Australia: History And Why It Was Founded As A Penal Colony

While it stands today as one of the most diverse nations on Earth, the Australian continent was isolated from the rest of the world for the majority of its history. How did it become a relatively young country, and just how did people from all over the world find themselves on a huge island in the middle of the sea?

Before Australia

Before Google Maps — specifically, 15th-century Europe — people could only speculate on what might or might not happen in the far south of the world, but they had a "hidden" continent. Was suspected Some have even created fictional maps of this mythical "Southland" or as they say in the Latin, terra Australis.

It turns out that they were right, except it was ignored. Anthropologists believe that Aboriginal people were the first, if not the first, people to leave Africa about 70,000 years ago, make their way to Asia and Indonesia is now down before the small islands are discovered by boat. Once they reached New Guinea, they crossed a land bridge to Australia, which was later flooded due to rising sea levels. Ancient cave paintings on the continent even depict giant kangaroos and birds, animals that went extinct around 40,000 years ago, suggesting that Aboriginal Australians arrived early for the Pleistocene megafuna. Despite being more or less isolated, they may have had some contact with the outside world, as dingoes were not introduced to the country until 4,000 years ago.

Historical image of Aboriginal Australian women and children around 1900, Malloga, New South Wales.

Jail of England

Aboriginal Australians made their first known major contact with the outside world, when Dutch sailor Willem Janzoon landed and discovered the beach in 1606. Once this continent was known in Europe, it was visited by many explorers, but none was seen as far away as Lieutenant James Cook of Great Britain. Decided that Australia seemed like a grand place to establish some colonies. At the time, England had excesses, widespread poverty, and the resulting crimes, and when they sent previous prisoners to the penal colonies of North America, there was no eagerness in the newly independent United States. Boats of English prisoners are thrown on their shores.

Australia (or New South Wales, as it was called at the time) seemed like the right solution for Cook, and the first penal colony was established in early 1788. The first fleet had landed at Botany Bay with over 700 convicts and a few hundred crew members, but the new colonists found the area inhuman, so they moved to a different port and began to develop around Sydney today. On 26 January, Captain Arthur Phillips raised the British flag and began building the settlement, setting the Empire's claim on the ground. The first few years were extremely difficult, as starvation was ever imminent, but thanks to Philip's strenuous work, most of the settlers managed to survive England long.

Illustration of Captain James Cook, the first European to map the east coast of Australia in 1770.

Becoming Australia

Over the next few years, England sent thousands of convicts, and the Aboriginal Australian population suffered greatly from diseases such as smallpox, causing around 70% of them to die. When resources were strained by the arrival of so many foreigners, violence erupted between Aboriginal people and Europeans, leading to the Pemuluve and Nepean Wars.

In 1793, the first free settlers arrived in Bellona and began the era of open British colonization, and in the 1850s more than one and a half million new immigrants arrived after the discovery of gold on the continent. While some hit the pay dirt, most left with nothing, but the gold rush completely transformed Australia, with a population that was swallowed by over one million people between 1850 and 1870. This larger, more diverse population began to form among a national identity and the entire economy, including farming and industry.

As the freed population settled, they pushed against a steady influx of prisoners, so England eventually abandoned shipments of convicts in 1868. In 1900, various regions voted to form a federation called the Commonwealth of Australia, and the following on 1 January. The year, Australia became completely self-governing. Political and cultural ties with Britain remain strong, and Australia aligned with them during both world wars, but the British refused to return the favor when Australia had to fight its most formidable and despicable enemy: Emu Was lying.

Emu (Dromaeus novohollandia), Tidbinbilla, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.

The Emu War

In 1932, Australia's emu population spiraled out of control, and Australian farmers were panicking about fast-moving, five-foot birds that were constantly destroying their crops and property. They were already hanging on a string bean, with the Great Depression and all, so they turned to Defense Minister George Pearce for help. It was a strange request, asking the government to take down its own national bird, but Pierce approved some uneven missions.

Equipped with light machine guns, a Royal Australian Artillery unit marched across the Campanian countryside to put an end to heavy-eyed pests, but found the task more difficult than anticipated. The birds were incredibly fast, and their guns were not cut long distances. They decided to ambush to shoot the birds up close, but miraculously, both machine guns were jammed after taking only 12 emu. To make matters worse, Emu seemed to learn the tactics of evasion; As one commander observed, "Each pack has its own leader now ... and keeps watching as his companions carry out their work of destruction and warns them of our approach." They then tried to shoot Emu with a truck, but still failed to break into their numbers, as the birds could take multiple bullets and still manage to escape when they were badly harmed. Had done.

In the end, the army burned 10,000 rounds of ammunition before conceding defeat, killing only 1,000 emu. That's right: Emu won the Great Emu War of 1932 (yes, it is actually called), and although the peasants begged for military withdrawal in the following years, the government again refused to confront the dreaded creatures.

Aerial Valley Fire was seen off Tughrananong in southern Canberra.

Fiery Future

Today, Australia is the 13th largest economy in the world and home to over 25 million people, only a small portion of which have actually descended from penal colonies, but it has not fully put its struggles behind it . In 2020, the country faced one of its darkest hours, as 20% of its forests were ablaze, killing about 500 people and nearly a billion animals. Amazing, the season now known as Black Summer is not the world's worst wilderness - or even Australian history. This honor goes to the 1939 wildfire in Victoria, Australia. Fortunately, Australia takes its wildlife very seriously and has made major progress in the rehabilitation of animals and their habitats. Even Emu.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.