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Abstract

By 1850, New South Wales (NSW) appeared to have entered a period of long term economic stability which was almost entirely dependent on the production of fine wool. The prospects of such a future vanished with the discovery of large quantities of alluvial gold in 1851. The population of the colony almost doubled, increasing from 179,000 in 1851 to 351,000 in 1861 (Vamplew 1987, p. 26).

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