The California Gold Rush, 1849 - EyeWitness to History

These two may have died penniless, but their names are synonymous with the California Gold Rush. The USPS issued another stamp on June 18, 1999 honoring the 150th anniversary of the California Gold Rush. Show the images to students and ask them to generate a list of changes from political and economical to environmental and social, brought on by the gold rush. Has any other natural resource or phenomena caused such changes in U.S. history?

The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W

After word leaked out about James Marshall’s gold discovery in the American River at Coloma on Jan. 24, 1848, people & the media fanned the “flames of interest and greed,” creating a worldwide drive to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Thousands came to claim their share of what reports said was a seemingly unlimited supply of gold in the stream beds and mountains of a wild, ungoverned region in Northern California.


California Gold Rush | HistoryNet

The  printed news of the discovery in August 1848 and the rush for gold accelerated into a stampede.

Although predominantly young and male, the population of California was very diverse. In addition to the white American settlers who comprised the majority of the mining populace, free African-Americans could also be found among their ranks. More numerous were Mexicans who were hoping to strike it rich. Word reached European shores and immigrants headed to America's west. German-Jewish immigrant invented trousers for the miners — his blue jeans became an American mainstay. Another significant segment of the diversity was the , who hoped to find gold and return to their homeland. Over 45,000 immigrants swelled the population between 1849 and 1854. Diversity did not bring harmony. The white majority often attacked the Mexican and Chinese minorities. The miners ruthlessly forced the California Native Americans off their lands. Laws were passed to restrict new land claims to white Americans.


Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California

Because of this almost unimaginable migration, the rush for riches became a disastrous time for many Native Americans, Spanish/Mexican landowners and the environment, damaged by hydraulicking as gigantic, pressurized hoses washed away mountainsides, polluted streams, killed fish, clogged rivers and ruined farmlands. But the Gold Rush also had its positives and was an incredible drama, whose final act has yet to be completed.

California Gold Rush Word Puzzle - CA State Parks

New methods of transportation developed as came into regular service. By 1869 to the eastern United States. Agriculture and ranching expanded throughout the state to meet the needs of the settlers. At the beginning of the Gold Rush, there was no law regarding property rights in the goldfields and a system of "staking claims" was developed. The Gold Rush also resulted in attacks on , who were often forcibly removed from their lands. Gold mining also caused environmental harm to rivers and lakes.

California Gold Rush - A fun poem for kids

Marshall’s accidental find led to the greatest peacetime mass migration in history, an unparalleled gathering of multiple ethnic groups. Between 1848-1853, nearly 300,000 emigrants, mainly male, rushed anyway they could—by covered wagon, horse, ship or walking—to what became “The Golden State of California.” Many of these enthusiastic folks, were forever called, “Forty-niners” (1849).

California Gold Rush Educational Videos | WatchKnowLearn

Historian John Caughey said the gold Rush “set California in motion on the course that made her what she is today and it did things that would not have been done for a generation or perhaps at all.”