European exploration of Australia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A painting of Captain James Cook in uniform sitting down in front of a map
Portrait of Captain James Cook, the first European to map the eastern coastline of Australia in 1770

Dutch explorers, in 1606, made the first recorded European sightings and first recorded landfalls of the Australian mainland. The first ship and crew to chart the Australian coast and meet with Aboriginal people was the Duyfken captained by Dutch navigator, Willem Janszoon.[1] He sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula in early 1606, and made landfall on 26 February at the Pennefather River near the modern town of Weipa on Cape York.[2] The Dutch charted the whole of the western and northern coastlines and named the island continent "New Holland" during the 17th century, but made no attempt at settlement.[2] William Dampier, an English explorer and privateer, landed on the north-west coast of New Holland in 1688 and again in 1699 on a return trip.[3] In 1770, James Cook sailed along and mapped the east coast, which he named New South Wales and claimed for Great Britain.[4]

With the loss of its American colonies in 1783, the British Government sent a fleet of ships, the "First Fleet", under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, to establish a new penal colony in New South Wales. A camp was set up and the flag raised at Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, on 26 January 1788,[5] a date which became Australia's national day, Australia Day. A British settlement was established in Van Diemen's Land, now known as Tasmania, in 1803, and it became a separate colony in 1825.[6] The United Kingdom formally claimed the western part of Western Australia (the Swan River Colony) in 1828.[7] Separate colonies were carved from parts of New South Wales: South Australia in 1836, Victoria in 1851, and Queensland in 1859.[8] The Northern Territory was founded in 1911 when it was excised from South Australia.[9] South Australia was founded as a "free province"—it was never a penal colony.[10] Victoria and Western Australia were also founded "free", but later accepted transported convicts.[11][12] A campaign by the settlers of New South Wales led to the end of convict transportation to that colony; the last convict ship arrived in 1848.[13]

A calm body of water is in the foreground. The shoreline is about 200 metres away. To the left, close to the shore, are three tall gum trees; behind them on an incline are ruins, including walls and watchtowers of light-coloured stone and brick, what appear to be the foundations of walls, and grassed areas. To the right lie the outer walls of a large rectangular four-storey building dotted with regularly spaced windows. Forested land rises gently to a peak several kilometres back from the shore.
Tasmania's Port Arthur penal settlement is one of eleven UNESCO World Heritage-listed Australian Convict Sites.

The indigenous population, estimated to have been between 750,000 and 1,000,000 in 1788,[14] declined for 150 years following settlement, mainly due to infectious disease.[15] Thousands more died as a result of frontier conflict with settlers.[16] A government policy of "assimilation" beginning with the Aboriginal Protection Act 1869 resulted in the removal of many Aboriginal children from their families and communities—often referred to as the Stolen Generations—a practice which may also have contributed to the decline in the indigenous population.[17] As a result of the 1967 referendum, the Federal government's power to enact special laws with respect to a particular race was extended to enable the making of laws with respect to Aborigines.[18] Traditional ownership of land ("native title") was not recognised in law until 1992, when the High Court of Australia held in Mabo v Queensland (No 2) that the legal doctrine that Australia had been terra nullius ("land belonging to no one") did not apply to Australia at the time of British settlement.[19]

Explorers by land and sea continued to survey the continent for some years after settlement. These efforts consisted of:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "European discovery and the colonisation of Australia — European mariners". Government of Australia. Government of Australia. 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b Davison, Hirst and Macintyre, p. 233.
  3. ^ Marsh, Lindsay (2010). History of Australia : understanding what makes Australia the place it is today. Greenwood, W.A.: Ready-Ed Publications. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-86397-798-2.
  4. ^ "European discovery and the colonisation of Australia". Australian Government: Culture Portal. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Commonwealth of Australia. 11 January 2008. Archived from the original on 16 February 2011.
  5. ^ "European discovery and the colonisation of Australia". Australian Government: Culture Portal. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Commonwealth of Australia. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2010. [The British] moved north to Port Jackson on 26 January 1788, landing at Camp Cove, known as 'cadi' to the Cadigal people. Governor Phillip carried instructions to establish the first British Colony in Australia. The First Fleet was under prepared for the task, and the soil around Sydney Cove was poor.
  6. ^ Davison, Hirst and Macintyre, pp. 464–65, 628–29.
  7. ^ Davison, Hirst and Macintyre, p. 678.
  8. ^ Davison, Hirst and Macintyre, p. 464.
  9. ^ Davison, Hirst and Macintyre, p. 470.
  10. ^ Davison, Hirst and Macintyre, p. 598.
  11. ^ Davison, Hirst and Macintyre, p. 679.
  12. ^ Convict Records Public Record office of Victoria; State Records Office of Western Australia Archived 30 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine..
  13. ^ "1998 Special Article – The State of New South Wales – Timeline of History". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 1988.
  14. ^ Briscoe, Gordon; Smith, Len (2002). The Aboriginal Population Revisited: 70,000 years to the present. Canberra, Australia: Aboriginal History Inc. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-9585637-6-5.
  15. ^ "Smallpox Through History". Encarta. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009.
  16. ^ Attwood, Bain; Foster, Stephen Glynn. Frontier Conflict: The Australian Experience. National Museum of Australia, 2003. ISBN 9781876944117, p. 89.
  17. ^ Attwood, Bain (2005). Telling the truth about Aboriginal history. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-74114-577-9.
  18. ^ Dawkins, Kezia (1 February 2004). "1967 Referendum". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 20 April 2010. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  19. ^ Davison, Hirst and Macintyre, pp. 5–7, 402.

Sources[edit]