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Expanding Colonization From the 1820s to the 1880s, Australia underwent major processes that laid the foundation for its present society. Among these were the establishment of new colonies along the coasts, the expansion of sheep and cattle raising in the interior, and the discovery of gold and other minerals in the eastern colonies..... Read on: Colonization 1820s -1880s
In 1994, Australia had an estimated population of 17,800,000, up from 10,100,000 in 1960. Immigration continues to play a major role in population increase, more than 4 million new immigrants having settled in Australia since 1945. Despite a more diversified pattern of immigration in recent years, the population of Australia remains ethnically dominated by a majority that is of British descent (more than 90% from Great Britain and Ireland) or is recently arrived from the United Kingdom. Smaller ethnic groups of European origin include many of Greek, German, Italian, and Yugoslav descent........
Early European Exploration
Although Australia was not known to the Western world, it did exist in late medieval European logic and mythology: A great Southland, or Terra Australis, was thought necessary to balance the weight of the northern landmasses of Europe and Asia. Terra Australis often appeared on early European maps as a large, globe-shaped mass in about its correct location, although no actual discoveries were recorded by Europeans until much later. Indeed, the European exploration of Australia took more than three centuries to complete; thus, what is often considered the oldest continent, geologically, was the last to be discovered and colonized by Europeans.
Early History and Colonization
The groups comprising the aborigines are thought to have migrated from Southeast Asia. Skeletal remains indicate that aborigines arrived in Australia more than 30,000 years ago, and some evidence suggests that they were active there about 100,000 years ago. The aborigines spread throughout Australia and remained isolated from outside influences until the arrival of the Europeans. Australia was probably first sighted by a Portuguese, Manuel Godhino de Eredia, in 1601 and may have been sighted by a Spaniard, Luis Vaez de Torres, around 1605–6. It was later visited by the Dutch, who named it New Holland. In 1688 the Englishman William Dampier landed at King Sound on the northwest coast. Little interest was aroused, however, until the fertile east coast was observed when Capt. James Cook reached Botany Bay in 1770 and sailed N to Cape York, claiming the coast for Great Britain.
In 1788 the first British settlement was made—a penal colony on the shores of Port Jackson, where Sydney now stands. By 1829 the whole continent was a British dependency. Exploration, begun before the first settlement was founded, was continued by such men as Matthew Flinders (1798), Count Paul Strzelecki (1839), Ludwig Leichhardt (1848), and John McDouall Stuart (first to cross the continent, 1862). Australia was long used as a dumping ground for criminals, bankrupts, and other undesirables from the British Isles. Sheep raising was introduced early, and before the middle of the 19th cent. wheat was being exported in large quantities to England. A gold strike in Victoria in 1851 brought a rush to that region. Other strikes were made later in the century in Western Australia. With minerals, sheep, and grain forming the base of the economy, Australia developed rapidly. By the mid-19th cent. systematic, permanent colonization had completely replaced the old penal settlements.
Elizabeth II, 1926–, queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (1952–), elder daughter and successor of George VI. At age 18 she was made a State Counsellor, a confidante of the king. During World War II she trained as a junior subaltern (second lieutenant) in the women's services. On Nov. 20, 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, duke of Edinburgh (see Edinburgh, Prince Philip Mountbatten, duke of). They were in Kenya (en route for a tour of Australia and New Zealand) when the king died (Feb. 6, 1952) and Elizabeth succeeded to the throne. Her coronation, on June 2, 1953, was the first to be televised.
An extremely popular queen, Elizabeth has traveled more extensively than any previous British monarch. Throughout her reign, expanded media coverage has brought the monarchy closer to the British people. Although the queen, who in public is formal and unemotional, continues to be greatly admired and respected, since the mid-1980s a barrage of tabloid reports about her children and their spouses has seriously tarnished the royal image. In 1992 she celebrated her 40th year on the throne, but it was also a year in which part of Windsor Castle suffered a devastating fire; her son Prince Andrew (b. 1960) separated from his wife, the former Sarah Ferguson (they were divorced in 1996); her daughter, Princess Anne, divorced; and her son and heir to the throne Prince Charles and his wife Princess Diana separated (they were divorced in 1996). Elizabeth's youngest son is Prince Edward (b. 1964). In 1992 Elizabeth, the wealthiest woman in England, agreed to pay income tax for the first time. She was widely criticized for her seeming insensitivity in the days following Princess Diana's death.
See E. Longford, The Queen (1984); S. Bradford, Elizabeth (1996); B. Pimlott, The Queen (1997).
Charles (Charles Philip Arthur George), 1948–, prince of Wales, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and heir apparent to the British throne. He was created prince of Wales in 1958 and invested at Caernarvon Castle in 1969. He graduated from Cambridge Univ. in 1971 and served in the Royal Navy (1971–76).
In 1981 he married Lady Diana Frances Spencer (see Diana, princess of Wales). Their children, next in line to succeed him, are Prince William (b. 1982) and Prince Henry (b. 1984). Following the separation of Charles and Diana in 1992, the deterioration of their personal relationship became the subject of intense, sometimes lurid, media coverage. By the time of their divorce (1996) and her death (Aug., 1997) in a Paris car crash, the sympathies of the British public appeared deeply divided between Charles and Diana.
Charles has been an outspoken critic of contemporary architecture and has sought to bring Britain's architectural heritage to the attention of the nation. He wrote A Vision of Britain (1989), which became a television documentary. He is also an advocate for inner-city reform and environmental issues.
Anne (Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise), 1950–, British princess, only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, duke of Edinburgh. She was educated at Benenden School. In 1973 she married a British army officer, Mark Phillips, but they were divorced in 1992 and she married Timothy Laurence. Her two children by Mark Phillips are Mark Andrew Phillips (b. 1977), and Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips (b. 1981). An accomplished horsewoman, she represented Britain in various international show-jumping events, including the Montreal Olympics in 1976. She is also president of the Save the Children Fund. She was created princess royal in 1987.
Growth of Sheep Grazing Australian soils and climate, with the recurrent droughts, were better suited for large-scale grazing than for farming, and the most successful and dramatic transformation of the Australian continent occurred in the 1830s and 1840s, as squatters established huge sheep runs. Paying only 10 pounds a year for a license, squatters could claim virtually as much land as they wanted.The expansion of sheep grazing resulted in the colonization of the Port Phillip district, which in 1850 became the colony of Victoria, with its capital at Melbourne (founded in 1836). To the north, graziers also gave the outlines to another colony, Queensland (with its capital at Brisbane), which was separated from New South Wales in 1859.From 1830 to 1850 wool exports rose from 2 million pounds to 41 million pounds. With new immigrants and the growth of the capital cities, each of which served as the major port for its region, the Australian colonies began to agitate for more control over their governmental systems.
Identity Forged by War
World War I (1914-1918), much more than federation itself, began the transformation of Australian life from that of six colonies to a united state aware of its new identity. Responding to the allied call for troops, Australia sent more than 330,000 volunteers, who took part in some of the bloodiest battles. Suffering a casualty rate higher than that of many other participants, Australia became increasingly conscious of its contribution to the war effort. At Gallipoli (now Gelibolu), an Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) tried in vain to launch a drive on the Turkish forces in the Dardanelles. The date of the fateful landing, April 25, 1915, became equated with Australia's coming of age, and as Anzac Day it has remained the country's most significant day of public homage.
In 1915 William M. (“Billy”) Hughes became prime minister and leader of the Labor Party. Representing Australia at councils in London, Hughes personified Australian energies. When he failed to carry the electorate in two attempts to supplement volunteers with conscripted men, Hughes remained in power by forming the Nationalist Party, much to the annoyance of his Labor colleagues. He attended the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, acquiring German New Guinea as a mandated territory and establishing Australia's right to enter the League of Nations. The powers designated to the federal government in the constitution proved sufficient to allow a strong central government.
bushrangers, bandits who terrorized the bush country of Australia in the 19th cent. The first bushrangers (c.1806–44) were mainly escaped convicts who fled to the bush and organized gangs. Their crimes were checked effectively by various Bushranging Acts passed after 1830. With the discovery of gold, however, bushrangers of a new type flourished from 1850 to 1880, largely brigand-adventurers who attacked gold convoys. The last of these were the men of the Kelly gang. This band of desperadoes was exterminated in 1880 when three members were trapped and killed at a hotel in Glenrowan, Victoria, and Edward (Ned) Kelly was hanged at Melbourne. Despite the frequent brutality of the gangs, they often held the status of folk heroes among the poor.
See studies by W. F. Wannan (1963) and T. A. Prior (1966).
Recovery from the depression, led from 1929 to early 1932 by James H. Scullin and the Labor Party, was extremely uneven. Deflationary economic policy contributed to economic effects that were far more harsh than those felt elsewhere in the world. Disagreement on government policy broke Labor again in 1931, and for the rest of the 1930s the United Australia Party, composed of former Nationalists and disenchanted Laborites, held the reins of power. The party was led by Joseph Alyosus Lyons.
From its first assumption of responsibility in foreign affairs, Australia had been guided by its cultural and political ties with Britain. Emphasis was therefore placed on following Britain's leadership in solving the problems of the depression. Chief among these was an attempt to redirect more trade between Britain and the dominions. As early as the 1920s, however, Japan and the United States were among Australia's best customers for its wool crop. Against its own interests, but motivated in part by fear, Australia sought to reestablish British trade at the expense of its relations with Japan. In the League of Nations and within the Commonwealth of Nations, Australian governments also tended to support appeasement and other policies in an effort to prevent war with the Fascist powers.
French interest was less sustained than that of the British. Marion Dufresne, on his 1772 voyage, concentrated upon charting and describing the less hospitable western coast and Tasmania, and later French explorers investigated Australia's southern coast. By then, however, the British had established their first settlement and had claimed the eastern half of the continent.
Even with Britain's sustained efforts, Australia's coasts were not fully explored until the 19th century. Matthew Flinders was the first to circumnavigate the continent from 1801 to 1803. He charted most of the coastline, but it was midcentury before the continent's major interior features were known.
Gold Rush and Consequences The gold rush of the 1850s sped up the development of the social and political systems. In April 1851, Edward Hargraves found gold at Summer Hill Creek in New South Wales. With the recent experience of the California gold rush in mind, others joined in the rush, which quickly became centered in Victoria at Mount Alexander, Ballarat, and Bendigo. Gold was later found elsewhere in New South Wales and Queensland.In the following ten years, Australia exported more than 124 million pounds worth of gold alone. By 1861 the Australian population had reached almost 1.2 million, a threefold increase over the 1850 population of 400,000. Americans as well as Britons and Canadians joined the immigrants to the eastern colonies. In Victoria, miners quickly became irritated with the high cost of mining licenses and restrictions on their right to search for gold. Before the fees were reduced, a small band of miners staged an uprising at the Eureka stockade at Ballarat in December 1854.Both miners and colonists responded with alarm to the influx of Chinese immigrants attracted by gold. In 1856 Victoria restricted the entry of Chinese. Eventually, the exclusion of all but European settlers gave the colonies a “White Australia” policy that was defended vigorously whenever there appeared to be new threats to Australian jobs or culture. On occasion it seemed that Queensland, which began to import Polynesian laborers (called Kanakas) for sugarcane plantations in the 1860s, might remain at odds with the other colonies, but it eventually conformed; the plantations were replaced by small-scale sugar farms run by whites, and the White Australia policy continued to provide an emotional link among the colonists.
Bligh's replacement, Lachlan Macquarie, served as governor from 1809 to 1821. The most talented governor since Phillip, he also became the most powerful. The New South Wales Corps was sent home, and because the economy had improved, the government gained stability. Macquarie began an extensive public works program, employing the ex-convict Francis Greenway to design churches, hospitals, and government buildings in Sydney. The population of the colony also increased after Britain's defeat of Napoleon in 1814. The arrival of more free settlers brought more claims to farmland on which more convicts could serve as laborers.
These two new groups of colonists, however, reflected a growing tension within New South Wales. As convicts completed their sentences or were eligible for release due to good behavior, they wanted land and opportunities. They were known as the emancipists, and their leaders urged that they be given more rights. The free settlers, like the corps before them, maintained that convicts, even after their release, should not be treated as equals. They were known as the exclusives. Macquarie, as had Bligh, tended to support the emancipists, granting them land and appointing them to minor offices. The exclusives, therefore, became critical of both Macquarie and the emancipists.
In the Beginning
In October 24, 1889, then New South Wales Premier Sir Henry Parkes told a gathering at Tenterfield, close to the Queensland border, that the time had come for the Australian states to federate into one national government.
In 1890, on Parkes' initiative, the representatives of seven British colonies (which included New Zealand) met in Melbourne and agreed in principle to establish a federation.
A year later, a Federation Convention held in Sydney produced a draft Constitution for the Commonwealth of Australia.
Australian victory dance
Changes in government, the Depression and other factors held back federation. In the meantime, referendums had been held, and more conventions set up. It was only in 1900 that a final draft Constitution was approved.
New Zealand had opted out of the proposed federation. Fiji had also been invited but declined to join. Western Australia and Queensland debated whether they wanted to, finally deciding Yes.
The draft Constitution was brought to London for passage through the British Parliament and despite certain misgivings, Britain's Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain reached a compromise with the Australian delegates -- who are said to have joined hands and danced around the room -- and the way was cleared for the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia on January 1, 1901.
Australia was portrayed as a remote and unattractive land for European settlement. However, it had some social and strategic value for a nation with rising crime rates and commercial interests in the Pacific and East Asia. Britain moved quickly after the American Revolution ended in 1783 to establish its first settlement in Australia, since it could no longer ship British convicts to America. Food shortages, harsh penal laws, and the general displacement of people during the early stages in the Industrial Revolution in Britain added to its criminal population. Leading social reformers of the day assumed that the best way to eliminate crime was to remove these criminals from society. In 1786 the British government announced its intention to establish a penal settlement at Botany Bay in Australia.
World War II
When war came again in Europe in 1939, Australia dispatched its small armed forces to assist in Britain's defense. After the Pacific war between Japan and the United States broke out in 1941 and Britain was unable to provide sufficient support for Australia's defense, the new Labor government of John Curtin sought alliance with the United States. Until the liberation of the Philippines, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur and his staff used Australia for their base of operations. Although casualties were lighter than in World War I, Australians were more psychologically affected because of their fears of a Japanese invasion. Again Australian industry was transformed by the needs of war. The economy was redirected toward manufacturing, and heavy industries ringed the capital cities. Postwar development built further on the foundations established during the war.
Prime Minister Curtin died in 1945, but the new Labor government under Joseph B. Chifley strengthened Australia's relationship with the United States in the ANZUS pact for mutual assistance (with New Zealand as a third partner). As a charter member of the United Nations, Australia also agreed to the decolonization of the islands in the Pacific, including the preparation of Papua New Guinea for independence (achieved in 1975).
New Settlements As a prelude to increased British interest, Captain James Stirling (later Sir James) explored the Swan River on the western coast in 1827 and led a group of British investors in the establishment of Western Australia in 1829. Underfinanced, Stirling's new settlement of free settlers at Perth stagnated. In 1850 the colony requested convicts to increase its labor supply and received about 10,000 until 1868. Only with the discovery of gold in the 1890s, however, was the fortune of Western Australia reversed.South Australia, with its capital of Adelaide, was established in July 1837. It was the plan of Edward Wakefield, a British reformer who wanted to create new colonies reflecting British cultural values. By selling land rather than giving it away (the past British practice), Wakefield hoped to use the income to sponsor the immigration of laborers to meet the needs of colonial farmers. By controlling land prices, he assumed he could regulate colonial expansion. The new colony eventually succeeded as a society of small grain farmers. Like each of the other colonies, it failed to recognize the rights of the Aborigines.
British Expeditions and Claims
At first England's involvement in Australia appeared likely to go the way of the Spanish and Dutch, but in the late 17th century the English launched two expeditions. The first one, in 1687 to 1688, was led by a buccaneer, William Dampier, who landed in the northwest. When he returned to England, he urged further voyages in pursuit of the continent's supposed wealth. The second expedition—along the western coast in 1699—resulted in a rather dismal assessment of the land's potential. English interest in the continent declined accordingly.
The New South Wales Corps
In 1792 the Royal Marines were replaced with the New South Wales Corps, which had been specifically recruited in Great Britain. Given grants of land, members of the corps became the colony's best and largest farmers, but they also posed a serious threat to the governors by their power over the economy. With a sharp eye for enhancing their income, they specialized in controlling the price of rum, which served largely as the colony's internal means of exchange.
Captain John Hunter, Phillip's successor as governor, who arrived in 1795, tried in vain to gain control of the rum traffic. The next governor, Captain Philip G. King, who served from 1800 to 1806, was no more successful. Both governors also had to house additional arrivals, and in 1804 King had to use the corps to put down a rebellion by Irish convicts.
In 1806 Captain William Bligh replaced King. The captain had gained notoriety earlier, when the crew of his ship, the Bounty, had mutinied in the Pacific. Bligh threatened the corps with the loss of their monopoly. He was met with the so-called Rum Rebellion, and on January 26, 1808, officers of the corps arrested him. Bligh was later sent to London, where he successfully defended his policies, but he was not restored to his governorship. The Rum Rebellion thus gave the leaders of the corps the immediate victory. Meanwhile, one of its ringleaders, John Macarthur, had found the solution to the colony's lack of valuable exports: in 1802 he had shown British manufacturers samples of Australian wool. It was only after 1810, however, with the breeding of the merino sheep, with its long staple wool, that sheep grazing gradually developed into a major economic activity
Edinburgh, Prince Philip Mountbatten, duke of [ed'inburu]
Edinburgh, Prince Philip Mountbatten, duke of , 1921–, consort of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, b. Greece. He was the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice, daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg, and a grandson of George I of Greece, great-grandson of Christian IX of Denmark, and great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria. He took his mother's name, Mountbatten, when he became a British citizen in 1947, and renounced his Greek and Danish titles. Educated at the Royal Navy College, Philip served in the British navy during World War II. He was created duke of Edinburgh shortly before his marriage (Nov. 20, 1947) to Elizabeth. In 1957, Elizabeth conferred upon him the title of Prince. He has been a strong advocate of British scientific and technical innovation, wildlife protection, and conservation.
Encouraged by Jansz's voyages, Dutch governors-general at Batavia commissioned expeditions into the southern oceans. The most successful was that of Abel Tasman, who in 1642 moved into the waters of southern Australia, discovering the island now known as Tasmania. Tasman then sailed farther east and north to explore New Zealand. Dutch ships sailing to Indonesia often sailed off course, and their crews landed on the western and northern coasts of Australia. Despite their increasing knowledge of the continent, which they called New Holland, the Dutch did not follow up their oceanic discoveries with formal occupation; in their contacts, they found little of value for European trade. Thus, the way was open for the later arrival of the English.
The 18th century in Western Europe ushered in the Age of Reason, when philosophers and scientists stressed the value of global discovery, of learning more about the Earth and in collecting unusual flora and fauna from around the world. These inquiries fit well with Britain's growing power as a maritime empire.
In 1768 Captain James Cook left England on a three-year expedition to the Pacific that also took him to Australia. Cook landed at Botany Bay on the eastern coast. He charted the region and named it New South Wales. It was he and his staff, including botanist Sir Joseph Banks, who later supported settlement in Australia. Cook's two additional voyages in the 1770s added information on the Australian landmass and cemented Britain's claims to the continent.
Economic Controversy In the 1860s the goldfields began to decline. Although wool exports kept the colonies fairly prosperous, colonial debate soon centered on the role of government in the economy. In particular, railroad construction, due to costs and the absence of internal market centers, became a government activity. In 1866 Victoria, followed by South Australia and Tasmania, adopted a policy of high tariffs on imported goods in order to protect its own small industries and markets. New South Wales (and Queensland to a lesser extent) continued to stay with a free-trade policy.Throughout the 1870s and 1880s, the arguments over free trade versus protection divided the press, the political parties, and the colonies. This, together with the continuing jealousies among them, hindered any significant attempts at cooperation and possible union among the six colonies until the 1890s.
Contemporary Australian Culture
From 1901 to World War II, Australians continued to reflect the basic tenets of their British origins. Cultural activities were dominated by the city populations within the framework of the old colonial divisions. The housing of the federal government in Melbourne until Canberra was built may have contributed to the preservation of the older orientation..... Read more: Contemporary Australian Culture
The Menzies Era
In 1949 Robert Menzies became prime minister, ushering in a long era of political stability. During the war, the old United Australian Party had disintegrated. In its stead arose the Liberal Party, which attracted those who opposed Labor's internal policies. Menzies, prime minister until 1966, gave Australia centralized and personal leadership. He stressed the sentimental linkage with the British crown but took more active interest than his predecessors in Pacific and South Asian affairs. Under the Colombo Plan, Asians began studying in Australian institutions in the 1950s. The White Australia policy was gradually discarded, and since the early 1970s the entry of immigrants has been based on criteria other than race. A national referendum in 1967 granted full citizenship to Aboriginal Australians.
Militarily, Australia fulfilled its commitment to the Western alliance by fighting in the Korean War, participating in the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) from 1954 until its dissolution in 1977, and fighting in the Vietnam War as a staunch ally of the United States. Meanwhile, Australia adjusted its domestic and foreign policies, which included recognizing its growing ties with Japan.
A child's spirit was held to come from the Dreaming to animate a fetus. In some cases, this was believed to occur through an action of a mythic being who might or might not be reincarnated in the child. Even when Aborigines acknowledged a physical bond between parents and child, the most important issue for them was the spiritual heritage.
Read on Aboriginal Socialization
Confederation of the separate Australian colonies did not come until a constitution, drafted in 1897–98, was approved by the British parliament. It was put into operation in 1901; under its terms the colonies of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania, all of which by then had been granted self-government, were federated. The Northern Territory was added to the federation in 1911.
Australia fought alongside Great Britain in both world wars. Darwin, Port Jackson, and Newcastle were bombed or shelled by the Japanese in World War II. The Allied victory in the battle of the Coral Sea (1942) probably averted a full-scale attack on Australia. After the war Australia became increasingly active in world affairs, particularly in defense and development projects with its Asian neighbors; it furnished troops to aid the U.S. war effort in South Vietnam.
In 1983, Bob Hawke won his first of four terms as prime minister against a coalition of the Liberal and National parties. In 1991, as Australia foundered in a deep recession, Hawke lost the prime ministership to fellow Laborite Paul Keating. Keating led Labor to its fifth consecutive electoral victory in 1993. In the Mar., 1996, elections, however, 13 years of Labor rule were ended by a Liberal-National party coalition led by John Howard, who promised deregulation, smaller government, and other conservative economic reforms. Howard's coalition was reelected, although by a smaller margin, in 1998. In a 1999 referendum, voters rejected a plan to replace the British monarch as head of state with a president elected by the parliament
British Empire, overseas territories linked to Great Britain in a variety of constitutional relationships, established over a period of three centuries. The establishment of the empire resulted primarily from commercial and political motives and emigration movements (see imperialism); its long endurance resulted from British command of the seas and preeminence in international commerce, and from the flexibility of British rule. At its height in the late 19th and early 20th cent., the empire included territories on all continents, comprising about one quarter of the world's population and area. Probably the outstanding impact of the British Empire has been the dissemination of European ideas, particularly of British political institutions and of English as a lingua franca, throughout a large part of the world
After an internal backlash within the Nationalist Party forced the retirement of Hughes in 1923, Stanley M. Bruce became prime minister. The Country Party, founded in 1920 as a patriotic, conservative movement to protect the interests of farmers and graziers, joined the Nationalist coalition, although it kept its own identity. The chief opponent of the coalition was Labor, which had to redefine its social policies. To maintain wartime levels of production and expansion the government sought to build up the basic industries, but the depression of 1929 cut deeply into the health of the Australian economy, increasing public and private debts at a time of massive unemployment.
Portugal's involvement in India, and Spain's disenchantment, allowed the rising power of the Netherlands to establish a string of trading centers from the Cape of Good Hope in Africa to Indonesia during the 17th century. The Dutch, stationed chiefly in the Indonesian ports of Bantam and Batavia (Jakarta), quickly made the discovery of Australia a reality. Helped by better sailing ships and greater knowledge of global wind systems, they were able to overcome the challenges in the southern Pacific. In 1606 Willem Jansz sailed into Torres Strait, between the Australian mainland and New Guinea. (The strait was later named for a Spanish explorer, Luis Vaez de Torres, who sailed into the same area in the same year and determined that New Guinea was an island.) In 1616 Dutch sailor Dirk Hartog followed a new southern route across the Indian Ocean to Batavia (now Jakarta, Indonesia). Winds blew his ship, the Eendracht, too far to the east and Hartog landed on an offshore island of Western Australia, becoming the first known European to set foot on Australian soil. Before sailing north to Batavia, he left a pewter plate on the island inscribed with a record of his visit.
Cultural Life in the 19th Century
The rapid increase of Australia's population from 1830 to 1860 contributed to the growth of the six capital cities. Unable to support dense settlements within their interior, the colonies became increasingly urbanized around the initial points of colonization.... Read more: Cultural Life 19th Century
Fifty thousand years ago groups of Southeast Asians immigrated to the continent and settled among it vast desert plains and resource-rich coasts. In 1770, British Captain James Cook claimed the entire continent for the British Empire and continued on his fated journey...... Read on Settlement - A Brief Outline
Expanding Colonization From the 1820s to the 1880s, Australia underwent major processes that laid the foundation for its present society. Among these were the establishment of new colonies along the coasts, the expansion of sheep and cattle raising in the interior, and the discovery of gold and other minerals in the eastern colonies.
Anzus Treaty , defense agreement signed in 1951 by Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. The name Anzus is derived from the initials of the three signatory nations. As a result of the reestablishment of peace between Japan and the United States in 1951, Australia and New Zealand asked for a treaty making it clear that an attack on any of the three signatory countries would be considered an attack upon all. The pact became effective in 1952. New Zealand's 1985 refusal to allow U.S. nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships to enter its ports caused the United States to abrogate its ANZUS responsibilities toward New Zealand in 1986; however, New Zealand has not formally withdrawn from the alliance.
Treatment of Aborigines
With the settling of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), however, Aboriginal communities began to be destroyed on a large scale. Unable to overcome colonial arms and fears, and despite the official British policy of protection, the 5,000 Aborigines of the island were then reduced to a mere handful..... Read on Aboriginal Treatment
The aborigines have an intricate classification system that defines kinship relations and regulates marriages. The Kariera, for example, are divided into hordes, or local groups of about 30 people, which are divided into four classes, or sections. Membership in a section determines ritual and territorial claims.....
Read this article About Aboriginies
The Aborigines were the first inhabitants of Australia. Most anthropologists believe they migrated to the continent at least 40,000 years ago, and that most of the continent was occupied 30,000 years ago. Although Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian, and Arab seafarers may have landed in northern Australia well before AD 1500, Australia was essentially unknown in the West until the 17th century.
Aboriginal nomadism was a direct result of a major limitation of the hunter-gatherer economy: the certainty of reduced food volume and ever-greater expenditure of effort to obtain it the longer a group stayed in one place.....
Read this article Aboriginal Economic organization
George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George), 1895–1952, king of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (1936–52), second son of George V; successor of his elder brother, Edward VIII. He attended the royal naval colleges at Osborne and Dartmouth and served in World War I. Later he served in the Royal Air Force. He studied at Cambridge for a time after the war, was created duke of York in 1920, and married (1923) Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. They had two daughters: Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and Princess Margaret. When Edward VIII abdicated on Dec. 11, 1936, George became king. He and his consort were crowned on May 12, 1937. They made a state visit to France in July, 1938, and an unprecedented royal voyage to Canada and the United States in 1939. During World War II the king worked to keep up British morale by visiting bombed areas, inspecting war plants, and touring theaters of war action. In 1947 the royal family made a state visit and tour of South Africa. A tour of Australia and New Zealand, scheduled for 1949, was postponed indefinitely because of the king's illness at the end of 1948. Like his father, George was held in deep affection by his people. He was succeeded by Elizabeth II.
See biography by S. Bradford (1989).
smallest continent, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. With the island state of Tasmania to the south, the continent makes up the Commonwealth of Australia, a federal parliamentary state (1995 est. pop. 18,322,000), 2,967,877 sq mi (7,686,810 sq km). Australia's capital is Canberra. Its largest city is Sydney, closely followed in population by Melbourne. There are five continental states in the nation (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia) as well as the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (an enclave within New South Wales, containing Canberra). Australia's external territories include Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and the Australian Antarctic Territory.
Early Australian Society
The convicts—and reaction to them—became the major theme of early Australian history. Although the sending of convicts to New South Wales was abolished in 1850 and to Van Diemen's Land in 1852, Britain had sent more than 150,000 to the two colonies. Approximately 20 percent were women, and about one-third were Irish; the majority came from the poorer classes of British towns......
Macquarie's government was expensive, and most of the burden had to be carried by the British treasury. Overseas punishment, however, did not appear to have reduced the number of convicts, and many wondered if New South Wales was the proper solution to Britain's crime problems. In 1819, the British Colonial Office sent Judge John Thomas Bigge to inspect and report on Macquarie's administration. He recommended slashes in government expenses but assumed that New South Wales should continue as a convict settlement. He also, however, recognized the colony's growing importance to the British Empire as a home for wealthy free settlers, and he popularized the name Australia for the southern continent. Bigge's reports resulted in a major change in the constitution for New South Wales in 1823. By an act of Parliament the governor's autocratic powers were reduced with the appointment of a nominated Legislative Council.
In 1825, by an executive order of the British government, the island settlement of Van Diemen's Land (present-day Tasmania) became a separate colony. A penal colony had been established there in 1803 out of fear that France was ready to claim the island. Although settlements south and north of Sydney had been attempted in the same period, only Van Diemen's Land became a large
Land and Resources: Australia lacks mountains of great height; it is one of the world's flattest landmasses. The average elevation is about 300 m (about 1,000 ft). The interior, referred to as the outback, is predominantly a series of great plains, or low plateaus, which are generally higher in the northeast..... Read more: Land Resources
Australia — chronological history
Get a complete list of the Chronological History of Australia: click here A Chronological History
Eg: 1606 — Dutchman Willem Jansz lands at the present site of Cape York, Queensland, on the far north-east corner of the continent, but fails to realise the significance of his discovery.
1642 — Another Dutchman, Abel Tasman, discovers Van Diemen's Land, the present island state of Tasmania south of the Australian mainland, and annexes the territory for Holland.
Paintings in ochre on sheets of bark were indigenous to Arnhem Land, although examples could be found in the Kimberleys and in southeastern Australia. They were used mostly on the initiation ground for the instruction of novices.
Read this Article at:Aboriginal Aesthetics
Many Aboriginal artists still practice the traditional techniques see: Aboriginal Art Site.
Portuguese and Spanish Sailings
In the 15th century Portugal's systematic drive southward along the west coast of Africa, seeking trade with India, rekindled European interest in finding the as yet undiscovered Terra Australis. Portuguese mariners may have charted the east coast of the continent in as early as the 16th century, but they preferred to concentrate on India, East Africa, and Southeast Asia. Australia remained undiscovered by the West for other reasons as well. One was that the continent's location was off the Oceanic-island trading corridor of the Indian and South Pacific oceans. In addition, the winds in the Southern Hemisphere tend to veer northward in the direction of the equator west of Australia, whereas east of the continent the strong head winds discourage sailing into them.
In the 16th and early 17th centuries, Spain, having established its empire in South and Central America, began a series of expeditions from Peru into the South Pacific. Encouraged by the discovery of the Solomon Islands (northeast of Australia) by Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira in 1567, Spanish New World officials launched several expeditions in hopes of finding gold. After the failure of these voyages to find either precious minerals or significant new landmasses, Spain abandoned its interest in Terra Australis after 1605.
Initially, the way of life in Australia substantially reflected the heritage of the British settlers. Customs were modified as the settlers adapted to the new country and its exceptionally fine climate. A culture evolved that, although based on the British tradition, is unique to Australia. The increasing sophistication of Australian culture has been promoted by government subsidies for the arts and the provision of improved facilities. Many cities and towns have built or expanded art galleries and performing art centers. The architecturally stunning Sydney Opera House is the best known of the modern venues. Opera, ballet, and dance companies, symphony orchestras, artists, playwrights, and writers are supported by the Australia Council. The federally funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation controls independent television and radio stations. Australia also has many other media companies, newspapers, and magazines that contribute to local culture, although some are now owned by foreigners.
Diana, princess of Wales, 1961–97, wife of Charles, prince of Wales (1948–), heir to the British throne. The daughter of the 8th Earl Spencer, Lady Diana Frances Spencer was a kindergarten teacher in London before her 1981 marriage to Charles. They had two sons, the princes William (b. 1982) and Henry (b. 1984), but separated in 1992 and were divorced in 1996. Diana and Charles were rivals for acceptance by the British public after their marriage unraveled spectacularly; her death in a Paris car crash in Aug., 1997, brought a huge outpouring of sentiment.
See A. Morton, Diana, Her True Story (1992); S. B. Smith, Diana (1999).
Ned Kelly, "Mad" Dan Morgan and "Bogong Jack" are some of the Bushrangers from the goldrush era of this area now made famous in Australian folk law. The area around the upper Murray is the first in the country to be irrigated and has been transformed into rich farm land producing citrus fruits and world-class wine.This is also a great place for a summer holiday with many water-sports to enjoy including;- fishing, sailing, waterskiing and swimming.
The Founding of Sydney
On May 13, 1787, Captain Arthur Phillip of the Royal Navy set sail from Portsmouth with the First Fleet. In addition to their crews numbering over 400 seamen, the 11 ships carried about 780 convicts. Phillip arrived at Botany Bay on January 18, 1788. Finding the bay a poor choice, he moved north to Port Jackson, which he discovered to be one of the world's best natural harbors. Here he began the first permanent settlement on January 26, now known as Australia Day. The settlement was named Sydney for Britain's home secretary, Lord Sydney, who was responsible for the colony. Phillip's domain covered half of Australia (from the eastern oceanic waters to as far west as the 135th meridian), but his human resources were limited. In particular, he lacked the horticulturalists, skilled carpenters, and engineers needed to develop a self-supporting colony. His major concern, until his departure in 1792, was ruling virtually single-handedly over the small penal settlement.
Three major problems confronted the early governors: providing a sufficient supply of foodstuffs; developing an internal economic system; and producing exports to pay for the colony's imports from Britain. Land around Sydney was too sandy for suitable farming, and the colony faced perpetual food shortages through the 1790s. Natural food sources were largely limited to fish and kangaroo. Phillip established farms on the more fertile banks of the Hawkesbury River, a few miles northwest of Sydney, but this land was often flooded or still used by the Aborigines. Needed food supplies came mainly from Norfolk Island, nearly 1,600 km (about 1,000 mi) away, which Phillip had occupied in February 1788. The island later served as a jail for the more hardened criminals.