43 Australian Gold Rush Facts: Timeline, Impact And The Ugly Side | Kidadl


43 Australian Gold Rush Facts: Timeline, Impact And The Ugly Side

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The Australian gold rush in the mid-19th century made thousands of people travel from all over Australia and around the world to the goldfields.

The discovery of gold had previously been made secret, but the government of New South Wales squelched the information out of concern for the stability of the economy until July 1851, when Victoria became a separate colony. The Australian colony of New South Wales asked for permission from the British Colonial Office for the mining of mineral resources in 1851.

Victoria is known to have thirteen goldfields, each of which has produced more than 1 million oz (28.34 million g) of gold. Bendigo is recognized to be the largest goldfield in Victoria, with gold found at around 22 million oz (623 million g). To preserve their rights, the miners fought soldiers and law enforcement officers. Many people perished, but afterward, the miners were no longer required to pay for their permits. The gold rush came to an end in the 1890s, but gold was discovered across Australia until the turn of the century. With the discovery of alluvial gold, gold rushes occurred. Most miners rushed to find gold in the hopes of becoming the first to discover it during the gold rush period. Near the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, gold was discovered in 1848. Earlier, the precious metal gold was unknown to the indigenous people of Australia. The world's gold finding was most evident during the gold rush period. Edward Hargraves found gold in 1851 in New South Wales. In the hope of finding gold, the forest creek regions were crossed by the people of South Australia. Travel was observed across the sea during the gold rushes. The gold finds were more evident in New South Wales. Most gold finds before 1851 were kept secret from the colonial people of Australia, including South Australia.

Facts About The Australian Gold Rush

The discovery of more gold in Australia led to a huge increase in the population. The first rush started at Clunes, Victoria, in 1851, and soon towns were being established alongside the Victorian goldfields.

  • By 1860, there were 100,000 diggers on the Victorian fields.
  • It was much later that other states began to see rushes around their borders. Tasmania in 1852; New South Wales in 1859; Queensland in 1861; and Western Australia in 1893.
  • Mining for gold involves digging shafts up to 98.4 ft (30 m) deep, blasting with explosives, and then carting the ore away.
  • Usually, only an experienced miner could tell if it was worth carting the ore away or just panning in the stream nearby.
  • Sometimes people rushed off without looking for the gold that was beneath them.
  • Gold was first discovered in Australia at Bathurst, New South Wales, by William Lawson and James McBrien in 1823.
  • This discovery is the reason Bathurst is named the oldest inland city in Australia.
  • The first gold rush in Australia began in 1851, at the time when alluvial gold was found.
  • This was not long after Edward Hargraves discovered gold near Bathurst, New South Wales, which sparked the beginning of the great Australian gold rush.
  • The birth of the first-ever colonial branch of the British Royal Mint was another significant occurrence for gold in New South Wales in 1855.
  • The gold rush in Australia lasted from 1851 until the late 1860s. Miners from all over the world flocked to the Australian goldfields.
  • The Yankee Clippers were a new type of ship built in America that sailed during the Gold Rush. They were tiny, quick, and equipped with huge canvas sails.
  • Between 1850 and 1853, Donald McKay of Boston, Massachusetts, designed eight huge clippers.
  • The cookshops of China, in addition to lamb and dampers, offered a significant source of nourishment. The gold rush had a substantial influence on Australian food availability. Most of the rural workers abandoned their agricultural duties to look for gold. This affected the local food industry's output.

Impact of The Australian Gold Rush

In the 19th century, gold mining had a significant impact on Australian economic development. It caused substantial growth that was so dramatically accelerated that it put Australia's wealth ahead of the rest of the world, and this was impossible bereft of gold's effect.

  • This expansion was so quick that it spread across all parts of the economy, most notably making raw materials and pastoralism, resulting in tremendous changes in those areas.
  • The role of gold in establishing Australia's strategic operational and cultural identity has had a lasting impact on the lower-middle class, whose effects are still prevalent.
  • Apart from this, Aboriginal Australians were impacted by the Australian Gold Rushes through the dispossession of their land and being forced into poverty with little access to employment, housing, or health care during this period.
  • This led to increased conflict between Aboriginal Australians and white settlers, which would continue until the 1930s when greater restrictions on where Aboriginal Australians could live were enforced.
  • The gold rush led to an increase in crime. Many people returned from the goldfields with large sums of money, which they spent on alcohol, gambling, and prostitutes.
  • This caused an increase in thefts, robberies, and murders as people tried to steal what they had made or return home without being discovered as bankrupt.
  • As more men headed for the diggings, it became harder for others to find work at home, so many turned to crime themselves, stealing clothes and food, which led to a huge rise in arrests.
  • The Australian Gold Rushes were hugely significant in shaping Australia's future, both domestically and internationally. It was the catalyst for Australia's growth from a collection of British colonies into a unified, federal nation.
  • The influx of wealth and people quickly transformed the Australian colonies, particularly in Victoria and, to a lesser extent, New South Wales, into major urban hubs.
  • As a result of this economic growth, many Melbournians pushed for their city's ascendancy to become Australia's capital away from Sydney, which was also vying for growth.
In 1851, Edward Hargraves found gold in New South Wales during the gold rushes era.

Australian Gold Rush Timeline

In 1823, J. McBrien discovered gold in Australia, which was initially reported by the authorities. The news was kept secret.

  • In 1849, the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Fitzroy, appealed to the Colonial Office for a policy on mineral exploitation.
  • Edward Hargraves, an English miner who had previously worked in California, arrived from the West Coast and washed gold at Summer Hill Creek, Ophir, in 1851.
  • The Eureka Stockade, which took place in 1854, was a result of farmers' dissatisfaction with the system of mining licenses and their lack of political rights.
  • Following this inquiry, things got worse. In Victoria, the gold licenses were replaced with the 'Miner's Right' in 1855.
  • In 1858, a small gold deposit was found north of the Fitzroy River in northern Queensland.
  • In 1861, New Zealand gold was found that could be worked upon.
  • Gold was discovered in 1864 at Coolgardie, Western Australia.
  • In 1867, a rich gold deposit was found in Gympie, Queensland.
  • On February 5, 1869, near Moliagul in Central Victoria, Deason discovered the first gold nugget deep beneath the earth's surface.
  • In 1893, near Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, gold was found.
  • On June 9, 1894, bushrangers became a major problem for the gold miners. Gold diggers were now facing problems with robbery.

Ugly Side Of The Australian Gold Rush

The Australian Gold Rushes are remembered as periods of great prosperity in the country. High amounts of wealth were found and people were able to get rich quickly.

  • Many other benefits came from this, such as Australia's first railway. However, there was also a darker side to these events that are often overlooked, violence against Indigenous Australians.
  • During these times, many Indigenous Australians worked as miners and received very little pay, and often did not receive any money.
  • Instead of working for a living, Indigenous Australians were forced to work in the goldfields. Many died from overwork and harsh conditions that were accepted by industry professionals.
  • The home lives of all classes were disrupted by the gold rushes. Clerks, teachers, and other professionals found themselves leaving their jobs for a year or more to try their luck at digging for gold instead.
  • Many were successful, but others returned after their money ran out. Some, however, stayed in the goldfields, living a difficult hand-to-mouth existence until they eventually gave up and came home.
  • The change from a stable society with little social mobility to one where individuals could make good quickly had an enormous effect on the lives of those involved as well as those left behind, who lived in fear of receiving letters telling them that everything they had worked for was now gone as their sons or husbands were dead or had become ill and destitute.
  • Gold digging led to many deaths. Most died from accidents or illnesses that were caused by working in poor conditions at the diggings.
  • However, some men committed suicide after they had lost all their money through gambling or through drinking too much alcohol, which led them to depression because they could not support their families anymore.
Kidadl Team
Written By
Kidadl Team

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