Many people that were moving west were gold diggers. These people were in it to win it. Many left their lives, jobs, and family behind to strike the precious gold to make them rich and be set for life.
The gold diggers lived in tents or mud houses. They would search day and night trying to find gold, had very little rest and food, and would often die of starvation.
The gold rush accomplished many things. It grew new businesses, it made ton of people move to the west, and it shaped westward America.