Riches for All: The California Gold Rush and the World View larger

Riches for All: The California Gold Rush and the World

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An event of international significance, the California gold rush created a more diverse, metropolitan society than the world had ever known. In Riches for All, leading scholars reexamine the gold rush, evaluating its trajectory and legacy within a global context of religion and race, economics, technology, law, and culture.

The opportunity for instant wealth directly influenced a dynamic range of peoples, including Mormon military veterans, California Indian workers, both slave and free African Americans, Chinese village farmers, skilled Mexican miners, and Chilean merchants. Riches for All gives attention to the varying motivations and experiences of these groups and to their struggles with both racial and religious bigotry. Emphasizing gold rush social history, some contributors examine the roles and influence of women, workers, law-breakers, and law-enforcers. Others consider the long-term impact of this episode on California and the American West and on subsequent gold rushes in Pacific Rim countries and the Klondike.

With lively and incisive strokes, these historians sketch the most broadly contextualized and nuanced portrait of the California gold rush to date.

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