Effect Of The Gold Rush
More from Gwen about the effect of Gold on the USA.
The search for gold has had a profound affect on the history of North America.
In 1539, it was rumors of gold that drew the Spanish conquistador, Hernando de Soto, on his famous expedition across what would become the South Eastern United States.
The first recorded discovery took place 250 years later, in 1799, in Cabarrus county North Carolina.
In 1830, gold was found in the Southern Appalachians and the Georgia gold rush began.
Unfortunately, the area was the ancestral home of the Cherokee.
To clear the way for exploration the government forced the Cherokee to leave their land for reservations in Oklahoma. A journey that became known as "the trail of tears."
In 1848, gold was discovered in California.
Within two years, some quarter of a million gold seekers had arrived from almost every country in the world, stimulating California's economy and forming multicultural communities that still exist today.
The last great gold rush took place in the Klondike in 1897.
The 100 thousand Americans who traveled there regenerated the economy of the Pacific Northwest and secured the financial future of Portland and Seattle.
But the harsh conditions in Alaska killed hundreds of prospectors and the diseases they brought decimated the native people.
Once again, the discovery of gold was a mixed blessing, bringing wealth to North America but taking a terrible toll in human life.