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Quiz about The Australian Rum Rebellion
Quiz about The Australian Rum Rebellion

The Australian Rum Rebellion Trivia Quiz


Here are ten questions relating to Australia's famous Rum Rebellion in which the ruling Governor of the colony was deposed by members of the military.

A multiple-choice quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Creedy
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
361,582
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
934
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. The Rum Rebellion took place twenty years to the date after Australia was settled by Europeans. iN What year did the Rebellion take place? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. After Governor Phillip had worked himself to a state of exhaustion setting up the first European settlement in Australia, he returned home to England in 1792, and was replaced by a succession of follow up governors. Which one of these was involved in the Rum Rebellion there? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. One of the three main groups involved in Australia's Rum Rebellion was the newly formed colony's permanent regiment which had arrived in Australia on the Second Fleet, to replace the temporary Royal Marines of the First Fleet. What was the name of this permanent, and extremely troublesome, regiment? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. What had enabled the Australia's permanent army regiment to easily gain so much power in the early European settlement history of that country? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. The main instigator of Australia's Rum Rebellion was a lieutenant in the colony's corrupt army regiment. Seen either as a hero and the founding father of the nation's sheep industry, or the worst troublemaker Australia has ever known, who was this man? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Because Britain had refused to send out sufficient coinage to enable the early Australian colonists to pay for goods with money, or to allow the colony to mint its own coinage, the colonists and convicts resorted to trading for goods with which commodity instead? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. What was the spark that finally lit the explosion that became known as Australia's Rum Rebellion? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. During the events of the Rum Rebellion in the early history of Australia, who signed the document calling for the arrest of the colony's Governor Bligh? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Following the Rum Rebellion in Australia, how long was Governor Bligh held under house arrest at Government House before leaving the colony? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Were John Macarthur and Major Johnston thrown in jail for their part in Australia's early Rum Rebellion?



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The Rum Rebellion took place twenty years to the date after Australia was settled by Europeans. iN What year did the Rebellion take place?

Answer: 1808

Captain Arthur Phillip, with eleven ships full of convicts, crew, marines and supplies landed at Port Jackson on 26 January, 1788, and the new nation was born. Twenty years later, on 26th January 1808, the Rum Rebellion tooke place there.
2. After Governor Phillip had worked himself to a state of exhaustion setting up the first European settlement in Australia, he returned home to England in 1792, and was replaced by a succession of follow up governors. Which one of these was involved in the Rum Rebellion there?

Answer: Governor Bligh

Captain William Bligh, a name forever associated with the mutiny on the Bounty and the Rum Rebellion in Australia, took over as Governor of the new colony on 13th August 1806. Bligh was a stickler for doing things by the book, and in this he would run head on with the corrupt faction that had taken control of the new colony.

His worst fault was his own rigid personality. He just didn't know how to negotiate, or to deal with people diplomatically. Everything had to be done his way.
3. One of the three main groups involved in Australia's Rum Rebellion was the newly formed colony's permanent regiment which had arrived in Australia on the Second Fleet, to replace the temporary Royal Marines of the First Fleet. What was the name of this permanent, and extremely troublesome, regiment?

Answer: New South Wales Corps

Known as the New South Wales Corps, these men were the rejects of the British army, a group of inefficient officers who had been on half pay there, soldiers constantly in trouble with their superiors, paroled military prisoners and soldiers who were earmarked as having no prospects at all elsewhere. Not only did Britain get rid of their superfluous convicts, it also dumped its superfluous military as well.

None of the three succeeding Governors who took over from Captain Phillip could control them. The officers abolished civilian courts and set up military courts in their place; they cut rations for the convicts, but took more for themselves. They dismantled the collective farming practices Governor Phillip had established and issued generous land grants to each other instead, allocated convicts to work on their own properties instead of projects for the colony and sold all their products back to the government issue stores at hefty markup prices. They were in fact far more suitable convict material than many of the actual convicts themselves.
4. What had enabled the Australia's permanent army regiment to easily gain so much power in the early European settlement history of that country?

Answer: There was a gap of three years between Governors

The newly formed Corps that had arrived with the Second Fleet more or less towed the line until the First Fleet's Royal Marines and Governor Phillip departed to return to England in 1792. Phillip left Major Francis Grose in charge of the colony until the replacement Governor arrived.

As soon as Phillip and the Royal Marines left, however, the Corps ran the colony as they saw fit. The second Governor, John Hunter, who arrived in 1795, was recalled to Britain in 1800 because he couldn't control them.

The third Governor, Phillip King, who arrived in 1800, tried his hardest to clean up the corruption that by now was everywhere throughout the colony, but he had no luck either. Then came Bligh to take over in 1806 - and he took on the New South Wales Corps with all guns blazing.
5. The main instigator of Australia's Rum Rebellion was a lieutenant in the colony's corrupt army regiment. Seen either as a hero and the founding father of the nation's sheep industry, or the worst troublemaker Australia has ever known, who was this man?

Answer: John Macarthur

John Macarthur (1767-1834) is also recognised as the pioneer of the wool industry in Australia. Of Scottish descen, his temper was such that he was involved in a many arguments, fights and duels - both on the trip down to Australia and from the moment he arrived. These almost always involved men who had any sort of authority over Macarthur, even including the colony's Governors as well. He simply refused to be subject to anyone but himself.

Quickly amassing a fortune in this new land, via the corruption in the colony's army regiment, Macarthur was finally sent back to Britain by Governor King on a number of charges. These included his duels with fellow officers, his constant troublemaking in the colony, and his refusal to obey a direct order from the Governor. The authorites in Britain, however, refused to try Macarthur there, and sent him back to be dealt with in Australia. Macarthur's response to this was to resign from the army. This freed him up to concentrate fully on the farming and business interests he had rapidly developed all around Sydney. He was back in Sydney for a year until destiny, in the form of Governor Bligh, arrived.
6. Because Britain had refused to send out sufficient coinage to enable the early Australian colonists to pay for goods with money, or to allow the colony to mint its own coinage, the colonists and convicts resorted to trading for goods with which commodity instead?

Answer: Rum

Britain did not intend Australia to become a fully functioning country in its own right. It was intended as a penal colony only, and a base for the British in the Pacific to defend their holdings there and in the Indian Ocean against the very real threat of the French.

Insidiously then, rum slowly began to be used as payment for services rendered, or any goods purchased, in the colony. John Macarthur, along with several other Corps members, took advantage of this in a big way. He made an absolute fortune out of importing and selling rum, and also imported and set up many illegal stills with which to manufacture more. Nothing the dismayed early Governors of the colony tried could put a halt to this barbaric practice. And then along came Governor Bligh.
7. What was the spark that finally lit the explosion that became known as Australia's Rum Rebellion?

Answer: The arrest of John Macarthur

When Governor Bligh arrived in Australia, he immediately set about trying to clear up the corruption and the illegal practices that existed there, most of which was controlled by the Army Corps and John Macarthur. Because Bligh supported the settlers and fed them when they were starving, he quickly earned their respect, gratitude and admiration, but made deadly enemies out of Macarthur and the Corps who controlled the food stores and were selling goods at marked up prices. Bligh put a stop to that. He next outlawed the trade of rum, sacked corrupt officials, and put a stop to the practice of huge grants of land being distributed among those in power, and this hatred became a blazing fire - with Macarthur fanning the flames.

It all came to a head when a convict was found to have escaped from Sydney on one of Macarthur's ships. When the ship eventually returned to Sydney, Macarthur's bond was forfeited and he was ordered to appear in court to answer the charges of breaking the colony's shipping rules. That court consisted of a Judge (a man with whom Macarthur had fought) and six officers of the NSW Corps who were Macarthur's friends. Macarthur objected to being tried by the Judge, and the panel of Corps members sided with him. Bligh demanded of their acting superior officer, Major Johnston, that the six officers be charged with mutiny. Johnston said he was too sick to deal with it. The following day, January 26, 1808, Bligh had Macarthur arrested and demanded the court papers back from the six member panel. They refused to comply, and the Rum Rebellion was under way.
8. During the events of the Rum Rebellion in the early history of Australia, who signed the document calling for the arrest of the colony's Governor Bligh?

Answer: Officers of the Army Corps and several leading citizens

On that famous day, Major Johnston of the Corps went to the jail and released John Macarthur who had been incarcerated there that morning by Governor Bligh. Macarthur then promptly drew up a petition calling for Major Johnston to arrest Bligh and take charge of the colony. This document was only produced after the event, when Bligh was safely neutralised. The "leading citizens" of the colony, who were all Macarthur's friends, were hesitant to add their names until that took place, for fear of incurring the Governor's fury should the arrest fall through. They added their names only after Bligh was safely out of the way.

At 6pm that evening, the Corps, dressed in full military colours, and accompanied by a loudly playing band, marched up to Government House to arrest the feisty Governor. Nobody made any attempt to stop them until the reached Government House. There they were met at the door by Bligh's daughter, who held them all at bay for some time with her parasol. Three soldiers managed to get past the indignant woman and make their way into the house. There they found Bligh, also dressed in full uniform, busily trying to hide his private papers in a small secluded room hidden by a curtain. After his arrest, in an attempt to try to discredit the Governor as much as possible (in order to justify their actions) the rebels put it about the colony that Governor Bligh was hiding under his bed. This was a complete fabrication which infuriated Bligh. He would deny it hotly for the rest of his life, but the damage was done.
9. Following the Rum Rebellion in Australia, how long was Governor Bligh held under house arrest at Government House before leaving the colony?

Answer: One year

Both Bligh and his daughter were placed under house arrest and confined to Government House until a new Governor arrived in the colony. Bligh, given the choice to leave, furiously said he wasn't going anywhere until his replacement arrived. In the meantime, knowing there would be a full investigation and follow up trial, his enemies organised their defence. Their representatives were sent to Britain with their version of the event and its causes. Macarthur in the meantime was rewarded by the rebels, made Colonial Secretary and put in charge of running all the business affairs of the colony. When the chief of the army eventually returned to Australia one year later from where he'd been establishing a new settlement in Tasmania, and with the replacement Governor still not arrived, he sent Macarthur and Major Johnston to Britain to face trial for their part in the rebellion, but would only agree to release Governor Bligh, if Bligh agreed to leave the colony.

Bligh did agree, but immediately his ship left Sydney Harbour, he sailed for Tasmania instead, trying to enlist the support of the Lieutenant-Governor there to help him retake the colony. His appeals fell on deaf ears, and instead he was held on board his ship there for another twelve months. Macarthur and Johnston, in the meantime, had had that extra year in Britain to work on their defence and to thoroughly assassinate Bligh's reputation and character.
10. Were John Macarthur and Major Johnston thrown in jail for their part in Australia's early Rum Rebellion?

Answer: No

The aftermath of our bloodless coup was that, firstly, the corrupt New South Wales Corps who had supported Macarthur and Johnston in the rebellion was disbanded and replaced by an infantry regiment from England. The colony's replacement Governor, Macquarie, who arrived in 1810, allowed Captain Bligh to return to the colony long enough to gather all the evidence he needed for Major Johnston's trial back in Britain. Bligh then left the colony to return to Britain in May that year. Johnston was found guilty for his part in the rebellion, but his sole penalty was only to be cashiered out of the army. He returned to Sydney and lived out a nice long comfortable life on the large property and accumulated monies he had amassed for himself whilst in charge of the Corps. He died in 1823. Bligh was promoted to Rear Admiral and then to Vice-Admiral. He was never given any more major posts however. He died in 1817, still furiously denying any wrongdoing on his part in Australia, and even more strenuously, that he had hidden under the bed during the rebellion.

Macarthur remained in Britain for ten years because of his own contrary nature. He could have returned to Australia sooner, but only if he admitted his wrongdoing in the Rum Rebellion. This he refused to do, and it would not be until 1817, the year of Bligh's death, that he was finally given unconditional permission to return. He devoted himself to farming and developing his wool industry there, and became immensely wealthy. He also ventured into breeding prize horses; he established Australia's first vineyard, set up a bank, and became a member of the legislative council of NSW. He was removed from his position there in 1832 by the then Governor of New South Wales because his mental health had deteriorated beyond any hope of recovery. He died two years later. It all seems rather sad somehow, don't you think? He should have died, with dignity, fighting, right to the end, in a duel.
Source: Author Creedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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