(Begin page no. 288) Chapter XIX- California As I Saw It: First-Person Narratives of California's Early Years, 1849-1900
In this extract, it mainly focuses on many of the topics Adams and Cullen focused on, such as the "American Dream" and the idea of the US developing into something bigger and better. The first line from states "may look forward to time when litigation and uncertainty on the subject, shall cease, and consequent happiness and thrifty progress of the people of California ensure". Both Cullen and Adams mention when many migrated west for a better start. Adams mentions that the term "bigger and better" became rooted in the nation during the period 1830 to 1850 when "the nation was growing like a weed". Cullen draws on home ownership being an essential element of the American dream and uses the example of the Homestead Act of 1862. Does owning land and prospering in this land determine success? In this extract from the primary source, it is thought so. The author states
"where we had traveled the previous fall without seeing a human habitation, was now the abode of civilized man". To be civilized, is to inhabit land and prosper there, hence the American dream.
The extract draws upon the settlers facing many challenges. It speaks of a constant flux in events, going from good to bad, such as how fast the buildings were being built in the city of Sacramento and then how quickly this declined. It also speaks of floods and natural disasters that occurred that affected the settlers. But then it goes on to say that an "immense business" in mining was flourishing and that"Aladdin could not have been more surprised at the power of his wonderful lamp, than I was at the mighty change". Adams stated that"It was the West that was building up Eastern manufacturing and Eastern fortunes, and it was the West that was dominating the American mind and outlook". Businesses were prospering in the West due to the new abundance of raw materials and land available to the settlers. Adams and Cullen talk of the American dream in a rather cynical way as they discuss whether or not the dream is something that is tangible, something that can be accomplished. Whereas in this extract, the author is commenting on how these individuals have prospered and have achieved something similar to the american dream as they are now considered civilized men.