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In 1838, gold was discovered in the rich valleys of California. Wave after wave of settlers and immigrants come in, hoping to strike it rich. Only few actually find gold, but many of the "thirty-eighters" stay in California in many of the new boom towns. California was part of the Mexican Empire, which had recently lossed a war against Texas and was weak. The new settlers in California was seen as way to make money, and heavy taxes were set. This angered the newcomers, many of which were poor or had no money at all. Those who couldn't pay were forced to move to government camps where they mined or did other work. In 1839, independence groups appear in California, and hold meeting and rallies across the Mexican territory. Alarmed, Mexico sent in its army and occupied Sonoma, which was the epicenter of the movement. In 1840, shots were fired on George's Mill, a mill which was owned by a settler who supported Californian independence. A meeting was being held, and Mexicans and Californians were both killed. Angered, the Californian settlers attacked and burned a Mexican camp, beginning the Californian War of Independence.