Source Analysis Paper (5-7 pages)

timer Asked: Oct 16th, 2018
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Question Description

You are required to write a Source Analysis Paper (5-7 pages) on a topic of your choice about California history before 1900, using at least FOUR approved primary sources from the approved databases posted on CANVAS. Each source that you use must contain at least 1500 words and must have been written by historical participants or observers, not by historians. (Ask Prof. Gendzel if you are unsure.) Download the Source Analysis Paper Instructions from CANVAS for more information about this assignment. You are expressly forbidden to use any sources with fewer than 1500 words, any sources written by historians (not participants or observers), and any sources not from the approved databases posted on CANVAS. Your Source Analysis Paper must follow all instructions to receive a passing grade

Tutor Answer

School: Rice University

please go through the attached document, i will be available if you need any changes

Surname 1

California Gold Rush
Teacher’s name


Surname 2

California Gold Rush
The California Gold Rush of 1849 acted as a catalyst event for California that earned it a spot in
the United States’ union in 1850. It was the most captivating happenings of the time. Besides, the
discovery of Gold nuggets in Sacramento Valley prompted the most critical occurrences that
influenced American history in an early 19th century. While it was not the first gold rush in
Northern America, it was among the most vital gold rush events. Stories of men heading West in
the hope of becoming rich and the stories of the 49ers are the most heard about the California
Gold Rush. The gold rush resulted in a dramatic change in the American development not
because of the initial discovery or the mining of the gold, but because of the rush to California.
Various primary sources that will be examined in this paper have explored the California Gold
Rush in great details and how they changed the history of California.
In the book, The California Gold Rush: The Stampede That Changed the World, Eifler
details the occurrences that led to the discovery of gold in California. He states that by 1848
workers building for John Sutter on the American River started gathering flakes of gold near a
sawmill .1 Even though the news spread slowly, the California gold rush was in full swing by the
spring of 1849. The following decade saw thousands of miners from across the world come in
California. Eifler talks of the rush as a mass movement whose participants seemed to take the
roles of an army. He also notes that the gold rush represented a scramble by young men to strike
it rich in California.


Eifler, Mark A. The California Gold Rush: The Stampede that Changed the World. Routledge, 2016.

Surname 3

Nonetheless, despite the positive effects of the rush, Eifler also scrutinizes the gold rush
especially its negative effects. Despite the rush attracting a variety of people across the globe,
there was no harmony in California. As Eifler states, the event resulted in harsh racial attitudes
especially towards the Hispanic and Chinese migrants which developed into restrictive
legislation that had lasting impacts. For instance, Eifler talks of the event unleashing genocide on
native people, particularly the tribes that lived in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Furthermore, the
rush led to eruptions of violence of vigilante committees in the region, the desperation of miners
who failed to make it rich, and the environmental effects of unregulated mining.2
Other issues mentioned by Eifler are that the rush brought many people to the American
West forming the social, economic, and political basis of the state. Also, the rise of San
Francisco was viewed as more important and impressive in addition to the establishment of the
California Dream following the rush. A series of mining rush in the West, and Pacific Rim was
also stimulated.3 Eifler also looks at the rush in a different perspective and notes that it may not
have been of real or significance and foundational. Some of the arguments he provides are that
the rush begun during the period of the collapse of slavery, which resulted in one of the greatest
issues in American history; the Civil War. A lot was revealed about the world as a result of gold
rushes such as people’s attitudes towards wealth, the role of men and women, the nature of the
business, work, community, society, and government.


Eifler, Mark A. The California Gold Rush: The Stampede that Changed the World. Routledge, 2016.


Eifler, Mark A. The California Gold Rush: The Stampede that Changed the World. Routledge, 2016.

Surname 4

In the book, Spreading the Word: A History of Information in the California Gold Rush,
Stillson contributes to the topic by providing an impressive concept of information and a new
way of looking at the topic. According to him, location, experience, in addition to time had a
great impact on the measures and indicators of credibility. Various factors acted as a constraint to
the information marketplace of the gold rushers thereby limiting their decisions. Stillson
concentrated on how the Americans from the |East who rushed to California following the
discovery of gold got the information, assessed and used it.4 From his accounts, the findings have
indicated that there were a variety of constraints concerning communication, the way that the
information was dispersed, and the credibility of the content which had a significant impact on
how the information was assessed and used.5
Moreover, the majority of the 1849 gold rushers did not have enough understanding of
the West or how they could travel there. What made it worse is that the more experience these
gold rushers received, the more skeptical they got. Hence, the local expertise triumphed over

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