Sunday, January 11, 2009

Quest For Gold

Quest For Gold

Duration: 5 x 60mins

Production Company 1: Essential


Gold Diggers of Australia

It was amongst the birth of the nation that Dr Kerr found a single rock worth £4,000. It was the 1800’s and within twelve months over £9,000,000 had been created in wealth in a barren outback colony. This was Australia and this was the explosion of a nation through the discovery of gold. Australia is a golden country with a fantastic history decorated by its rapid rise to a modern continent. The environment was changing and the British authorities corrupt. But in the end, those involved in the politics of the Gold rush were to shape the very social fabric of developing Australia.

Golden California

By the end of 1849 the population of California, excluding the Indians, had risen to 115,000. It seemed that America had gone west. Within seven years some quarter of a million people had come to California! During that time, the gold rush yielded $300 million of gold. And with gold came criminality and massive hardship. The story of the gold rush from every aspect, illustrated from narrative to historic reconstructions.

Gold of the Pharaohs

From the romance of the Old Testament we understood the great Pharaohs accumulated wealth to an unimaginable quantity. Treasures that led the most intrepid explorers to their graves hunting through pyramids for a hidden room of gold only legend before knew. The Quest for Gold goes far back into the history of mankind. Gold, the metal that would decorate the palaces of the ancients, test the wisdom of Biblical Kings, and underpin the power of the world’s emerging civilisations.

Empires of Gold

In the one hundred years following the discovery of the Witwatersrand Gold Belt in 1886, the glorious metal netted South Africa some $25,000,000,000. The richest families and companies of the World were created in the gold fields of Africa. This is not the story of the hardship of maverick pioneers looking for nuggets of gold. This is the story of mass extraction of gold and the complete exploitation of the environment. This is the story of magnates Rhodes & Rudd from De Beers, the Barnato Brothers, the Ecksteins, Jepp and Newman. Gold was not to come and go in a frenzy of guts and glory; it was the master plan of company kings. It was destined to become the play town of the tycoon power jugglers, the Randlords.

Frozen Gold

After two years of trekking across some of the world’s most inhospitable badlands, scarcely 100 of the 2000 gold seekers arrived at Dawson. Like thousands of others exhausted and depleted they had arrived too late, the rush was over. But fortune had not become second place to survival. The winter of 1897-8 saw some 22,000 inexperienced ‘hopefuls’ tackle the Chilkoot Pass. Journey to Alaska is an inspiring tale of near impossible journeys and situations almost as equally bizarre as the ‘Klondikitis’ that swept over the common folk of the west coast. The quest had changed to survival and the richest prospectors were the ones that just stayed alive long enough to get there.

The Klondike Gold Rush, sometimes referred to as the Yukon Gold Rush, started in 1897 after a major seam was found along the Klondike River near Dawson City, Yukon, Canada. Over 40,000 prospectors from all over the world made their way harsh wilderness and mountain trails, and most suffered terrible hardships.