Gold Rush to Rail Road Invention The gold rush began at the beginning of the 1848 and continued till 1853. According to the author Orsi of the book The Elusive Eden, the Gold was first discovered by James Marshall at Sutter’s mill. This discovery of gold news started spreading all around the California and around the world. By the end of the 1848 news had reached Hawaii, Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, the Pacific Coast of South America, China, the East Coast of the United States, and Europe. The gold rush attracted non-Californians to the California.
During the first half of the gold rush, mining changed significantly. About 1,300 of Californios were successful participants during that time. For example the Coronel, Sepulveda, and Carrillo families in Los Angeles organized their own party. Coronel gathered forty-five ounces of gold in just one day, and an associate found a twelve-ounce nuggets. Another family gathered a towelful of nuggets in few hours, and then sold it to another who extracted fifty-two pounds of gold in a week. All owners of the party became rich.
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At the end of the mining season of 1848, successful Californios returned to their homes. While in the diggings, the party encountered Yankee opposition and open threats to all “foreigners. ” When Coronel’s group retreated to more isolated regions, they were informed that the gold belongs to the Yankees, Californios made the wise decision of leaving mines by the 1849. Side by side when gold seekers were enjoying their richness, in 1850 the law got approved by the law makers, which charged twenty dollars per month tax on noncitizen miners states in the book The Elusive Eden.
There was not a universal support towards the law, but revenue need for California convinced most of legislators to vote for it. It created a little threat for foreigners to come to the California due to the high tax amount to pay. This law mainly affected the Mexicans. The law was successful in one sense, it drove most Hispanics from the mines, rather than that it was a failure towards producing 2. 4 million dollars in the revenue, states in the book The Elusive Eden. Nevertheless, the tax was too high which generated a bit of revenue in the state but did not accomplish fully until the later in the period.
In the book The Elusive Eden, Orsi says that a month after the arrival of first Forty-Niners in to the California, a convention drafted a state constitution and applied for the admission to the Union. The attracted population due to the gold rush at California wanted to form a civil territorial government. To fulfill the agitation of people, the military governor Bennett Riley called the election of delegates in June of 1849 to create state constitution. The Constitutional Convention was not much of a success.
The volatile issue of slavery created few problems during that era, even few delegates joined opposition to the institution. The book The Elusive Eden also informs that the most serious controversy at the convention was about the state boundaries. Some delegates suggested state bordered by the Rocky Mountains, some suggested for the Sierra, while some proposed several intermediate lines. No doubts that the Constitution of 1849 had some good effects like, it banned dueling in some extend and created the mandatory public school system, the university and secured the federal land-grant aid for the educational purposes.
But it also raised an issue regarding burdens on real property, which was the effect of the protested revenue policy by the underrepresented southern Californians. After Californians approved the constitution in November of 1849, they applied for petition of statehood. According to the author Orsi Congress firstly did not approve the California’s petition. Even the partisan controversy, efforts to preserve a balance of power in Congress, and slavery issues delayed action on California’s petition.
But finally after a long wait, a proposal supported by leading Whigs and Democrats granted something to everyone, known as the Compromise of 1850. According to this bill California became a free state, and then this bill became law in September 9, 1850. Which means that California did not became a free state right after the Constitution on 1849, it had experienced few opposition and after the ten months of delay it got declared as the Thirty-First State of the United States of America. Even after California became a state, the rate of the violence kept increasing.
The book The Elusive Eden provides sufficient examples on increased violence after 1848. At that time the judicial authority and law enforcement were rare in the mining camps, so residents elected officials to maintain the order in the mines. According to Dame Shirley, the law and order were turning into more violence into the mines. Not only mining camps were having violence, cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco observed it also. In 1850s there were about forty-four murders notified in the Los Angeles. After that in 1851, the officials created a vigilance committee.
This hanged about five murderers, where not all of them were guilty. No doubt that popular justice often involved hostility towards foreigners in southern California and in mines, but it was not the case in San Francisco. There were “Hounds” gang, who attacks, robs, murders, and rape women. To prevent these kind of violence from the city about 500 San Franciscans formed Vigilance Committee of 1851. This hanged their criminal “Duke”. According to the book The Elusive Eden historians and contemporaries were against the Vigilance Committee of 1856.
They argued that the committee was unable to maintain the law and order and was unsuccessful to protect the city from crime. Vigilante justice was not helping cities or mining camps to decrease the rate of crime, but by hanging criminals they were increasing the crime rate. Committee members kept changing their laws because the committee was running on individual basis rather than on government law. Vigilante justice succeeded in some extend. According to Orsi, when California became a state, about 14 million of its acres were included in more than 800 land grants.
They were mainly Mexican and protected by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The confusion got created during making boundaries on land. Americans wanted vacant land for farming. In 1849 Captain Henry W. Halleck thought that most Mexican titles were fraud. But a year later William Carey Jones discovers that titles were legal under Mexican and American law. Controversy kept increasing, so congress attempted to resolve the problem with the Land Act of 1851. According to the act, it created three-member commission to review titles, and can appealed to court.
During 1852 and 1856 the commission meeting held in San Francisco with 813 claimants. But, it did not work properly because few could not spoke English; few were missing documents and so on. Basically it was a failure attempt for the state legislature to solve arguments about land until feral government took the issue to their own hand. Congress passed the mining act of 1866 which upheld the titles acquired under them and provided to the occupants as needed for the future. The early legislature acted late to the land issue. Their effort toward decressing foreing immigration was quite successful.
By passing foreign miner’s tax law, it reduced the number of foreign immigrants to the California state because of the high tax. The Chinese exclusion act of 1882 did not deport Chinese immigrants already in the county there for failed to satisfy many Californians. Contradictory over the water laws brought riparian right by the legislature, according to the professor Pohlmann’s lecture, this law gave right to the landowner to divert the water. It did not go quiet well; it discouraged the agricultural growth in the California’s land.
Later in 1850s legislature adopted prior appropriation right, professor Pohlmann said that, this law allowed miners and others to get water in the first come first basis. After the several tries finally legislature passed the Wright Irrigation Act in 1887, which was agriculturally helpful to California. According to the book The Elusive Eden, the railroad was the most significant technology to come in the era of 19th century. Railroad has changed towns into the cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland. Railroad has influenced industrialization.
The transformation of large scale industries from the western mining encouraged economic changes. According to the book The Elusive Eden, as railroad emerged into San Francisco, after 1869 Chinese people migrated to that city and by the 1880s they compromised fifteen percent of the city’s total work of 100,000. Transportation developed the wheat production into the California during 1870s and 1880s. It became the state’s major export industry and brought production of about forty-one million bushels by 1890s. By 1870s railroad was mainly depended on farm progress.
Railroad increased migration of foreign immigrants into California. They introduced crops and cultivation method into the state. According to Orsi, from 1900 to 1925 the farm had grown about 63,900 which worth about three billion dollars. Between 1870 and early 1900, fruit and crop agriculture became the major industry in California. From the gold rush to the boom of 1889, California has witnessed an impressive joy of success of hardship of individualism, laissez faire capitalism and the vigilantes democracy. Economic and social condition, geography, and climate cooperate to prevent California from developing into the democracy.
California witnessed Individualism in term of independent action of creating the constitution of 1849. California bypassed the traditional territorial probationary period but the constitutional convention was not successful. Nevertheless, it had some good as well as some bad effects. After a while California got declared as a free state. While American gold seekers were enjoying their richness, the Foreign Miner’s Tax got passed. This lowered down the foreign immigration but there was not an actual threat of foreign taking over a land. The Foreign Miner’s tax act did not fulfill for creating targeted revenue.
Vigilante justice did not work well for keeping cities or mines free of crime and violence but it was running on their own without any government. The state legislatures were not very successful of handling the controversy over water and foreign immigration like Chinese exclusion act. It also failed to resolve the issue regarding land distribution. Transcontinental railroads encouraged economic growth in California by reducing transportation costs, widening market for producers, raising land values, making remote lands and resources accessible, and increasing many people’s income. It was the greatest economic change during the time.