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The Way Gold Changed People's Visions of the Future

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Sarah Shepherd

on 18 March 2014

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Transcript of The Way Gold Changed People's Visions of the Future

The Way Gold Changed People's Visions of the Future
Vision #3: Powers of the Victorian Government to be limited
"All taxes and tallages of every kind which bear upon labour, or provision, luxuries, or any article whatsoever, to be abolished...All property qualifications in the elector and the elected to be abolished" (Victorian Constitution)
Vision #4: Breaking up squatters estates
- Land reform movement gathered momentum as the 1850s progressed

- Land reform would lead to a freer and more egalitarian society

- "We found, on our arrival, a land abounding in the choicest treasures, blessed with a healthful climate, and a soil remarkably fruitful...but we found it also overlaid with monopolies...We find ourselves with very scanty means of living, declining trade and a great many persons destitute of employment, and consequently many helpless persons destitute of food" (The Argus)
Vision #6: Creating a city of knowledge and culture
Melbourne University [ca. 1860] Albumen silver photograph. H92.354/12. La Trobe Picture Collection.
How did Victoria differ in 1860 from the beginning of our study in 1830?
Vision #2: A "Pure" Victoria
- Governor Hotham wrote of the continual arrival of the Chinese: "thieves...[who] tend to demoralise Colonial Society...they do not bring any women with them and are highly immoral...some restrictions should be interposed to the scourge of Chinese immigration with which the colony is threatened"
Chinese gold migrants - from the National Museum of Australia
Vision #7: Constructing a metropolis
1850 saw a building boom initiated, with gothic and neo-classical styles utilised...
Exhibition Centre
Vision #5: An intelligent and informed society
The first "The Age" editorial: "We are desirous of producing in Melbourne a Newspaper that shall correspond in point of literacy talent and general completeness and efficiency with the first-class journals of London" (The Age)
Vision #1: Representative and responsible government
- Ballarat Reform League was critical of the political situation in Victoria, and had a vision of a participatory democracy

- "Taxation without representation is tyranny" (Henry)

- Developments occurred, such as the secret ballot (1856), male suffrage (1857) and triennial parliaments (1859)
Vision #8: The Eight Hour Day
Campaign initiated by stonemasons in February 1856 - demonstration on 21 April 1856.

Argued this would give people time to improve their cultural and moral condition.

Peter Kerr’s vision of the Victorian Parliament

The building of the Victorian Parliament, on Spring St, was supervised by the Peter Kerr and John George Knight. The project, which commenced in the 1850s, took some forty years to bring to its current, but still incomplete, state.
SOURCE: http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/history.html, 7 February, 2005.

Redmond Barry: "viewed the library as having an important social function - a university for the working man and a cure for the social unrest [caused by the influx of diggers]"
Pentridge Prison
Parliament House
Treasury Building
Melbourne and Geelong Grammar Schools
Full transcript