This article identifies the 1863–1876 period in Los Angeles as a boom, preceding the better-known boom of the 1880s. The author attributes the early boom to the 1860s drought and the costly legal cases stemming from the Land Act of 1851 that, together, decimated the Mexican-era ranchos and the cattle economy. Los Angeles entered a new era based on farming, health claims, growth, and boosterism fostered by a Euro-American network of opportunists who shaped the new political scene and economy, built a new urban infrastructure, and formed new social and cultural institutions. Along the way they created a racialized geography dominated by Euro-Americans.
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