The gold rush started when gold had been declared found in the town of Ballarat, Victoria in late August 1851. Miners from across the world rushed to Australia in hope to find some gold. There was not one distinct issue that lead to the Eureka stockade on the Ballarat goldfields. In Victoria, hostility between the miners and government arose because of the dreadful living and working environments. These complications began to grow because of the deficient gold licensing system. Specific occurrences in Ballarat created the hostility to break out into the chaos and violence between miners and authorities. This event is known as the Eureka stockade.
A difficult journey to the goldfields and awful conditions left miners feeling miserable and discontent. Many miners were robbed of their possessions by savage bushrangers while making their way to the goldfields by walking, horse and cart and strange velocipedes. It was so crowded at the goldfields that on the 2nd of June 1851, the Sydney Morning Herald described that it would cause ‘… a stranger to believe that the people were actually fleeing from a city infested with the plague.’ At the goldfields miners had to put up with changing weather, shortages of food and water supplies, difficulty mining and living in old ragged tents. There was a whole lot of theft, drunken brawling and murder so miners often carried around weapons in self-defence. There were many worries about claim-jumpers, which resulted in miners working 6 days a week (Sunday being their rest day). Due to unsanitary conditions both death and disease such as Typhoid fever, dysentery and scurvy were all common. The appalling situations the miners faced were not sorted out so conflict between miners and the government kept increasing.
The gold licensing system was just another problem for the miners. They had to pay 30 shillings each month in advance just to renew them, whether they found gold or not. This only gave them the right to mine in a...
* Rebellion: The Eureka Stockade (2012), 1st June, www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/goldeureka.htm
* Life of the Australian goldfields (2011), 1st June,
* The Eureka Rebellion, year (n/a), 3rd June, home.alphalink.com.au/~eureka/eukand.htm
* Bedson, C. Darlington, R. Kwiatkowski, A. Wiggs, A, 2010, Humanities Alive 3, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons, QLD.
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