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.
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. Gold! Gold Rush in Australia Gold is found in rocks and in the ground. People came to look for gold in Australia. 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
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.
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.
Early Australian bushrangers McFarlane & Erskine, Gold escort attacked by bushrangers, 187-, print: lithograph. Image courtesy of the : nla.pic-an8420450. Bushranging - living off the land and being supported by or stealing from free settlers - was either chosen as a preferred way of life by escaped or was a result of the lack of supplies in the early settlements. Australia's bushranging period spanned nearly 100 years, from the first convict bushrangers active from 1790 to the 1860s, through the of the 1860s and 1870s who were able to be shot on sight, to the shooting of the in 1880. Sovereign Hill Education - Research Notes Welcome to Sovereign Hill Education Victoria’s 1850s goldrush heritage is alive, exciting and very hands-on at Sovereign Hill with creative, stimulating and interactive experiences for school students and kindergarten classes. Students experience Sovereign Hill indoors, outdoors, above-ground and below-ground, giving a tremendous variety for school excursions and ensuring an action-packed, fun day. Sovereign Hill Education