Why the British Colonized New Holland in 1788

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What were the most compelling reasons why the British decided to establish a colony on the east coast of New Holland in 1788?

It Was All About Location

In 1788, the British colonized the continent of New Holland, which is present day Australia. The colony was first started as a penal colony on the east coast, but soon expanded throughout the country. There are many reasons why this colony was first created and why Botany Bay specifically was chosen, but many of these reasons came about due to a man named Captain Cook who wrote down all of his findings during his discovery of New Holland. During Captain Cook’s voyage to the South Pacific, he “found’ New South Whales and reported all his findings from the trip including some maps of the Eastern Coast. These findings were used as the first compelling reasons set forth to the government convincing them to establish a colony on the east coast of this new continent. The reason why it was such a compelling place to colonize was mostly because of its location which in turn created other reasons for why it would work so well such as the aftermath of the war, economic and political benefits, the thrill of adventure and discovery, and the overwhelming number of convicts in Britain at the time. When Captain Cook returned from his journey and all his findings from the Eastern side of Australia were documented, some people were very compelled by New Holland or New South Whales and very much wanted the British to establish a settlement there. To start, New Holland seemed pretty easy to colonize. There were only some inhabitants that Cook discussed and he referred to them as animals or people without any culture. It would not be hard to bring people there and fight off inhabitants or have them cause a problem. Cook explained these people in one of his documents,

“I do not look upon them to be a warlike People, on the Contrary I think theym am timorous and inoffensive race, no ways inclinable to cruelty, as appear'd from their behavour to one of our people in Endeavour River which I have before mentioned. Neither are they very numerous, they live in small parties along by the Sea Coast, the banks of Lakes, Rivers creeks &Ca. They seem to have no fix'd habitation but move about from place to place like wild Beasts in search of food, and I beleive depend wholy upon the success of the present day for their subsistance.” This explanation made it seem that if they were to colonize, they would not have to deal with aggressive inhabitants, Britain to disregard them and their life completely. Also, the land and climate made it a very easy place to live. Australia at the time was also very much an enticing allurement to the British for a great adventure. Before the final decisions were made to start the colony, many set forth their arguments and in this paper I will discuss those arguments and reasons, which led to the first fleets arrival in Botany Bay. After the Revolution, many people who had been loyal to Britain needed a place to go and Australia seemed to be a good place to start a new colony similar to the one in America where they could live as they had in the past. In James Maria Matra’s proposal, he states that his “object to the consideration of our Government what [that] may in time atone for the loss of our American colonies.” It was an easy answer to a very much-needed asylum. Also, Britain could not keep all their subjects at home and so it seemed profitable to “point out a road by following which they may add national strength.” They would be going to a place that was still controlled by Britain and their presence there would help strengthen the colony and therefore help strengthen Britain. The eastern side of New Holland was simply a great location, especially for economic reasons. In Cooks description, he said, “The Coast of this Country, at least so much of it as lays to the Northward of 25° of Latitude, abounds with a great Number of fine bays and Harbours,...
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