Although pioneers and mountain men had been steadily moving westward for at least two decades prior to 1849, the discovery of gold at the construction site of a mill in California triggered the first great boom in the West. Within a year of the discovery, the population of white settlers in California had risen from 20,000 to 100,000.Know More
Unlike those who had followed the Oregon Trail westward in the previous decades in hopes of establishing farms, most of the people who moved west as a result of the California gold rush were miners in search of a fast path to wealth. Those who moved to California in search of gold became known as '49ers, and the population boom also spurred the West's reputation for lawlessness. Thousands of men who had left their families behind took up drinking, soliciting prostitutes and gambling.
The gold rush also aided in the establishment of steady industrial economies in the West that were able to continue thriving even once gold became scarce. Those miners who didn't strike it rich from gold eventually either settled into the population of the booming California towns and took on industrial jobs or settled as farmers in the surrounding countryside. Others returned home to their families.Learn more about Modern History
Bank of the West is an FDIC-insured bank that began in 1874 as Farmers National Gold Bank, located in San Jose, California. The name changed to First National Bank of San Jose in 1880 and to Bank of the West in 1979.Full Answer >
The Great Purge was a period of systematic political repression and targeted elimination of suspect individuals that was carried out in the Soviet Union between 1934 and 1940. It took the form of warrantless arrests and lavish show trials at which the accused confessed to outrageous crimes.Full Answer >
The West in the United States was romanticized as being the Old West or Wild West in the mid to late 1800s. At the time, stories about the cowboy and outlaws were popularly featured in newspapers and periodicals. Outlaws such as Billy the Kid and Jesse James and lawman Wyatt Earp were widely known during the period.Full Answer >
The Great Fire of London occurred due to the failure of Thomas Farrinor, the king's baker, to extinguish the fire in his oven at the end of the day in September 1666. Sparks from the oven ignited the nearby firewood, setting his house on fire.Full Answer >