Gold rush, History of Australia during the 19th century.

Essay by naezamJunior High, 9th gradeA-, July 2004

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In 2001, Australian celebrate the 150th anniversary of the official discovery of gold near bathrust in New south Wales. On 12 February 1851 , Edward Hargrave's found five grains of gold in mud washed from Lewis ponds Creek. Gold was such a valuable and desired material that for a while, the whole country was caught up in 'gold' fever'. Men left their jobs, homes and families to rush to the goldfields in New South Wales and Victoria. The fever spread to Queensland, and then finally to all the colonies of Australia. Within 10 years, the population had more than doubled, as eager gold diggers from Europe, America and Asia sailed to Australia in the hope of making their fortune. Australia was never the same again. New towns and cities grew quickly with the increase in population. More farming land was taken up to feed the diggers and their families. New industries developed to provide them with building materials, furniture, clothes and food, and equipment for the mines.

But gold did not bring prosperity for all. As settlement spread, more and more aboriginal people were forced off their traditional lands. Growing up on the goldfields is one in a series of six the excitement of its official discovery in 1851, to the large scale mines of today. Each book looks at how the discovery of those tiny grains of gold changed Australia forever.

The effects were dramatic. Australians became gold crazy for a time. Men abandoned their jobs rushed off to make their fortune on the gold fields. In Melbourne, the whole police force deserted. Shops closed because there were no customers and no shop attendants to sell them anything. Some Melbourne suburbs were left without even one healthy male they had all gone off to the diggings. Ships in the...