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Karen Palumbo

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On This Dy 9/9/1850
9/21/2011 7:05:53 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]


California becomes the Thirty-first State in record time


Though it had only been part of the United States for less than two years, California becomes the thirty-first State in the Union without ever even having been a territory. Mexico had reluctantly ceded California and much of its northern territory to the United States in the 1848 "Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo".

When the Mexican diplomatssigned the treaty, they pictured California as a region of sleepy mission towns with a tiny popuation of about seven thousand three hundred people, no a devastating loss to the Mexican Empire. Their regret might have been much sharper had they known that gold had been discoveed at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, Californianine days before they signed thepeace treaty.

Suddenly, the greatestgoldrush in history was on, and "forty-niners" began flooding in to California chasing after the fist-sized gold nuggets rumored to be strewn about the ground just waiting tobe picked up. California's population and wealth skyrocketed.

Most newly acquired regions of the United States went through long periods as territories before they had the sixty thousand inhabitants needed to achieve statehood, and prior to the Gold Rush, emigration to California had been so slow that it would have been decades before the population reached that number.

But with gold fever reaching epideic proportions around the world, more than sixty thousand people from around the globecame to California in 1849 alone. Faced with such rapid growth, as well as a thorny congressional debate over the question of slavery in the new territories, Congress allowed California to jump straight to full statehood without ever passing through the formal territorial stage.

After a rancorous debate between the slave-state and free-soil advocates, Congress finally accepted California as a free-labor state under the "Compromise of 1850", beginning the state's long reign as the most powerful economic and political force in the far West.



(K) (HST)


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Four Little Witches by TJ Perkins

Magical learning about the elements. For ages 0-6. Hard back picture book, high quality...  
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