A city in transition : diversification in the social life of Dunedin, 1860-1864.
McCarthy, M. P.
This study recounts the diversification which occurred in the social life of Dunedin between January of 1860 and December of 1864. It has been suggested that the gold rushes in Central Otago brought to the floor the few remaining pillars of the Wakefield class settlement. To apply this formula to Dunedin and to ascertain whether the gold rushes dramatically altered the social life of the town, is the purpose of this paper. Though essentially all evidence of the founding fathers' principles for colonisation had disappeared, there still remained a legacy in the moral and religious tone of the town. Dunedin was the point of arrival and departure for many of the migrant miners. So too was it the entrepôt of the commercial and political activity of the province, and an alternative arena of employment when the miners experienced one of the periodic slumps or dull periods. Increasingly it also became the social centre, as theatres and bars proliferated at an amazing rate and the miner was enticed to whittle away his spare time and hard earned tailings therein. Chapter One discusses the reaction of Dunedin to the gold rushes in Central Otago, and the division of interests and antipathy which allegedly existed between the 'Old Identity' and 'New Iniquity'. Chapter Two is concerned with the diversification of the religious framework of the town, and the threat not only to Presbyterianism but also to Christianity in the new order of society. Chapter Three concerns the emergence of a number of moral and social problems and of the increasing crime rate. Chapter Four is concerned with the multiplication of employment and labour disputes. In the 1860-1864 era the labouring groups in Dunedin were caught up in the spiral of rising prices and unemployment. Poverty and destitution emerged as a factor to be contended with, a feature of the home society and environment from which the colonizers were escaping. [excerpted from Introduction]
Degree Name: Bachelor of Arts with Honours
Degree Discipline: History
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Dissertation
iii, 133 leaves :ill., facsim. ; 30 cm. Bibliography: leaves 128-133.