RUE Episode 113: California

Welcome to the Episode 113 Page of Ramping Up your English!

Episode 113 is all about the experience of California Indians, especially during the Gold Rush years.

The major California Gold-mining Regions

Watching Episode 113

If you didn’t catch Episode 113 on RVTV or if you just want to watch it again, this is the place to be. Just click here to watch the entire episode on You can also download it from this site.

Episode Summary

In this episode, we continue to give ourselves to content – to the history of Native Americans in California as they encountered Europeans and Euro-Americans. Beginning with Spanish sea captains and continuing with Franciscan Missionaries in the missions of Alta California, to the secular Spanish communities and the 49ers seeking gold; we explore the interactions that would decimate the lives of California Natives.

Suggested Activity

While the episode itself did not include direct language instruction, this content calls out for the language function of comparing and contrasting. Below are some questions that should lead to some insightful cognitive work – using language forms we’ve used before in previous episodes.

The beginning parts of the featured video demonstrate the treatment of Indigenous Californians at the hands of Spanish missionaries. Then there was a change when the missions became secularized after Mexican Independence. We could call this the Spanish/Mexican era.

The major part of the featured video began with the discovery of gold, and the influx of over 100,000 gold miners from the Unites States and other countries. Consider how the treatment of American Indians in California changed with the Gold Rush.

So we’re comparing and contrasting how their lives were affected – describing how non-natives treated the indigenous people in each era.

Hence, our learning objectives – both language and content – could be summarized thus:

Characterize the treatment of Native Americans in California by Franciscan missionaries in the California Missions.

Characterize the treatment of Native Americans by Mexican ranchers after missions were secularized.

Characterize the treatment of American Indians in California during the Gold Rush era – through 1873. Be sure to include the roles of Oregonians, prospectors, settler, vigilante posses, citizen militia, state militia, and the U.S. Army. (Keep focussed on the prevailing actions, not the exceptions).

Use conjunctions to compare the treatment during the Spanish/Mexican era with the treatment during the Gold Rush era by prospectors and settler from the United States. (Remember: Comparing is showing how the treatment was alike – what the eras had in common.

Use conjunctions to contrast the treatment during the Spanish/Mexican era with the treatment during the Gold Rush era. (Here you want to show how the treatment of Native Americans was different between those eras.

Compare and Contrast

Some conjunctions that show comparing include: both, alike, similar, in common.

Example: Both the Mexicans and the Anglo settlers…..

Their practices were alike intuit they both……

The experience was similar in that ……

Some conjunctions that show contrast:

While Mexican settlers……., anglo settlers….

While Spanish missionaries ……, Gold prospectors …..

In contrast to Spanish-speaking ranchers, gold prospectors …..

While the Mexican Constitution gave Indigenous Californians legal right, The U.S. State of California barred them from having legal recourse.

sentences that compare and contrast:

Native Californians were enslaved in both the Mission era and the Gold Rush era; however the practice was much more violent during the Gold Rush era.

While there was mistreatment byMexican ranchers and Anglo settlers ………., Anglo settlers …..

In contrast to………by Californios, Anglo settlers …… They both….., however the actions of the Anglo settlers ……

Native American rights were spelled out in both the Mexican and the California state constitutions. However, while American Indians in California during Mexican rule could……; Under the U.S. State of California they could not….

For examples of comparing and contrasting, look at Episode 104 under the Native Americans Unit. It can be found by going to the home page ( and clicking on the Native Americans Unit.

Featured Video

The featured video for this episode is Native Americans Part 23: California. While this page will contain many helpful features in the near future, viewers can only access the featured Video for now. Click here to view the full-length video. For the exact – and shorter – video featured in the episode, click here.

Next Episode

Episode 114 is still in production. Please visit again to see Episode 114 in the near future. Thanks for Visiting and watching Ramping Up your English!