How the Australian Gold Rush Changed Australia

Topics: Australia, Immigration, Eureka Stockade Pages: 4 (1186 words) Published: May 20, 2013
How the Australian Gold rush changed Australia

The gold rushes in the second half of the 19th century would completely change the way Australia would look at its self and how other nations and people would look at it. Before 1851, Australia’s combined recorded white population was approximately 77,000. Most of these where convicts, slaved and war captives who had been inhabiting Australia for the past 70 years.

But the gold rush completely changed the small country Australia the convicts where used to and Edward Hargraves made his discovery in Bathurst, Australia’s population boomed to over 540,000 and 370,00 immigrants arrived in Australia’s ports during the year 1852 alone

The first reason why the gold rush changed Australia was the development of democracy. The Eureka Stockade was the 1854 miners' uprising on the goldfields of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Conditions on the Australian goldfields were harsh. The main source of discontent was the miner's licence, which cost a monthly fee of 30 shillings and permitted the holder to work a 3.6 metre square "claim". Licences had to be paid regardless of whether a digger's claim resulted in the finding of any gold. Frequent licence hunts, during which the miners were ordered to produce proof of their licences, added to the increasing unrest. Previous delegations for miners' rights had met with inaction from the Victorian government, so on 29 November 1854, the miners burned their licences in a mass display of resistance against the laws which controlled the miners. Following a massive licence hunt on November 30, Irish immigrant Peter Lalor was elected to lead the rebellion. 

On December 1, the miners began to construct a wooden barricade, a stockade from which they planned to defend themselves against further licence arrests or other incursions by the authorities. At 3:00am on Sunday, 3 December 1854, 276 police and military personnel and several civilians stormed the stockade. It remains unclear...
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