How did the Australian Gold Rush effect Australia's immigration and multiculturalism? During the gold rush period, immigrants from all around the world came to Australia to find wealth and riches in the gold fields. The majority of these immigrants came from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, America and Germany. But the largest foreign contingent was China with over 40,000 coming to work in the gold fields. The Chinese worked in large groups with one leader who was in charge. They worked hard and lived simply, they were feared by the other miners due to the extensive work they did. With the money they earn they would send back to their families in China. The Chinese also saw other opportunities to make money and work at other jobs around digging such as washing clothes, selling food and more. The locals and European diggers saw the Chinese diggers a very strange and different due to the way they looked, their religion, their culture and their way of life, this made them all a target of racism. In an attempt to limit the number of Chinese at the gold filed a law was passed in 1855 that any Chinese person entering Victoria would have to pay 10 pounds taxes and another pound of protection fee, the right to mine and to live in a colony. No one from any other country had to pay this fee only the Chinese. The tax however did not reduce the amount of Chinese in Victoria. After the gold rush same Chinese went home but many of them stayed starting up a business and bring their family members over to Australia. Over time the Chinese became respected and appreciated group they are today in Australia. But it was not only the Chinese who stayed in Australia after the gold rush. Many of the other immigrants for all the other countries set up their own business, brought their families over and settled in Australia. The gold contributed largely to the multicultural nature that is Australia today.
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