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History of Australia

Questions about the prehistory and recent history of the continent of Australia.

14,702 Questions
History of Australia
Australia
Australian Colonial Settlement

When was Arthur Phillip born?

Arthur Phillip, the British Naval Captain who brought the First Fleet of convicts to Australia, was born on 11 October 1738.

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History of Australia
Australian Prime Ministers

What was Kevin Rudd's salary as a Prime Minister?

$330,300 as of July 1st 2007

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History of Australia
Australia

Why did the Europeans come to Australia?

There were a number of reasons. The Dutch explored enroute to where they traded goods in the West Indies, and came across the continent by accident. The British explored with the aim of increasing the size of their Empire. The British then sent convicts to the Australian continent because their prisons were extremely overcrowded, and the US colonies were no longer accepting British prisoners. Once initial settlement occurred, people of other cultural groups moved to Australia for a better life, or to escape religious persecution, or to make their fortune in the goldrushes.

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History of Australia
Australia
Australian Colonial Settlement

Did Captain Arthur Phillip have a brother?

Possibly. Captain Arthur Phillip had a sister, Rebecca, born in 1737, and it is said that he was the "second son", though no information appears to be available on the first son.

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History of the United States
History of Australia
Australia Gold Rushes

What were the positives of the Australian gold rush?

There were many positive effects from the Australian gold rush.

One of the positive effects was immigration. The goldrush brought a large number of immigrants to Australia, all of whom contributed their own cultural influences. It was the beginning of multiculturalism in Australia. The Chinese in particular converged on Australia, and resentment against the Asian nationalities was a contributing factor to the introduction of the White Australia Policy in the twentieth century. Enormous numbers of immigrants, especially Chinese, brought their unique cultural influences to Australia, and many of the Chinese stayed on to build businesses in the towns once the main gold deposits were mined out.

There was a new boom of Victorian architecture in cities such as Melbourne, and the richness of this architecture can still be seen today. Victoria itself became a very wealthy colony, rivalling New South Wales.

The newfound wealth meant that Britain no longer had any reason to withhold self-government. New rules, policies and legislation were implemented, giving Australia more of an understanding of how to draft future legislation and, indeed, its own constitution. Australia now had the confidence to "go it alone" - to break free from 'Mother Britain" and aim for independence, which it achieved with the federation of the states in 1901.

The goldrushes helped bring improvements in transportation. The famous "Cobb and Co Coaches" ran successfully for half a century, thanks to the goldrush. Train lines were built, linking the major centres, and roadways were improved.

Arguably the most positive effect of the gold rush was in the development of democracy. The Eureka Stockade was the 1854 miners' uprising on the goldfields of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, protesting certain conditions on the Australian goldfields and the fact that delegations for miners' rights had met with inaction from the Victorian government. On 29 November 1854, the miners burned their licences (another source of extreme discontent) in a mass display of resistance against the laws which controlled the miners. On December 1, the miners began to construct a wooden barricade, a stockade from which they planned to defend themselves against licence arrests or other incursions by the authorities. At 3:00am on Sunday, 3 December 1854, 276 police and military personnel and several civilians stormed the stockade. It remains unclear which side fired first, but in the ensuing battle, 22 diggers and 5 troopers died.

Although the rebellion itself failed in its objective, it gained the attention of the Government. A Commission of Enquiry was conducted and changes were implemented. These included abolition of monthly gold licences, replaced by an affordable annual miner's licence. The numbers of troopers were reduced significantly, and Legislative Council was expanded to allow representation to the major goldfields. Peter Lalor and another representative, John Basson Humffray, were elected for Ballarat. Later, Lalor was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria. For these reasons, the Eureka Stockade is regarded by many as the birthplace of Australian Democracy.

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History of Australia
Australia

What does toil mean in the Australian National anthem?

"Toil" means "work", which a connotation that the work is physically tiring.

"With wealth for toil" suggests that work is well-paid or well-rewarded, suggesting that opportunities are available.

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History of Australia
Australian Colonial Settlement

Why was the First Fleet so important?

The First Fleet was important, or rather significant, because it brought the first permanent European settlers to Australia. The ships of the First Fleet brought the original convict settlers, together with the officers, marines and their families. These people established the first colony in Australia.

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History of Australia
Indigenous Australians

Why is Bennelong famous?

Bennelong was a senior tribesman of the Koori people in the Eora tribe, the original inhabitants of the Port Jackson area. He was captured on 25 November 1789, for the purpose of being used to mediate between the white and Aboriginal cultures. The Governor of New South Wales, Captain Arthur Phillip, wished to learn about the language and customs of the indigenous people. Bennelong willingly liaised between the cultures, and adopted European dress and other ways. His intervention was crucial when Phillip was speared by local Aborigines as, by persuading the Governor that the attack was caused by a misunderstanding, further violence was avoided.

While Governor Phillip's intentions were honourable, the Aborigines were not people to be captured and used for white purposes. Bennelong travelled with Phillip to England in 1792, and returned to Australia in 1795, but in the end he suffered ostracism from the Aborigines after he found it too difficult to integrate into the European culture, and sought to return to his own people. He died on 3 January 1813.
well because he got stolen by captain Aurthur Phillip and when they released him his tribe killed him

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History of Australia
Australia
Rabbits and Hares

How were rabbits introduced into Australia?

Rabbits were brought to Australia on the First Fleet but, for whatever reason, they did not breed prolifically or cause any problems for the first few years of the colony's settlement. There is absence of any evidence that they were either eaten or hunted for sport in the Sydney area. Rabbits were popular as pets and for sport around Sydney in the 1840s, but again, there is no evidence that their population proliferated. It is believed that the carnivorous marsupials of the mainland, such as quolls, were able to keep rabbit numbers down.

Rabbits were also introduced into the Tasmanian colony where, by 1827, they were noted to be in their thousands.

A farmer named Thomas Austin who had a property in Winchelsea, Victoria, was responsible for introducing rabbits into Australia, leading to their current plague proportions. Austin was a member of the Acclimatisation Society, a group which believed in introducing exotic species into new locations around the world. In October 1859, Austin imported 21 European rabbits for hunting, releasing them on Christmas Day that year. Within a short period of time, it became evident that Victoria provided the ideal climate for the rabbits to breed and become a national pest. Rabbits have since spread throughout Australia.

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History of Australia
Australian Colonial Settlement

What is the size of Sirius the ship in the first fleet?

The H.M.S. Sirius, flagship of the First Fleet, weighed 540 tons. The Sirius had a length of 30 metres, a breadth of 10 metres, depth was 4 metres and the height of her mainmast above the deck was 32 metres.

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History of Australia
Australia
History of US Immigration

What problems did German immigrants face when they came to Australia?

When the original German immigrants came to Australia in the 1830s, they faced the sense of loss and displacement any cultural group would feel when they have been forced from their homeland by persecution. In the case of the first Germans, they were forced to flee from the religious persecution of King Friedrich Wilhelm III. Mixed in with the displacement and loss of their homeland was an intense relief that they were now free to worship in the way of their choice. They were (and are) a stalwart, hard-working and adaptable group, quickly establishing their farms and crops. There was no discrimination where these first Germans chose to settle. On the contrary, they had the support of wealthy Scottish businessman and chairman of the South Australian Company, George Fife Angas.

More problems were faced later during the first and second world wars. Not just German immigrants, but members of long-established German families faced persecution as a result of the distrust felt towards Germany for its part in both world wars. Germans were rounded up and placed in civilian internment camps within Australia, simply for having a German name.

During World War I, many Germans were held at internment camps around Australia. There was fear that seemingly innocent German immigrants could be spying for the German government. This paranoia extended to some German-speaking peoples whose families had been in Australia since the 1840s. German clubs were closed, businesses were shut down, many Lutheran schools were closed (all of the Lutheran schools in SA were closed), and the leaders of the community, including Lutheran pastors, were interned. (Six of the Qld pastors who were interned were British naturalised subjects, and two of them had actually been born in Australia). The Germans were often ferried for long distances by rail, during which they were subjected to harsh treatment, including unnecessary handcuffing and general abuse. Their luggage was searched, or just stolen and/or destroyed.

Some Germans avoided internment by anglicising their names.

In all, during World War I, 6,890 Germans were interned. Of these, 4,500 were Australian residents before the war began. Others were sailors from German navy ships or merchant ships who were arrested while in Australian ports when the war broke out, while others still were merely visitors.

Again, in World War II, many German civilians and soldiers were sent to internment camps and Prisoner-Of-War camps in Australia.

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History of Australia
Australian Prime Ministers

Did Kevin Rudd live in the parliament house?

When in Canberra, the Prime Minister of Australia lives in a residence separate from Parliament House. It's called the Lodge. The Prime Minister resides in this residence while Parliament is in session, but they often have their own house within their own electorate.

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History of Australia
Australian Colonial Settlement

What did the first fleet do after they landed?

The convicts of the First Fleet were very quickly set to work clearing trees, tilling the soil and getting the first crops started. The convicts were very hard to motivate, being reluctant to work in the Australian heat and humidity, and with tools that constantly broke, but they were expected to work hard.

They were also set construction projects, as there were no roads, bridges or buildings. Some convicts were assigned as servants or tradespeople to the free settlers who also came.

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History of Australia
Imperialism

Why did the British colonize Australia?

The British decided to colonise Australia for several reasons:

1. To expand the British empire, and prevent the French from gaining a foothold in the Australian continent or in the southwest Pacific.

2. To solve the problem of Britain's overcrowded prisons (a consequence of the Industrial Revolution) by establishing a new penal colony in a land which showed promise for eventually becoming self-supporting. Britain had been sending their excess prisoners to North America, but the American War of Independence put a stop to the practice. Following this, the English were no longer able to transport surplus prisoners who couldn't legally be executed to North America.

3. Australia could provide commercial and political gains to Britain. Great Britain had grand plans for the continent, even (according to the June 1791 edition of the British "Lady's Magazine") planning spice plantations for the northwest corner of New South Wales, expected to bring considerable commercial advantages.

4. Due to war, Britain needed to find an alternative supply of Flax and timber as her Baltic supply was under threat. It was believed that nearby Norfolk Island would provide this.

5. Britain needed a port in the East to promote trade with China and to extend its naval and commercial power.

6. The continent had natural resources which England wanted.

The first permanent settlers arrived in Australia with the First Fleet on 26 January 1788 to set up the new penal colony.

Colonisation was simplified for Britain, which was able to prove to the satisfaction of the judicial system that Australia was terra nullius - a land without ownership - because the English found difficulty in locating any individual(s) able to negotiate a treaty with the indigenous inhabitants; this concept was first tested and found valid in 1827.

The fact that there were local inhabitants all over the continent didn't make much impression on the colonists, except for their nuisance value or as cheap or free labour: they'd no written language that Europeans found comprehensible, didn't wear clothes, and built nothing recognisable as houses; settlers viewed them in much the way they viewed kangaroos and possums.

The terra nullius ruling was eventually overturned by the Australian High Court in 1992 (the Mabo decision) and later reinforced by the Wik decision in 1996.

It is important to note that, although other countries had the opportunity to colonise Australia, they chose not to. Australia was first "officially" discovered by Dutch traders in the East Indies: however, they landed in the west, one of the least forgiving areas of the continent and decided that it was not worth colonising. Likewise the French, hearing of the Dutch discovery, sent an expedition to map more of the coast. This did not, however, lead to any attempts to colonise and the continent was left alone for another hundred years. Even the English pirate and explorer William Dampier, who also landed in the northwest, dismissed the continent as uninhabitable.

It was not until James Cook's successful voyage which involved charting the eastern coast of Australia, that New South Wales was seen as a viable proposition for a convict colony. In particular, it was endorsed by Sir Joseph Banks, the influential botanist who travelled with Cook. Banks was one of three botanists aboard Cook's ship "The Endeavour", and he was a passionate advocate of British settlement and colonisation of the Australian continent. It was largely upon Cook's and Banks's recommendation that Australian ultimately was colonised by the British, and not by another power later.

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History of Australia
Australia
Rabbits and Hares

Why were rabbits introduced into Australia and from where did they come?

Rabbits were brought to Australia on the First Fleet but, for whatever reason, they did not breed prolifically or cause any problems for the first few years of the colony's settlement. There is absence of any evidence that they were either eaten or hunted for sport in the Sydney area. Rabbits were popular as pets and for sport around Sydney in the 1840s, but again, there is no evidence that their population proliferated. It is believed that the carnivorous marsupials of the mainland, such as quolls, were able to keep rabbit numbers down.

Rabbits were also introduced into the Tasmanian colony where, by 1827, they were noted to be in their thousands.

The rabbit plague that now exists in Australia is largely due to the actions of one man. A farmer named Thomas Austin who had a property in Winchelsea, Victoria, is credited with introducing rabbits into Australia, leading to their current plague proportions. Austin was a member of the Acclimatisation Society, a group which believed in introducing exotic species into new locations around the world. In October 1859, Austin imported 21 European rabbits for hunting, releasing them on Christmas Day that year. Within a short period of time, it became evident that Victoria provided the ideal climate for the rabbits to breed and become a national pest. Rabbits have since spread throughout Australia.

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History of Australia
Australian Colonial Settlement

When did the first fleet leave Rio de Janeiro?

The First Fleet left Rio De Janeiro on 3 September 1787.

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History of Australia
Australia
Australian Colonial Settlement

When was Captain Arthur Phillip born?

Captain Arthur Phillip (also known variously as Admiral and/or Governor) was born in London, England on 11 October 1738.

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History of Australia
Bushrangers

When did Frank Gardiner become a bushranger?

Frank Gardiner became a bushranger after serving time for horse stealing in 1850. After he was sentenced to five years in Pentridge Gaol, he escaped and took up bushranging in the district around Goulburn, New South Wales.

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World War 1
History of Australia
WW1 Allied Forces

What were the effects of World War 1 on Australia?

There was large impact on Australia, many people died and communities felt losses. Nearly everyone had lost a loved one or knew someone that did.

AnswerMuch of the Australian economy, government and society in general was transformed in World War I. Women had to replace men in the workforce, but were not paid reasonably. New companies such as BHP in Newcastle was formed and chemical and electrical industries followed. Food shortages were not as much a problem in Australia as is in many parts of Europe. Their price only raised by around 32%. The Australian Agricultural sector earned much money, as Britain bought much of their wheat as part of their war effort. Much legislations and acts were made in parliament, such as the War Pensions Act and the War Census Act. However, the impact of the war only became much more apparent when the soldiers returned, with many losses for a country with a relatively small population. Household violence was more common, as well as drunkenness, hostility between trade unionists and returned soldiers were also a problem, as well as that between Protestants and Catholics. The Government also had to suffer the burden of supplying jobs for all the returned soldiers, whom would start the RSL, which emphasised the needs of the returned soldier. AnswerTHE EFFECT OF WAR ON AUSTRALIANS 1) Destruction of a generation of men - 331 781 troops into action. - 59 342 killed or died from wounds. - 152 171 wounded or affected by gas. - 4084 became Prisoner�s of war. - The nation had lost some of it�s finest men who could have contributed a lot to the growth of the nation. 2) Establishment of Military tradition - The Australians had proved themselves to be first-rate soldiers. - They had been brave tough and resourceful. - A whole new national image had been born.

3) Symbols of Remembrance - The Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League was formed in 1916. - Anzac Day, 25th of April has become a national day of remembrance. - Across Australia, a surprising number of stone obelisks, statues and memorial halls were raised to commemorate the fallen.

It also served to bring to power one of Australia's greatest ever politicians and statesmen- William Morris 'Billy' Hughes. This turbulent, fiery-tempered little Welshman was elected to power in 1915 following the collapse of the Fisher Government- although seen by many as a noisy, belligerent Empire loyalist, Hughes was nonetheless a passionate Australian nationalist, who fought like a hellcat for what he believed to be in the nation's best interests. Up until his advent, Australia had been governed by a series of vague, stately, top-hatted grandees, whose political philosophies and practices remained rooted in the Victorian era and who were ill-suited to steer a fast-developing nation through a rapidly changing world. Hughes changed all that- he was the first Australian PM to truly connect with his electorate, to make them feel proud of being Australians, and to begin the process of turning the country from being an obscure Colonial outpost on the other side of the world, into an advanced, industrialised regional power with a strong voice in international affairs. Although he lost the Premiership in 1923, he remained a powerful political influence throughout the rest of his life and held several Cabinet positions in subsequent administrations, up until his death in late 1952. He changed the very concept of what it meant to be Australian- his influence on the country can be compared to that of F.D.Roosevelt on the USA, and ushered in a fundamental and irreversible leap forward from colony to nationhood.

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History of Australia
Ned Kelly

Were did ned kelly live?

Australia

He was born north of Melbourne in Beveridge, Victoria.

He died in melbourne.

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History of Australia
History of France
Capital Punishment

What was the guillotine used for?

OUCH! - IT IS A DEVICE THAT CUTS OFF YOUR HEAD

Invented in 1791 by a Frenchman named Laquiante and Tobias Schmidt, a German engineer, it is named for the French doctor who oversaw its development, Joseph-Ignace Guillotin.

It consists of a large wooden frame housing a heavy metal blade between two upright guides. When lifted and released, the blade falls freely (like an ax) to behead condemned prisoners. It replaced hanging as a method of execution in 18th Century France, and was used on many individuals during the French revolution, notably King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Similar tools are now made small and sharp enough to prepare a cigar for smoking.

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History of Australia
Indigenous Australians

What do aborigines look like?

Aborigines look like you and me when they are walking around town, then when it is time for a special celebration of some kind for the Aborigines, they get all painted up and in their special outfits for their corroborees.

Most modern Aborigines do not participate in corroborees and ceremonial dances, as most do not live a traditional lifestyle. Modern Aborigines are characterised by their dark skin, eyes and hair, and a tendency to have a broader nose. However, as there are varying degrees of aboriginal descent, so these features can vary considerably.

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History of Australia
Australian Colonial Settlement

How was Australia governed after the first fleet arrived?

Different areas of Australia were settled at different times, and each of these was called a colony. Each colony was governed by a Governor, who acted under orders from England, although a certain amount of discretionary freedom was permitted in law-making. Colonies developed first at Sydney, followed by Newcastle (still part of New South Wales), then further in the south at Van Diemen's Land (Hobart, in Tasmania), north in Brisbane (Moreton Bay), in the west at Perth, and finally south at Melbourne and Adelaide. Each of these colonies was gradually awarded "state" status, particularly as boundaries were drawn up and the eastern states separated from New South Wales, the original colony. On 1 January 1901, they federated as one nation under a Federal Government.

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World War 2
World War 1
Australia in WW2
History of Australia

How did England become involved in Australia?

Dutch and Portuguese sailors were the first Europeans to discover Australia, but they showed absolutely no interest in the continent. The first Englishman to visit Australia was William Dampier. In 1688, his ship the 'Cygnet' was beached on the northwest coast of Australia. Dampier was unimpressed by the dry, barren landscape, the lack of water and what he described as the "miserablest people in the world" - the native population. His negative reports led to the delay of England's colonisation of what is now Australia. It was not until 1770 that Captain James Cook reported positively on the green, fertile countryside of New South Wales, and England sought to colonise the previously unknown continent. Australia was originally used as penal colony where criminals from England and other parts of today's United Kingdom were sent. Many people who live in Australia today are descendants of English people, although they by no means make up the majority. Australia is still an active member of the Commonwealth, which is bessentially made up of nations that have been colonised by Britain.

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History of Australia
Australia Gold Rushes
Bushrangers

What was the food for bushrangers on the goldfields?

Bushrangers survived on the goldfields and elsewhere by various means. Some of them stole provisions owned by the settlers in outlying areas of the goldfields, helping themselves freely to salted meats, potatoes, onions, flour and so on. They also stole from store owners in the towns.

Others hunted wild rabbits and native animals.

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