Eureka Stockade, Eureka Street, Ballarat


Eureka Stockade 3rd December 1854

At this place in the early hours of Sunday 3rd December 1854, there was a defining moment in Australia’s history. Without warning, a superior government force attacked a makeshift stockade built by a few hundred angry men to defend themselves from further armed hunts to enforce the unpopular licence tax to dig for gold.

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distance to next monument

<1km: Bakery Hill

2km: Star Hotel

11km: Buninyong

63km: Creswick

79km: Castlemaine

85km: Chewton

114km: St Paul’s Melbourne

117km: Bendigo

377km: Beechworth

The tax was a lesser irritant than the corruption of Ballarat officials, gross miscarriages of justice, and lack of sympathy for the extraordinary dangers and financial risks taken by partnerships of diggers and storekeepers in the deep sinkings.

Months of unrest culminated on Thursday 30 th November 1854 with a provocative licence hunt by police and soldiers. Aimed to crush criticism the hunt only created fury.

Protest had been turned into resistance, which the authorities interpreted as insurrection. Many lives were lost in an unnecessary battle on 3 rd December for which the government was condemned.

By March 1855, as ships bearing news from Australia arrived, newspapers around the world carried stories of the Eureka Stockade. In some papers reports of the mass meetings and battle took precedence over reports about the Crimean War.

The greatest attention to the story was in England. But it was also reported in other countries including France, Ireland, Italy and the United States of America. In London it was initially described as an insurrection. In the USA, France and Italy it was seen as a struggle against the British government by a people seeking justice and a voice in their own government

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