History of Australia

Topics: Indigenous Australians, First Fleet, New South Wales Pages: 4 (1433 words) Published: February 28, 2013
A Story of Australia
Australia is a country known for its surf beaches, koalas, and kangaroos, the Great Barrier Reef, iconic laid back lifestyles and much more. But how did this unique country and continent down under begin, and become what it is today? Aboriginals themselves have existed in Australia on the land for an estimated 60,000 years. Recently, their diverse and complex history as truly been discovered. Dispersed throughout Australia, there were 600 tribes spread out, all living off the land, and content. Their whole world turned upside down when the European settlers came and began to make their stake on the land. Since the European invasion of Australia in 1788, the Aboriginal people have been oppressed into a world unnatural to their existence for thousands of years. First came the influx of the strangers who carried with them diseases, which decimated the immediate population of the Sydney tribes. It is estimated that over 750,000 Aboriginal people inhabited the island continent in 1788. The colonists were led to believe that the land was terra nullius (‘no one’s land’), which Lt James Cook declared Australia to be in 1770 during his voyage around the coast of Australia.It would not be an exaggeration to claim that the Island continent was owned by over 400 different nations at the time of this claim by Cook. When the first fleet arrived in Sydney Cove it is said that Captain Philip was astounded with the theory of Cook’s terra nullius, saying “Sailing up into Sydney cove we could see natives lining the shore shaking spears and yelling.” On the 18th of January, Governor Arthur Phillip arrived with the First Fleet at Botany Bay in 1788. The fleet arrived with many technological advances from the Europeans, their values, along with thousands of officers, troops, and felons. These first settlers found Australia as a harsh land, food was on short supply, sicknesses spread like wildfire and life was hard. The settlers also did not understand the land;...
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