What were the causes and consequences of the gold rushes in BC?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Fraser Canyon Gold Rush occurred in what is now British Columbia in 1957. Gold was discovered in the Thompson River, just upstream from where it connects with the Fraser River. The rush started after San Francisco got wind of the gold discoveries because of a shipment of gold the governor had sent to the city's mint. Very quickly, thousands of men rushed up toward British Columbia to mine for gold. 

The flood of prospectors had a lot of consequences for the region, but the most notable was that it was responsible for the founding of the Colony of British Columbia. Since the region was previously unincorporated, the rush caused Britain to assert British authority and governance over the territory. 

Importantly, the influx of outsiders disrupted the balance between the fur traders and indigenous people. Tensions between miners and indigenous peoples rose, starting the Fraser Canyon War. 

By 1860 the gold was all but gone from the canyon, dispersing the population. However, the area would never be the same after the settlement of British Columbia. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial