- from Gold Rush
The Gold Rush brought enormous social, political, and economic changes to California – and to the entire country.
Previously, California had been the nation’s wild frontier, barely even connected to the East Coast. The East had been the country’s center of power, but all of a sudden, worldwide attention was focused on California.
The state’s enormous growth and newfound wealth ushered in major developments, like the transcontinental railroad, and laws with far-reaching consequences. It also sped the way for California to become the 31st state in 1850. The new state of California didn’t allow slavery, which tipped the balance of free states versus slave states in the Union. That helped fuel the beginning of the Civil War.
And to think that all these transformations began with one little piece of gold found glittering in a river.