Why the British Government Decided to Colonise Botany Bay

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"Why did the British Government decide to colonise Botany Bay?

In the evaluation of why Britain colonised Botany Bay, Australia, one can draw on many conclusions. When the First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay in January 1788, little did they realise that for years to come historians would be contesting the real reasons as to why the British Parliament planned to establish a colony in Botany Bay. The Botany Bay debate, as it has been known to be called, began among historians in the 1950's when Geoffrey Blainey said that it was colonised for strategic motives#. These motives included such plans as there was a plant nursery to be established on Norfolk Island and Australia was to become a flax farm and a market garden that was to be surrounded by goal walls; there had been a failure of the growing of flax and pine on Norfolk Island, this at first had been very promising; and that flax and timber were vital to Britains economy as explained by the British Politicians in many letters. Along with Blainey's argument came another debate, this being that Botany Bay, was colonised as it was a good outpost for trading purposes. The traditional view in the debate was that Botany Bay was the chosen place for the convict population and it is this traditional view that my argument will follow.

The idea of establishing a colony in Botany Bay started with the "Matra's Proposal"# in August 1783. Matra's idea was that there was a possibility of a new colony of the Americans who had remained loyal to Britain during the War of Independence, this idea being rejected by all. Botany Bay was then seen as a solution to the ever growing number of filled rotting convict hulks along the River Thames and the overpopulated goals. The proposal for the establishment of the new colony being "Heads of Plan"# addressed the effective disposal of the convicts to the new colony. With Britain continuing to send convicts to Australia for many decades, the cost involved in transporting...
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