Gold and Immigration: California in the 1800s

By: Staff

The first missions in California were founded in …

To understand California in the 1800s, it's important to understand that missions were already firmly established.

By the 19th century, California was divided into districts called ...

The presidios were military districts designed to protect missions and land.

Who had control of California until the early 1800s?

Spain held California as a colony.

In 1821, California became …

After breaking with Spain, California was part of Mexico.

"Californios" referred to whom?

Those of Spanish or Mexican descent born in California were Californios.

After becoming a Mexican territory, how did California change?

Ranching and trade became easier without Spanish rule.

In 1834, the missions of California began to be …

The missions were abandoned, and land was sold off to white transplants or wealthy Mexicans.

How were the missions supposed to help native peoples?

In theory, the missions were designed to "teach" the California Native Americans autonomy.

How did the missions end up working?

Essentially, the "Mission Indians" (as they were called) were never allowed to leave the missions.

By the end of mission life, how had the Native American population fared?

Between disease and unhealthy living conditions at the missions, the Native American population was half of what it was before European influence.

When did the first pioneers from Missouri leave for California by wagon?

The sunny coasts beckoned early, in 1841.

However, what kind of United States residents had first come overland in 1826?

Already itching to get the furs of the bountiful state, trappers and traders first started coming overland in 1826.

By 1846, the native population of California was less than 100,000, but there were how many permanent, foreign residents?

The population was starting to grow with immigrants and those seeking land and fortune.

How did the Bear Flag Revolt start?

In 1846, Americans captured a group of horses despite being a relatively small minority of the California population.

Another group of Americans soon captured what California settlement?

They captured Sonoma, raised the bear flag and declared themselves the Republic of California.

The United States declared war on Mexico in May of what year?

By January 1847, less than a year later, the war was already over.

What was the treaty wherein the United States received California (among other lands)?

The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was named after the neighborhood where it was signed, near Mexico City.

When did the first reports of gold start trickling in from California?

A New Jersey man was the first to report finding gold in California in 1848.

By August 1848, how many hopeful gold miners were camped out around the area of the gold find?

The gold rush was truly a mad dash.

How many people traveled by boat to California in 1849?

Forty thousand people sailed into San Francisco Bay to find their fortune.

How many people attempted the overland wagon trail to get to California that same year?

Six thousand wagons carrying about 40,000 more people tried the land route in 1849.

By 1853, how many "49ers" had traveled to California?

And all 250,000 got SO RICH. Just kidding, barely anyone struck gold.

California wanted to be admitted to the union as …

The Compromise of 1850 saw that California be admitted as a free state.

What was the estimated value of the gold mined during the gold rush in California?

The value was $2 billion. So no small potatoes, but again, it wasn't like millionaires were being made daily.

California sided with whom during the Civil War?

It aligned with the Northern cause.

After the Civil War, what labor problems began to appear in California?

Chinese immigrants were working for lower costs than the white workers.

What did the Chinese Exclusion Act do?

The 1882 act was a drastic policy shift, turning the United States from a country that accepted all immigrants to one that discriminated based on ethnic background.

When was the Chinese Exclusion Act repealed?

It wasn't until 1943 that the act was repealed, after several extensions and even more limitations for Chinese residents of the U.S.

Chinese people who had already immigrated to the United States were also forbidden to …

This meant that families were permanently broken and stranded.

What grew out of the Chinese Exclusion Act?

As legal immigration became impossible, illegal entry into the country gained traction.

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About This Quiz

There's gold in them thar hills! Or is there? Test your knowledge of California in the 1800s to see if you can distinguish between what's real and what's fool's gold.

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