Gold Rush: Contributing Factors to the Development of the State.
On January 24th, 1848, one of the biggest discoveries in California took place. Not one single event affected the state more than when gold was discovered in the mountains of the Sierra Nevadas. Before "gold fever" struck many were very reluctant to head west to California in search for a better life. This discovery produced a frenzy among the people and brought gold seekers to the west from far lands all over the world who abandoned their jobs to try their luck at striking it rich. The government jumped at the chance to exploit California and the idea of getting rich quick. The impact of the gold rush in 1848 was significant in many respects such as change in population, labor relations, politics and social power. .
The discovery of gold in California was a huge opportunity for California to profit at the expense of the hopes and dreams of thousands of gold hunters. Everyone stopped whatever they were doing in their lives and all focus was put on gold. "the blacksmith dropped his hammer, the carpenter his plane, the mason his trowel, the baker his loaf, and the tapster his bottle. All were off for the mines, some on horses, some on carts, and some on crutches, and one went on a litter" By the end of the year in 1848, thousands of Europeans as well as others had traveled from far to California and many more people were on the way. Because of the sudden growth of popularity of California, the first transcontinental railroad, which was originally planned to be constructed in Oregon, was detoured to the valleys and mountains of California in 1849. This enabled more and more people to be transported to the state in a very short amount of time. .
All of the men and women who traveled to California had a vision. This vision included wealth and riches but unfortunately the reality of it was that very few were going to strike it rich and leave the mining towns wealthy people.