The Development of California
California became the thirty-first state in 1850, when its population, boosted by the gold rush, numbered over 100,000. This population included many Chinese immigrants. In 1852, 10 percent of Californian residents were Chinese. After the Civil War, more settlers moved west, attracted by high wages and cheap land. The first transcontinental railroad system, begun in 1863 and finished in 1869, linked Sacramento to the Eastern states. Many Chinese laborers were brought in to work on the railroads (including Lee’s parents in the novel). They...
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