Subversive Historian – 12/03/08

The Eureka Rebellion

One-hundred and fifty-four years ago on this day in people’s history, the Eureka Rebellion took place in Australia. On December 3rd, 1854, hundreds of gold miners and government troops clashed over a fortified stockade. Before the rebellion, a gold rush in the British colony of Victoria had set the stage for a class conflict. Miners, who were disenfranchised by property rules, became the only people taxed by the colonial government when it introduced mining license fees. Tensions increased evermore when a miner named James Scobie was murdered with impunity as a judicial investigation absolved the suspect in the crime. Gold Miners responded by organizing themselves into the Ballarat Reform League, burning their licenses, and constructing a stockade under the flag of Eureka which was later destroyed by colonial troops.

As a result of the Eureka Rebellion, enfranchisement reforms increased access to parliamentary government as taxation and violent repression of miners were reduced going to show that when it comes to struggle there’s more than “gold in them thar hills”


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