INTEGRATING THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY GOLD RUSHES

Authors

  • Keir Reeves,

    1. Monash University
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  • Lionel Frost,

    1. Monash University
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  • Charles Fahey

    1. La Trobe University, Bendigo Campus
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    • *

      We are indebted to the editors of AEHR, Stephen Morgan and Martin Shanahan, for their support. We thank Jenny Coates for editorial assistance, Antoinette Dillon for drawing the maps, Jaai Parasnis for comments on an earlier version of this article, and the colleagues who refereed the papers for this issue. The research for this article was supported under Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects funding scheme (project number DP0557958) and Linkage Projects funding scheme (project number LP0667552) and the Monash Fellowship Scheme.


Abstract

In the century preceding World War I, the world experienced a series of gold rushes. The wealth derived from these was distributed widely because of reduced migration costs and low barriers to entry. While gold mining itself was generally unprofitable for diggers and mine owners, the increase in the world's gold supply stimulated global trade and investment. In this introductory article we integrate the histories of migration, trade, colonisation, and environmental history to identify endogenous factors that increased the world's gold supply and generated sustained economic growth in the regions that were affected by gold rushes.

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