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The Gold Rush is a documentary movie produced by American Experience, and features from interviews with the renowned writer Isabel Allende, historians Kevin Starr, Richard White, and James Rawls among a host of other historians. It shows the new view on the important event in the American history, simply known as the Gold Rush, as the title of the movie suggests. The documentary is two hours long, and tells a story of five adventurers, who were very determined in their intension to find gold. They are; the Chilean aristocrat, the Missouri woman, the New England sea-captain's son, as well as the New York blacksmith, all with different backgrounds. This documentary vividly shows the volatility, and how explosive the first multi-cultural, multi-ethnic entrepreneurial societies in America were. Furthermore, the film manages to bring to light how legalized discrimination rose in California, as well as the wiping out of the native population. MacLowry put it that the Gold Rush time ought to be forgotten, however, it can take credit for opening new horizons in America, and motivate the idea of California being a land of opportunity. In addition to that, he says that it had wealth that could not be imagined, and it still does, but to only those willing to take risks. This film has managed to document an event that is ever recalled for the changes it forged in shaping the nation, as put across by Mark Samels, American Experience executive producer.

On the other hand, Albert Hurtado in his book about the the Gold Rush depicts a story of one gold hunter, John Sutter, a Swiss emigrant, who arrived in California in 1839, and became a Mexican citizen, and was given grant of land of 50,000 acres in the Sacramento Valley. Within that land he developed businesses, and managed farming. At around 1847, John Sutter hired another man, James Marshall, to construct sawmill on his land, at a site named Coloma. On January 4, 1848, James, while staying at the sawmill site, picked a piece of metal that resembled gold, and took it to his boss, who had tested it, and proven that it was a real gold. Sutter was reluctant to release the information about the gold, and kept it secret. This is because he feared that his land would be swarmed by gold prospectors. However, in 1848 the then President of the USA, James Polk, confirmed the availability of Gold in that area, while speaking to his Cabinet on 5th December 1848, and the Californian gold became national news, triggering the famous gold rush, which brought some more than three hundred thousand people into California from the rest of the world, as well as from the United States of America. These people often faced hardships on their way to California, but were determined to there initial goal. It brought people from Europe, Latin America, China, and Australia.

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As the United States was transforming to an industrialized nation with the onset of the agrarian revolution, the gold rush happened to be a huge boost. The gold rush created what we today refer to as the American dream; it gave people the opportunity to risk, and to enjoy results of their efforts. These people braved harsh conditions in order to reach Sacramento Valley, and get their share of gold. People from all parts of the world came to California, and this is depicted in the film, where the story of five is told. The Missouri Woman experienced a significant loss, as her husband went down with flu. This sub story symbolizes that  people went to California to find solace for their background problems, they hopped that gold will help them get better healthcare, and an ability to pay bills.

The cultural diversity, present today in California, can be attributed to the Gold Rush. California was inhabited before the Gold Rush by Californians and Native Americans only (Raabe, 2003). The gold rush changed all this, as the news about the gold riches in California spread far and wide; this was usually done by ship that transported the gold. Thousands of people from Oregon, Hawaii, Mexico, China, and other places have been flocking to California since 1849, even before the American in the East could be aware of what was happening in the West Coast. People in Europe would also learn of the Gold Rush later, and also join in the business. The film has depicted how the foreign culture came to California with the gold rush immigrants. Not only does it show cultural diversity. This led to dilution of the local culture, and created the multi-ethnic diversity that can be seen in California today.

The film also focuses on what role the politics played in the gold rush. It has depicted how acts of racism were performed to non-native miners. English gold seekers had a hand in creation of Foreign Miners Tax, an exorbitant levy that was imposed on all non-American miners. The local people also suffered, because they lost their land for the “interest of the state”. According to the history book, even the president was interested in of the Californian gold. After the general election of 1849, California became a sovereign state. People in this state were demanding more communication, and connecting California to the rest of the United States. Californians later voted, and drafted their own constitution, that the society approved California to join the rest of the United States. Without even the authority from Washington, California declared itself as the 31st state of the United States, and it was later admitted to the Union. The issue of the Gold Rush had huge contribution into the union, as the rest of the United States wished to cash in on the financial benefits of the Gold Rush. 

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