Australian Gold Rush
Searching for Gold
In 1851 the gold rush started in Australia , it was not unusual for gold diggers to find gold nuggets sometimes very large. People rushed from all over the world to look for gold in Australia.
When men went to dig in the gold fields they worked hard for many hours, some were lucky enough to strike rich! But others were not so lucky. The unfortunate ones would usually return home even more poor then before.
The Eureka Stockade
There were so many people coming to Australia that the government made it that anybody that wanted to dig out gold had to pay 30 shillings a month for a licence. One night the men were getting sick of paying such a high price for such a thing! So that night they built a stockade and swore to protect it under any attack. That night they slept in the stockade with a few men keeping watch in case they became under attack.
The next day the miners created a flag and flew it above a fire, then burnt there licenses in the fire. When the soldiers came to ask them to pay there license fee for that month they refused.
In the early hours of the morning about 300 soldiers attacked the stockade, most of the men were asleep at the time. 280 men were taken prisoner and 6 men were killed during the attack.
Chinese on the Australian Gold Fields
In 1853 finally the news of the gold finds reached China. At that time China was suffering for years from war and famine, unsurprisingly all the men from each family fled to Australia. Unfortunately most families were poor and had to borrow money from the white men to get to Australia, and if they did not get enough gold to pay it off there family would have to work for the white men as servants until it was payed off.
The Chinese were treated badly on the gold fields because of there looks and culture, they were often exposed to racism. They were forced to set up there huts away from all the other white men. The white men hated them so much that they made all Chinese pay entry were no one else had to.
Woman on the Australian Gold fields
At first there weren't many woman on the gold fields most stayed home to take care of there children, not living on much money. A couple of years later woman took there children to the gold fields to help there husbands when conditions improved, but there were always more men on the gold fields then woman. The woman also did work like, making clothes, soap, bread and jam for there family.
life on the australian gold fields
The conditions on the gold fields were horrible! The diggers worked all day in the hot sun only stopping for a lunch break. Also such dieses as typhoid, whooping cough, diptheria, measles and scarlet fever were going around and killing many men, children and woman.