Australia history dates back to as early as prehistoric times about forty-one thousand years ago, between the earliest human inhabitants of the Australian continent, to the first known unearthing of Australia in 1606 by Europeans. However, since no written confirmation of human dealings in Australia has been found for that period, the era is submitted as prehistory rather than history.
Written Australia history began in 1606, when a Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, in his ship Duyfken plotted a route to the Gulf of Carpentaria, first sighted and made landfall at the western coast of Cape York Peninsula. In 1616, Dirk Hatog, a Dutch sailor, took a new southern route from his usual course, crossing the Indian Ocean, to where he ended up on the offshore island of Western Australia. He became the first recognized European to enter the Australian soil.
Captain James Cook in 1768 left England for a three-year voyage to the Pacific that also led him to Australia, landing on the eastern coast at Botany Bay on April 29, 1770. Mapping the region, Captain James Cook named the area New South Wales, and it was him and his crew, together with the botanist Sir Joseph Banks, who soon after maintained settlement in Australia, adding another impact on Australia history.
Two more expeditions of Cook in the 1770’s supplemented information on the Australian island and paved Britain’s declaration to the continent. It was during these times that the Aboriginal people refused to accept the influence of the Europeans, resulting to frequent cultural clashes.
Although the Europeans found Australia to be an unappealing and secluded settlement land, it had some social and strategic importance from a homeland that had increasing crime rates and profit-making interests in the Pacific and East Asia. Even their prisoners were sent to penal settlements in Australia because of the congestion in British penitentiaries.
After the end of the American Revolution in 1783, Britain swiftly moved to create its first settlements in Australia as they could no longer transport British convicts to America. More than one-hundred-fifty-thousand prisoners were sent to two colonies in Australia in the middle of the 1800’s, which structured the early terrains of Western Australia and New South Wales.
At the start of 1793, more free settlers arrived and a strong economy commenced to build up. However, Australia history also includes the many clashes and bloodshed of the Aboriginal people who rejected the new settlements. From 1820 to 1880, Australia history experienced significant processes that positioned the foundation for its current society.
The Australian constitution became effective 1901, derived from British parliamentary traditions, including essentials of the United States system. The heart of Australia history in the twentieth century has been the progress of both a national government and a national culture.
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