Alcatraz Island And Prison

This essay Alcatraz Island And Prison has a total of 3881 words and 14 pages.

Alcatraz Island And Prison


Alcatraz Island has quite a distinct history. Many people know that Alcatraz served as a
federal prison, but most are reluctant to know that this island served as fort. Built before
the Civil War, it served two main purposes. First, that it was to guard the San Francisco
bay area from enemy ships against a foreign invasion, and second, to hold hostage
prisoners of war or POW's as they were called. In this report, I'll show you how this
fortress came to be a federal prison, why it is no longer in operation today, and most
importantly, to show why it was built in the first place. When the great Gold Rush of
1849 first started, California grew from what would be considered a small, unpopulated
state, into what it is now. California is now one of the most populated states and it was
mostly the gold rush that brought attention to California. As the government saw all of
this happening, they realized that California was much more important than they ever
realized. In their realization, they decided that California must be protected. San
Francisco has one of the largest bays in all of California, and so this was where enemy
countries would most likely to try to invade the country. So this is where Alcatraz was to
lie, to serve as a military fort. It was supposed to serve as a secondary base in
companionship to another base located on the other side of Golden Gate Bridge. But
with severe problems trying to build this other base, Alcatraz was to remain alone. Out
in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, the island of Alcatraz is definitely a world unto
itself. Isolation is just one of the many constants of island life for any inhabitant on
Alcatraz Island. It is the most reoccurring theme in the unfolding history of Alcatraz
Island. Alcatraz Island is one of Golden Gate National Recreation Area's most popular
destinations, offering a close-up look at a historic and infamous federal prison long
off-limits to the public. Visitors to the island can not only explore the remnants of the
prison, but learn of the American occupation of 1969 - 1971, early military fortifications
and the West Coast's first and oldest operating lighthouse. These structures stand among
the island's many natural features - gardens, tidepools, bird nests, and bay views beyond
compare. (1) Fortress Alcatraz ran in operation from 1850 - 1933. It served as San
Francisco's only major defense. It started off with only eleven cannons, that were
transported onto the island

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