Essay about gold rush

1814 Words Oct 29th, 2014 8 Pages
California was a land where the American dream came true for many. Before the gold rush, California was under the Mexican rule since 1821. At that time, California’s population mainly consisted of about 6,500 Californios, 700 Americans and 150,000 Native Americans. Most of the Californios lived on vast ranches given to them as land grants by the Mexican government. New settlers, mainly Americans, started moving into California for land and trade. Mexican control over California weakened following the Bear Flag revolt by the settlers and the United States took control of the region. The United States waged war against Mexico for manifest destiny and a dispute over Texas in the Mexican –American War on May 19,1846. The war lasted for …show more content…
The Overland route was least expensive route costing usually between $600-$700 for a family of four. It took 3-5 months. People traveled by wagon trains in groups carrying basic supplies with them like food, water, and clothes. They had to cross hot burning deserts; steep mountain passes and flooded rivers. People faced problems when they ran out of their supplies and had no fresh water and food. Many died from drinking unsafe water and by getting diseases.
Forty- niners who survived and reached California led a very hard and tough life in the gold fields. They lived in canvas tents and shacks, which offered very little protection from harsh cold winters and rain. Miners suffered from colds and scurvy due to poor sanitation, lack of fresh healthy food and little medicines. Many felt lonely and homesick as they came alone without their family. The miners had to set up a claim and place stakes around it, “staking a claim”. They had to deal with people lying, stealing and jumping claims. Miners worked hard six days a week from sun up to sun down. Sunday was a day of rest when miners entertained themselves by playing cards, reading books, singing songs and chatting. Few miners got lucky with gold while others lost everything they had in quest for gold. The cost of living became high due to shortage of goods and increased demand for services. The gold pans that

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