Gold Rush in Australia! The transportation of convicts to Australia was phased out between 1840 and 1868. By 1860, the continent of Australia had been divided into FIVE separate colonies (not officially states yet, mate but seperation away from New South Wales), each not seeing eye-to-eye and exhibiting more loyalty to London to each other. A major force within the colonies was the “squatocracy” – the rich officers and settlers a.k.a. opportunists who had followed the explorers into fertile hinterlands. Gold was originally discovered in Australia by Rev. [NEXT: the birth of a new nation!
The Australian gold rush JCF Johnson, A Game of Euchre, col. wood engraving, Australasian Sketcher Supplement [Melbourne], 25 December, 1876. Image courtesy of the : nla.pic-an8927787. The gold rushes of the nineteenth century and the lives of those who worked the goldfields - known as '' - are etched into our national . There is no doubt that the gold rushes had a huge effect on the Australian economy and our development as a nation. The camaraderie and '' that developed between diggers on the goldfields is still integral to how we - and others - perceive ourselves as Australians. Indeed, mateship and defiance of authority have been central to the way our history has been told. Even today, nothing evokes more widespread national pride than groups of irreverent Aussie 'blokes' beating the English at cricket, or any other sport for that matter! It is this early flowering of a national identity that makes any study of the gold rush days so intriguing. The discovery that changed a nation Gold frenzy Racism Vindication
Gold! Gold Rush in Australia Gold is found in rocks and in the ground. People came to look for gold in Australia. Gold is a soft, yellow precious metal. Gold in California and Australia In 1851, during the time that there was a gold rush in California USA, a gold rush began in Australia. However, in Australia, it was not unusual for gold nuggets, some very large, to be found. The California Goldfields. The Largest Australian Nuggets In October 1872 Holtermann's Nugget was found. The Australian gold rush begins Small amounts of gold were found in New South Wales in the early days of the colony, but the authorities hushed it up. Within a week there were over 400 people digging there for gold, and by June there were 2000. Between 1851 and 1861, Australia produced one third of the world's gold. The Victorian goldfields In August 1851, part of New South Wales was made a separate colony, and was named Victoria after the Queen. Click here to see a map showing a few of the main Australian goldfields.
Australian gold rushes An Australian gold diggings circa 1855 After the California gold rush began in 1848, causing many people to leave Australia for California to look for gold there, the New South Wales government rethought its position, and sought approval from the Colonial Office in England to allow the exploitation of the mineral resources and also offered rewards for the finding of payable gold. The first gold rush in Australia began in May 1851 after prospector Edward Hargraves claimed to have discovered payable gold near Bathurst, at a site he called Ophir. Hargraves had been to the Californian goldfields and had learned new gold prospecting techniques such as panning and cradling. Hargraves was offered a reward by both the Colony of New South Wales and the Colony of Victoria. Before the end of the year, the gold rush had spread to many other parts of the state where gold had been found, not just to the west, but also to the south and north of Sydney. Pre-rush gold finds F. At E.
Ancient Australian History After a long trek on foot or horseback by coach or dray from Sydney or Melbourne, new miners were thankful and excited when they reached the goldfields. On the larger fields they saw hundreds or even thousands of tents clustered around creeks or near the site of earlier discoveries. There were horses and bullocks, wagons and carts and everywhere people bustling around, digging, panning, washing gravel, moving mounds of dirt or gently rocking their cradles from side to side. New miners soon realised, however, that the goldfields were not as attractive to live in as they looked from a distance. Miners worked hard day after day and often could afford neither the time nor the money to buy good food. The first diggers lived in tents which they brought with them to the goldfields. As well as diggers’ tents or huts, there were many other buildings on the goldfields. At first the government did not know quite what to do about the gold diggers.
Australian Gold Rush: 1850 The bonanza in California was only the beginning. An Australian named Edward Hammond Hargraves, who had been there, was certain that the same geological features were to be found in his own country. Returning on the boat from California late in 1850, he predicted that he would find gold within a week. The news of the fresh gold field reached England, along with the first gold, aboard the Thomas Arbuthnot. In fact, Hargraves had touched only the fringe of Australian gold. Other secondary rushes followed.
Australian Gold Rush In fact they only got worse. A powerfully disruptive hysteria seemed to grip the State along with the rest of the country. Farmhands simply left their employers with harvests they could no longer reap and thousands of workers fled Melbourne leaving empty industries in their wake. Wages tripled due to scarce labour. To raise money, many property owners put their houses on the market. But as there was no one interested in buying, house prices collapsed. Luckily however, this was not to last. And of course, lucky miners returning from the gold fields spent extravagantly easing the pressure on the suffering Melbourne. The incredible wealth that poured out of Victoria was unthinkable. Robert Coupe says in his book Australia's Gold Rushes (New Holland, 2000) that: "When the first reports of gold in the colonies were published in English newspapers late in 1851, few took much notice. This wealth brought many imports and improvements to Australia.