- Feb 2020
According to Eschwege, the total produce of the Brazilian diamond mines for the eighty years, ending in 1823, had not realised the price of one-and-a-half years’ average produce of the sugar and coffee plantations of the same country, although the diamonds cost much more labour, and therefore represented more value.
Diamonds were first discovered in Brazil in 1729 near the city of Belo Horizonte. This started a diamond rush and a period of feverish migration of workers.
Major diamond rushes also took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in South Africa and South-West Africa.
Diamond rushes, like gold rushes or other types of rushes, are for Marx economic bubbles or asset bubbles (sometimes referred to today as speculative bubbles, market bubbles, price bubbles, financial bubbles, speculative manias, or balloons).
- May 2017
Yukon Gold Company
The Yukon Gold Company was a gold mining company during the late 19th century, extending into the 20th century. The Yukon Gold Company was a major player in the Klondike, or Yukon, Gold Rush. When the Klondike Gold Rush began, most of the mining was performed by hand. In order to create dredges, placer gold mining machines that extract gold from sand or dirt using water and mechanical methods, miners had to find financial support (Gates). The major mining companies during the early 1900s were the Yukon Gold Company and the Canadian Klondike Mining Company. These companies merged into the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation (YCGC), or “The Company,” in 1923. By 1934, The Company was operating five dredges (Bostock). As the YCGC expanded, individuals created smaller mini gold rushes along the Indian and Stewart Rivers. During the 1930s, the general manager of the YCGC planned to expand the company by adding three additional dredges and new support facilities (Yukon Consolidated Gold Company Limited). The YCGC was largely successful in the 1930s due to the prevalence of cheap labor and materials, but the beginning of World War II quickly stunted this growth. The price of gold dropped significantly and the YCGC only briefly recovered to their pre-war prices in the late 1940s. The price of labor and materials increased until the YCGC stopped operation in 1966. Images of the gold dregs can be found below.
References: Bostock, H. S. "The Mining Industry of Yukon, 1934." Canada Department of Mines Geological Survey, 2387th ser. (1935). Accessed May 03, 2017. http://yukondigitallibrary.ca/Publications/MiningIndustryYukon1934/Mining%20Industry%20of%20Yukon%201934.pdf
"Fonds yuk-971 - The Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation Limited fonds." The Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation Limited fonds - Alberta On Record. Accessed May 03, 2017. https://albertaonrecord.ca/yukon-consolidated-gold-corporation-limited-fonds.
Gates, Michael. Yukon News. September 02, 2011. Accessed May 03, 2017. http://www.yukon-news.com/letters-opinions/when-the-monster-machines-ruled-the-creeks
The Yukon Territory is a small, western Canadian territory with a rich history, including records dating back to 10,000 years go. In the Yukon Territory, there are a variety of languages spoken including Vunut Gwitchin, Han, Tutchone, Northern Tutchone, Southern Tutchone, Upper Tanana, Kaska, Tagish, and Tlingit (Pinnacle Travel). Another small ethnic group that is French-speaking remains from those who migrated from the Gold Rush. In the late 1700s, the Yukon became a major trading area between Tlingit and other Yukon people (Government of Yukon). In 1852, Tlingit traders pushed the Hudson Bay Company out of the Yukon in 1852. In 1886, a trading post was established at the Stewart River and coarse gold was found at the Fortymile River and the Yukon Gold Rush began. In 1898, the Yukon Territory Act was passed to consider the Yukon as separate from the North-West Territories, with Dawson City as its capital. In 1972, Elijah Smith and some of the Yukon First Nations tribe went to Ottawa seeking land claims. The final agreement, The Umbrella Agreement, was signed in 1993 and was signed by the governments of Canada and Yukon and the Council of Yukon First Nations. The Yukon First Nations’ final land claim was complete in 1995. In 2003, the Devolution Transfer Agreement was passed, allowing the Yukon government more control over provincial programming and powers.
References: "Government of Yukon." History - Government of Yukon- Government of Yukon. January 5, 2015. Accessed May 07, 2017. http://www.gov.yk.ca/aboutyukon/history.html.
"Pinnacle Marketing Management Inc." Pinnacle Travel. Accessed May 07, 2017. https://www.pinnacle-travel.org/yukon-culture-history/.
- Apr 2017
Klondike gold rush of 1898
The Klondike gold rush is characterized by the vast movement of white prospectors through the Mackenzie Valley in pursuit of Yukon gold fields. This mass of white prospectors were primarily American. Prospectors primarily entered the valley through the Chilkoot Pass, which was a lower area of mountains that allowed prospectors to haul equipment into the valley. This movement elicited issues of land and border disputes that involved indigenous peoples and the United States and Canadian governments. Indigenous people lived on lands that were being entered by prospectors and the Canadian government wished to keep the northern territories peaceful for the use of extracting the valuable resource of gold. So, with the signing of Treaty 8 by Queen Victoria, First Nations from the Lesser Slave Lake area were displaced to an area roughly 840,000 square kilometers. With these actions of the Klondike Gold Rush and the signing of Treaty 8, “Americans and Britons successfully sought gold, displaced native groups, and lived together peaceably” (Arenson, 375-376).
The second major issue that arose during the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush was the dispute between Canadian and American lands. The disagreement occurred along the Alaskan Panhandle where the small towns of Dyea and Skagway were located. These vital port towns allowed access into the Yukon Territory (Petrakos, 366). The port towns were so valuable because they allowed people and supplies to pour into and out of the Yukon Territory. This being said, they were highly profitable, which increased tensions on the dispute over these towns. Canada feared that their land claims on the panhandle would be disregarded as the large migration of Americans to the panhandle area began to overrun the existing Canadian population present on the panhandle. This fear of disputed land spread into the Yukon gold fields as an excessive amount of Americans began to seek their Manifest Destiny. With this anxiety of American migration to the Klondike, the Canadian Government began to advocate for the movement of Canadian miners and the creation of Canadian infrastructure in the Yukon gold fields. This action came in hopes to increase the Canadian presence in the region and to bolster Canadians position in the Yukon Territory.
As a second measure to solidify Canadian territory and the border between Alaska and the Yukon Territory, the Canadian Government dispatched, “the North-West Mounted Police into the territory to establish Canadian sovereignty. These mounted police not only brought law and order to the territory, they also successfully created a border point at the Chilkoot Pass. Chilkoot Pass was the main trail for those who came to the area through the port city of Dyea (Wharton, 1972). The deployment of Mounties was highly important because at the same time the United States had flooded the disputed territory with American troops to protect American claim on the territory. Overall, the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 was an important instance of Canadian-American border defining and the continued expulsion of aboriginal tribes for the extraction of natural resources.<br> Caption: The Chilkoot Pass in the midst of the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. Prospectors hike up the frigid pass often making multiple trips to haul all of their gear through the pass.<br> Source: Archives Canada
Arenson, Adam. 2007. "Anglo-Saxonism in the Yukon: The Klondike Nugget and American-British Relations in the “Two Wests”; 1898-1901." Pacific Historical Review 76 (3): 373-404.
Petrakos, Christopher. 2016. "William Ogilvie, the Klondike Borderlands and the Making of the Canadian West." The American Review of Canadian Studies 46 (3): 362-379.
Wharton, David. 1972. The Alaska Gold Rush. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.