1880s

Melbourne and Victoria booming

Cartoon by Oslo Davis Cartoon by Oslo Davis
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Gold, agriculture and manufacturing make Melbourne the economic centre of the Australian colonies.

Property development and speculation flourishes in Melbourne.

International exhibitions are held in 1880 and 1888 at the new Exhibition Building.

In 1881, the first simultaneous census in Australia showed a non-Aboriginal population of 2.25 million.

Private organisations such as the British Women's Emigration Association promote unassisted immigration to Victoria.

Laws restricting Chinese immigration are reintroduced. By 1888, Chinese immigration is virtually banned.

Chinese passengers are prevented from disembarking from the Afghan and Tsinan in Melbourne and Sydney.

In 1888, the phrase 'White Australia Policy' appears in William Lane's Boomerang.

Aus Pop (1885): 2,694,518
Vic Pop (1885): 959,838 Figures taken from Colonial and Commonwealth censuses and exclude Aborigines until 1971.
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Related collection items

Explore items from our collection

  • Pipe Stand & Pipes - Ettore Checchi, circa 1880-1920
  • Parliamentary Paper - Chinese Intercolonial Conference, Government of Victoria, 1881
  • Indian Figure - Mendicant Priest, Krishnanagar, Clay, circa 1880
  • Medal - Rechabite Jubilee, Independent Order of Rechabites, Australia, 1885
  • Book - Sinclair Thomson Duncan, Ship 'Sussex', 'Journal of a Voyage to & from Australia Amongst Emigrants', 1884
  • Shepherd's Smock - Khaki, circa 1880
 

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