The history of the USA - Years Of Growth

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The history of the USA Years Of Growth 1 Miners, Railroads and Cattlemen In March 1848 a Californian landowner first discovered gold in a stream. Before long the news of this discovery was sweeping through California. By the middle of the summer a gold rush had begun and by the spring of 1849 people from all over the world were rushing to California to look for gold. In 1848 its population was 15.000 people, by 1852 the population was more than 250.000. In the next twenty years gold discoveries attracted fortune-seekers also to other parts of the far West. The first mining settlements were just untidy collections of tents and huts, scattered along rough tracks that were muddy in winter an dusty in summer. But some grew later into permanent communities. The present city of Denver (the capital of Colorado) began life in this way. Thousands of miles separated these western mining settlements from the rest of the United States, thousands of miles of flat or gently rolling land covered with tall grass. Early travellers who passed through this region described it as a sea of grass , for hardly any trees or bushes grew there. Geographers call these grasslands the Great Plains of North America. In the middle of the nineteenth century the Great Plains were the home of wandering Amerindian hunters such as the Sioux. The herds of buffalo that grazed on the sea of grass provided them with everything they needed. Yet within twenty-five years of the end of the Civil War, practically all ...

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