No one likes being taxed, but the first settlers of the Swan River Colony felt that taxation was doubly unfair. Not only had they moved to the other side of the globe to avoid such a heavy burden in the motherland, they weren’t yet making any money in their new ventures.
But the early government was broke, and governments have never been backward in demanding cash from their citizens. As a result, some settlers pointed to the United States and warned that either the new taxes had to go or they would demand proper representation in the Legislative Council. Failing to do either of these things, it was darkly hinted, would result in revolution.
This talk examines the perilous financial situation in early Perth, the lack of real cash, and the unsuccessful attempt to found a local bank to provide paper money. When there aren’t enough coins to go around, things get very difficult indeed, and the Swan River Colony found this out the hard way.
Why did this come about? How did the government and the settlers respond? And why wasn’t there a revolution leading to an independent and fully democratic Western Australia? Just some of the questions which can be answered through a light-hearted look at the economic history of our State.
About the Speaker
After studying history at Cambridge University, Eddie has worked as archaeologist, journalist and lecturer. Since relocating to WA, he worked for the State Heritage Office before branching out as an independent historical consultant.
Eddie finds Perth’s history an untapped source of material, with so many untold stories. He enjoys digging through the archives for the scandalous, the quirky, and those tales overlooked by more conventional history books. These unconventional stories are usually told through his blog, dodgyperth.com, but Eddie likes to slip the occasional one into a more orthodox heritage report.
Eddie Marcus on "No taxation without representation: Discontent in early Perth"
Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 7:30pm
Reid Library, Second Floor Conference Room
Doors open 7pm, talk commences 7:30pm Cost: $5 donation (Free for Friends of the Library Members)
University Library +61 8 6488 7425