15 Apr 2022


Exploitation and Genocide of California Indians

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 354

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The California Gold Rush presented numerous economic opportunities. It provided employment and allowed businessmen to cash in on the vast deposits of gold in California. While thousands earned huge sums, the Indian community endured untold suffering. Thousands of Native Americans were murdered and the government has faced accusations that it sanctioned the murders. The exploitation and genocide of California Indians is a lesson for the American government to take all necessary steps to safeguard vulnerable communities.

As noted above, thousands of Indians in California died following the Gold Rush. It is estimated that between 9,000 and 16,000 Indians were murdered (Nazaryan, 2016). It has to be noted that these figures are rather conservative. It is believed that many more Indians in California died. The methods used to execute theme were crude and inhuman. For example, records indicate that the culprits used high-caliber guns that “tore them [Native American children] up so bad” (Nazaryan, 2016). In addition to federal soldiers, vigilante groups and state militiamen are also accused of being behind the murders.

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The injustices that the Indian community in California suffered went beyond murder. The members of this community also endured sexual violence. Women and young girls were raped. Furthermore, the Native American community was robbed of its land (Trafzer, 2014). They were displaced and forced to find a new home. As this was happening, the government did nothing to protect this community (Trafzer, 2014). The government effectively sanctioned the extermination of this community. Additionally, the mining activities displaced the animals that the Indian community relied on for sustenance. This exposed this community to the threat of starvation. Overall, the exploitation and genocide of the California Indians resulted in a significant decline in the population of this community. It was not until years later that the size of the population registered an increase.

In conclusion, the experiences of the California Indians shed light on the injustices that vulnerable communities endure. Thousands of the members of this community were murdered. Women and young girls were sexually violated. They were robbed of their land and lost access to resources that they needed for sustenance. The US government and the nation at large recognizes that measures must be instituted to prevent a repeat of the atrocities committed against the Indian community.


Nazaryan, A. (2016). California Slaughter: The State-Sanctioned Genocide of Native Americans.

Retrieved 26th July 2017 from http://www.newsweek.com/2016/08/26/california-native-americans-genocide-490824.html

Trafzer, C. E. (2015). “Killing California Indians: Genocide in the Gold Rush Era.” Retrieved

26th July 2017 from https://ccnn.ucr.edu/docs/Proceedings%20of%20the%20Symposium%20Killing%20California%20Indians.pdf

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Exploitation and Genocide of California Indians.


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