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How History Shapes the Present

I have always wondered if religion was the only reason California became this overpopulated. Last week we read about the contribution of the missions in popularizing and urbanizing California. Although the mission rule by the Spaniards and other colonizers that came after them provided work through farming, the subtle announcement of the discovery of gold in California in A San Fransisco Newspaper Modestly Announces the Discovery of Gold, 1848,  is one major reason California imported more people. For lack of a better word, I will say that American nature has always been a greedy one. Everyone in America has the greed to make it in life, to live comfortably and accomplish their dreams. The advert in the San Fransisco newspaper is enough motivation to bring people from all walks of life to California.

The statement that ‘Gold has been found in almost every part of California’ from a local newspaper is enough reason to bring hopeful clients to California in a bid to get rich quick. Although the letters from Dame Shirley paint a different picture of the failure of the gold mines, they may interestingly serve as another welcoming point of freedom. The freedom to swear is an interesting discussion as it tells me more about the present culture of swearing in America. As Dame Shirley points out, people did not swear back ‘home.’ This explains why many other cultures around the world are still baffled at how much Americans swear with reason and without reason as well. Interestingly some part of the crowd might have been drawn to California out of interest of people who swear freely and rivers that churn gold.How History Shapes the Present

I read Impressions Concerning the Chinese Railroad Workers, 1865 with great interest because from reading newspapers, I know that the Chinese are good with the construction of anything transport. The Chinese are contracted around the world and especially in third world countries to build roads, railways, and bridges. The steadfastness of the Chinese worker described in the article is true to date. There is a class where we were required to watch a documentary titled American Factory in which I understood the difference between the work culture of the Chinese and that of Americans. True to the statement, the American workers kept complaining about the amount of work and the preservation of their rights. While their Chinese counterparts also complained, the Chinese still managed to accomplish more work in worse conditions. In the documentary, the Chinese describe Americans as lazy people who talk more than they work.

The steadfastness of the Chinese in work would, therefore, explain why California had some of the best-developed railroads. Interestingly, the work of the Chinese in the past is still significant today as some railroad routes today are part of the modern road and rail transport in California. Just like in the article, the Chinese continue to flock into the country today for work but in a twist of fate, some Chinese bigwigs are now the bosses in America employing both the Chinese and Americans.How History Shapes the Present

Still, on transport, The Butterfield Overland Mail-1869 informs how transport evolved to the current one. Butterfield makes an enormous contribution to both the road networks as we know it today and leads the way to vehicle production. In the article, the author mentions that Butterfield maintained their roads and because of this, we have modern roads leading to various destinations today. Had Butterfield not taken the initiative to construct roads, maybe the governments would never have taken over. The designing of coaches for safe, faster and more comfortable transport is a tremendous history that explains the origins of motor vehicles as we know them today. The hunger to provide more efficient transport demonstrated in the book through railroads and roads is the reason modern infrastructure utilizes all forms of transport for easier and timely access to resources.

After reading this section, I understand how the Chinese found their way to America. From class readings, I understand that the Africans found their way to California via the Transatlantic slave trade. After making this connection, I read To the voters of the State of California which is interesting because Negroes and the Chinese are allowed to vote in California for the first time. This explains previous history lessons of how California came to be a free state and how this influenced the whole of America to allow citizens no matter the color or origin to vote in America today. California set the ball rolling towards a more cohesive America that fights racism to date. The article informs me of why the culture of fighting for equality continues to date and the contribution that some white people have made to ensure that their colored counterparts are treated like people too.

Lastly, the article California Newspapers Debate the Civil War informs me that the road towards the end of slavery was not easy. There were both supporters and those against it. In this light, I understand why the fight towards the end of racism is still difficult. There are still racists who believe they are justified and more inclusive people who attach no value to the origins of people. War is not enough to win over the racists seeing that the civil war only accomplished little in changing mindsets. I believe that self-reflection and more education is the only way for racism to end because, in truth, there is nothing gained from it, while a lot is lost. All authors in this section are credible because they write about a piece of history mentioned by other authors.How History Shapes the Present