California's storied Gold Rush triggered momentous changes not only for the state, but also for the nation and the world. The economic impact of that epoch-making event is the focus of the second volume of the California History Sesquicentennial Series. The chapter contributors offer a range of perspectives, including commentaries that reflect the new scholarship of environmental and resource history. Together, the essays and more than 90 illustrations show how the Gold Rush precipitated a veritable economic revolution whose effects continue to this day.Among the topics given a fresh interpretation are the relationship between technology and society; the environmental impact from mining and the sudden increase in California's population; the influence of the Gold Rush on agriculture, manufacturing, banking, and transportation; and its impact on the peoples and economies of Latin America, Europe, and Asia. The popular image of the independent prospector is also examined anew, as is the role of different groups of industrial workers, including Chinese, Mexicans, and women.The Gold Rush was a multiplier, an event that accelerated a chain of interrelated consequences that in turn accelerated economic growth. But it also touched a deep-seated nerve in the human psyche and unleashed economic forces, for good or ill, that transformed California forever into a Golden State.