On February 12, 1851, a prospector discovered flecks of gold in a waterhole near Bathurst, New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Soon, even more gold was discovered in what would become the neighboring state of Victoria. This began the Australian Gold Rush, which had a profound impact on the country’s national identity.Within a year, more than 500,000 people (nicknamed “diggers”) rushed to the gold fields of Australia. Most of these immigrants were British, but many prospectors from the United States, Germany, Poland, and China also settled in NSW and Victoria.Even more immigrants arrived from other parts of Australia. Wages in the region doubled, but it was still difficult to find workers as people abandoned their stable jobs to seek their fortune in the gold fields. These “diggers” forged a strong, unified identity independent of colonial British authority. This concept of “mateship . . . [has] been central to the way [Australian] history has been told,” according to the Australian government.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry abandon Verb
to desert or leave entirely.
person or organization responsible for making decisions.
California Gold Rush Noun
(1848-1855) worldwide immigration to California following the discovery of gold.
all weather conditions for a given location over a period of time.
Encyclopedic Entry: climate endure Verb
gold field Noun
geographic area where gold is mined.
how a person defines themselves, or how others define them.
person who moves to a new country or region.
meaning or effect.
powerful or insightful.
person who searches or mines land for precious metals.
political unit in a nation, such as the United States, Mexico, or Australia.
money or goods traded for work or service performed.