Tag Archives: Ballarat Reform League

Books for teaching History – Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution

Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution

By Peter FitzSimons

Front cover of Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution

Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution
Published By : William Heinemann, North Sydney, N.S.W. Australia, 2012

The trouble with the Eureka story is that it is very involved and complex.  As Education officers at Sovereign Hill, we well know how difficult it is to maintain the interest of an audience when we try to explain the details leading to the bloody storming of the stockade. There are so many important twists and turns that the story teller often falls in a repeating pattern of “and then …. and then… and then…”

Not so Peter FitzSimons in his recent book Eureka: The Unfinished RevolutionContinue reading

What caused the Eureka Stockade?

Students relive historical events and discover what caused the Eureka Stockade

The Eureka Stockade is a key event in Australia’s history and, arguably, the only civil battle on our soil.  It is seen by most as a key step on our path towards democracy and nearly all Victorian students study the cause and effect of the Eureka Stockade in History lessons.  There is a complex chronology of events that  led to the storming of the Stockade, and these can be viewed in the global context of the Chartist movement.  Understanding the context, motives and emotions involved can be difficult.

Here at Sovereign Hill we want to commemorate the event with students by allowing them to engage with this historical story in a meaningful, accessible and memorable way.  Late last year we developed a participatory reenactment experience for the students on the eve of the 157th anniversary.

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The Charter of the Ballarat Reform League 11/11

Today, 11/11/11, is an important day for many reasons.  One of those being that it was on this day in 1854 that the Ballaarat Reform League was officially born and their Charter publically adopted.  This group played a significant role in the events that became the precursors to the Eureka Stockade.

Often the League is forgotten in the wake of the much more dramatic Stockade, but their presence and intended purpose is very important.  Those who formed the League took their inspiration from the British Chartist movement, which some had been directly involved in before coming to Victoria.  The Chartist movement was a step by the new working-class, born out of the Industrial Revolution, to improve their rights and representation.

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