Rise of industrialism in the USA

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The discovery of gold nuggets in the Sacramento Valley in early 1848 sparked the Gold Rush, arguably one of the most significant events to shape American history during the first half of the 19th century. As news spread of the discovery, thousands of prospective gold miners traveled by sea or over land to San Francisco and the surrounding area; by the end of 1849, the non-native population of the California territory was some 100,000 (compared with the pre-1848 figure of less than 1,000). A total of $2 billion worth of precious metal was extracted from the area during the Gold Rush, which peaked in 1852.

Did You Know?

Miners extracted more than 750,000 pounds of gold during the California Gold Rush.

THE '49ERS COME TO CALIFORNIA

Throughout 1849, people around the United States (mostly men) borrowed money, mortgaged their property or spent their life savings to make the arduous journey to California. In pursuit of the kind of wealth they had never dreamed of, they left their families and hometowns; in turn, women left behind took on new responsibilities such as running farms or businesses and caring for their children alone. Thousands of would-be gold miners, known as '49ers, traveled overland across the mountains or by sea, sailing to Panama or even around Cape Horn, the southernmost point of South America.

To accommodate the needs of the '49ers, gold mining towns had sprung up all over the region, complete with shops, saloons, brothels and other businesses seeking to make their own Gold Rush fortune. San Francisco, for its part, developed a bustling economy and became the central metropolis of the new frontier.

The Gold Rush undoubtedly sped up California's admission to the Union as the 31st state. In late 1849, California applied to enter the Union with a constitution preventing slavery, provoking a crisis in Congress between proponents of slavery and abolitionists. According to the Compromise of 1850, proposed by Kentucky's Senator Henry Clay, California was allowed to enter as a free state, while the territories of Utah and New Mexico were left open to decide the question for themselves.

LASTING IMPACT OF THE GOLD RUSH

After 1850, the surface gold in California largely disappeared, even as miners continued to arrive. Mining had always been difficult and dangerous labor, and striking it rich required good luck as much as skill and hard work. Moreover, the average daily take for an independent miner working with his pick and shovel had by then sharply decreased from what it had been in 1848. As gold became more and more difficult to reach, the growing industrialization of mining drove more and more miners from independence into wage labor. The new technique of hydraulic mining, developed in 1853, brought enormous profits but destroyed much of the region's landscape.

Though gold mining continued throughout the 1850s, it had reached its peak by 1852, when some $81 million was pulled from the ground. After that year, the total take declined gradually, leveling off to around $45 million per year by 1857. Settlement in California continued, however, and by the end of the decade the state's population was 380,000.

Bibliografie:

www.history.com

www.erenow.com

www.bbc.co.uk.com

www.thoughtco.com

www.biography.com

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Tipuri fișiere:
pptx
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Anul redactarii:
2017
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2.76 MB (arhivat)
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Referat
Materie:
Istorie
Data publicare:
08.05.2017
Structură de fișiere:
  • Rise of industrialism in the USA.pptx
Predat:
la liceu
Profesorului:
Ichim Marian
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