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The Gold Rushes in History Of Gold

 History Of Gold - The Gold Rushes

True gold rushes, in the modern sense of the term, began when gold was discovered in California in 1848. There had been a small-scale prelude, when gold discoveries in Georgia, starting in 1828 - 1830, attracted a surprisingly large and cosmopolitan crowd. The rush to California dwarfed its Georgia predecessor. Its poportions were immense. Everywhere men abandoned their families, businesses, and, one might say, common sense, in order to start for this remote, little-known land where even the humblest and least experienced might hope suddenly to become a modern croesus.

At least a quarter of a milion men reached "El Dorado" during the five years ( 1848-1853 ) that constituted the gold rush proper, and there they produced an extraordinary quantity of gold, valued in excess of $200 million. Although most were Americans, the gold seekers came from virtually every part of the civilized world, including China.

No "rush" of such proportions, richness, or cosmopolitanism, no hysteria so unrestrained or so world-encompassing in its influence had been seen before. Improved means of communication, especially through widely circulated newspapers, and the beginnings of modern transportation, such as clipper ships and ocean-going steamers, do much to explain the size and speed of the movement. But also involved were the factors of mass psychology and social instability, which have yet to be adequately explained.

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