1. Themes
  2. A to Z

Monster Meeting

The term monster meeting (or monster rally), so frequently used throughout the Australian goldfields during the second half of the nineteenth century, is inextricably associated with the rise of popular politics and mass participation in Great Britain. These meetings took place externally to parliamentary politics because of the restrictive franchise and, although there is ambiguity in the term ‘monster’ meeting, they were deliberate events, organised with a clear program. This in turn assuaged ruling class fears of mob rule with its French Revolution-Jacobin overtones. The monster meeting programs, speakers, and specific outcomes distanced them from comparisons with the French revolution and suggested a sense of order that in turn provided a sense of legitimate protest. The Kennington Common meeting in London in 1848 occurred on the cusp of the gold rushes. It was the last mass Chartist meeting and many of those present subsequently ventured to the Australian goldfields.

Keir Reeves

Carboni, Raffaello, The Eureka Stockade: the consequence of some pirates wanting on quarter-deck a rebellion, Printed for the author by J.P. Atkinson, Melbourne, 1855. Details
Clark, C. M. H., A history of Australia, vol. 4, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1968. Details
Healy, Chris, From the ruins of colonialism: history as social memory, studies in Australian history, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 1997. Details
Hocking, Geoff, The Red Ribbon Rebellion! The Bendigo petition, 3rd-27th August, 1853, New Chum Press, Castlemaine, 2001. Details
Pickering, Paul, ''Ripe for a Republic': British Radical Responses to the Eureka Stockade', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 34, no. 121, 2003, pp. 69-90. Details