Calihistoryfinal - Ashley Cumming History 177 Final Exam...

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Ashley Cumming History 177 Final Exam December 11, 2007 Ever since statehood, California has had an unprecedented population growth and a phenomenally rapid expansion in economy. Unlike any other state, the population in California has grown from 92,600 in 1950 to roughly 37 million today. The golden state’s geographical setting, bountiful natural resources, and favorable climate made it an easy place for business to boom and projects to flourish. A combination of all of these factors along with many privately and publicly funded projects paved the way for California to grow fasted than any other part of Oregon Country, which is the same size geographically as California. However, the state’s astounding growth caused many negative side effects and modern social dislocations from World War II. Some major factors play a key role in the general growth of California. One of the greatest sources of population increase was the discovery of gold in 1848; after James Marshall discovered gold in the Sierra Nevadas, accounts of vast amounts of untouched deposits in California’s fertile soil attracted 100,000 gold-seekers from across the country and around the world in the next year. The influx of these people reshaped not only the economic history of California, but much of its social, cultural, and political history as well. Those who came from the eastern United States traveled by various sea routes or across the overland trail. Jim Beckwourth of Beckwourth Pass was one of the many frontier scouts who helped guide immigrants through the Sierra Nevada (Rice 190). Gold seekers flooded into San Francisco and other boom towns throughout the interior. The “forty-niners” were Anglos who came from the east coast in 1849 expecting to return quickly to their families upon securing their fortune. The forty-niners were lead astray by the inaccurate maps and false guides to the gold country
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published by writers who had never been to California. Upon arrival, they faced their share of mining hardship and economic and social instability along with many other internal tensions. Economically, one third of the state revenues in 1850 came from a special “foreign miners tax” targeted against the Chinese who came to work on the railroad (Rice 201). This massive expansion in people caused California’s population to grow from 92,600 to 380,000 from the year 1850 to 1860 (Rice 197). The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 was a major event in California history; the iron horse linked California with the rest of the nation and had a huge economic impact. Californians expected that the completion of the transcontinental railroad would bring about a new change in economic growth. However, the railroad not only failed to bring richness and power, it also marked the beginning of a deep and general depression that continued through the next decade. California merchants and manufacturers found themselves suddenly exposed to intense competition from those of eastern cities. Local merchants had overstocked merchandise
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course HIST 177 taught by Professor Graves during the Fall '07 term at UCSB.

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Calihistoryfinal - Ashley Cumming History 177 Final Exam...

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