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Chinese on the Goldfields

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Jane s101742

on 8 December 2012

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Transcript of Chinese on the Goldfields

By Jane Chinese on the Goldfields Finding Out About the Gold Rush In 1853, news about the Australian gold rush spread to China. The country was under suffer and a man had to take a loan from a trader to raise money for the flight to Australia. The wife and the children had to stay at China and work for the trader to be able to pay him back. It took several months by ship to reach Melbourne. When the Chinese arrived at the goldfields, they stayed in large teams with a man in charge. They found the advantage of group mining very early on. The Europeans worked independently to find their own treasure. They formed their groups very late on. The groups were given duties such as mining, cooking and growing vegetables. They worked hard and lived simply, so they could send money back to China to feed their families and repay their fare. When alluvial gold was running out, Chinese miners re-worked claims that were abandoned and collected gold that had been missed. They preferred to stay above ground, afraid of offending the mountain gods. They also worked at other jobs around the diggings to make money. Arriving at the Goldfields The Chinese miners were very different to the European miners because they mined in large groups and they mined with great care and patience. They looked different because they wore baggy trousers, loose tops. large straw hats, cloth slippers and wore their hair in pigtails. They wore cotton clothing because they dry quickly and washed easily. During winter, they switched to padded clothing because they too dried and washed easily. Most European miners wore flannel and moleskin and they were heavy and hard to wash. Differences Between the Chinese Miners and the European Miners The Chinese miners' techniques were very different. They had round mining shafts instead of square ones. It was less likely to cave in so the Chinese had a higher rate of survival. They did this because they thought evil spirits could hide in the corners. Mining Techniques AUSTRALIA CHINA GHOST! Racism on the Goldfields Racism on the Goldfields The Chinese were hated because they were very successful with their gold finds in lands that were already searched by the Europeans. The Europeans were angry and on several occasions they violently lashed out at the Chinese camps in an attempt to drive them out. Gold that the Chinese had mined were stolen, the Chinese men were hung by their own hair, they were tortured and lots of looting happened. Surprisingly, the government did nothing about it. They were also hated because they didn't conform with the other miners. They didn't look or dress like the other miners and they did lots of things that other miners did not understand. The Chinese were openly hated. Rumours were started because almost nothing was known about them. The police took bribes from the Europeans and not the Chinese. They were treated very unfairly. There was an attempt to limit the number of Chinese people on the goldfields in 1885, by passing in a law, that any Chinese person entering Victoria would pay 10 pounds tax and 1 pound for protection fee, the right to mine and live in the colony. No one else had to pay this tax. Even after this law was made, the number of Chinese people didn't reduce. They made these laws in fear of Chinese competition because they provided cheap labour in the gold rushes and the labour market. Some Chinese people returned back to China after the gold rush, but many stayed and brought their families to Australia. They found jobs set up market gardens, restaurants or laundries. Slowly, the Chinese became the accepted and respected group in Australian society that they are today. THANKS FOR
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