Migration and State Interest: the Chinese in Gold Rush California

A R T L▼R K

516RBJEX6HLOn the 2nd of February 1848, less than two weeks after the discovery of gold in California, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, which secured peace at the end of the two-year American-Mexican War. This was important for the United States, which obtained several bordering states and, essentially, the ownership of California. The latter was still part of Mexico in January 1848 when nuggets of gold were discovered in the American River near Coloma. A single article marked the unique event in a local newspaper in March of that year, but two months later, gold was again discovered by a local merchant, who ran through the streets holding  a bottle of gold dust in his hands, shouting “Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!” This finding changed everything.

An extraordinary mobilisation of people commenced towards the area. By August 1848, following a news flash article published…

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