There have been many discoveries that have shaped our nation as a whole. Discoveries have allowed our country to thrive and become one of the most powerful nations in the world. When we look back at our nation's rich history, it is clear to see that there was one discovery in particular that had a vast impact on the United States; the discovery was gold in California. It was in this vastly unoccupied territory that the American dream was forever changed and California emerged as a powerful state busting at the seams. The California Gold Rush shaped California into the state that it is today. California is defined by its promise of entrepreneurial success and its acceptance and encouragement of obtaining the American Dream.
During the late 1840's California did not show much promise or security. It had an insecure political future, its economic capabilities were severely limited and it had a population, other than Indians, of less than three thousand people. People at this time had no idea of what was to come of the sleepy state in the coming years. California would help boost the nation's economy and entice immigrants to journey to this mystical and promising land in hopes of striking it rich.
In 1839 a man by the name of John Sutter arrived in California. Sutter appeared to be somewhat of a drifter, and had failed to establish himself before arriving in California. However, in the land of great promise, he planned to establish an empire for himself. Sutter was granted eleven square leagues, or 50, 000 acres, in the lower Sacramento area. This was a common land grant for the times. Sutter got to work and began to improve his land. He went on to build a fort, accumulated over 12,000 cattle and hired hundreds of workers to hel...
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... of official or meaningful government was established. The gold was easily accessible and there were no restrictions on the methods or terms of its use. This created economical problems within the state. While the gold was plentiful, there was a lack of other supplies and necessities. "Food was hard to come by in anything but hard tack -- and stuff like jerky and dried beef. Fresh vegetables were very rare."
California was becoming known for its entrepreneurial opportunities; soon many were coming to California, not to work in the mining filed, rather to set up business and cater to the mining communities. Soon there were saloons, hotels, and red light districts spread throughout San Francisco and outer mining communities. Women who were forced to rely on men to support them back home, came to California and were able to work and support themselves in these towns.
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