Modern Day Gold Rush?
America has experienced many gold rushes in the past, four of which are considered major gold rushes with profound social and economic effects. Perhaps the most important one and the one that most people think of when they hear the phrase “gold rush” is the great California gold rush of the mid 1800’s. This rush greatly enriched our young country and was essential to the settlement of the west. The California Gold Rush began after gold was found there in January 1848, during which a political and economic revolution occurred which eventually resulted in California being admitted to the Union in September 1850.
Nearly half a century before the California Gold Rush, the Eastern US experienced two distinct gold rushes of its own, although they are generally lumped together into a single event. The North Carolina Gold Rush occurred in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, and the Georgia Gold Rush began around 1828. These Gold rushes were critical to the rapid growth of the United States and were an important ingredient in America becoming the superpower that it is today.
The state of Alaska has experienced several distinct gold rushes of its own during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, and they are generally considered one great gold rush. Alaska has produced large quantities of gold ever since, particularly after the sharp rise in the price of gold during the 1980’s.
The fourth Gold Rush and the one of which most people have no idea ever occurred happened during the depression era in the 1930’s. The lack of jobs and general malaise that enveloped America during this period prompted people of all backgrounds try their hand at prospecting and pull wealth out of the ground. Placer gold prospecting would become the only source of income for many industrious Americans during this time, and helped put food on the table. One interesting fact about gold during this era is that it had to be sold directly to the treasury, as it was illegal for individuals to own gold.
Much has changed in America since the Great Depression, and we certainly live in different times, but we are beginning to see many parallels between the 1930’s and today. Some say that we are currently experiencing the longest period with the highest unemployment rate ever. That’s not saying that the unemployment rate is higher than during the Great Depression, but that they rate has been extraordinarily high for a longer period of time. Membership in national as well as regional gold prospecting clubs and associations has risen sharply over the last few years. Take a trip to some of these prospecting clubs and talk with the people there. You will find that a good number of people there are unemployed and are staying on the associations property for the maximum amount of time allowed. Gold prospecting is hard work, but requires minimal upfront and ongoing funds. Now, as they did over 75 years ago, Americans without traditional employment are trying their hand at gold prospecting. The government continues to print paper money at an alarming rate, while many hard working Americans turn to gold prospecting, again trying to pull real wealth out of the ground.
July 10, 2011 | Share: