A turbulent town: Ballarat and the Eureka Stockade, David Senior

Vol 45 no 2, May 2023
Article from Vol 45 no 2, May 2023

A turbulent town: Ballarat and the Eureka Stockade, David Senior


At dawn on Sunday, 3 December 1854, a momentous event occurred in Australian history, the battle of Eureka Stockade at Ballarat. It would turn out to be pivotal in our political journey as a nation.On that fateful morning, a contingent of the British 40th Somersetshire Regiment of Foot, supported by a section of the 12th Regiment of Foot and local troopers, attacked a stockade that was being held by a group of disaffected gold miners. These miners were a significant portion of a larger group who felt disenfranchised bythe relatively new Victorian colonial government of the day under Sir Charles Hotham. The miners had a list of grievances that were loosely based upon the charter of the UK Chartists movement. Three of their main issues were, ‘taxation without representation’, ‘universal suffrage’ (the right for all adults to vote), and the policing of gold licences, especially the corruption, cost, and method.

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The Australiana Society acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples – the First Australians – as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.