HISTORIANS have brought back to life the moment a democratic movement was born on central Victoria's goldfields.
The Chewton Domain Society has launched a new website to tell the long overlooked story of the Diggers' Monster Meeting at Forest Creek in 1851.
The gathering of 15,000 miners was a prelude to the violent clash at the Eureka Stockade three years later when authorities stormed a make-shift battlement and killed 30 miners.
But the Chewton meeting to protest mining licence price hikes was peaceful and the colony's head, Charles La Trobe, backed down from a controversial plan to double the fees, fearing insurrection.
The Monster Meeting began a pattern of popular protest by gold diggers orchestrated by leaders with broader democratic demands.
The protests culminated in Eureka, which triggered wholesale change including a new constitution, the end of the licence system, land rights reform and the introduction of voting rights for some.
To view the new website visit www.monstermeeting.net
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