For other uses, see.The fastest clipper ships cut the travel time from New York to San Francisco from seven months to four months in the 1849.
A gold rush is a new discovery of —sometimes accompanied by other and —that brings an onrush of miners seeking their fortune. Major gold rushes took place in the 19th century in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, South Africa and the United States, while smaller gold rushes took place elsewhere.
The wealth that resulted was distributed widely because of reduced migration costs and low barriers to entry. While itself was unprofitable for most diggers and mine owners, some people made large fortunes, and the merchants and transportation facilities made large profits. The resulting increase in the world's gold supply stimulated global trade and investment. Historians have written extensively about the migration, trade, colonization and environmental history associated with gold rushes.
Gold rushes were typically marked by a general buoyant feeling of a "free for all" in income mobility, in which any single individual might become abundantly wealthy almost instantly, as expressed in the.
Gold rushes helped spur a huge immigration that often led to permanent settlement of new regions. Activities propelled by gold rushes define significant aspects of the culture of the Australian and North American frontiers. At a time when the world's money supply was based on, the newly mined gold provided economic stimulus far beyond the gold fields.
Gold rushes extend as far back to the Roman Empire, whose gold mining was described by and, and probably further back to.
Life cycle of a gold rushA man leans over a wooden sluice. Rocks line the outside of the wood boards that create the sluice.
Within each mining rush there is typically a transition through progressively higher capital expenditures, larger organizations, and more specialized knowledge. They may also progress from high-unit value to lower unit value minerals (from gold to silver to base metals).
A rush typically begins with the discovery of placer gold made by an individual. At first the gold may be washed from the sand and gravel by individual miners with little training, using a gold pan or similar simple instrument. Once it is clear that the volume of gold-bearing sediment is larger than a few cubic metres, the will build rockers or sluice boxes, with which a small group can wash gold from the sediment many times faster than using gold pans. Winning the gold in this manner requires almost no capital investment, only a simple pan or equipment that may be built on the spot, and only simple organisation. The low investment, the high value per unit weight of gold, and the ability of gold dust and gold nuggets to serve as a medium of exchange, allow placer gold rushes to occur even in remote locations.
After the sluice-box stage, placer mining may become increasingly large scale, requiring larger organisations and higher capital expenditures. Small claims owned and mined by individuals may need to be merged into larger tracts. Difficult-to-reach placer deposits may be mined by tunnels. Water may be diverted by dams and canals to placer mine active river beds or to deliver water needed to wash dry placers. The more advanced techniques of, and may be used.
Typically the heyday of a placer gold rush would last only a few years. The free gold supply in stream beds would become depleted somewhat quickly, and the initial phase would be followed by prospecting for veins of gold that were the original source of the placer gold. Hard rock mining, like placer mining, may evolve from low capital investment and simple technology to progressively higher capital and technology. The surface outcrop of a gold-bearing vein may be oxidized, so that the gold occurs as native gold, and the ore needs only to be crushed and washed (free milling ore). The first miners may at first build a simple to crush their ore; later, they may build to crush ore more quickly. As the miners dig down, they may find that the deeper part of vein contains gold locked in or, which will require. If the ore is still sufficiently rich, it may be worth shipping to a distant smelter (direct shipping ore). Lower-grade ore may require on-site treatment to either recover the gold or to produce a concentrate sufficiently rich for transport to the smelter. As the district turns to lower-grade ore, the mining may change from underground mining to large.
Many followed upon gold rushes. As transportation and infrastructure improve, the focus may change progressively from gold to silver to base metals. In this way, started as a placer gold discovery, achieved fame as a silver-mining district, then relied on lead and zinc in its later days. began mining placer gold, then became a silver-mining district, then became for a time the world’s largest copper producer.
Gold rushes by region
Main article:Ballarat's tent city in the summer of 1853–54, oil painting from an original sketch by
Various gold rushes occurred in Australia over the second half of the 19th century. The most significant of these, although not the only ones, were the and in 1851, and the of the 1890s. They were highly significant to their respective colonies' political and economic development as they brought a large number of immigrants, and promoted massive government spending on infrastructure to support the new arrivals who came looking for gold. While some found their fortune, those who did not often remained in the colonies and took advantage of extremely liberal land laws to take up farming.
Gold rushes happened at or around:
- , Victoria
- , Victoria
- Canoona, Queensland
- , Queensland
- , Queensland
- , Western Australia
In New Zealand the from 1861 attracted prospectors discovery from the and the and many moved on to the from 1864.
The first significant gold rush in the United States was in (east of Charlotte), in 1799 at today's. Thirty years later, in 1829, the in the southern occurred. It was followed by the of 1848–55 in the, which captured the popular imagination. The California gold rush led directly to the and the rapid entry of that state into the union in 1850. The gold rush in 1849 stimulated worldwide interest in prospecting for gold, and led to new rushes in Australia, South Africa, Wales and Scotland. Successive gold rushes occurred in western North America:, the district and other parts of British Columbia, in, in the in,,, eastern, and western and along the lower., near was the site of Alaska's first gold rush in the mid–1890s. Other notable Alaska Gold Rushes were and the.Miners and prospectors ascend the Chilkoot Trail during the Klondike Gold Rush.
One of the last "great gold rushes" was the in Canada's (1896–99). This gold rush is immortalised in the novels of, and 's film. depicted with talent in his poetries the dramatic event of the Gold Rush, especially in the book. The main goldfield was along the south flank of the near its confluence with the near what was to become in Canada's Yukon Territory but it also helped open up the relatively new US possession of Alaska to exploration and settlement and promoted the discovery of other gold finds.
In South Africa, the in the was important to that country's history, leading to the founding of and tensions between the and British settlers.
South African gold production went from zero in 1886 to 23% of the total world output in 1896. At the time of the South African rush, gold production benefited from the newly discovered techniques by Scottish chemists,, of using to extract gold from low-grade ore.
South America5-gram gold coin from Tierra del Fuego by
Further information: and
Between 1883 and 1906 experienced a gold rush attracting a large number of Chileans, Argentines and Europeans to the archipelago. The gold rush begun in 1884 following discovery of gold during the rescue of the French steamship Arctique near.
Mining industry today
There are about 10 to 30 million small-scale miners around the world, according to Communities and Small-Scale Mining (CASM). Approximately 100 million people are directly or indirectly dependent on small-scale mining. For example, there are 800,000 to 1.5 million artisanal miners in, 350,000 to 650,000 in, and 150,000 to 250,000 in, with millions more across Africa.
Notable gold rushes by date
Rushes of the 1690s
Rushes of the 18th century
Rushes of the 1820s
Rushes of the 1840s
Rushes of the 1850s
- ,, Canada (1850); the first of many
- Northern Nevada Gold Rush (1850–1934)
- ,, Australia (1851–late 1860s)
- , California (1853–58)
- Idaho Gold Rush, also known as the Gold Rush, near (1855)
- , () (1858–59)
- , British Columbia (1858–61)
- , British Columbia (1859–1860s)
- ,, Kansas Territory (present-day Colorado) (1859)
- , Victoria, Australia
Rushes of the 1860s
- , California (1860–61)
- , (1860)
- , New Zealand (1861)
- , (), (1861)
- , (1862–64)
- , Idaho (1862)
- , British Columbia (1862–65)
- , including, (), (), and, Idaho (1862–1864) and Montana (1864–1869)
- , British Columbia (1863)
- , Idaho (1863)
- ,, California (1863–64)
- , Vancouver Island (1864–65)
- , South Island, New Zealand (1864–67)
- , British Columbia (1865—66)
- Gold Rush, (1867)
- , British Columbia (1869)
- Wild Horse Creek Gold Rush, British Columbia (1860s),
- Eastern Oregon Gold Rush (1860s–1870s)
- ,, Scotland (1869)
Rushes of the 1870s
- , Finland, 1870
- Cassiar Gold Rush, British Columbia, 1871
- Palmer River Gold Rush,,, Australia (1872)
- , of and (1874–78)
- Bodie Gold Rush, (1876)
- Kumara Gold Rush, and Dillmanstown, New Zealand (1876)
Rushes of the 1880s
- Gold Rush, South Africa (1883)
- ,, South Africa (1886); discovery of the of gold in the world. The resulting influx of miners became one of the triggers of the of 1899-1902.
- in (1884—87)
- Tulameen Gold Rush near 
- , southernmost and (1884–1906)
Rushes of the 1890s
- , (1891)
- , and, Western Australia (1893, 1896)
- ,, United States (1897–1920s)
- , centered on,, Canada (1896–99)
- , (1898)
- , (1899–1909)
- Fairview Goldrush, Oliver (Fairview), British Columbia Canada
Rushes of the 1900s–1910s
- , (1902–05)
- Goldfield Gold Rush, 
- , 1903–05,, Canada
- , 1909–11,, Canada – little known, but one of the largest in terms of gold mined, 67 million ounces as of 2001
Rushes of the 1930s
Rushes of the 1970s
Rushes of the 1980s
Rushes of the 21st century
- Great Mongolian Gold Rush, (2001)
- Apuí Gold Rush,,, Brazil (2006); approximately 500,000 miners are thought to work in the Amazon's "garimpos" (gold mines).
- gold rush, (2009)
- Ralph K. Andrist (2015).. New Word City. p. 29.
- Reeves, Keir; Frost, Lionel; Fahey, Charles (2010). "Integrating the Historiography of the Nineteenth-Century Gold Rushes". Australian Economic History Review. 50 (2): 111. :.
- , Simon Balderstone and John Bowan (2006). Events That gold rush discovery parker 2018 Shaped Australia. New Holland. .
- ^. Tar Heel Junior Historian 45, no. 2 (Spring 2006) copyright North Carolina Museum of History.
- Halloran, Jim (September 2010).. Prospecting and Mining Journal. 80 (1). Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- Micheloud, François (2004).. FX Micheloud Monetary History. François Micheloud: www.micheloud.com. Archived from on 2006-05-20.
- Martinic Beros, Mateo. Crónica de las Tierras del Canal Beagle. 1973. Editorial Francisco de Aguirre S.A. Pp. 55–65
- , New York Times, July 14, 2008
- .. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Malone, Michael P.; Roeder, Richard B.; Lang, William L. (1991). "Chapter 4, The Mining Frontier". (Rev. ed.). Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. pp. 64–91. . Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- Dollimore, Edward Stewart. –. –.
- Levitan, Gregory (2008). "1: History of gold exploration and mining in the CIS".. Xlibris Corporation. p. 24. . Retrieved 2017-10-29. The early 1930s were marked by the decision of the Communist Party Politburo to reinstate the institution of prospectors who had been banned as antisocialist elements in the second half of the 1920s. described in his book (1938) that by 1933 all plans to put prospectors back to work in the field had been worked out and implemented as rapidly as possible. Regulations to govern relations between prospectors and Gold Thrust were drawn up, setting in motion a Soviet gold rush.
- Marlise Simons (1988-04-25)... Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Mount Kare gold rush : Papua New Guinea 1988 – 1994 / Dave Henton and Andi Flower
- Black bonanza : a landslide of gold / Peter Ryan
- Grainger David (December 22, 2003)... Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- Jens Glüsing (February 9, 2007)... Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- Tom Phillips (January 11, 2007)... Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- Lauren Keane (December 19, 2009)... Retrieved 2011-04-24.
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