- from Gold Rush
The Gold Rush changed California and the whole nation. The changes were social, political, and economic.
Before, California had been the wild frontier. It had barely been connected to the East Coast. The East was the center of power. Suddenly, everyone in the world was thinking about California.
The state’s huge growth and new wealth meant big changes, and not just in California. The transcontinental railroad helped the country grow. California became the 31st state in 1850. It didn’t allow slavery. All of a sudden, there were more free states than slave states. This big change helped spark the Civil War.
Just think: All this change started with one little piece of gold seen glittering in a river.