Mining


US History Reconstruction Era and the Western Frontier Mining
Students learn about mining in western states. Then they explain how mining impacted the physical environment. Finally, they map some important mines and explain how mining affected western movement of the population.

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Overview

In this experience, students learn about mining in western states. Then they explain how mining impacted the physical environment. Finally, they map some important mines and explain how mining affected western movement of the population.

Objectives:

  • Describe how the boom in gold and silver changed the West.
  • Identify problems that arose on the mining frontier.


As you learned, the discovery of gold in California in 1848 brought tens of thousands of people to the West in search of their fortunes. At the same time, miners began discovering silver, gold, lead, zinc, and copper in many western states including Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, and the Dakota territories. The rush for riches brought an ethnically diverse group of people together and turned many western towns into boomtowns overnight.




Copper Miners


Objectives:

  • Describe how the boom in gold and silver changed the West.
  • Identify problems that arose on the mining frontier.


What are some things that you recall about the California gold rush? If someone has already posted your fact, try to recall something else.



Students may recall some of the information listed below:

  • The population of California increased to almost 400,000 people.
  • Most of the prospectors did not make much money; those who sold supplies made the most money.
  • The economy of California improved.
  • There was an environmental impact caused by the gold rush.


In this experience, you will be learning about the miners who traveled west during the gold rush and the impact they had on the mining frontier.


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