The California Gold Rush and the Environment Term Paper by Quality Writers

The California Gold Rush and the Environment
This paper explores the environmental impact of the California Gold Rush.
# 101369 | 1,190 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2008 | US

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The paper reveals that the Gold Rush was a dark moment in the environmental history of the American West. The paper describes how the Gold Rush resulted in significant ecosystem destruction through deforestation, sedimentation, hydraulic mining and mercury pollution. The paper looks closely at the historical facts of the Gold Rush that indicate how the environment was severely damaged by the mining operations.

From the Paper:

"The history of the California Gold Rush is well-documented. What is less clear is the historical study of the lasting environmental impacts that the Gold Rush had on the California region. To be sure, the environmental impact of the Gold Rush would have been severe, if only taken in the context of the incredible demographic changes that took place in the early to mid nineteenth century. With that many people uprooting from eastern locales and making the trek west to make their fortune at the edge of the American frontier, the environment would have been hard-pressed to absorb the shock of that much more stress on the local ecosystems. However, even a cursory examination of contemporary historical work on the subject reveals that the environmental destruction was even more significant than that. The California Gold Rush, it would seem, resulted in a powerfully terrible environmental legacy for the state."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bowman, Chris. "No One Tracked the Cost in Environmental Damage." 18 Jan. 1998. 17 Dec. 2006 <>.
  • Chatterjee, Pratap. "The Gold Rush Legacy: Greed, Pollution, and Genocide." Earth Island Journal 13.2 (Spring 1998): 26.
  • Coates, Peter. "Book Review." Environmental History 11.3 (July 2006). 17 Dec. 2006 <>.
  • Coates, Peter A. "Garden and Mine, Paradise and Purgatory: Landscapes of Leisure and Labor in California." California History 83.1 (Spring 2005): 8-31.
  • Kyle, Douglas E. "Rush for Riches: Gold Fever and the Making of California." California History 82.2 (Spring 2004): 72-74.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The California Gold Rush and the Environment (2008, February 25) Retrieved September 25, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The California Gold Rush and the Environment" 25 February 2008. Web. 25 September. 2023. <>