The gold rush took place in California from 1848 to 1855 after gold was discovered in a California River. Many people moved to the West to find their fortune. People who traveled by horse drawn cart or boat for gold were known as 49ers. 300,000 people came to California during the gold rush. Agriculture and ranching expanded throughout the state to meet the needs of the settlors. So many people moved to California during the gold rush that California became a state in 1850. Entire indigenous societies were attacked and pushed off their lands by the gold seeking 49ers. Only a small percentage of minors made much money from the gold rush. Merchants who sold overpriced supplies and equipment to the minors were often far better off than the gold seekers.

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