Question One. Position of the minorities in the “popular history”
Minorities in California included the Chinese and Indians. Several Chinese and Indians came to California and gained employment as laborers and low wage workers. As time went by, there arose conflict in the cities and gold fields that resulted from prejudices Chinese laborers and whites (Sucheng, Spencer & Thomas, 1996). Depression resulted due to the construction of the transcontinental railway and this was severely blamed on the Chinese laborers. As a result, many Chinese were expelled from the gold mine fields. Many Chinese went back to China while those who opted to stay were shifted to other towns like San Francisco (Sucheng, Spencer & Thomas, 1996).
California is not a paradise on earth even though nature blessed it with resources. First, mining activities depleted soils and therefore, farming could not be supported. Secondly, the rich white men who controlled most of the banks bought the gold fields. Therefore, the proceeds from mines never helped the Native Americans because mine owners sent back money to their mother countries like England and Spain (Sucheng, Spencer & Thomas, 1996).
Question Three. Impact the explorers had on the Native Californians, and vice versa
In 1848, gold was discovered in Sierra Nevada east of Sacramento. This resulted into what was called California Gold Rush. In the end, population growth increased considerably because miners and merchants settled in towns that were found along the State Highway (Sucheng, Spencer & Thomas, 1996). Banks developed in California because bankers financed the exploration of gold. As the population of people from other countries increased along the gold mining zones in California, the Native American population decreased. Furthermore, it was noticed that early immigrants brought a lot of skills in many trades since they had come from places where workers were organized. As a result, labor movements began in San Francisco. Moreover, the interaction between missionaries and Americans resulted into the acquisition of Spanish speaking language by the Native Americans (Sucheng, Spencer & Thomas, 1996).
Question Four. The socio-economic life of the Spanish in California during the Mission Period
The explorers introduced religious posts, for instance, the Californian Missions established by the Dominicans, Jesuits, Spanish catholic and the Franciscans. The missions’ aim was to spread Christianity to the Native Americans. The missions introduced new breeds of livestock, vegetables, fruits, agricultural industries, and invasive plant species in California. The missions benefited from constant supply of forced labor provided by the Native Americans. The missions were generally small composing of two Franciscans guarded by eight soldiers. In addition, the Spaniards used Crown to consolidate colonial territories. Indeed, none of the missions were self- supporting; therefore, they relied on some financial aid from the royal fort (Sucheng, Spencer & Thomas, 1996).
The essay Chosen is on racism, this essay was chosen because it gives a vivid story on how the rich Europeans (whites) treated various ethnic groups during the gold rush period in California. The author’s main idea was to highlight the treatment that the minority groups underwent in the hands of rich gold mining financiers. The minority groups were paid little or no salary; in fact, even the Native Americans never benefited much from the fact that California had plenty of resources. The article was well written because the writer managed to support his thesis with other documented facts. I agree with the author’s ideas because the facts were present sequentially and logically (Richard, R. et al., (2001).