Australia as a former British colony referat





Australia as a former British colony

When 1770 the first European settler put his feet on Australian ground, the time of European colonialism had also been ring in in the fifth continent. In the next 150 years the native aboriginal culture of Down Under became victim of British oppression and the country economically dependent on the market of their colonisers. Traditional aboriginal culture was checked and mainly replaced by European ideas. The time before, during and after British colonial rule, as well as the Aboriginal culture today you can read about in this essay. Aboriginal culture and the first European explorers The native Australian Aborigines is one of the worlds longest surviving cultures. Some think ist origin goes back more than 150.000 years. Before European colonisation there were more than 500 different clans around the country, many with distinctive cultures and beliefs. There were also hundreds of different dialects. All of Australias Aborigines were semi-nomadic hunters and gatherers. The territory of one tribe was devided by boundaries such as rivers and lakes, but in their religion their is no possession of land, which in their belief belongs to nature itself. Aborigines are experts in adapting to the Australian environment. There were inland and coastal tribes, all with different skills and knowledge needed for their territory. Aboriginal social and religious life was very strict and had many rules as well as many spiritual ceremonies. When in the beginning of the 17th century the first Dutch and Portuguese explorers discovered the continent of Australia (the most famous explorer was the Dutch Tasman in 1642) there were the first clashes between them and the Aborigines. But colonial rule just began in 1770 when Captain James Cook hoisted the British flag at Botany Bay. British occupancy in Australia After his arrival at Botany Bay Cook travelled along the east coast of Australia, where he found fertile land, and claimed all of eastern Australia for King George III of Great Britain. He did also have contact with native Aborigines. Afterwards he said: „All theseem'd to want for us was to be goneBut the first years of British settlement in the south-east of Australia (today known as New South Wales) were very hard. The soil in this region was almost unfertile and the first British settlers had no experience in cultivating land. Many of them died through starvation or diseases. Australia was just useful as a penal colony for the British. Hence they wanted to keep their position of power on the world market against the French, the British claimed the whole of the Australian island in 1829. But still they had diffculties. Their was a lack of exportable goods and many geographical obstacles. As they could not support themselves the British settlers started the insufficient export of sandal wood and seal products to pay imports in the so-called Early Trade. A new phase of Australian colonialism and economy began when in 1851 gold was discovered in New South Wales and Victoria. There was also a rapid growth of cheap farming. Within 29 years (1850 – 79) wool export to Britain rose from 29 mio. lb. To 300 mio. lb. This all led to an enormous economic growth and as a result of that to a dependence on the British market. There were many explorations across the Blue Mountains, which enclose the eastern coast, to the untouched regions of western Australia. The British searched for new farming and mining land to meet the high demand of raw materials resulted from the Industrial Revolution at this time In this time the natives were more and more pushed into unfertile regions. They could not accept the possession of the land by the British, but their spartanic weapons were powerless against the British settlers. When their finally was a big aboriginal resistance against their British colonisers, the settlers started the genocide of the Aborigines. Thousands of natives were killed. Many had to work as cheap labour force or were „civilized“. Through the economic growth the Australian states finally became sel-governing during 1855 to 1859. Australias „independence“ and todays situation It can be said, that Australia achieved its independence on the 1st of January 1901 when the „Commonwealth of Australia“ was found, although they were still hardly dependent on the export of primary goods for the British market and ist preferential treatment towards Australian goods. After the 2nd World War Great Britain retreated from Asia. In 1952 the domion of Australia joined for security with the United States and signed the so-calles ANZUS Pact. In 1973 Great Britain joined the Euopean Commonwealth Market. Since then there is no preferential treatment of Australia in british economics any more. The independent Australia till today is in a phase of re-orientating. Britain used Australia to run their own economy. In the „race“ of economical power they took adavantage of the Land Down Under. Much more tragic is that they almost totally destroyed the culture of the native aboriginal people. Today there are only few Aborigines who still live their traditional life. Even today they have to fight for their rights and to be accepted in a very western-orientated state of Australia.















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