North America 1849: California Gold Rush

Political map of North America & the Caribbean on 11 Feb 1849 (Manifest Destiny: California Gold Rush), showing the following events: California Gold Rush; Yucatan Bill; Mexico ratifies Guadalupe Hidalgo; Wisconsin becomes US state; Oregon Territory organized; End of the Republic of Yucatan; Los Altos independent; Colony of Vancouver Island.

Just days before the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in California. Despite attempts to keep the find secret, word spread across the country, reaching the East Coast by August. Over the following years some 300,000 people from all around the world traveled to California by land and sea in the first of the great gold rushes of the 19th century.

Main Events

15 Mar 1848–? ?? 1855 California Gold Rush

Despite attempts to keep it secret, James W. Marshall’s discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California was made public, bringing some 300,000 people (the “forty-niners”) to California by land and sea as the news spread. The subsequent mass settlement of Californio-owned land along San Francisco Bay violated the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, but was ignored by wikipedia

29 Apr–17 May 1848 Yucatan Bill

United States President James K. Polk sent his Bill for the Relief of the Yucatan to Congress, urging for temporary military occupation of the Republic of Yucatan due to the crisis caused by the Caste War and the threat posed by British intervention. The Bill was rejected when false reports of the end of the war wikipedia

19 May 1848 Mexico ratifies Guadalupe Hidalgo

The government of the Mexican Republic ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo with the United States of Americain wikipedia

29 May 1848 Wisconsin becomes US state

The eastern portion of the Territory of Wisconsin, United States of America, was admitted to the Union as the state of Wisconsin; the remainder of the territory became wikipedia

14 Aug 1848 Oregon Territory organized

The United States portion of the Oregon Country was organized as the Territory of Oregon on 14 August 1848. The US Territorial Government did not arrive until March 3, 1849, when it replaced the existing but unrecognized Provisional Government of wikipedia

17 Aug 1848 End of the Republic of Yucatan

After rebuffed appeals for assistance to Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, the Republic of Yucatan agreed to resume its confederation with wikipedia

26 Aug 1848–15 May 1849 Los Altos independent

Liberal crillos in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, led by General Agustin Guzman, declared the independence of the state of Los Altos for a second time. Quetzaltenango soon fell to the forces of Guatemalan leader Rafael Carrera, with Los Altos rejoining Guatemala the following wikipedia

13 Jan 1849 Colony of Vancouver Island

The British founded the Crown Colony of the Island of Vancouver and its Dependencies, centered on Fort Victoria, Vancouver Island. The colony was immediately leased to the Hudson’s Bay Company for a ten-year period, and the company’s Chief Factor James Douglas was charged with encouraging British settlement. Richard Blanshard was named the colony’s governor, but could do little in the face of the company’s wikipedia