Lecture 7: Political Theory & Decolonisation


Frontier Wars

  • As British colonisation moved further into the country, it was met with resistance from local indigenous, which sparked a series of attacks and reprisals now known as the Frontier Wars.
  • Although officially illegal, the killing of indigenous people was implicitly supported by the colonial govt and was based on theories of racial and civilisation superiority. 

Mapping Aboriginal Massacres project, researchers at the University of Newcastle, 2017 

White Australia Policy

  • Following the discovery of gold in 1851, early racial tensions were flamed by competition on the goldfields leading to restrictions on Chinese immigration, enacted by all Australian colonies between 1875-1888 and then further extended to include all "non-white" races in 1895.
  • The white Australia policy was not a single piece of legislation but rather a series of acts and implicit understanding that were designed to keep Australia "white" and with British character.
  • White Australia was government policy from the late 19th century until the early 1970s was the policy turned down. 

Dictation Tests 

  • The first national Australian government of 1901 saught to restrict immigration through a "dictation


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