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Contested Historical Views of Eureka

The two key interpretations of the events that occurred at Eureka are those of Geoffrey Serle and Geoffrey Blainey. Serle claims that Eureka was the triumph of egalitarian values in the new world, whereas Blainey sees the aims and objectives of the uprising as more typical of a liberalist, small-business ethos. More recent scholarship has considered Eureka in terms of its role in the emergence of national identity. Clearly, the objectives of the miners were radical for their era, yet many simply wanted material benefits rather than to articulate a radical agenda. Some may have been hoping for both financial gain and increased political representation, while others possibly changed their views over the course of their lives, as did Peter Lalor.

Keir Reeves

Blainey, Geoffrey, The rush that never ended: a history of Australian mining, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1963. Details
Serle, Geoffrey, The golden age: a history of the colony of Victoria, 1851-1861, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1963. Details