Effect of Gold Rush on the Social, Political and Cultural Development of Australia

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What effect if any, did the gold rush have on the social, political and cultural development of Australia as a nation?

The gold rush of the 1850’s had a major and lasting impact on Australia and changed it forever. Before gold was discovered Australia was a lawless prison colony. Less than fifty years after gold was discovered, Australia had been transformed into an independent country. The gold rush helped increase the population, which helped bring social, cultural development and democratic government.

The discovery of gold in 1851, by Edward Hargraves brought about major economic, social and political changes to the nation of Australia. Gold attracted people from all over the world to come to Australia, to strike it rich. People
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Many men, who worked on the farms, quit in search of gold. Woman became very important, in many cases, the woman and children were left to work on the land, with the help of Aboriginal stockman. A person could become very rich overnight. The upper class were not only the ones who had money now. People who worked hard would be rewarded. The boost to the economy helped pay for the modernisation of the whole of Australia. Roads, schools, and churches were built. Train lines were built to link major cities. The discovery of gold had also stopped convict transportation. The diggers came from all different backgrounds, but they worked together and considered themselves equal. They were free from social class. Today, Australia is very much free of class.
The gold rush had a lasting impact on the political development of Australia. The uprising of the Eureka stockade formed the basis for democracy that we have in Australia today. The Eureka Rebellion was an important step towards democracy. It was an uprising against authority. The conditions on the goldfields were difficult. The monthly licensing fees that the diggers had to pay were quite harsh and unfair. A digger had to pay it even if he didn’t find any gold. The way the police collected the fee was also harsh. These people were ready to fight for change. The miners wanted better rights. They protested and pressured the government for better conditions, in hope to abolish the fees. The gold rush gave the diggers a
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