California Gold Rush - Referat
The California Gold Rush
My presentation is about the California Gold Rush. It was between 1848 and 1853.
When the Gold Rush began California was no part of the United States, it was just a lawless place belongs to Mexico. John Sutter, a landowner in this area had a lot of farms there and his plan was to create an agricultural empire.
At one day in 1848 his worker James W. Marshall found a piece of gold in the American River. He told Sutter of his discovery. But John Sutter wasn’t every happy, because he feared that a Gold Rush would cause an invasion of people which destroyed his plan of an empire and he wanted to keep this discovery secret. Sam Brannon a businessman heard from this secret and he had a profitable idea. He purchased all equipment in San Francisco which was needed for searching gold and then he made a speech and told about the secret. After that all people wanted to search for gold and they needed equipment, so they went to Sam Brannon and purchased for example a pan for 20$, which Sam Brannon bought a few days before for half a Dollar. The Gold Rush had begun.
The first people searched for gold used simple techniques like panning or sluice boxing. When you pan for gold you use the high specific gravity of gold and water. You wave the pan, then sand and stones with the lower specific gravity slop out of the pan and only the gold stay lying down. A sluice box is a water channel alongside the river. Function of a sluice box: water steams and only the gold stay between the riffles.
When the message of the Gold Rush had spread, more and more people were attracted with the hope to get rich and so they travelled to California. The first people came from near California and Mexico, then from South America, the United States and China. Europeans must first went over the Atlantic and then took one of the three routes. The first route was the overland route, the second the Panama route and the third was over the Cape Horn, which was the longest. During the Gold Rush the population of California increased from 20000 to 300000 people.
The most people arrived California in 1849, these gold seekers are called the 49ers. John Sutters fear became reality and the 49ers destroyed his land and farms by exploiting them. After that he left the state with nothing. The good thing for the 49ers was that there was no government and so the gold was free to take. But with time gold was getting harder to find and new methods like hydraulic mining and pumps were developed. Many gold seekers united to finance these expensive techniques and to mind gold in a high amount.
Not only the gold seekers profited from the Gold Rush but also the traders like Sam Brannon. During more and more people came to California many towns were built and San Francisco increased from 1000 to 25000 residents. Groceries, equipment and alcohol was offered by traders for increased prices. So many gold seekers had to spend their daily profit for these things. This caused that traders made more money during the Gold Rush than the seekers.
In 1850 California became a state of the United States and the government passed a foreign mining tax of 20$ per month. This caused that many gold seekers left the state and went home. With time mining companies pushed the single gold seekers out of the land and the industrial gold mining began and so the Gold Rush ended.
The negative effects that the Gold Rush had caused were the by- products and the destroyed landscape. Heavy metal like mercury got free and polluted the rivers and killed many fish. Also a lot of native Americans were killed or pushed out of the state, because they were not interested in gold
The positive effects were that the Gold Rush created the state California and stimulated economics worldwide.
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