Leading up to Gold Rush… US-Mexican War: California under loose control of Mexican Government Population: 100,000 Native Americans in Sierra Nevada Mountains, 10,000 Californios in towns and ranches, 2000 US Citizens, and a few hundred Europeans Californios lived on huge ranches that had been granted by the Mexican Government. February 2, 1848: Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo signed to end the US-Mexican War
GOLD!! James w. Marshall discovered gold on January 24, 1848 He worked for Jon Sutter—a major landowner trying to create an agricultural empire in California News that James Marshall had spotted gold at Sutter’s Mill spread to San Francisco first in May of 1848 People from the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), Oregon, Mexico, Chile, Peru, and China headed for California in Summer-Fall 1848 People along the East Coast were the last to hear about the Gold Rush.
Gold and Goodbyes Thousands of men left their homes and families behind and headed for California Women would move in with relatives or fended for themselves Children wrote letters to their fathers traveling to California The Gold Rush really took off in 1849
Journey to California By 1849, the non-native population grew to 100,000 people. Mainly men from all over the world attempted journeys to California to mine for gold and make their families rich. There were three main routes the forty-niners took to California The Oregon-California Trail The Panama Shortcut Around Cape Horn These three routes contributed to Westward Expansion in the US
Farmers Search for Prosperity Even a prosperous farmer might make two-three hundred dollars a year Mining for gold presented the chance of taking $25 - $35 of gold a day. Gold was free to anyone who could find it Businesspeople in California began making significant money by charging miners for supplies and services.
Competition for the Gold Competition for gold became greater and greater Lack of success in mining for Americans began to be blamed on foreign miners rom Mexico, Chile, Peru, and China Violence towards them became quite prominent during the gold rush Many miners ended up going home penniless Even John Sutter and James Marshall fell into poverty
What Next? For the miners who stayed, some started businesses in boom towns or farmed in fertile valleys San Francisco became the largest and most important city in the West Some miners struck at rich Sadly, many miners died of diseases like cholera, from accidents in the gold fields, or on their journey to California
Conclusion The Gold Rush transformed California in many ways Population grew dramatically Towns, cities, and businesses thrived Made California the most famous American state—or “Golden State”