How did the gold rush change British Columbia?
The Fraser Canyon (aka Fraser River) Gold Rush that began in 1858 was the prime factor that initiated permanent settlements on the British Columbia mainland, and the founding of gold led directly to the colonization of the area. Many of the first roads were built in response to the gold rush, and it led to the discovery of more gold in the area, especially in the Cariboo. The tens of thousands of prospective miners who entered the area led to Great Britain creating the Colony of British Columbia, and England declared ownership of the lands, which were in dispute due to the Oregon Treaty in 1846. Restrictions on immigration and weapons were established due to the vast number of people who flooded the area, and because of the fear that armed takeovers of claims would occur.