Essay Outline Martial Law Bathurst

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Fiona Scott-Doran Assignment 1

HIST150

In what ways does Governor Brisbane’s Proclamation of Martial Law provide insights into the nature of conflict between Aborigines and settlers in the frontier areas around Bathurst in 1824? Essay introduction approx. 200 words There has been much controversy and debate over the issue of frontier violence and conflict between colonial settlers and indigenous Australians during early colonisation of Australia. While some historians contend that the evidence of frontier violence and indigenous deaths has been overestimated, others argue that the figures are potentially under estimated. There is ample evidence to indicate violence and deaths did

occur between both parties, however, there is much argument over the causation, subsequent action and the number of casualties recorded for both sides of the conflict. Post colonial historians believe that the previous history cannot possibly accurately portray the events as it was written by the aggressors. Other historians argue that as there is no evidence there is no justification for revising of the previously held history. A unique opportunity to examine the issue is presented by the implementation of martial law in the Bathurst region in 1824 by Governor Brisbane. Ostensibly employed to stop conflict which had escalated beyond the control of the local authorities and return peaceful relations it us to examine the events with a view to better understand the cause and results of the conflict from both sides of the debate.

Essay outline 5 to 8 points with maximum two to three sentences per point. Bathurst Region

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Fiona Scott-Doran Assignment 1

HIST150

The Bathurst region of New South Wales, during the initial period of settlement, was used predominantly as stock grazing land by settlers. The restrictions on inland settlement by Governor Macquarie had limited the spread of settlement west of and away from Sydney and there had been little conflict between settlers and natives in the area prior to the events of leading up to the implementation of martial law. The local indigenous community, the Wiradjuri, was led by warriors including Windradyne, also named Saturday by the settlers.

Lead up to martial law Governor Brisbane’s change in policy, following the Bigge Report, to allow inland settlement to expand caused settlers to encroach on lands held by indigenous communities and the fencing and blocking of access to these lands began to become an issue. The land issues, coupled with a severe drought in the area causing food shortages led to theft of stock by the indigenous people. Retaliatory attacks by both sides over the thefts and encroachment escalated to an extent that the local authorities were unable to control them.

Declaration The declaration of martial law by Governor Brisbane was issued on 14 August 1824 after repeated requests by locals to deal with the escalating conflicts and stock theft which had been occurring since Major Morriset had taken over control for the region. Martial law was implemented allowing allow subjects to be commanded to assist in fighting the conflict, rather than just the authorities and its use granted the use extraordinary measures to control the violence that otherwise would have been deemed illegal 2

Fiona Scott-Doran Assignment 1

HIST150

Is no blood shed true In the declaration ending the period of martial law Governor Brisbane repeals the original declaration and advises that peace has been restored without resorting to bloodshed. In contrast to this statement, however, various reports made it back to Sydney recounting numerous stories of native deaths which had taken place during the period of martial law. Examined with the evidence available from other regions of recorded native deaths during conflict, it is hard to accept that no bloodshed occurred during this time.

The treatment of non whites By examining the treatment of the Chinese community and the...
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