In 1851, people from all over the world came in search of gold in Ballarat, Victoria. They left their jobs behind to make more money and have a better life. This meant that the government and the authorities had to recruit more police and more soldiers to do more work.
The Eureka Stockade started when the authorities were getting upset how men on the goldfields were finding gold and entering the premises for free. The authorities came up with a money making scheme amongst themselves and decided that miners would have to pay 30 shillings per month as a licence to search for gold. Even if miners did not find gold in that particular month, they would still have to pay. Police men were so busy checking licences that crimes and burglaries were committed.
Eventually things were getting out of hand. Miners burnt down a hotel because of the licence system and a man killed three men on purpose. The men who burnt down the hotel got charged and sent to jail. The police man did not charge the murderer because he was his friend. Miners ended up finding out about the murderer being let off and they were very annoyed.
On the 11th of November 1854, ten thousand miners demanded the three men to be released from jail. They also tried to vote to get rid of the licence system, but it was not successful. Miners held meetings and did everything they could and ended up burning their licences with the Eureka Stockade flag, which was made by women to show how much they hated the licence system. The also protested.
The next day, another burning of the licences occurred. A man named Peter Lalor lead the miners to a place on bakery hill and made them build a fort to protect themselves from the authorities, the police men and the soldiers. The fort was named the Eureka Stockade. One thousand miners stayed in the fort to fight against the authorities. Men ended up running away because they were very selfish and afraid that they wouldn’t make it.
Days past and the time had come. Seven hundred police and soldiers attacked the fort. The miners stood their ground and the two hundred of them fought for justice. The battle lasted for twenty minutes, and by that time twenty miners and five soldiers died. The leader of the group Peter Lalor was badly wounded. Thirteen miners got charged for criminal offences.
In 1855, commissioners accepted the idea of loosing the licences and everyone was so happy and stoked that it was all over. The commissioners also released the three men from jail..
This significant event changed Australia because miners fought for rights to vote and they made the government realise how much they disliked the licence system.
I admire the miner’s bravery and how they didn’t stop fighting for what they believed in and they really tried to do something about it. The authorities should have given the right to miners that they could search for gold for free; otherwise all of this caper would have not happened.
Your consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.