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.
1. Too much money in California
a. Gold was plentiful
b. Gold was free for taking
2. 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 greatly
a. San Francisco
1. A plot of real estate cost $16 in 1847 sold for $45,000 18
2. City averaged 30 new houses and two more murders every day after beginning of Gold Rush.
1. Very popular after Klondike Gold Rush
2. 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 independence
a. 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 leave
a. 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 rich