Australian Gold Rush
Gold is found normally in the ground inside rocks.
It was hard for the diggers to find gold many people failed.
There where many gold nuggets found in Australia.
Searching for gold
Finding gold gets harder
Many people found gold and where successful and thought that finding gold was easy. later on in the years it became six times harder to find gold because all the gold had already been mined.
To mine gold you had to pay for a licence. You would have to pay 30 shillings a month. Two Miners would normally share the licence and take turns of mining . The licence had to be payed even if they could find gold which many miners found unfair.
Women on Australian Goldfields
In the early years there weren't many women digging for Gold. Most people stayed at home with there families with not much money and joined their husbands when conditions got better.
Women's always where working such as washing, ironing and cooking. They made bread, butter, jams, soap and clothes for the family. The living conditions were cramped, and there where not much comforts at the diggings.
Chinese on Goldfields
The news reached China in 1853. Many people where poor and where suffering from the years of war. To get the money to go to Australia a man would loan money. If the man was not able to return the money his family would work for the other man.
The Chinese people would stay in large teams with a head man in charge most of there alluvial gold was running out. Some Chinese miners had worked claims and been abandoned. Most miners work at other jobs while they didn’t mine.
The Eureka Stockade
On 11th November 1854, about 10,000 digger demand the licence system be dropped and that all males should be allowed to vote because in those days the right to vote was wrong: only licenced miners who had lived in that location for six months could vote. The Governor refused to pardon them. At a second mass meeting, on 29th November, they displayed their flag, the Eureka flag, blue with a white cross and 5 stars representing the Southern Cross. They publicly burned their licences and elected leaders.
The next day, there was another mass burning of licences at a meeting on Bakery Hill. Peter Lalor led the diggers to the Eureka diggings, which had been named after a deep seam of gold which they built a fort, which they named the Eureka Stockade. It was a wooden barricade circling about a acre of land. Inside the barricade about 1000 rebels swore an oath under the Eureka flag and prepared to fight. However, over the next couple of nights, a number of them slipped away.
In the morning on Sunday, 3rd December , several hundred soldiers and police attacked the stockade. Reports about the number of government troops vary, but they outnumbered the diggers, and had better equipment. There were only about 200 or less miners left inside the Stockade. The battle lasted just 20 minutes. About twenty two diggers and five soldiers were killed. One of their leaders, Peter Lalor, was badly hert and went into hiding. Thirteen miners were charged with treason (a crime against a monarch or a government), for they could be hanged if found guilty. However, they were all acquitted at their trial and set free.