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An Overview Of The Eureka Stockade's Rebellion

1063 words - 4 pages

On December 3rd 1854, courageous miners in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, revolted against unreasonable actions implemented by domineering authorities. The repression of the miners was a struggle in which shaped the future of Australian society. Though they were defeated, key demands made by the protestors were achieved. Their demands were to disband the office of Gold Commissioners; abolish the miners' licence tax; have political representation; have manhood suffrage and to have no property qualifications and have payment for Legislative Council members.#The Eureka Stockade provided numerous achievements that can be acknowledged as an influence for Australia's society. The early 1850 period brought the discovery of gold in various locations across Victoria. As a result, a mass exodus of populace occurred from the colony settlements. The discovery also resulted in an influx of immigrants of many nationalities. The government responded to the significant amount of increase of populace in the goldfields by enforcing a fee named the "Miner's Licence" in 1851. The 'licence' enabled a miner to excavate in a set area for an expense. The licence was used as the main mechanism for the government to accumulate revenue.# The inconvenience of 'licence hunts' and the brutality involved in the execution was found inadequate by the miners. Governor, Sir Charles Hotham ordered an additional licence hunt every week; two a week starting in September 1854. This was performed as Sir Hotham was concerned at the lack of acquiescence with the licence.Many miners stood bravely for what they believed was right, though, some of their actions and most of the government and police force's actions were believed to be unnecessary. An event which occurred in October that enhanced the conflict was that of the unjust acquittal of James Bentley. James Bentley, the owner of the Eureka Hotel, murdered a miner named James Scobie (October 1854). At the trial, Bentley was found to be innocent of all charges. The acquittal was suspected to have been caused because Bentley was a personal friend of both the Police Magistrate and Gold Commissioner.# This caused outrage amongst the miners, who retaliated by burning down the Eureka Hotel. Consequently, Commissioner Rede requested troop reinforcement. Sunday October 22 found a crowd of miners assembled on Bakery Hill to discuss anti-government sentiment. The government camp was fortified in fear of violence eventuating from the miners but this was unfounded. The Ballarat Reform League (November 1854) was established to negotiate with Commissioner Rede and Governor Hotham relating to the incident regarding James Bentley and a broader issue of abolishing the Miner's License. These attempts at conciliation were unsuccessful. Rede and Hotham's' actions seemed to goad elements among the miners into precipitating a crisis. Tension began to mount when military reinforcements arrived from Melbourne on Tuesday November 28.The miner's resistance to...

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