A Wild awakening

the 1893 banking crisis and the theatrical narratives of the Castlereagh Street Radicals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Active Service Brigade (ASB) agitated on behalf of the Sydney unemployed during 1893–1894, in the wake of the 1893 banking crisis which heralded the onset of the colonial depression of the 1890s. The ASB declared its emergence in the working class districts of East Sydney in street theatrical marches and meetings. The Brigade and the anti-bank journal Hard Cash employed a melodramatic rhetoric of class conflict. Banker and free trade politician William McMillan was a symbolic villain of these theatrical narratives for his role in facilitating bank reconstruction and resistance to labour mobilisation, forcing his political withdrawal from East Sydney, and the labour precinct of Castlereagh Street.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-171
Number of pages19
JournalLabour History
Issue number85
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • working class radicalism
  • active service brigade
  • narrative identity
  • labour history
  • Australian banking system
  • 1890s depression

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