Ning Posting 2: California Devin Koppel – History 141 – Fall 2011
California: Glamour & Dreams
California is often seen as a desirable destination that offers the glamorous possibility of a better life.
California has always been presented as a place of dreams, the beginning of which was during the Westward Expansion of the Gold Rush.
Even in bad times, Californians survived as pioneers with great achievements in agriculture, technology, and industrial development.
During all of this, a diverse population was able to come together and form not only a prosperous society in terms of development, but also in preservation of the natural beauty around them.
The Gold Rush
Rumors of gold were proved when over two hundred ounces of pure gold was sent to Washington
Men immigrated to mining camps in San Francisco – these camps required law and order, courts, and other institutions of government
In October 1849, California settlers created a state constitution and petitioned to Congress
President Taylor believed statehood would prevent the issue of slavery in California as a territory
The state constitution banned slavery, but Southern states proclaimed that the exclusion of slavery was an unconstitutional violation of southern rights
California's Free State constitution was denounced by those who wanted to utilize their slaves during the gold rush and by those who feared a drastic change in the balance of power between North and South
With the emergence of free states, Southerners pushed for additional laws that would keep the slaves in their possession with no chance to escape to free states
Waterworks in the American West
Water is a necessary element of life, and man’s desire to inhabit drought-ridden lands drove them to find ways to create a water supply to support a modern society.
A perfect example of this is the naturally dry areas of California that became a popular destination for westward expansion, such as Los Angeles.
In 1878, William Mulholland arrived in Los Angeles from Ireland
Mullholland set out to build what is now known as the Los Angeles Aqueduct, a marvel of steel and concrete that brought high-quality mountain water from the mountains to Los Angeles.
The idea that a desert could be transformed into a bustling modern society fascinated the engineers and people.
The incredible innovation of engineering allowed the projects that they imagined to be built so efficiently that the dams and aqueducts still bring water to Los Angeles today.