The Gold Rush
The discovery of gold in the colonies had a major impact on Australian society. When Edward Hargraves discovered gold in Australia in 1851, it marked only the beginning of the changes about to happen in Australia. The discovery of gold had a major change in Australia; it affected not only those in Australia but around the world. The news of gold found in Australia resulted in huge numbers of people migrating to ‘find gold, get rich’ what people didn’t realise is that it wasn’t that easy. Farmers, builders, traders etc. picked up their stuff and left their jobs and families behind to go work in the gold fields. Many of them though didn’t find any gold. This leads us to the subject of wealth. The wealth in Australian society increased as the miners continue to find gold, but as some people found gold, others don’t find any, which increases the poverty and the homelessness in towns. The government decided that the best way of controlling diggers and, at the same time, raising money was to make each miner buy a licence. This cost was 30shillings ($3) each month. This also didn’t help those already struggling. Often forgotten in gold rush history, Indigenous Australians were also greatly affected by the merge of migrants and the loss of land and culture. Aborigines rarely bothered to look for gold, but they were able to trade with the miners. The aboriginal people saw little value in gold for themselves. The gold could not be eaten and could not be used in a practical way. Because of the rush of people leaving their jobs the aborigines had the chance to get jobs because of the lack of other workers. The gold rush had a major impact on the colonies, changing the way things were run and the changes of migration, wealth and poverty in Australia from the 1850’s onwards still have impact on the Australian society today. Today, you can see how the different cultures have changed and shaped the new Australia. If you go into the city in Melbourne, Ballarat or...
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