A great READING resource with QUESTIONS and ANSWER KEY included! It focuses on the topic of California Gold Rush of 1849.
Included are 1 page reading, 1 page question sheet and 1 page answer key! Perfect for homework assignments, classwork or reading for test review! Can be used for both middle and high school level.
The reading provides an overview of who first discovered gold in northern California. It mentions how James W. Marshall spotted flakes of gold in a river near Sutter’s Mill. Both James W. Marshall and John Sutter were pioneers who opened up California for economic and social development. The next section focuses on the fierce competition for gold. It explains how forty-niners came from all over the world and were not only Americans. They were people from different countries who immigrated to the United States for gold. This consisted of Chinese, Latin American and European immigrants. On the other hand, there were also Native Americans who mined for gold. The reading goes on to explain how forty-niners more than quadrupled California’s population to 380,000 people in just ten years. This allows students to understand how rapid migration to California led to the coining of Gold Rush term. Next, students will read about the hardships forty-niners endured during the Gold Rush. Forty-niners invested money and time to find gold but were often times fraught with disappointing results. For instance, forty-niners spent money on bedding, tent, kettle and basic food necessities. Besides financial concerns, forty-niners used labor intensive methods to find gold such as using the panning method. This provides students an understanding of how forty-niners experienced hardships as only a small percentage struck gold.
In next half of the reading, students will analyze how nativism takes root during the Gold Rush. It defines nativism by explaining why nativists expresses an anti-immigrant stance. For instance, nativists believed immigrants were taking away their jobs and chances at finding gold. They believed economic opportunities should only be reserved for Americans. The reading provides examples of nativist legislation passed that required Chinese immigrants to pay higher taxes. There were also violent attacks on Native Americans and immigrants for not being “American” enough. The last section focuses on the effects of the Gold Rush on California. It explains how a surge in population led California to apply for statehood in 1850. Its request to be a free state generated a national debate as it upset the balance of free and slave states. Fortunately, the Compromise of 1850 allowed California to be admitted as a free state under the condition of enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law and allowing popular sovereignty in New Mexico and Utah. The reading concludes by explaining how the Gold Rush brought economic prosperity to California. There was an increase in businesses, restaurants and stores which led to boomtowns. Ultimately, the Gold Rush of 1849 transformed the political, social and economic landscape of California.
Some vocabulary words and key terms included are Gold Rush, California, James W. Marshall, Sutter’s Mill, John Sutter, Sacramento Valley, westward, forty-niners, immigrants, Native Americans, panning method, mining, nativism, discrimination, nativists, Compromise of 1850, Fugitive Slave Law, popular sovereignty and boomtowns.
If you like this reading, you may enjoy the below products! Click on the below readings and it will redirect you to the page. Thanks for the support! Leave a feedback and rating below to earn TpT credit to save money on your next purchase! :)
Market Revolution Reading
War of 1812 Reading
Missouri Compromise Reading
Monroe Doctrine Reading
Indian Removal Act Reading
Manifest Destiny Reading
Nullification Crisis Reading
Panic of 1837 Reading
Mexican American War Reading
Compromise of 1850 Reading