California has always been associated with cutting edge development and ideas.For over a century and a half it has been the leader of what the rest of the country follows.No single event has been as groundbreaking (literally and metaphorically) as the Gold Rush of 1849.This historic event single-handedly connected the East to the West in what proved to be the perfect model of expansion.It was what brought hundreds of thousands of Americans and immigrants alike to the fast-paced, ever-changing world of California.
To fully understand the history of the Goldrush, one must know what was actually happening before the lure of gold overwhelmed the country.In 1844, John C. Fremont ordered the U.S. Army to lead a scientific expedition to California.During a second trip in 1846, he encouraged ranchers located in northern area to revolt.These events lead to the seizure of Sonoma and the proclamation of a republic.The flag that they raised that year was a figure of a bear.It was not yet known that the Mexican War had started and that troops had been sent to quall the battles.According to the New Standard Encyclopedia, "there was little fighting in the north, and the south was taken quickly under the forces of General Stephen W. Kearny and Commodore Robert F. Stockton" (C38a).In 1849, Mexico ceded California to the United States. (New Standard Encyclopedia C-38 and C38a)
One of the most little understood men of the gold rush, John Augustus Sutter, had fled from Switzerland to avoid his debtors in the mid 1800s.Abandoning his family and friends he came to America in hopes of making it big and making a fortune.In July of 1839 he arrived in California and acquired a land grant from the Mexican government.He dreamed of one day owning a vast empire of agricultural lands.It was a dream that ultimately ruined him.According to a biography done on him by California State Library, he built Sutter's Fort …

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