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Australian History

The Aboriginal people have been living in this country for over 45,000 years before the first European arrived. The first such European was Abel Tasman in the 1640s who named the continent New Holland. It wasn’t till 1770 the Captain James Cook landed at Botany Bay and named the area New South Wales and claimed it for the British. When he arrived there were around 3000 Aborigines around the Sydney area using 3 different languages. They thought of the Aborigines as savages and pretty much disregarded them.

With the prisons filling up in Britain and in the new colonies of North America, the British sent the first fleet of prisoners in 1788 under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. That first fleet had 11 ships and they were loaded up with animals, supplies, soldiers and prisoners. That was the first of over 160,000 prisoners to be sent to Australia.

Over the next fifty years times were hard as famine and threatened most of the population and supplies were hard to come by, as it was hard to rely on Britain for all the supplies, being so far away. It wasn’t till the 1850s that the colony started to really boom as gold was discovered and thousands of people flocked to this new barren land and as more gold had been found more settlement occurred across the whole country.

This country does have a checkered past when it comes to how they dealt with the aboriginals in the country. Thousands had been killed and treated inhumanly and unfortunately that has only changed in the past thirty to forty years.

Australia has grown enormously since those early days and today it has one of the strongest economies in the world and one of the highest standards of living to go with it.

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