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Historical Description[]

Melbourne was built on land traditionally belonging to the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation in southeastern Australia. In 1835, a Tasmanian farmer named John Batman signed a dubious treaty with local chiefs agreeing to pay them annually for settlement rights. Though the colonial governor declared the treaty illegal on the grounds that all Australian land belonged to the Crown - the Aboriginals could not sell it, nor could Batman buy it - the town continued to grow regardless.

A gold rush that lasted from the 1850s through the 1880s made ‘Marvellous Melbourne’ the second-largest city in the British Empire after London. All classes of society shared in its fabulous wealth. Though growth slowed after a speculation bubble burst and crashed the economy in 1891, Melbourne had the honor of serving as the Commonwealth of Australia’s first capital from 1901-1927. High wool prices and immigration made the city boom again after World War II, as highlighted by its hosting of the 1956 Summer Olympics. Modern Melbourne is a cultural and financial hub for the entire Southeast Pacific region.

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