What was the nature and impact of colonisation on Aborigines?
Aboriginal life pre-settlement
Between 315 000 and 750 000 people are estimated to have roamed nomadically
Generally peaceful with each other, they had different primal technologies using spears, nets(for fish), waddy. Very minimalistic
They had sustainable practises such as fire-stick farming and preservation of life as well as they’re nomadic life.
There were roughly between 400-700 tribes with unique languages that is now reduced to about 150 unique languages.
Terra Nullius literally translates as “No man’s land” Settlers claim under two definitions of terra nullius
Unoccupied land that no one owns
Land that was occupied but without a government or ruler recognised or accepted by European authorities theirs to claim as the Aboriginals were a nomadic people and thus had no claim on the land
Took the perspective of the settlers on what “living on the land” meant, and what was a “rule” or civilisation.
Said they didn’t own the land because there were no fences or ploughed fields and this meant that they had no ownership over the land.
When Phillip raised the flag in 1788, he claimed ownership and control over the eastern half of Australia – millions of square kilometres.
Dispossessed all the aboriginals and gave the British the right to rule over people and places they’d never even seen. The aborigines became trespassers.
Not even legal to claim all of that land according to laws to ownership
Deprivation of part of and then all of their land
Competition for key food resources
Destruction of the environment that had sustained them for generations
Enforcement of European values and denying them a sense of personal dignity
Introduction of diseases that would lead to their physical destruction
Responsible for bring diseases such as chicken pox, small pox, measles which were deadly to the Aborigines due to lack of immunity – they were known for having glass jars of some diseases to cure the disease.
Imposition of European laws and punishments
Imposition of white culture – those that survived conflicts and diseases were forced to wear clothes and go to church – loss of culture. Relied on government and church handouts for money for essentials.
What various factors contributed to racial conflict?(issues of land ownership, government policy, etc.)
Random abuses of the Aborigines and especially women. There were only 200 women with 6000 convict men
The colonists were essentially invaders of the land and it was clear that the Europeans intended to stay – the land had been “owned” by the Aborigines for tens of thousands of years and the settlers said that they had claim to it
The onset of winter and extra demands placed on Aboriginal food resources – the settlers had occupied most of the good hunting grounds and land and thus tribes had to encroach on one another
Disease – spread by settlers, whether intentionally or not we do not know. We know that they kept jars of the disease as a cure that could well have contributed. >50% of aboriginal society was wiped out by smallpox
Phillip’s strategy changed to keeping the Aboriginals away from their societies before trying to assimilate them into white society
Fight for survival – each society had to survive and so they fought each other in order for supplies, etc
1790 – John McIntyre, Phillip’s gamekeeper is killed. Thus the response is a violent one
Kidnappings – Bennalon and Colby are kidnapped in order to understand the aborigines
Outline examples of frontier violence:including Pinjarra 1834 (WA), Waterloo Creek 1837 (NSW), Myall Creek 1838 (NSW)
Pinjarra 1834 (WA)
60-80 people of the Binjareb tribe VS 25 European soldiers led by Governor Captain James Stirling. Also ordered by the governor
15-20 aboriginal men and 30-40 women and children died VS 1 colonist death
Motivated by earlier attacks on white settlers –