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An Outline For Term Paper On Gold Rush

1477 words - 6 pages

I will discuss how the Gold Rush, more than any other single event, impacted the social, economic, and political nature of the West Coast and the United States. I will break down the social, economic, and political ramifications of the Gold Rush on (a) the region, and (b) the United States as a whole.I. EconomicA. Region1. Too much money in Californiaa. Gold was plentifulb. Gold was free for taking2. Too little of everything else(Supply and Demand)a. Necessities more money (i.e. food)b. Shovels sold for more with greater demand.3. Real estate grew greatlya. San Francisco1. A plot of real estate cost $16 in 1847 sold for $45,000 18months later.2. City averaged 30 new houses and two more murders every day after beginning of Gold Rush.b. Seattle1. Very popular after Klondike Gold Rush2. Major place to purchase supplies and secure transportation to gold fields.3. Lodging, restaurants, gambling, and other entertainment spots were built.4. Women relished first taste of economic independencea. Low amount of women found during Gold Rush days in California.1. Women stuck home to take care of family while men left to the mines.2. Few were ever given chance to make money.b. Women began to put their domestic skills to work.1. All men needed women to do many chores they never did or wanted to do.2. Got paid top dollar for work (i.e. wash clothes-$8 a dozen)c. Also many there to take money from the miners( sin i.e. prostitution)5. Foreigners came to make money and leavea. Known to do the "feminine jobs".b. Anyone with a special skill were needed, no matter who they were.6. The lucky ones struck it rich7. The smart ones made more money on the minersa. Sam Brannan1. King of wheeling, dealing entrepreneurs2. Pulled trigger on the Gold Rush3. Would buy up everything in a market and sell for huge profits(i.e. shovels)b. Levi Strauss1. Stitched a pair of pants out of canvas; popular with miners.2. Sturdy pants that lead to greater improvements of pants.c. Phillip Armour1. Opened up meat market in California2. Took profits and opened large meat processing plant in Milwaukee.d. John Studebaker1. Originally wheelbarrow maker.2. Took profits and opened wagon business, later lead to automobiles.e. Henry Wells and William Fargo1. Offered miners stability; gave securer, honest banking, transportation, and mail delivery.2. Company Wells Fargo became giant in the banking industry.f. Samuel Clemens- Mark Twain1. Wrote for San Francisco "Call".2. Stories began to be known worldwide with attention.e. Bret Harte1. Wrote for San Francisco "Call".2. Wrote exclusively about western characters.B. United States1. Left jobs to leave for Californiaa. Farmers left their fields.b. Merchants closed their shops.c. Soldiers left their posts.d. Some newspaper suspended printing.2. Most stuck in shock and awe with news of all the gold in California.a. Everyone heard the stories about the many striking it rich.b. President James Polk confirmed all reports; his words were apowerful call to...

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