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Global History of Gold Rushes

by Benjamin Mountford and Stephen Tuffnell University of California Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 336 pages
AU$149.00 NZ$153.04
Product Status: Out of stock. Not available to order.
Nothing set the world in motion like gold. Between the discovery of California placer gold in 1848 and the rush to Alaska fifty years later, the search for the precious yellow metal accelerated worldwide circulations of people, goods, capital, and technologies. A Global History of Gold Rushes brings together historians of the United States, Africa, Australasia, and the Pacific World to tell the rich story of these nineteenth century gold rushes from a global perspective. Gold was central to the growth of capitalism: it whetted the appetites of empire builders, mobilized the integration of global markets and economies, profoundly affected the environment, and transformed large-scale migration patterns. Together these essays tell the story of fifty years that changed the world.

List of Illustrations

John Darwin and Jay Sexton
Editors’ Acknowledgments
Timeline and Map: Selected Nineteenth-Century
Gold Rushes

part one
global transformations in
the age of gold

1 • Seeking a Global History of Gold
Benjamin Mountford and Stephen Tuff nell
2 • California, Coincidence, and Empire
Elliott West

part two
settler societies and gold
rush democracy
3 • Gold and the Public in the Nineteenth-Century
Gold Rushes
David Goodman
4 • The Pacific Gold Rushes and the Struggle
for Order
Benjamin Mountford
5 • The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and
Global Politics, 1849–1910
Mae M. Ngai

part three
finance, speculation, and
the economics of gold rushes
6 • Frenzied Finance: Gold Mining in the Globalizing
South, circa 1886–1896
Ian Phimister
7 • Dreams of a “Johannesburg of West Africa”: The Gold
Coast’s Moment in the Imperial Rush for Gold
Cassandra Mark-Thiesen
8 • Creating a Global Industry? Geology, Capital, and
Company Formation on the Goldfields of the Industrial Age
Erik Eklund

part four
expertise, the environment,
and mining technologies
9 • The Real Wealth of the World: Hydraulic Mining
and the Environment in the Circum-Pacific Goldfields
Andrew C. Isenberg
10 • Engineering Gold Rushes: Engineers and the Mechanics
of Global Connectivity
Stephen Tuffnell
11 • Grounding Capitalism: Geology, Labor, and the Nome
Gold Rush
Bathsheba Demuth

Select Bibliography
List of Contributors

Benjamin Mountford, is a David Myers Research Fellow in History at La Trobe University, is the author of Britain, China, & Colonial Australia and co-editor of Fighting Words: Fifteen Books That Shaped the Postcolonial World.

Stephen Tuffnell, Associate Professor of Modern US History at the University of Oxford, is currently completing Emigrant Foreign Relations: Independence and Interdependence in the Atlantic, c.1789-1902, and researches US history from a global perspective.