How were the Gold Rush and the building of a transcontinental railroad so critical to Anglo
American expansion into the western frontier, particularly in California? Describe three
groups of people that came into contact and conflict with Anglo Americans in California
during the second half of the nineteenth century. What were a few specific actions taken by
Anglos to disempower or remove some of these groups? What are some connections to this
period (1850s-1880s) seen in San Francisco today? (Module 4 and external research)
The Gold Rush was in 1848. James Marshall found gold in the American River, which caused
multiple countries’ people to arrive in California and also is one of the most significant immigration
event in United States history. All the people came sat a gold dream to there, and this trend let
California’s population rapidly increase (“The California Gold Rush”). Before the gold be found in
California, the state is rural which far from the United States flourishing area. No one focus on
them, and people in that time just thought of California as a city that breaks away from the United
States. But The Gold Rush change this situation. In the beginning, people found a lot of gold in San
Francisco. Richard B. Mason, the Commander of inspecting gold mines, write a report, which let
amazing that tinge’s people. In Weber Creek, two mines workers gathered 17,000$’s gold in just
7days, and six miners and 50 Indians found 273 pounds of gold. (“The California Gold Rush”). The
gold entices Irresistibly. When the information is spread, the most of man in San Francisco leave
them work position to pan gold. Just a few years, the Gold Rush let San Francisco from a small port
become a Noisy city. Undoubtedly, the Gold Rush bring California and San Francisco enormous
wealth, population, and higher international status. Still, the Gold Rush also can be thought to be a
disaster for the environment. The river is blocked by mud, and the farm is destroyed. The whole of
California looks like being bitten by a giant mole, and the broken ground can be seen everywhere.
Not only in the environment, during the Gold Rush process, because more and more miners’ came,
the digging also become more and more crowded. Some Britain and American miners compel other
nations people to leave this area. The worst is native aboriginal people. Just in the Gold Rush period
have 120,000 aboriginal people died because of illness, famine, and murder. In 1860-1870, there
has a massive conflict between agriculture and the mining industry. The government also found this
problem. They limit the hydraulic mining and back the develop core back to agriculture (“From
Gold Rush to Golden State”). Even the Gold Rush just like a flash in the pan, but the benefit it
brings to California is vital. The Gold Rush let California blend in with the United States, it started
to build a connection with the Eastern United States. It also lets United States’s strength to expand
to the western. The Gold Rush let the United States’s Western and Eastern combine together, bring
the Western boundary vital like Eastern (“After the Gold Rush”).
The transcontinental railroad is another meaningful connection between Western and Eastern—this
railroad penetration the whole American land, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific coast. The
rails rode’s construct a complex process, but the company at that time can not find enough workers
to build this engineering. Especially in Western, the rugged mountains make build become
dangerous and challenging work. At that time, the Chinese workers played an important role. They
work in a mine for many years, and those valuable experiences let them become the main force to
build the transcontinental railroad. And the low salary requirement and hard working qualities also
were the critical reason. The Chinese workers finally account for 90% of the whole worker team.
(Module 4, Page 9) The transcontinental’s build is another symbol of the United States’s unity.
Before the transcontinental railroad build-up, people need to spend over 1000$ and 5-6 months to
arrive in California, and the travel is dangerous and expensive (“Building the Transcontinental
Railroad”). Even they choose ocean rote, and it still needs half a year. But the transcontinental
railroad makes the travail need five days, and the first-class seat needs 150$. The convenient
transport of transcontinental railroad brings to people is apparently. More people came into
California, and get them technic and culture to there. The connection between Western and Eastern
become stronger. However, there has an awful truth about the transcontinental railroad. The
railroad’s made become an excuse for people to compel and kill the aborigines, their hometown is
destroyed, the animal to survive to be killed, and themselves also one compel to do work or be
killed (Sam Vong).
In half nineteenth, because of Rush Gold and the transcontinental railroad’s build, many groups
have conflicts with Americans, like Chinese, Ireland people, and the American aborigines. For
Chinese, in the Golden Rush period, nearly 40,000 Chinese came to California, most of them from
the South of China. Because of illness and famine, they come there and hope to find a rood of life.
So they earn the lowest salary and do the most challenging work, they become the main force of the
transcontinental railroad’s construction. The hash work environment let over 1,000 people died by
accident and avalanche. Of crosse, them’s hard-working and low requirement bring some help for
California’s development, but all of those can not eliminate them discrimination against foreigners
in that time. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act allowed Chinese can not enter the United States,
and the people who already enter the United States can not join United Stated nationality. Many
men who work in there can not back to China to reunite with the wife and kids. Until 1943, the law
just be stopped (“Chinese immigration and the Transcontinental railroad”).
For the Irish, in 1845, potato failure made Ireland famine explosive, and in the past ten years, over
two million people leave there, and 60% of them arrive in the United States. As one of the most
prominent immigration groups, Irish immigration has a little different from another country. The
female Irish population is more than male, which is uncommon because, in the immigration trend,
the vanguard always be the man. The Irish also meet discrimination in the work or lifetime, and
native people always let them do the more challenging work and get less salary. They need to work
so hard to make sure they will not be fired. Compeer with that time’s white people’s salary, they get
the money even can not afford to live. But when the immigration trend wakens, there just has
5%-10% Irish back to Ireland, and they live in this land with the miss and beliefs of their country
The native locals’ conflict is the heaviest in those three groups, like the Massacre at Wounded Knee
in 1890. In 1877, congress reduce the reservation areas for the native locals, and that let Sioux
people lost the food source, and in 1889, congress continues to reduce the food supply for the Sioux
(“Wounded Knee Massacre”). That makes Sioux people can not live, and heresy, Ghost Dance,
appeared. The Massacre at Wounded Knee happened in suppress the Ghost Dance process. The
United States army meets the Sioux troop. When the most of native locals are surrendering and
handing them weapons, there have a Sioux person dance the Ghost Dance. He holds the gun
overhead, and the accident happens, his gun discharged. The United States Army be scared and shot
those barehanded Sioux. Finally caused 300 people death (Module 4, Page 16).
How does the US Constitution guarantee that no branch of the federal government will
become too powerful? What are the major powers or functions of each branch? How do the
Bill of Rights guarantee basic liberties to US citizens? What is a current issue related to the
Constitution (including the Bill of Rights) and/or the powers of the federal government?
(Module 2 and external research)
To make sure the right will not be controlled in one person or organization, the US Constitution
guarantee set a famous “Separation of Powers” rules. That is the main power be spread in three
different part, Congress, President, and Supreme Court (“Separation of Powers”). All of them
mutual restriction and cooperation. The Congress is Legislative Branch, the main duty of Congress
is making laws and regulations. The Congress also be separate by two different part, House of
Representatives and Senate (Module 2, Page 5). Another branch is Executive Branch, which consist
by President, Cabinet and Vice President. The main responsibility of Executive Branch is to
examine the law the Congress made, and make the passive legal can be implement. But the
Executive Branch also is not one person alone has the say. If the Congress though the Executive
Branch’s reject is unreasonable, they can vote to over throw the reject (“The Executive Branch”).
The last important branch is the Judicial Branch, and Supreme Court is the main consist part. The
duty of Judicial Branch is to explain the passive legal to people. The Supreme have a special policy
to make sure the branch will not be control by power. That is the justice in Supreme Court don’t
have terms, that means they can work until retirement, death, crime, or impeachment. They do not
need to afraid the political fight. Maximum protection of judicial justice (“The Judicial Branch”).
The Bill of Right use a lot of regulations to protect civil’s freedom and rights. Like in the First
Amendment, it regulate the civil have them right to speech, peaceful parade and religion. If people
use legal and peaceful method The government will not interfere civil’s speech, even though the
speech might about oppose government. In Second Amendment, it protect civil’s right to hold the
weapons. People can hold weapons like gun to protect themselves’s safety. That in a lot of country
is not allowed, but the Bill of Rights keep this. The third Amendment let solider can not stationed in
civil’s home if they didn’t get owner’s agree. And the Forth Amendment protect civil’s privacy of
wealth, document, house and body. (Module 2, Page 15,16, 17). All the Amendment’s set to protect
civil’s right and freedom, and in that time, compared with other country’s legal. The Bill of Right
can be say is the most freedom bill. The US Constitution guarantee efficient prevent the power’s
concentrate, but it also makes some problem. When the power separate, the legal’s make will meet
more problems. Like if the different branch have dispute of a policy, that will let the process
fossilized, and retard the policy develop speed. But this check and balance can not hold in long
time, in each period will have a branch’s power bigger than others. Like in the The Franklin
Rosevelt time, the President’s power is over than other branch, the Rosevelt’s discourse power
bigger (Kimberly Amadeo). Is not just in the war time, this kind of misbalance happen in each
period, the real balance will not happen like the US Constitution guarantee want, but as a result,
people need to fix the legal and policy again and again to make the country more fair and equal.
How did American political parties evolve between 1792 and 1860, eventually becoming the
Democratic and Republican two-party system that has prevailed ever since? Which groups of
people generally belonged to the Democrats and the Republicans by the mid nineteenth
century and what were some key political and socioeconomic variances that distinguished
them from each other? Lastly, how are the Democratic and the Republicans parties different
today (compared to how they were in 1860s)? (Module 5 and external research)
The first party establishes after the War of Independence. In 1798, George Washington was elected
as president and he against the party system in politics. He wants to build a party-less government.
But his hope did not continue for a long time, and he is the only president who didn’t join any party.
(Module 5, Page 10). He appoints two political opponents, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas
Jefferson, to join his cabinet. Hamilton as treasury secretary and Jefferson as secretary of state. But
when they meet the economic crisis, they propose a different opinion. Hamilton proposed to
increase the liquor tax and establish a national bank, but Jefferson against this proposal. So
Hamilton found some superior or influential people to support his idea, and that is the original
Federalist Party. 1794, Jefferson left the cabinet, and he let his friend James Madison go against
Hamilton’s decision by media. And Madison did this, he made people angry about Hamilton want to
increase tax. That is the primary of republican party’s foundation (“History of American Political
Parties “). Until 1828, the party systems started construction. In 1834, Whig Party was founded
against the Democrats party. Until the Civil war, mass-based party politics were raised. And both of
them launch civil elections and canvass activity. The two-party policy, Democrats and Republicans,
established in 1860, and Whig Party dissolution. (Module 5, Page 11)
In the nineteenth, the Democrats’ program is build up and respect human rights necessary. And they
believe the lasting prosperity will contribute to a democratic society that respects the rights of all.
For raising human right is the Democrats party’s hope, and the people who join them agree human
right’s essential and agree with their program. Like the policy in 1952, strengthen democracy,
support for free Germany, and progressive immigration (“1952 Democratic Party Platform”).
The Republicans promote the government’s critical, and they believe the government protects
people, service for people, and people follow the rules government made. They believe strict
decentralization of national and governments is important, and the concentration of power in
national governments will lead to an expansion of our control over our lives. Like the policy in
1956, balanced the budget, cut taxes further, and reduced the national debt. The people who join
them want the government to propose better policies and welfare treatment use the rules and policy
to bring the benefits (“Republican Party Platform of 1956”). Republicans and Democrats have some
differences to distinguish them. Like in the economic part, the Democrats thought the richer should
tax more than the poor. But the Republicans believe the tax should be the same for everyone, and
the market will decide the salary. (“Democrat vs. Republican”). In today, both of the party have
them unique ruling period, and in them ruling time, they Committed basic on that time’s United
States situation to develop the policy. Like in 2008, Democrat Barack Obama was elected, and his
one of the important achievement is passed the affordable health care reform, and reform the
insurance policy, which let most of American have insurance. That policy also was be mentioned in
nineteenth century’s policy, which wants to build up unemployment insurance and social welfare.
Today’s Democrat develops the nineteenth century’s policy and expands its influence. Make the
policy true. Republicans have some difference in today is the tax policy’s change. In the nineteenth
century, the government’s policy is to reduce people’s tax, but in today’s Republican is focus on tax
balance, whatever for richer or the poor. That is the difference. Even the party develops for a long
time, and both of them always have conflict. But all of them’s policy to build the beautiful United
States, and they still working on this road (“Democrat vs. Republican”).
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“The Judicial Branch.” The White House, The United States Government, 15 Jan. 2021,
“The Executive Branch.” The White House, The United States Government, 17 Jan. 2021,
“The Legislative Branch.” The White House, The United States Government, 15 Jan. 2021,
Digital History, www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtid=2&psid=3147.
“Democrat vs Republican.” Diffen, www.diffen.com/difference/Democrat_vs_Republican.
“1952 Democratic Party Platform.” 1952 Democratic Party Platform | The American Presidency
Project, 21 July 1952, www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/1952-democratic-party-platform.
“Republican Party Platform of 1956.” Republican Party Platform of 1956 | The American
Presidency Project, 20 Aug. 1956, www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/republican-party-
“History of American Political Parties.” American Government and Politics in the Information Age,
University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing Edition, 2016. This Edition Adapted from a Work
Originally Produced in 2011 by a Publisher Who Has Requested That It Not Receive Attribution.,
16 Nov. 2016, open.lib.umn.edu/americangovernment/chapter/10-1-history-of-american-political-
Amadeo, Kimberly. “How FDR Beat the Great Depression.” The Balance, 11 Nov. 2020,
“The Irish Girl and the American Letter: Irish Immigrants in 19th Century America.” The Irish Girl
and the American Letter: Irish Immigrants in 19th Century America – The Irish Story, 17 Nov.
Sam Vong, June 3. “The Impact of the Transcontinental Railroad on Native Americans.” National
Museum of American History, 4 Aug. 2020, americanhistory.si.edu/blog/TRR.
“The California Gold Rush.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/wgbh/
National Geographic Society. “After the Gold Rush.” National Geographic Society, 15 Oct. 2012,
“The Transcontinental Railroad”. The Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/collections/railroad-
Chinese Immigration and the Transcontinental Railroad, www.uscitizenship.info/Chinese-