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The Gold Rush Movie Analysis Essay

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Gold Rush Essay Research Paper Imagine yourself

Gold Rush Essay Research Paper Imagine yourself

Gold Rush Essay, Research Paper

Imagine yourself building a sawmill and all of a sudden you see something shiny in the ground. You pick up the shiny pieces and determine that you just found gold. You go tell your foreman what just occurred. Soon, the news spreads that gold was found. Millions from all around pour into a place they had never seen before. These young white men were in a pursuit for happiness not realizing the hardships they would encounter on the way to California.

In January of 1848, James Marshall had a work crew camped on the American River at coloma. The crew was building a saw mill for John Sutter. On the morning of January 24, James Marshall found a few tiny nuggets of yellow metal. Thus began one of the largest human migrations in history as a half-million people from around the world descended to California in search of instant wealth(gold rush p1).

Gold fever-an obessive, insane desire to find and squirrel away the precious yellow metal-soon swept California. The fever spread to the eastern United States, and then to Europe and Asia. Gold fever triggered the great California Gold Rush, the largest and wildest mass movements of people the world had ever seen(Stein p.42).

Although Marshall’s discovery occurred in 1848, the news did not reach the East Coast and other parts of the world until a year later when President James K. Polk confirmed that gold had been found. This triggered the Gold Rush of 49, the greatest stampede of gold seekers in history(gold rush 1849 p.1).

In Buffalo, New York, gold fever struck thrity-year-old merchant seaman William Downie, who wrote: “Some of the tales were fabulous, and reports of treasures found were enough to challenge and man of grit and derring-do. Many, even, who had neither quality, ventured upon the search for gold, prompted merely by the lust for grain.”(Stein p.43).

Downie was a forty-niner, one of thousands who set out for California in 1849. Most forty-niners were young, unmarried men from middle-class families who had at least a basic education. Few women joined the army of gold- seekers because in 1849, traveling across the continent chasing and adventurer’s dream was not considered to be a ladylike activity(Stein p43).

Forty-niners from the eastern United States could choose one of the three routes to get to California. They could travel by sea, travel overland, or travel by a combined land-sea route, which meant crossing the Isthmus of Panama. Each route was filled with hazards, but most forty-niners chose to trek overland on foot or as members of a wagon train J. L. Stephens, a forty niner from Marietta, Ohio, survived the rugged hike west. Later he wrote: “The hardships of the overland route to Califronia are beyond conception. Care and suspense, pained anxiety, fear of losing animals, fear of being left in the mounta

ins to strarve to death, and a thousand other things which no one thinks of until on the way, are things of which I may write and you read, but they are nothing compared to reality.”(Stein p.44).

Yet they came. By ship, horse, wagon, and on foot, ninety thousand gold seekers spilles into California during 1849. Though they suffered tremendous hardships along the way, these were young men who looked upon the journey as an adventure too exciting to miss(Stein p.44).

Newcomers to the gold fields faced many surprises. First among these were the shocking prices for food and supplies. The mining area had few stores and thousands of customers. Storekeepers earned far more than did the gold miners. A loaf of bread cost $2.00, potatoes were $1.25 a pound, a pair of boots that went for $2.00 in New York sold for as much as $20.00 in San Francisco. The practice of chargimg sky-high prices for goods was called “mining the miners”(Stein p.45).

Early in the Gold Rush days, panning was the common method for extracting gold. To pan, a miner put a small amount of sand and gravel in a pan (kitchen fry pans were often used), dipped the pan into a stream to add a little water, and then swirled the pan carefully. The swiriling action washed the dirt away, but the heavier gold remained in the pan. Panning meant a miner had to squat in a cramped positon for hours at a time while working with his hands submerged in icy water(Stein p.46).

Miners lucky enough to find a new vein of the yellow metal made princely sums-almost overnight. John Sullivan, a former oxcart driver, took $26,000 worth of gold out of a stream he called sullivan Creek. One miner found $1,500 woth in a single panful of dirt. A boy named Davenport who said he was twelve years old, but looked even younger, found $2,700 worth of gold in only tow days(Steinp.46).

Fortunes came to some men who never panned or dug for gold. John Studebaked, a carpenter, hammered together wheelbarrows and sold them to miners. Years later, the company he founded became a multimillion-dollar automobile maker. Philip Armour was barely out of his teens when he walked from stockbridge, New York to California. Believing beef to be more important than gold, he set up a butcher shop that grew into one og the nation’s largest food supply enterprises. Levi Strauss stepped from a ship in San Francisco woth dreams of making a pair of pants tough enough to withstand the rigors of a gold miner’s working routine. The company he later formed now makes the popular pants the entire world calls levis(Stein p46).

In the camps, the young miners grew desperately homesick. Most had dreamed of earning a quick fortune and returning home rich men. But as the months went by, they hungered for their sweethearts and home. Many turned to drinking, reckless gambling, and fighting with other miners(Stein p.46-47).

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One of the reasons I enjoy history is looking back and seeing how every event in the past has shaped the world to make it what it is today. When I look back and see things like the manifest destiny I am hardly interested because it was inevitable. Americans will move west. It doesn't take a genius to see this and I doubt it could have worked out many other ways. However something I do find interesting is the California Gold Rush.

The Gold Rush is one of those things in history that has changed the world. California has the highest population out of all the states. If the Gold Rush had never happened this might not be a fact. The Gold Rush in the course of only one year brought the population of California from 440 to 44,000 people. Thousands of immigrants came to America because of the California Gold Rush and it boosted the countries economy. The Gold Rush was the further motivation for people to immigrate to America. San Francisco is what it is today because that was the main port for people coming from other countries who wanted a piece of the action. The Gold Rush did wonders for the US economy. People went out and spent more money once they "struck it rich,  merchants richer who in turn buy items from others. Even though only a handful actually got really rich from the Gold Rush the wealth spread across the country and helped make the US economy what it is today.

The Gold Rush was one of the key events in our history that have made this country what it is. Many of us may not have lived in this country or even be alive right now had the Gold Rush not occurred.

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The Impact of the Gold Rush: Analysis essays

MegaEssays.com The Impact of the Gold Rush: Analysis

The purpose of this paper is to introduce, discuss, and analyze the topic of the Gold Rush in American history. Specifically it will discuss the impact the Gold Rush had on women, Native Americans, and minorities, along with which group benefited the most and which group benefited the least. Clearly, the California Gold Rush, which began in 1848, had an enormous impact on California and its people. It affected people in different ways, however, and not all actually benefited from the Gold Rush. Women, minorities, and Native Americans all took part in the Gold Rush, and they all added their own input to the overall Gold Rush experience. However, women, minorities, and Native Americans all suffered from discrimination and prejudice during the Gold Rush, and ultimately, it was the white men who most benefited from the Gold Rush, whether they were miners, businesspeople, or miners in the newly forming state.
The California Gold Rush took place beginning in 1848, through about 1855. During that time, millions of people (mostly men) poured into the gold fields of Northern California and created a new world of opportunity for many. These "49'ers," as they were known (because most traveled to California in 1849), lived in spare quarters when they first arrived, as there were few towns or settlements in Gold Country. They had to create a new society, and learn to get along without women, who were largely absent from the settlements of the early Gold Rush. They also had to learn to get along with immigrants and Native Americans, and usually, the impact on these people, some native and some immigrants, was far greater than it was on the white miners. The whites had to create a new land, and they had the opportunity to create a land that worked on fairness and equity, which occurred at first, but in a short time, the social aspects of white society in the East, complete with prejudice and social inequities, began to show itself in the G.

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Direct Essays - Gold Rush

DirectEssays.com 1. The Gold Rush Overview

No single event has been as groundbreaking (literally and metaphorically) as the Gold Rush of 1849. (New Standard Encyclopedia C-38 and C38a)One of the most little understood men of the gold rush, John Augustus Sutter, had fled from Switzerland to avoid his debtors in the mid 1800s. 'Boys, by God I believe I have found a gold mine,' he exclaimed. They had all left to find the wealth in prospecting gold. The gold rush ripped families apart and took men from their cities.

2. The California Gold Rush in 1850

As a result, the gold rush strongly influenced the shaping of American History. As a result, the gold rush strongly influenced the shaping of American History.James W. (Marks, 87) Due to the gold rush it brought about California to become an independent state.The gold rush had a very strong impact on California and the United States. The gold rush prepared California for statehood right away. As a result, the gold rush profoundly influences the shaping of American History.

3. Gold Rush Essay

A gold rush happens when people hear that gold hasbeen found. TheCalifornia Gold Rush is very famous. Although there have been many gold rushes, theCalifornia Gold Rush brought over 200,000 new peopleto California in just a few years. The Gold Rush wassoon in full sway. The British immigrants whocame to Australia for the 1851 gold rush were called'diggers.'.

4. The California Gold Rush

The California Gold Rush was one of the most important events in the 19th century. The California Gold Rush was the Las Vegas of the 19th century. During the Gold Rush almost every single miner had the same schedule. The Chinese that came to Gold Rush California outsmarted the United States. During the Gold Rush slavery was still legal and many brought their slaves with them to Gold Rush California.

5. California Gold Rush in 1849

They took their name

from the year that the gold rush began. He rushed down to the nearest town and yelled that he had found gold. About 100,000 people participated in the gold rush. Most of the men involved in the gold rush just wanted their gold. The gold rush made sure that this thought was out of the question.

6. Props in Chaplins the Gold Rush

Charlie Chaplin's The Gold RushThe Gold Rush is a classic Chaplin film. The film takes place during the gold rush, the recurring hero type "the Tramp" tries his hand at mining. As in other films instead of the Tramp walking into the sunset to his next adventure no richer and without love the Gold Rush end in just the opposite way.

7. The California Gold Rush Story

This migration was the great California Gold Rush. Only a few gold nuggets were found, not considerable quantities.California residents rushed to the California Valley to find riches for themselves. The last newspaper published before the gold rush reported, " The whole country from SanFrancisco to Los Angeles resounds with the sordid cry of gold. (McMorrow, 37)The peak year of the gold rush was 1852. Gold fields produced 80,000,000 dollars worth of gold, and in 1962, the gold rush was officially ended.

8. The Effect of California Gold Rush

The California Gold Rush had many effects on the American people, westward expansion, the environment, economy and Indian relations ultimately affecting the world as a whole. When John Marshall first found gold in January 1848 at Sutter's Mill in California many people on the east coast did not believe the news. It was not until President Polk confirmed the findings of gold and plenty of it that the "rush" began.

9. The Reshaping of California Through The Gold Rush

The gold rush shaped California history. Soon as word spread, hundreds of people from everywhere were rushing in to claim a stake in the rush for gold. The gold rush also created many other beneficiaries. One major benefactor of the gold rush was Wells Fargo Bank. The gold rush brought hundreds to California.

10. The Gold Rush in Califonia

The California gold rush began in 1848 at John Sutter's Mill. Over 100,000 people took part in the California gold rush, many unmarried men from the eastern United States hoping to claim gold and return ho. Another person who prospered greatly from the gold rush was Leland Stanford. The combination of these conditions and violent criminals contributed to over 10,000 deaths during the rush for gold. The California gold rush was a great reform in United States history.

11. The Gold Rush In Bozeman Trail

The Battle of Little Big Horn started when the gold rush sent many settlers and prospectors through the Bozeman Trail. Many of the settlers in search if this gold started to complain about the Indians. Then, in 1874 gold was found in the boundaries if the Sioux's reservation in the Black Hills.

12. A Research Study on Gold Platinum and Silver Production Process

In 1848, the true Gold Rush began. Millions of men rushed to California. As the demand for gold increased so did the ways in which gold mining developed. In the karat system the percentage of gold by weight is pure gold is 24 karat gold and 18 karat gold is 75 percent gold. White gold was produced by the addition of Palladium to gold, but it is now manufactured from a gold nickel-alloy base.

13. The Gold Rush in California

Soon, the news spreads that gold was found. Thus began one of the largest human migrations in history as a half-million people from around the world descended to California in search of instant wealth(gold rush p1).Gold fever-an obessive, insane desire to find and squirrel away the precious yellow metal-soon swept California. Gold fever triggered the great California Gold Rush, the largest and wildest mass movements of people the world had ever seen(Stein p.42).Although Marshall's discovery occurred in 1848, the news did not reach the East Coast and other parts of the world until.

14. Gold Rush by Charlie Chaplin

He just found some gold. Big Jim finds the little fellowto lead him back to the cabin to find his mountainof gold. After a humorous scene in the cabin onthe ledge they find the gold and becomemulti-millionaires. The Characters in the movie, the Gold Rush,were very well casted. Big Jimlives for adventure, excitement, gold, pain,suffering, and looks forward to the life of luxury.

15. The Quest For Fortune in Antebellum America

The California gold rush of the mid-nineteenth century was an event which exemplified the eager American spirit of the time. This book was intended for a public audience, and might have been read by anyone interested in California and the gold rush. In the last excerpt, he describes the economic changes that have taken place in certain parts of California in such short times as a result of the gold rush. A complete representation of the California gold rush and the many fortune-seekers involved cannot be acquired from just one source. Through its thoroughness and factuality.

16. The Klondike Gold Rush

Call of the Wild Jack London's thrilling epic tale of adventure and bravery, through the eyes of a part St. Bernard, part German Shepherd named Buck. Our story opens with the author describing the lifestyle of this pampered dog on the premises of his master's home, Judge Miller, in the Santa Clara.

17. Microcosm in Lord of the Flies

Through different places on the island, Golding transforms the island into a miniature world. With various objects of the story, Golding further enriches the idea that the island is a microcosm. During the construction of the shelters, many of the smaller children abandoned their assignments and "rushed off" (55) to play in the lagoon. In the novel, specific objects that Golding focuses on have analogues in the outside world. Throughout the novel, Golding provides the reader with a interesting view towards human society.

18. Discovery of gold in America

This resulting need to bridge the nation might be the greatest contribution of the gold rush to the history of the United States. Sutter in Sacramento, where it was deemed indeed to be gold, and thus the migration of massive amounts of people we call the gold rush began. The "gold rush" consisted of many prospectors seeking to find their fortunes in the mines of California. In the two years since the discovery of gold the population of California ballooned to 90 thousand people, most of which were prospectors, and others trying to get rich quick off the discovery of gold. B.

19. The Anti Chinese Sentiments

The gold rush into California in the 1800's brought with it many social and political changes, including the introduction of Chinese immigration to American society. The Calfornia Gold Rush created a demand for labor that supplied many Chinese an alternative to a meager ten or fifteen cents a day. These were the feminine jobs that needed to be done, but didn't pose any threat to American miners traveling sometimes thousands of miles in hopes of gold. These men were looking for gold, and the prospectives for American businessman were enticing.

20. California's Creek Beds

With more than enough gold dust to go around early in the Gold Rush, crime was rare, but as the stakes rose and the easily panned gold dwindled, robbery and murder became a part of life on the frontier. It is ironic that the first murder in the Gold Rush, the first of many that would follow, took place at the very spot where gold was discovered. And so let it be written, this drunken episode of ignorance was the "first blood" of the Gold Rush. Clearly, violence did not occur at all times or in all places during the Gold Rush. But the point is that overall, violence in the Gold.

21. Character Analysis on To Build a Fire

In "To Build a Fire," Jack London expresses his perspective of the multitude of greenhorns who flocked to the yukon in a rush for gold. It is evident that he believed that these newcomers were too inexperienced and blinded by gold fever to survive the trip.

22. David Belasco's Biography

David Belasco was born in San Fransisco, California, on July 25,1853. Hisparents had come to California from London in the gold rush. Belasco grew upin San Fransisco and Victoria, British Columbia. His early education in a RomanCatholic monastery influenced his simple mode of dress and helped earn.

23. Mathew B. Brady's Life as Civil War Photographer

Elizabeth Van Steenwyk has written many good books for young people including: Saddlebag Salesmen, The California Missions, Frederic Remington, The California Gold Rush: West with the Forty-Niners, and Ida B.

24. The Participation of United States in the Development of Nicaragua

Some might say that Nicaragua has been merely a pawn in the US battle against Soviet-Cuban Communist control in Latin America. Relationships between the US and Nicaragua go back to the Gold Rush and Cornelius Vanderbilt's attempts to expedite the travel between the two coasts of the US. Vanderbilt b.

Реферат на тему Gold Rush Essay Research Paper Imagine yourself

Gold Rush Essay, Research Paper

Imagine yourself building a sawmill and all of a sudden you see something shiny in the ground. You pick up the shiny pieces and determine that you just found gold. You go tell your foreman what just occurred. Soon, the news spreads that gold was found. Millions from all around pour into a place they had never seen before. These young white men were in a pursuit for happiness not realizing the hardships they would encounter on the way to California.

In January of 1848, James Marshall had a work crew camped on the American River at coloma. The crew was building a saw mill for John Sutter. On the morning of January 24, James Marshall found a few tiny nuggets of yellow metal. Thus began one of the largest human migrations in history as a half-million people from around the world descended to California in search of instant wealth(gold rush p1).

Gold fever-an obessive, insane desire to find and squirrel away the precious yellow metal-soon swept California. The fever spread to the eastern United States, and then to Europe and Asia. Gold fever triggered the great California Gold Rush, the largest and wildest mass movements of people the world had ever seen(Stein p.42).

Although Marshall’s discovery occurred in 1848, the news did not reach the East Coast and other parts of the world until a year later when President James K. Polk confirmed that gold had been found. This triggered the Gold Rush of 49, the greatest stampede of gold seekers in history(gold rush 1849 p.1).

In Buffalo, New York, gold fever struck thrity-year-old merchant seaman William Downie, who wrote: “Some of the tales were fabulous, and reports of treasures found were enough to challenge and man of grit and derring-do. Many, even, who had neither quality, ventured upon the search for gold, prompted merely by the lust for grain.”(Stein p.43).

Downie was a forty-niner, one of thousands who set out for California in 1849. Most forty-niners were young, unmarried men from middle-class families who had at least a basic education. Few women joined the army of gold- seekers because in 1849, traveling across the continent chasing and adventurer’s dream was not considered to be a ladylike activity(Stein p43).

Forty-niners from the eastern United States could choose one of the three routes to get to California. They could travel by sea, travel overland, or travel by a combined land-sea route, which meant crossing the Isthmus of Panama. Each route was filled with hazards, but most forty-niners chose to trek overland on foot or as members of a wagon train J. L. Stephens, a forty niner from Marietta, Ohio, survived the rugged hike west. Later he wrote: “The hardships of the overland route to Califronia are beyond conception. Care and suspense, pained anxiety, fear of losing animals, fear of being left in the mountains to strarve to death, and a thousand other things which no one thinks of until on the way, are things of which I may write and you read, but they are nothing compared to reality.”(Stein p.44).

Yet they came. By ship, horse, wagon, and on foot, ninety thousand gold seekers spilles into California during 1849. Though they suffered tremendous hardships along the way, these were young men who looked upon the journey as an adventure too exciting to miss(Stein p.44).

Newcomers to the gold fields faced many surprises. First among these were the shocking prices for food and supplies. The mining area had few stores and thousands of customers. Storekeepers earned far more than did the gold miners. A loaf of bread cost $2.00, potatoes were $1.25 a pound, a pair of boots that went for $2.00 in New York sold for as much as $20.00 in San Francisco. The practice of chargimg sky-high prices for goods was called “mining the miners”(Stein p.45).

Early in the Gold Rush days, panning was the common method for extracting gold. To pan, a miner put a small amount of sand and gravel in a pan (kitchen fry pans were often used), dipped the pan into a stream to add a little water, and then swirled the pan carefully. The swiriling action washed the dirt away, but the heavier gold remained in the pan. Panning meant a miner had to squat in a cramped positon for hours at a time while working with his hands submerged in icy water(Stein p.46).

Miners lucky enough to find a new vein of the yellow metal made princely sums-almost overnight. John Sullivan, a former oxcart driver, took $26,000 worth of gold out of a stream he called sullivan Creek. One miner found $1,500 woth in a single panful of dirt. A boy named Davenport who said he was twelve years old, but looked even younger, found $2,700 worth of gold in only tow days(Steinp.46).

Fortunes came to some men who never panned or dug for gold. John Studebaked, a carpenter, hammered together wheelbarrows and sold them to miners. Years later, the company he founded became a multimillion-dollar automobile maker. Philip Armour was barely out of his teens when he walked from stockbridge, New York to California. Believing beef to be more important than gold, he set up a butcher shop that grew into one og the nation’s largest food supply enterprises. Levi Strauss stepped from a ship in San Francisco woth dreams of making a pair of pants tough enough to withstand the rigors of a gold miner’s working routine. The company he later formed now makes the popular pants the entire world calls levis(Stein p46).

In the camps, the young miners grew desperately homesick. Most had dreamed of earning a quick fortune and returning home rich men. But as the months went by, they hungered for their sweethearts and home. Many turned to drinking, reckless gambling, and fighting with other miners(Stein p.46-47).

Gold Rush essays

Gold Rush

However, until 1850 there was no regular steamship travel in the Pacific, and passengers might find themselves stranded in Panama for weeks or months waiting for a ship to California. And this was also very costly venture. And lastly for those without money for a sea passage or with heavy cargos of household goods to bring, the only route to California laid the Overland Trail across the Plains and through one of the mountain passes. But there were some restrictions for time, because it was a very long journey to travel in wagons.

When the miners finally reached California's gold fields it wasn't all what they dreamed about, it was back breaking work. The conditions were very harsh on most of the men. It was a very brutal daily routine, and they had to build their own homes. Clearly life in the mines was devastating, both physically and emotionally. Not everyone who came to California during the Gold Rush planned to earn fortune by panning for gold. Yes, it was a craze, but not everyone was destined to be rich. There were some restrictions along the way as well. The

California Gold Rush Summary & Analysis

California Gold Rush California Gold Rush Summary & Analysis The Gold Rush and the American Dream

The most significant legacy of the California Gold Rush can be found in its utter transformation of the American Dream.

In the early nineteenth century, the United States was an overwhelmingly rural society. and the prevailing republican ideology of the time reflected the country's agrarian orientation. The American Dream, as most then understood it, was not to win fabulous wealth, but rather to achieve "competency"—the independence that came from owning enough land to support a large family, free from debt or ignoble dependency on wage labor for sustenance. Industriousness, prudence, and frugality—not enterprise or speculation—were the traits that would allow a man to achieve his competency, maintain it, and pass it on to his children.

From Seeking Competency to Striking It Rich

Throughout the early nineteenth century, this American Dream of the yeoman farmer became harder and harder to achieve. Rapid population growth, rising land costs, improved transportation networks. the development of the factory system of industrial production, and the expansion of banking and the cash economy combined to draw more and more erstwhile independent farmers into dependence on the market. At the turn of the nineteenth century, only 12% of American workers were wage laborers; by 1840, 60% were. Many Americans, fearful that wage labor would never allow them to escape dependency upon their employers, denounced the emerging economic regime as "wage slavery" and sought to restore the old agrarian order. They supported Andrew Jackson in his quixotic effort to roll back the market economy by destroying the banking system. They organized the first American labor unions. They flocked to the communitarian churches of the Second Great Awakening. Most dramatically, they migrated thousands of miles to the western frontier. where free land allowed them to recreate old-fashioned agricultural communities. Their American Dream was backward-looking, a nostalgic hope for the restoration of an agrarian ideal that had been undermined by the market revolution.

The Gold Rush was fueled by the same hostility towards wage labor, but it offered a new and dramatically different alternative. The Forty-Niners swarmed west dreaming of an escape from wage slavery achieved not through agrarian competency but through instant, dazzling wealth. Their values were not thrift, prudence, and industriousness, but instead swashbuckling enterprise and good fortune. As historian H.W. Brands has argued, "California presented to people a new model for the American dream—one where the emphasis was on the ability to take risks, the willingness to gamble on the future." 8 Ever since, the American Dream has been less about taming the market than about exploiting it, less about achieving a competency than about enjoying a fortune won by seizing the main chance.

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The Gold Rush

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The Gold Rush is a documentary movie produced by American Experience, and features from interviews with the renowned writer Isabel Allende, historians Kevin Starr, Richard White, and James Rawls among a host of other historians. It shows the new view on the important event in the American history, simply known as the Gold Rush, as the title of the movie suggests. The documentary is two hours long, and tells a story of five adventurers, who were very determined in their intension to find gold. They are; the Chilean aristocrat, the Missouri woman, the New England sea-captain's son, as well as the New York blacksmith, all with different backgrounds. This documentary vividly shows the volatility, and how explosive the first multi-cultural, multi-ethnic entrepreneurial societies in America were. Furthermore, the film manages to bring to light how legalized discrimination rose in California, as well as the wiping out of the native population. MacLowry put it that the Gold Rush time ought to be forgotten, however, it can take credit for opening new horizons in America, and motivate the idea of California being a land of opportunity. In addition to that, he says that it had wealth that could not be imagined, and it still does, but to only those willing to take risks. This film has managed to document an event that is ever recalled for the changes it forged in shaping the nation, as put across by Mark Samels, American Experience executive producer.

On the other hand, Albert Hurtado in his book about the the Gold Rush depicts a story of one gold hunter, John Sutter, a Swiss emigrant, who arrived in California in 1839, and became a Mexican citizen, and was given grant of land of 50,000 acres in the Sacramento Valley. Within that land he developed businesses, and managed farming. At around 1847, John Sutter hired another man, James Marshall, to construct sawmill on his land, at a site named Coloma. On January 4, 1848, James, while staying at the sawmill site, picked a piece of metal that resembled gold, and took it to his boss, who had tested it, and proven that it was a real gold. Sutter was reluctant to release the information about the gold, and kept it secret. This is because he feared that his land would be swarmed by gold prospectors. However, in 1848 the then President of the USA, James Polk, confirmed the availability of Gold in that area, while speaking to his Cabinet on 5 th December 1848, and the Californian gold became national news, triggering the famous gold rush, which brought some more than three hundred thousand people into California from the rest of the world, as well as from the United States of America. These people often faced hardships on their way to California, but were determined to there initial goal. It brought people from Europe, Latin America, China, and Australia.

As the United States was transforming to an industrialized nation with the onset of the agrarian revolution, the gold rush happened to be a huge boost. The gold rush created what we today refer to as the American dream; it gave people the opportunity to risk, and to enjoy results of their efforts. These people braved harsh conditions in order to reach Sacramento Valley, and get their share of gold. People from all parts of the world came to California, and this is depicted in the film, where the story of five is told. The Missouri Woman experienced a significant loss, as her husband went down with flu. This sub story symbolizes that people went to California to find solace for their background problems, they hopped that gold will help them get better healthcare, and an ability to pay bills.

The cultural diversity, present today in California, can be attributed to the Gold Rush. California was inhabited before the Gold Rush by Californians and Native Americans only (Raabe, 2003). The gold rush changed all this, as the news about the gold riches in California spread far and wide; this was usually done by ship that transported the gold. Thousands of people from Oregon, Hawaii, Mexico, China, and other places have been flocking to California since 1849, even before the American in the East could be aware of what was happening in the West Coast. People in Europe would also learn of the Gold Rush later, and also join in the business. The film has depicted how the foreign culture came to California with the gold rush immigrants. Not only does it show cultural diversity. This led to dilution of the local culture, and created the multi-ethnic diversity that can be seen in California today.

The film also focuses on what role the politics played in the gold rush. It has depicted how acts of racism were performed to non-native miners. English gold seekers had a hand in creation of Foreign Miners Tax, an exorbitant levy that was imposed on all non-American miners. The local people also suffered, because they lost their land for the “interest of the state”. According to the history book, even the president was interested in of the Californian gold. After the general election of 1849, California became a sovereign state. People in this state were demanding more communication, and connecting California to the rest of the United States. Californians later voted, and drafted their own constitution, that the society approved California to join the rest of the United States. Without even the authority from Washington, California declared itself as the 31 st state of the United States, and it was later admitted to the Union. The issue of the Gold Rush had huge contribution into the union, as the rest of the United States wished to cash in on the financial benefits of the Gold Rush.

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