AMERICAN scholars have rushed to Ballarat to compare the Californian and Ballarat gold rushes in a bid to determine their similar and contrasting impacts on subsequent settlements.
Dr Alex Trimble Young from University of Southern California and Bowen Du and Madeleine Dile spent two weeks exploring and visiting Californian goldfields before coming to Australia.
Ballarat – particularly Sovereign Hill – was their first stop.
“In both places we are exploring how the gold rush was really similar,” Dr Young said.
“There were similar people in both (gold rushes) both facing similar aspirations and anxieties.”
Dr Young said indigenous people in both countries faced similar difficulties. First year student Mr Du said his focus was on the Chinese miners.
“I am looking at what role they played in both gold rushes,” Mr Du said. “(Both countries) had a lot of typical violence and racial tensions.”
The students will travel across Australia comparing the periods.
There were similar people in both (gold rushes) both facing similar aspirations and anxieties.- Alex Trimble Young
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