Gold Rush Essay Research Paper The Gold
Gold Rush Essay, Research Paper
The Gold Rush
One minute the California brook beds glimmered with gold ; the following, the same brook ran ruddy with the blood of work forces and adult females supporting their claims or yielding their bags of gold dust to brigands. The & # 8220 ; West & # 8221 ; was a pitiless district during the 19th century. With more than adequate gold dust to travel around early in the Gold Rush, offense was rare, but as the bets rose and the easy panned gold dwindled, robbery and slaying became a portion of life on the frontier. The & # 8220 ; West & # 8221 ; consisted of criminals, gunfighters, law officers, prostitutes, and vigilance mans. There are many narratives on how the & # 8220 ; West & # 8221 ; begun and what persuaded people to come and research the new frontier, but here, today, we are traveling to look into those narratives and seek to happen what is fact or what is fiction. These narratives will direct you galloping through the disruptive California district of the mid-nineteenth century, where differences were settled with six taws and the lines of justness were in a uninterrupted pandemonium. Where & # 8217 ; s the West, how and where did the West Begin? This is the inquiry that is asked most frequently and there is ne’er a consecutive -forward reply. Everyone has their ain sentiment on the topic: & # 8220 ; Oh, it started sometime in the 19th century, & # 8221 ; or & # 8220 ; The West is truly merely considered to be Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. & # 8221 ; Whatever happened to California really being considered the & # 8220 ; West? & # 8221 ; With all honestness, even into the 20th century, California is non thought of as being the & # 8220 ; West, & # 8221 ; or the & # 8220 ; West & # 8221 ; in the mode in which Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas are thought of. Cowboys, Equus caballuss, and cowss are merely considered to be in the cardinal provinces, but what about California? To give a straight- forward reply on where and how the & # 8220 ; Real West & # 8221 ; or even the & # 8220 ; Wild West & # 8221 ; began ; it began by a millhouse worker named James Marshall. On the forenoon of January 24, 1848, Marshall was working on his factory and looked down in the H2O and saw a sparkling dust drifting along the brook bed ( Erodes 116 ) . Assuming it was gold, he told his fellow workers what he had found and they began seeking for the cryptic metallic dust every bit good. Four yearss subsequently Marshall rode down to Sutter & # 8217 ; s Fort, in what is now Sacramento, and showed John Sutter what he had found. They weighed and tested the metal and became convinced that it was so gilded. John Sutter wanted to maintain the find secret, but that was traveling to be impossible. The rumour flew and Sutter & # 8217 ; s mill workers, which were Mormon, caught air current of it and began seeking for their ain luck. Shortly after they fled, they excessively found gold. The site in which they found their lucks became known as Mormon Island, the first excavation cantonment to be established after the find of gold at Marshall & # 8217 ; s factory ( Erodes 119 ) . From that minute on, the West began to din in population and prosper in every way. First Blood Gold febrility caught on in a haste, and this attracted many different people to the new frontier. Dreams of gold and success sparkled in the eyes of every cotton chooser, husbandman, and blue- neckband worker West of the Mississippi. Once the febrility spread across the state and throughout the districts, bloodshed was traveling to be inevitable. Greed takes a toll on the head of many and convinces people to make things that aren & # 8217 ; t even logical. Peoples become really protective of their belongings and are willing to make anything to protect it, even defend it to their decease. The force must hold started someplace and at sometime over something & # 8230 ; . But when? On the dark of October 1, 1848, eight months after James Marshall & # 8217 ; s find, several work forces were kiping in James Marshall & # 8217 ; s sawmill, originally owned by John Sutter ( Erodes 137 ) . Peter Raymond began slaming on the door of the factory. Raymond, a twenty- one-year-old crewman from Dublin, Ireland, was rummy and irritated for non striking his luck as fast a
s he planned. Raymond staggered in demanding more liquor from the now awakened men. John Von Pfister, arose and as a precaution shoved his knife into his waistband. Von Pfister managed to quiet the drunken sailor down and set him down on a bench to rest. Von Pfister leans over and says “Rest now my friend and we’ll be laughing about this in the morning” (Brown 13). Raymond sticks one hand out for a shake and with his other he strips Von Pfister of his knife and buries the blade into his heart. It is ironic that the first murder in the Gold Rush, the first of many that would follow, took place at the very spot where gold was discovered. Raymond fled and was later tracked down and killed near San Francisco. And so let it be written, this drunken episode of ignorance was the “first blood” of the Gold Rush. The Gun Fighting Era Along with the growth in population in the West, violence grew as well. There has always been confusion about when the “Gun Fighting Era” actually began? The Era of the western gunfighter assumingly began at the close of the Civil War. This untruth has been repeated so often since the 1930’s that it has become accepted as dogma among historians and “Old West” enthusiasts (Brown 296). People assume that this era began around this time because they only heard of the most infamous cowboys and gunfighters such as Billy the Kid, Pecos Bill, and/or Wyatt Earp. These particular men were wretched killers that had a lot of kills underneath their belts and were noticed more easily than the western gunfighters; those of whom did not go on killing sprees. The age of the gunfighter more correctly began in 1848, when the discovery of gold set off the great migration westward (Brown 297). This coincided with the development of Colt revolvers, most importantly the various .44 caliber Dragoon models, which first appeared in 1848; the .31 caliber pocket model of 1849; as well as many “pepperbox” models made by Allen & Thurber (Brown 297). The weapons were affordable, reliable, easily carried or concealed on the person, and deadly. So with technological development and a need for weapons California became known as the “Wild West.” Americans, and just not those on the frontier, understood that they were responsible for their own safety and for settling their own problems. The United States government did not exist in the California Territory. The non-existence of the government was also an even more attraction of why to come to the new frontier. Gamblers, gunfighters, and outlaws could roam freely throughout the territory and take what they wanted. All the more reason for the westerners to arm themselves for protection. When the creek beds of California glimmered with gold, only one thought went through every persons mind….money. When we analyze what took place and what events occurred because of the discovery of gold, we think, “Was it all worth it?” The violence, the greed; was it necessary? Clearly, violence did not occur at all times or in all places during the Gold Rush. It was continuous and relentless. There’s no doubt many gold camps and other communities saw low rates of violence. But the point is that overall, violence in the Gold Rush was much more commonplace than anything Americans had ever seen before in peacetime. The California Gold Rush was one of the most important American events of the nineteenth century and its influence on migration, economic development, politics, and culture was deep and lasting. It was the prototype for all gold and silver rushes to follow. From these rushes brought the booming frontiers in mining, cattle, and land, which, within the space of two generations, would settle the west and eventually close the frontier. And so now, when California is thought of and remembered, let it be remembered as the West. The West in which it truly is, has been, and will always remain, in American history.