The California Gold Rush

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The California Gold Rush was an event that lasted from January 24th, 1848 to 1855. The event was driven mainly by the large quantities of gold reserves that were discovered in the soon to be US state of California. This event caused many Americans to move from the eastern states and middle states to California with the hopes of finding gold. In this paper, I will analyze the economy at the time the gold rush started and attempt to answer the question of why individuals found it necessary or advantageous to move out to California in pursuit of gold. I will also consider personal accounts and editorials written to gain a more personal narrative of the conditions people were experiencing as well as their mindsets in deciding whether to move to California for the gold or not. First, I would like to consider the economic theory behind the gold rush and explain why on the surface; it is quite simple. Consider a modern theoretical case. Say a family of four is living in Cincinnati, Ohio and the main earner of the family works for a tool manufacturing company in Cincinnati. Suppose that the company decides during their yearly employee reviews that they aren’t going to give this certain individual a pay raise for the next year; also suppose that the employee does not see themselves climbing up the pay scale any further. Now suppose that this person is offered a thirty thousand dollar per year raise if they move out to Los Angeles, California for a new machine related job. Assuming

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