The History of Australia (1900) covers the history of both the indigenous and foreign peoples of this country during the fifty-year period that precedes the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia in 2001. This is one of the major objectives of this booklet, as we intend to provide you with as much detailed background information as possible about the nation as it was during its development, expansion and later on, dissolution. You will be surprised to know how much there is still to learn about Australia, as it has been one of the most important and far-reaching countries of world history. The history of Australia covers the whole of its history, from the arrival of its first people, through their dispossession at the hands of Europeans and the arrival of the New World. You will also discover how Australia has managed to weather many crises throughout its history.
Australia’s history is marked by four significant events. First, when the British colony of Norfolk Island was absorbed into the Commonwealth of Australia as Lower Bay Colony. Norfolk Island became a province of the commonwealth within a year, although the colony itself was not recognized by the British at that time. The establishment of Norfolk Island marked the end of the long struggle between the British and Native Americans for the control of Australia’s future destiny.
The next significant event in the history of Australia occurred when the first colony of New South Wales was created from parts of what was then the Georgia territory. The colony was christened New South Wales after it became obvious that some parts of what was then known as Victoria, would need to be changed to become a colony of New South Wales. The name of this part of Australia is most confusing, as it was known as both New South Wales and Victoria until the union of New South Wales and Australia was formally declared in June, 1920.
The third event in the history of Australia occurred when representatives of the first nation of Australia, the colony of New South Wales, sent a petition to the federal parliament requesting that a national flag be created to be used for the country. Although the request was not granted, the creation of a flag was completed in December, 1920, with the design of the Australian Flag having thirteen horizontal stripes representing the thirteen original provinces in Australia. The stripes begin at the crest of white cloud and continue down the flag. The Union Jack is the most prominent design element, with the words “the Republic of Australia” below it. At this point, it appears that the evolution of Australia has begun.
History of Australia
The fourth historical event which took place in the history of Australia occurred when the country received shipping routes through what is now Western Australia. On the north coast of Western Australia, there was a fortification known as Sydney, which was constructed to protect the western coast from marauding indigenous tribes. When the ships from Australia arrived at the mouth of Sydney Harbour, they were met by the first canoes which had been constructed by the aborigines of New South Wales.
In order to establish a connection between Australia and Western Australia, a voyage of exploration was undertaken by Captain James Cook, who explored what is now Western Australia and the Bay of Plenty Islands. At this point in the history of Australia, vessels from Australia sailed to what is now what is known as New South Wales, and from New South Wales to what was then what is now Australia. During the voyages which Captain Cook made, the vessels that were powered by windmills never reached what is now Sydney Harbour, due to a storm which came across the coast from what is now New South Wales. A group of New South Wales fishermen turned out to help the sailors, and formed what is now known as Sydney. The first signs of life on the New South Wales coast could not have been related to aborigines.
As the first ships set sail for what would become Western Australia, the voyage continued farther west until what is now the central coast of New South Wales. Here the voyagers found that the winds had changed, and became much stronger, and that they no longer advanced as they had earlier on in their travels. They reached what is now the Hunter region, and began the long trek across what is now the state of New South Wales. They reached what is now Sydney, and from Sydney, the first place that the ships stopped for a rest, was Darwin. Then they continued their journey southwest, reaching what is now the mid-tropical zone.
The first colony of Darwin, which was formed from workers sent from America, comprised around eighty vessels. These included the ship Essex, which became the forerunner of today’s Darwin cruise, and the schooners George Elliot and Brigg’s ship. When the colony of New South Wales was created, it did not include the coast that had become part of what is now Sydney, and so the historical accounts relating to this early New South Wales colony are incomplete. However, most of what we know today about the first colony of Darwin, as well as its eventual development into what is now known as Australia, comes from the written records of Captain James Cook. His account, written in 1820, represents the best information available to us today about the people and places of this time, and his account makes it possible to develop a complete picture of what happened when these first settlers made their way to what is now Australia.