The 19th century Gold Rush is the name of the period in which thousands of workers decided to change their whole life in order to migrate and find Gold in several places of the world. Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, South Africa and the United States were the chosen countries as they all found or discovered Gold Deposits.
Several gold rushes happened during the 19th and 20th century and we must say that gold mining wasn’t profitable for everyone. Lots of people lost money trying to get rich, some of them got rich, but the truth is that many people change their entire lifes for a gamble, the gamble of discovering gold.
Some people made large fortunes along with merchants and transportation facilities. The world’s gold supply increased stimulating global trade and investment. After the 1849 California Gold Rush many Americans starting speaking of the California Dream, a psychological motivation to get rich or famous in a new land. California, along with some parts of the above mentioned countries were perceived as places for new beginnings where great worth could reward all the hard work and suffering. California was beginning to be known as a Lucky Place, a land of opportunity in which people started to speak about a new term: The American Dream. This term is described on Wikipedia as “a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work.”
How does a Gold rush work?
A gold rush begins when a placer gold is discovered. A single individual with no gold knowledge might wash the gold from the sand using a gold pan or a similar simple instrument. If the gold sediment appears to be larger than a few cubic metres then the placer miners should build rockers or sluice boxes. This would help a small group of miners to wash gold from the sediment in a quicker way than with a gold pan. Getting gold with this method requires very little capital and simple organization. This low investment, the high value per unit weight of gold and specially the ability to use gold dusts or nuggets to serve as a medium of exchange, allowed placer gold rushes to occur in remote locations.
If suddenly the miners realise that there was more gold than expected, larger infrastructure was needed along with more and more gold miners. But the heyday of gold rushes weren’t eternal. As all the gold was taken out of the mountains and earth, other metals were found and extracted. This way lots of Gold mines suddenly changed into Silver mines, Copper Mines, etc. You can now take a look at what we can do with Gold and a bit of Arte Toledo
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