mexican and Anglo” inhabitants. In her argument locals created racial polarization between Anglos and Mexicans based on economics which helped produce perceived binaries. The book is organized very uniquely.
Leonard L. Richards' book The California Gold Rush and the Coming of the Civil War (2007) is not a book about the discovery of gold or the forty-niners which rushed to the west for quick wealth, nor is it a reference to the horrors of the Civil War. Richards book is about the politics, the shifts in power and the inequality between the Whites of the North and South, and ultimately it is the harsh reality for both that two opposing viewpoints on slavery within one nation filled with colored men and women would not exist coherently and that ultimately one would prevail over the other, which ultimately led to the Civil War of 1861. The book begins just two years before the Civil War, in 1859 with a duel between David S. Terry, chief judge of
While men left their hometowns and families, women had to learn how to run businesses, take care of farms, and raise children by themselves. These people, known as ‘49er’s, traveled immense distances, some even going through Panama or around Cape Horn. By the end of 1848 almost 100,000 non-California natives were in the state, compared to a mere 800 the year before. Gold mine towns were everywhere in the region with saloons and shops along with businesses looking to strike gold and become rich. San Francisco’s economy boomed and became the center of the new frontier.
Chapter 1 establishes the epic context and tone for the entire novel. This brief, but important, opening chapter provides a backdrop for the main events of the narrative, describing the event primarily responsible for spurring the great migration to California during the 1930s. The destructive force of the Dust Bowl is staggeringly described as a backward life cycle, a regression from fertile green to a dead and dusty brown. The deterioration of the land that forces the farmers to huddle and "figger" foreshadows the plight of the Joads: Forced off their land by a bank looking for profit, they will move west seeking a new livelihood.
In the generations of the immigrant labor of a Slovak family, the Dorejacks demonstrates the tough labor in America. In the novel “Out This Furnace” a captivating, non-fiction story, Thomas Bell suggests that immigrant labor in the early days was tough and factors like labor inequality, the relationship between companies and politics, and essential money shaped immigrants freedom. In the mid-1800’s George Kracha fled his country, Austria, under the ruler of Frank Josef, because of the lack of money and employment, Kracha couldn’t sustain his wife and mother (p.3). Moreover, Kracha’s story began when he arrived in New York to White Hill, he then migrates to several other cities but still in America.
The novel, The Day the Cowboys Quit, by Elmer Kelton is not a typical cowboy story filled with waving guns and violent fights. Instead, this story shows what the real life of a cowboy would have been like through the story of Hugh Hitchcock. The Day the Cowboys Quit is based on a cowboy strike that occurred in Tascosa, Texas in 1883. Kelton based his fictional story on the causes of the strike and what became as a result of the strike. This paper will explain historical events concerning the cowboys and depict their true lifestyle which contrasts the stereotypes normally associated with being a cowboy, as well as summarize the novel The Day the Cowboys Quit.
The California gold rush to many is a mesmerizing time in the history pertaining to westward migration in the United States. The gold rush played an important part in immigrant population because it the time phase most immigrants from all around entered into the united states. Immigrant groups, such like the Chinese, started to come to the United States after hearing the news of the discovery of gold in California, over the months more and more immigrants started to come by the thousands consequently laws had to be set in place to limit immigrants entering the united states and limit the egalitarianism of the new comers in order to make it fair for the miners who were true americans. John Sutter, “who had declared the land to be his land, which later gold would be discovered upon. Sutter did not want the news to spread he wanted to keep it private but the results were not in his favour, unfortunately some of his former worker had already spread in the news in excitement.
During the 1930’s thousands of Dust Bowl migrant workers made their way from the central plain into California seeking work. In their search for work and some form of income many of the migrants and their families ended up in Hoovervilles, which were makeshift roadside camps that were greatly impoverished. Steinbeck was able to travel through the labor camps and recorded the horrible living conditions of the migrant workers. The collection of these recordings was published as Harvest Gypsies. During the tours of the labor camps he saw the oppression of the workers first hand in addition to workers being demoralized by wealthy land owners.
Miners stayed in California, either out of fear and shame of coming back home empty-handed, or out of greed to seek for more gold (Rohrbaugh, 1997, para.16). Rohrbaugh gave the example of a forty-niner who decided not to return home until he brings something with him (Rohrbaugh, 1997,para.16). For the miners’ families, failing to come home with nothing would be both an emotional and a financial issue (Rohrbaugh, 1997, para.17). The decision of returning home turned out to be very complicated. As Rohrbaugh (1997) described, the miners could reward their families by going home, but yet, the issue was more complicated than it appeared.
In Racial Fault Lines: The Historical Origins of White Supremacy in California, Tomas Almaguer (2009) describes how race and racism coincides to facilitate the birth of white supremacy in California during the late nineteenth century. The idea of racial formation allowed groups to establish their power and privilege over defined racial lines. For each of the three racialized groups presented Chapter one combines the historical and sociological framework to describe the transformation of Mexican California. Through highlighting the historical accounts of racialized groups, fear of potential threats to white workers creates white supremacy. He continues by describing the peopling of Anglo-CA from 1848-1900 with the immigration of Irish, German,
The gold rush in California further complicated the issue of slavery. When gold
Many miners passed through this community on their way to work the Gold Mines. The miners faced a reality filled with discrimination as the white miners resented their presence. When finding gold did not pan out, many Chinese immigrants moved on to building railroads, but because they were willing to work much cheaper than others they were often treated harshly for taking the jobs of whites who were trying to support their families but were not willing to work for the same pay. Economic difficulties were not the only reason that ethnic Chinese were looked down upon, the creation of ethnic enclaves including the largely populated China Town in San Francisco, created an image of the Chinese that conflicted with the American culture of the time. In these communities they kept much of their culture from China, they didn’t need to speak English and were isolated from other communities.
After President Polk confirmed the rumors of gold in California in 1848 (Oakland Museum Staff), around 250,000 people came to California in seek of the soft metal that could lead to a fortune: gold (The forty-niners). The California Gold Rush not only presented fortune, it presented a new idea of the American Dream: “‘one where the emphasis was on the ability to take risks and the willingness to gamble
The history of migrant farm workers in California has changed extensively over time, especially under the influence of outside factors such as war and the desire to emigrate. Migrant workers, not just farm workers, have been involved in various occupations, from fishing to forestry, yet the agricultural field remains the most common (“Migrant Farm Labor”). Agricultural activities were once performed by Native Americans before Europeans established a colonial presence. During the existence of slavery in the U.S., it is believed by environmental historians that slaves applied their techniques in agriculture to those of American techniques, allowing them to rise against their owners with a better understanding of the landscape of the plantations
As a result, from 1860 to 1900 alone, the number of urban areas in the United States expanded fivefold (Source 2). The immigrants who desperately needed employment and the greed of factory owners made the rise of sweat shops astonishing. Around the country low-paid immigrants, including women and children, worked for excessively long