The birth of British Australia

Why did Britain seek to establish a colony at Botany Bay?
Loss of American colonies; overcrowding in British prisons; claiming territory so it couldn't be taken by the French
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What was the appeal of the land of Australia?
Cook expedition reported that the land was fertile and vast
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What natural resource did Australia have that Britain wanted?
Flax oil for sail making
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What was the cost of fitting out the fleet?
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What was the appeal of Norfolk Island?
877 miles east of Sydney, had both pine trees and flax
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What social crisis in Britain led to issues?
Urbanisation led to slum poverty and crime, trial by jury meant people were being found not guilty
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How many people boarded the first fleet in Portsmouth?
1,420: including 775 convicts
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How many convicts landed?
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What was the most common crime committed by the convicts?
Two-thirds had been transported for theft
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What was the average age?
Under 30
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What were the majority of women transported for?
They were domestic servants transported for theft, likely that many were prostitutes
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How many of the convicts had one previous conviction?
A half to two-thirds
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Who were the remaining personnel?
(More than 600 in number) Marines, their wives and families
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What made Botany Bay an odd choice for a colony?
A lack of fresh water supply, soil unsuitable for cultivation
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How long did it take to consume the livestock brought to support the colony?
Six months
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What other issues affected Australian agriculture?
No plough available to till the soil, no animal that could pull a plough
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What issues affected Australian building?
Couldn't make bricks due to a lack of mortar
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What was the original relationship with the Aboriginal people?
Traded with them, their superior hunting skills allowed them to kill kangaroo
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What roles fell to Governor Phillip?
Ensure subsistence for the colony, control convicts, build adequate housing, command the marines
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What issues with the convicts created problems?
They were not trained farmers, skilled carpenters or hunters
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How did Phillip maintain control?
Physical punishment, lashings were common
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What was London's vision for the colony?
That it would become self sufficient within four years, it would cost £70,000
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What was the issue with gov't supplies?
Everything was supplied by the gov't. No internal market as everyone reliant on Gov't Store for supplies.
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What were the successes of Phillip's governorship?
By the time he sailed for Britain, everyone was housed in rudimental buildings, Gov't Farm at Parramatta
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How many grants of land did Phillip make?
66, of which 53 were to those whose convictions were now spent
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How did Phillip prepare for the journey to Australia?
He was painstaking, ensured the low loss of life on the journey and the survival of the colony
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When did Lord Sydney want the expedition to set sail?
December 1786; likely it would have perished
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What did Phillip decide to do with Norfolk Island?
Establish a colony due to its flax oil.
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How many people were sent to Norfolk Island?
183 convicts, 28 children and 81 marines
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What was the mutton bird (pteredroma melanopus)?
The main food source for those who settled Norfolk Island; by 1830 they had all been eaten
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How did the move to Norfolk Island help the colony at Sydney?
The removal of 183 convicts meant that the miserable rations were just about enough to ensure the survival of the remaining people
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Who was Joseph Owen?
A convict who did die of starvation in May 1790 having lost or sold his cook pot, nobody was willing to help him
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How did Phillip's control of food stores ensure the community's survival?
There was enough food to tide everyone over until the arrival of the Second Fleet
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How was the system executed?
All rations were shared equally, there would have been riots if the marines had continued to receive extra rations; marines hugely resented this
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What effect did this inadvertently have?
Hours of convict labour had to be cut as the ration was too small to sustain manual labour
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What effect did the relocation of the colony to Parramatta have?
The farmland was better; Phillip could grant land to former convicts in the area
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Who was James Ruse?
An ex-convict who had been a farmer in Cornwall before his transportation to Australia; could grow wheat and other crops successfully
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What did Phillip conclude?
The most important thing was getting men off Gov't Store supplies and enable them to subsist from their own land as quickly as possible
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What imperilled the colony?
The flagship Sirius was wrecked at Norfolk Island on its way to Canton for supplies
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What happened to the supply ship the Guardian?
It sank near the Cape and never reached Australia
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What was the Supply?
The only remaining ship in the fleet, yet no one wanted to risk it
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What was the Lady Juliana?
The ship devoted to transporting female convicts to the colony arrived on 3rd June 1790
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How many female convicts arrived with the ship?
222; alongside provisions for those they carried on board
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What arrived a week later?
The store ship the Justinian, followed by the Second Fleet with their cargoes of suffering and dying convicts
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What had the government chosen to do with the Second Fleet?
Contract the journey to a private firm, Camden, Calvert and King rather than entrusting an officer with the ships.
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How many of those transported died during the Voyage?
A quarter; while 150 more died soon after landing from scurvy, starvation and louse-borne diseases
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What were the effects of the arrival of the Second Fleet?
It dramatically increased the chances of the colony's survival because they brought vital supplies of livestock and crops on the store ship
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How did Phillip increase the chances of the colony's survival?
Dispatched the Atlantic of the Third Fleet to Calcutta to buy rice for the colony, this eked out supplies until London sent further supplies
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By the time Phillip returned home, what was the population of Sydney and Parramatta?
Just over 3,000 split between the two colonies
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How did the government respond to reports of losses on the Second Fleet?
Appointed a Royal Commission into the affair which resulted in no prosecutions
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What improved the lot of prisoners being transported to Australia?
Regulations on transportation became more and more prescriptive, particularly under the governorship of Macquarie
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Why were Irish prisoners regarded as being particularly dangerous?
Some of them were political dissidents in the struggle for Irish independence from Britain
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What prejudice did they face?
English settlers tended not to trust Catholics
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What did the Irish do in 1804?
Revolt against Governor King that was foiled by the New South Wales
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What were the majority of Irish prisoners convicted for?
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Why were the Irish an important group within the colony?
Their shared Catholicism and resentment against the English
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What were "bolters"?
Those who attempted to flee the colony; some by attempting to walk to China
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What were the two important developments which coincided with Macquarie's tenure?
British government sent over the first shipment of sterling silver coins to the colony in 1812; the end of the Napoleonic wars saw crime increase
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What proportion of convicts shipped to Australia were shipped after 1815
Three quarters; they provided labour for a growing colonial economy
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What did the arrival of increased numbers enable?
The arrival of increased numbers of convicts enabled the growth
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What were the New South Wales Corps?
In 1792, they replaced the marines who had been the initial military force and prison guards of the convicts
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What happened to them in turn?
They were replaced once they had mutinied against Governor Bligh in the Rum Rebellion
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What were the powers of the governor within the colony?
The Governor had almost limitless power, yet they could only exercise them with the support of their officers
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What was the role of the New South Wales Corps within the colony?
They were assigned up to ten male convicts and three female as farm labourers, controlled the import of alcohol into the colony
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What effect did this have on the colony?
As there was no actual money in the colony, controlling access to alcohol meant controlling the economic life of the colony
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What did increased communications between London and Sydney lead to?
London received information not just from their governor but also free settlers who could undermine the government
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What indicated to London that the corps were out of control?
The action by the free settlers of removing Bligh from office in 1808
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What happened under Macquarie?
The colony ceased to operate as a cartel run by the freeborn officers whose actual role was meant to be the overseeing of the prisoners
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What was important to the New South Wales Corps?
The development of a gentry of landowners; they were generally from Australia's wool industry
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Who were the Exclusives?
A free settler and their descendants
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Who were the Emanicipists?
A convict who had served his term and been given a full or conditional pardon, made up of farmers along the Hawkesbury River
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What did Macquarie promise new convicts to Australia?
A second chance; they could be reformed and the system of pardons and land grants meant that they could make a life for themselves
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What was the system of punishment under Macquarie?
Punishments were harsh, yet not arbitrary. Determined by a magistrate
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What happened to the troops who rebelled against Bligh?
They were not punished, suggesting that they recognised that Bligh was the author of his own downfall
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Yet what was concluded?
That they needed to disband the NSW Corps.
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What evidence was there of Macquarie's willingness to negotiate with the Emancipists?
He argued that the lawyer George Crossley should be able to plead in court; surgeon and ex-convict William Redfern delivered Macquarie's child
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What was particularly alluring to the convicts under Macquarie's tenure?
Promise of landownership and independence differed from the poverty of Georgian England
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What did Macquarie pass a proclamation against?
Cohabitation without benefit of clergy
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How did women's role improve in the colony?
Marriage improved women's status as they could inherit property and businesses if their husbands died
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Who was a notable example of this?
Elizabeth Macarthur, the wife of John Macarthur (founder of the Australian wool industry) managed his farms while he was away and as his health declined
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How were women treated before Macquarie's tenure?
Often taken and returned to the Government Store when they became pregnant
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What was the result of Macquarie's efforts to limit the consumption of alcohol?
Began the process of limiting the sale of alcohol, DID NOT solve the addiction the colony had to rum
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What were convicts employed in during the early days?
Government service; working on government farms, building roads and government buildings
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What did female convicts work doing?
Weaving cloth for the coarse clothing worn in the colony; as domestic servants
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What did this shift towards?
As the colony became more secure, it shifted towards working for private employers in the wool industry
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What had become the most important source of income for the colony by the 1830s?
Whaling, which had begun following the arrival of the Third Fleet
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How much did the colonists work?
Nine hours a day Monday-Friday and five hours on a Saturday
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How was worker productivity?
Very poor, work was slow, bad and stealing was a serious problem
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What was the punishment for minor transgressions?
100 lashes
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What did convicts have the right to?
To be brought before a magistrate, had rights to food, shelter and the vital rum ration
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By what proportion did male colonists outnumber female colonists by?
The 1805 Census records 4,000 men and 1,300 women in the colony
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What happened to many women when they landed in the colony?
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How did women attempt to escape this?
Through marriage or domestic service
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In 1806, what did Samuel Marsden count in his Female Register?
Categorised women as either married; of which he counted 395, or concubine; of which he counted 1,035
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What were the Specials?
Convicts who were skilled
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Who was Francis Greenway?
The colony's first architect, transported for forging a financial document
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What had London expected that the colony's workforce would look like?
Aboriginals would serve as the workforce for the colony, convicts would serve their terms and then be freed
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Who did the convicts work for?
Exclusives, free settlers and Marines
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How did Macquarie distance himself from this?
Gave early tickets of leave, early pardons and treated emancipated prisoners as full members of society
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What did the First Select Committee Report into Transportation of Convicts say in 1812?
They broadly supported Macquarie's liberal interpretation of the penal system installed by Phillip
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Why was a decision made to offer land grants at the Hawkesbury River?
The land near the river was fertile and the mouth of the estuary was a good source of oysters
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Why was this essential?
Provided an alternative food source to help sustain the Sydney colony
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How did this affect the relationship with the Aboriginal people?
The local Darug band of Aboriginal people, who regularly came into conflict with the European settlers, were attacked during a violent guerilla conflict
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How did Macquarie deal with this situation?
Authorised a party against the attacks; 14 Aboriginal people killed
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How did the Exclusives react to Macquarie's land grants for convicts?
They were unhappy as they wanted more land grants for themselves to establish sheep farming stations
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In which way were many of these Exclusives powerful?
They had connections to London
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In which ways did Macquarie improve public infrastructure?
Re-invested the money that should have been sent back to London in building roads, schools and churches
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Who was Frances Greenway?
A convict architect, whose designs transformed Sydney from a motley collection of buildings into a city
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To what extent was the colony self-sufficient?
London paid the salary of the governor and the wages of the regiment, nothing else
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What was an example of a Macquarie township?
Richmond or Windsor
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What were Macquarie towns planned with?
Built with a school (needed for the rapidly growing population), a church and an inn
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What was the Rum Hospital?
A hospital built at no cost to the colony as a licence to trade spiritous liquor was awarded to the builders
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How did the building program help the colony?
Helped cushion the colony through economic depression, droughts, floods and caterpillar plagues
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How did the road over the Blue Mountains help the colony?
Road that was built over the Blue Mountains opened up the grazing plains beyond which boosted the development of the wool industry
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What was the Aboriginal population when the British arrived on the continent?
750,000 to 1 million
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What were Cook's orders?
His orders were to claim land after obtaining the Natives' consent
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How did Cook justify deviating from these orders?
He declared Australia to be Terra Nullis (Nobody's Land)
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How did the English view the Aborigines?
As savages, who could not lay claim to the land through cultivation
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What led to the first violence between the colonists and the Aborigines?
Mutual stealing; convicts stole from the Aborigines while the Aborigines stole from the convicts
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How did Phillip aim to demonstrate the fairness of British justice?
Ordered convicts who stole from Aboriginals to be flogged in the presence of Aboriginals
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How did the Aborigines react?
Turned their backs on the spectacle and wept
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What did this demonstrate?
Cultural incomprehension
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What happened in 1789 that dented the Aboriginal population?
A smallpox outbreak wiped out large proportions of the population
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Where did smallpox in Australia come from?
Nobody really knows; Phillip concluded that the transmission must be different from the First Fleet
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What did Phillip and Macquarie think of the Aboriginal population?
Phillip was interested in the Aboriginal population, Macquarie was fairly well disposed towards the Aborigines
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What is evidence of Phillip's view towards the Aboriginals?
Refused to order reprisals when he was injured by a spear thrown by an Aboriginal individual
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Who was Bennelong?
A captured Aboriginal whom Phillip took back to England when he returned
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What was the Black War?
An ongoing frontier conflict in Tasmania
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What affected the Aboriginals in Van Diemen's Land?
Disease such as smallpox, brought by whalers and settlers
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What happened in Tasmania?
The interior was cleared out through hunting, starvation and poisoning
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What led Governor Arthur to declare martial law?
When the Aboriginal people resisted settler encroachment
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What was the purpose of this?
To re-settle Aboriginals in Settled Districts
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What were Settler Districts?
Land set aside for the Aboriginals
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How many Aboriginals were there in Tasmania in 1803?
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What led to persecution of the Aboriginals?
Tasmania faced starvation and as a result bushmen killed Aboriginals, whom they viewed as vermin
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By 1827, how many sheep were there in Tasmania?
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What had earlier governors such as Collins and Davey done?
Issued proclamations instructing settlers not to persecute the Aboriginal population
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What had begun by the late 1820s?
Retaliatory raids against the settlers by the Aboriginal population
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How did Arthur aim to protect the Aboriginals?
A proclamation was passed restricting Aboriginals to settled districts in the north-eastern corner of the island
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What happened when this failed?
Arthur issued a proclamation of martial law ordering their forced relocation
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When was this passed?
1 November 1828
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When did the last Tasmanian Aboriginal die?
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How has the issue of the Genocide in Van Diemen's Land been treated?
It has prompted fierce historical and political debate in modern Australia
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How many convicts were transported to Australia between 1788 and 1868?
Around 168,000 convicts
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Until which year did shipments not even reach 1,000 convicts in a single year?
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What led to an increase following 1815?
The end of the Napoleonic Wars: marked by greater availability of ships and short-term economic problems in Britain
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What did the rough census in 1807 show?
7,563 people in NSW; one in four were children
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What did this demonstrate?
The rapid population growth in the colony
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By 1828, by how much did the free population outnumber the prison population?
The free population was 20,870 while the prison population was 15,728
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What social effect did this lead to?
The growth in the desire for political representation of the free population
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What primarily attracted the free settlers?
They were soldiers who remained once their term was up
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When and where was the first attempt to establish a free colony in Australia?
In 1829, and it was located in Western Australia
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Why was a colony established at Hobart?
Because of its strategic value, sailing through the Bass Strait took three weeks
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How did Van Diemen's Land operate?
As an adjutant part of the main settlement in NSW
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Why could Van Diemen's Land operate semi-independently of Sydney?
Because of the time it took to convey messages across
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What was the colony of Van Diemen's Land like?
A more totalitarian version of the one in New South Wales; police precincts controlled by a magistrate; no early pardons
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What did the free settlers discover?
Having friendly relationships with convict labour, such as asking them to share a Christmas Dinner, resulted in their assigned labour being removed at once
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What did the economy survive on in the early years?
The whale and seal trade
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What were whale products used for?
Exports of whalebone, whale oil and sealskins enabled the colony to buy the goods they needed for the colony
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When did whaling begin?
After the arrival of the Third Fleet in 1791 under Thomas Melvill of the Britannia
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What had Enderby and Champion negotiated?
An agreement with the British government that, once they had delivered the convicts, they could go whaling before returning to London
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How did Robert Campbell break the monopoly?
Sailed directly to England in 1805 with 260 tons of oil, avoiding EIC monopoly
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How did the EIC react?
They attempted to seize the ships
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What meant that the trade could be established cheaply and easily in Sydney and Hobart?
The large harbour in Sydney and the estuary in Van Diemen's Land meant that small boats could be used, keeping the cost low
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What did officials warn Governor Arthur in Tasmania?
The trade could be wiped out due to there being no limits on seal killing
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What had sheep numbers grown to by 1805?
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What did this lead to?
A boom in the wool industry
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How much of this did John Macarthur own?
A quarter
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When was the first bale of Australian wool sold?
1821; at Garraways Coffee House in London
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What were exports valued at by 1830?
£2 million
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Why did the colony expand over the Blue Mountains?
During a period of drought, in search of more grassland for the growing wool industry
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What did Blaxland report following the survey?
There was enough grazing land to support the colony for 30 years
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What did Macquarie commission?
A road to be built across the mountains in 1814
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What happened in 1818?
The surveyor-general discovered Liverpool Plains, Charles Throsby's 1819 expedition opened up land beyond the Blue Mountains to settlement
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What was established in 1824?
The Australian Agricultural Company, given one million acres in NSW for agricultural development
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How was cheap labour sourced for the colony?
Through convicts, Aboriginal workers and indentured labourers
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What were two reasons for the settlement of Western Australia?
To forestall any settlement efforts by the French; to provide a trading link with India and China
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What was the Swan River Colony?
Sought to establish a free colony in Australia
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How many free settlers did the Swan River Colony plan to send?
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What was the system of land?
Syndicate gave 40 acres for every £3 settlers had in assets
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What did Captain Freemantle do on 29 May 1829?
Laid claim to all of Australia that was not NSW
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By 1832 how many colonists were in Western Australia?
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What did the colony in Western Australia demonstrate?
Britain no longer viewed Australia as an open prison but as a potential source of wealth
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What did the new model of Australia look like?
British imperialism through financial control, facilitated by gov't protection and, in the case of Australia, the provision of convict labour
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What was the relationship between Britain and Australia?
Australia's distance from London meant that governors had a great deal of power; British gov't had little involvement
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What was an exception to the rule that the governor could run the colony as he pleased?
The deposition of Governor Bligh after the Rum Rebellion
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What powers did Britain have?
They could discipline governors or members of the NSW Corps
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What changed under Macquarie?
Political powers of the Governor remained the same, size of the free population of the colony and increased communication with London meant the governor was under far more scrutiny
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Why did the Exclusives oppose Macquarie?
Actions such as appointing an ex-convict as a magistrate annoyed them
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What annoyed civil servants in London?
The cost of Macquarie's construction
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What also could be said to be evidence of the changing situation?
Judges claimed that criminals were requesting transportation to Australia; defeating its purpose as a deterrent
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What led to the publication of the Bigge Report?
Lord Bathurst, Secretary of State for the Colonies, appointed John Thomas Bigge to report on the circumstances in the colonies
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What was the first thing that the Bigge Report recommended?
Convict labour should be assigned to the sheep farms, rather than the public works programs
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What was the second thing that the Bigge Report recommended?
Early pardons and tickets of leave granted under Macquarie and the land grants of the Emancipists should cease
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What was the third thing that the Bigge Report recommended?
Positions of responsibility should not be given to the Emancipists
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What followed Bigge's research and report?
The New South Wales Act was passed in Britain in 1823
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What did this new act do?
It altered the power and position of governors in existing colonies and paved the way for self government
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What was created?
A legislative council; members were not elected but Exclusives were asked to serve in the assembly to advise the governors
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How did it reform the justice system?
The justice system became independent of the governor and a supreme court was established with a chief justice
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What did this do to the status of Van Diemen's Land?
Van Diemen's Land was to operate as a separate colony
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What happened in 1828?
The legislative councils were enlarged from seven members to 15
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What was the composition of the legislative councils?
Seven were nominated by the governor, the remainder were government officials
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What else happened in 1828?
This was the first year that the number of free men and women in the colony outnumbered the number of convicts
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By 1829, what had restricted the unlimited powers of the early governors?
More frequent communication with London, the requirement to formally consult the free citizens of the colony
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What demonstrated the way in which the British wanted to develop the economic life of Australia?
The land grants made to the Australian Agricultural Company, the Van Diemen's Land Company and the Swan River Company
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What did these companies suggest about the changing nature of Australia?
Although they were supported by the British government continuing to transport labour, changed from a system of settlement run by Army + Navy to company settlement
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Card 2


What was the appeal of the land of Australia?


Cook expedition reported that the land was fertile and vast

Card 3


What natural resource did Australia have that Britain wanted?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What was the cost of fitting out the fleet?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What was the appeal of Norfolk Island?


Preview of the front of card 5
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