The California Gold Rush
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Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the California Gold Rush. In 1849 the recent discovery of gold at Coloma, near Sacramento in California, led to a massive influx of prospectors seeking to make their fortunes. Within a couple of years the tiny settlement of San Francisco had become a major city, with tens of thousands of immigrants, the so-called Forty-Niners, arriving by boat and over land. The gold rush transformed the west coast of America and its economy, but also uprooted local populations of Native Americans and made irreversible changes to natural habitats. With: Kathleen Burk Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at University College London Jacqueline Fear-Segal Reader in American History and Culture at the University of East Anglia Frank Cogliano Professor of American History at the University of Edinburgh.