Responsible government began in New South Wales after two decades of radical democratic agitation. Radical intellectuals from England, Ireland, Scotland and Europe mobilized the working men and women of the colony to resist the aristocratic form of government proposed by pastoralists and city capitalists. There was violence on the streets and goldfields, and some notable electoral victories. As 'a great fear' gripped the local elites the British government forced them to accept a more liberal form of representative government in the belief that this would placate the democrats and keep the colony safe for British imperial needs.
- working class,
- radical intellectuals,
- political violence,
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