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Taming the ElephantPolitics, Government, and Law in Pioneer California$
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John Burns, Vivian Louie, and Roberto Suro

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520234116

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520234116.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 01 August 2021

Capturing California

Capturing California

Chapter:
(p.126) 5 Capturing California
Source:
Taming the Elephant
Author(s):

Joshua Paddison

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520234116.003.0005

This chapter describes some of the visual archival materials that vividly illustrate political and governmental activity and the people associated with it. A tension between order and chaos ran through gold-rush society. Clergymen, businessmen, and entrepreneurs spoke of the need to “tame” wild California—to pacify its itinerant working classes, to subdue its nonwhite groups, and to establish recognizable governmental and financial systems. The rise and expansion of government in California during the decades after the Gold Rush represented one aspect of middle- and upper-class reformers and entrepreneurs' efforts to “tame” the frontier state. Captured by missionaries, businessmen, and artists alike, California continues to inspire utopian dreams of all kinds and to reflect the best and worst aspects of human nature.

Keywords:   California, tame, government, Gold Rush, reformers, entrepreneurs, visual archival materials, clergymen, businessmen

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