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Travel Guide 2   >   Australia   >   History

   
 

Australian History


The first humans are believed to have arrived in Australia over 40,000 years ago. These people arrived via land-bridges and/or sea crossings from Southeast Asia, and became the indigenous people known as "aborigines". An additional and distinct group of early settlers, ethnically Melanesian, settled in the Torres Strait Islands (the Strait between Australia and Papua New Guinea) and the far North of Queensland.

Replica of James Cook's ship, HMB Endeavour, in Cooktown Harbour, 1988 Europeans first began to reach the area at the aroud the beginning of the 17th century. The first undisputed sighting of the Australian mainland was by the Dutch sea captain, William Janszoon in 1606. The Dutch are known to have chartered the western and northern shorelines of the continent during the 17th century, but made no attempt at settlement of what they called at the time "New Holland". In 1770, British navigator, James Cook mapped parts of the East coast of Australia: the region today known as New South Wales. Cook claimed the area for Great Britain.

The first British colony was established in New South Wales on January 26th, a day that is now remembered as "Australia Day". The British formerly claimed the western portions of Australia in 1859, and during the 19th century a whole series of separate British colonies were established around the continent. Much of this British colonization was based upon the transportation of convicts to penal colonies, and it was only in 1848 that the transportation of convicts to New South Wales stopped.

The arrival of Europeans had a drastic effect on the indigenous aboriginal population. This fell dramaticly from a high of 350,000 due to the infectious diseases, forced resettlements, and other factors. Indeed, although the issues remain highly controversial and disputed, some historians have characterized the events of the period as genocide.

In 1850s, the European population increased further thanks to a gold rush, and between 1855 and 1890, each of the six British colonies was separately granted responsible government - while the the colonies were autonomous in their internal affairs, they Britain retained control of foreign affairs and defense. In 1901, the six colonies were united in a federation known as the Commonwealth of Australia.

Australia participated in both World War I and World War II as part of the British Empire. To many Australians the events of the world wars, especially the Gallipoli campaign in World War I, and the Kokoda Track Campaign in World War II, were important milestones in Australia's path to independent nationhood.

Legally, Australia first moved towards independence from Britain with the Statue of Westminister in 1931 (although Australia did not ratify it until 1942, but then back dated its effect to 1939), which granted effective independence in most matters. Australia however did retain some constitutional ties with Britain for another 40 years, these only finally be severed with the passing of the Australia Act in 1986. It should be noted that the British Queen Elizabeth II is also Queen of Australia, and a 1999 national referendum rejected becoming a republic.

Here are some books about the history of Australia:


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Books about Australian History


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Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia

By David Hunt

Black Inc.
Released: July 24th, 2013
Paperback (286 pages)

Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia
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Description:
Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia
  • Manufacturer: Black Inc.
  • Brand: Black Inc.
  • ISBN: 1863956115
  • EAN: 9781863956116
  • PartNumber: 21401999
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Format: Illustrated
  • Edition: First Edition
  • Number of Pages: 286
  • Author: David Hunt
  • Publication Date: July 24th, 2013
  • Release Date: July 24th, 2013
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.21258 Inches by 6.14172 Inches by 0.5999988 Inches
  • Weight: 0.84216584084 Pounds
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Aboriginal Australians: A History Since 1788

By Richard Broome

A&U Academic
Released: April 1st, 2020
Paperback (432 pages)

Aboriginal Australians: A History Since 1788
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Aboriginal Australians: A History Since 1788
  • Manufacturer: A&U Academic
  • Brand: A&U Academic
  • ISBN: 1760528218
  • EAN: 9781760528218
  • PartNumber: 9781760528218
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Format: Illustrated
  • Edition: Fifth edition
  • Number of Pages: 432
  • Author: Richard Broome
  • Publication Date: April 1st, 2020
  • Release Date: April 1st, 2020
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.25 Inches by 6.0 Inches by 1.1 Inches
  • Weight: 1.85 Pounds
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On Red Earth Walking: The Pilbara Aboriginal Strike, Western Australia 1946–1949 (Australian History)

By Anne Scrimgeour

Monash University Publishing
Released: March 2nd, 2020
Paperback (540 pages)

On Red Earth Walking: The Pilbara Aboriginal Strike, Western Australia 1946–1949 (Australian History)
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On Red Earth Walking: The Pilbara Aboriginal Strike, Western Australia 1946–1949 (Australian History)
  • Manufacturer: Monash University Publishing
  • Brand: Monash University Publishing
  • ISBN: 1925835685
  • EAN: 9781925835687
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Edition: None
  • Number of Pages: 540
  • Author: Anne Scrimgeour
  • Publication Date: March 2nd, 2020
  • Release Date: March 2nd, 2020
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.1 Inches by 6.0 Inches by 1.3 Inches
  • Weight: 0.110231131 Pounds
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The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding

By Robert Hughes

Vintage
Released: February 12th, 1988
Cream Paperback (628 pages)

The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia s Founding
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Description:
The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding
  • Manufacturer: Vintage
  • Brand: Vintage
  • ISBN: 0394753666
  • EAN: 9780394753669
  • PartNumber: 9780394753669
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Format: Illustrated
  • Edition: Illustrated
  • Number of Pages: 628
  • Author: Robert Hughes
  • Publication Date: February 12th, 1988
  • Release Date: February 12th, 1988
Physical Description:
  • Size: 8.0 Inches by 5.1 Inches by 1.5 Inches
  • Weight: 1.5 Pounds
  • Color: Cream
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Australian History for Dummies

By Alex McDermott

Wiley
Released: May 16th, 2011
Paperback (448 pages)

Australian History for Dummies
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Australian History for Dummies
  • Manufacturer: For Dummies
  • Brand: Wiley
  • ISBN: 1742169996
  • EAN: 9781742169996
  • PartNumber: Illustrated
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Edition: 1
  • Number of Pages: 448
  • Author: Alex McDermott
  • Publication Date: May 16th, 2011
  • Release Date: May 16th, 2011
Physical Description:
  • Size: 8.999982 Inches by 7.299198 Inches by 1.401572 Inches
  • Weight: 1.6314207388 Pounds
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The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia

By Bill Gammage

Allen & Unwin Australia
Released: April 1st, 2013
Paperback (384 pages)

The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia
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The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia
  • Manufacturer: Allen & Unwin
  • Brand: Allen & Unwin Australia
  • ISBN: 174331132X
  • EAN: 9781743311325
  • PartNumber: illustrations
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Edition: Reprint
  • Number of Pages: 384
  • Author: Bill Gammage
  • Publication Date: April 1st, 2013
  • Release Date: April 1st, 2013
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.6 Inches by 6.7 Inches by 1.2 Inches
  • Weight: 2.30603526052 Pounds
Features:
  • Allen Unwin Australia
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The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia: History, Principle and Interpretation

By Nicholas Aroney & Sarah Murray

Cambridge University Press
Released: February 3rd, 2016
Paperback (704 pages)

The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia: History, Principle and Interpretation
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The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia: History, Principle and Interpretation
  • Manufacturer: Cambridge University Press
  • Brand: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBNs: 9780521759182, 0521759188
  • EAN: 9780521759182
  • PartNumber: 9780521759182
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Edition: UK ed.
  • Number of Pages: 704
  • Authors: Nicholas Aroney, Peter Gerangelos, Sarah Murray, James Stellios
  • Publication Date: February 3rd, 2016
  • Release Date: February 3rd, 2016
Physical Description:
  • Size: 8.98 Inches by 5.98 Inches by 1.38 Inches
  • Weight: 2.20462262 Pounds
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A Concise History of Australia (Cambridge Concise Histories)

By Stuart Macintyre

Cambridge University Press
Released: January 8th, 2016
Paperback (396 pages)

A Concise History of Australia (Cambridge Concise Histories)
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A Concise History of Australia (Cambridge Concise Histories)
  • Manufacturer: Cambridge University Press
  • Brand: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 1107562430
  • EAN: 9781107562431
  • PartNumber: illustrations
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Edition: 4
  • Number of Pages: 396
  • Author: Stuart Macintyre
  • Publication Date: January 8th, 2016
  • Release Date: January 8th, 2016
Physical Description:
  • Size: 8.54 Inches by 5.51 Inches by 0.83 Inches
  • Weight: 1.0802650838 Pounds
Features:
  • Cambridge Univ Pr
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First Footprints: The Epic Story of the First Australians

By Scott Cane

Allen & Unwin Academic
Released: October 1st, 2014
Paperback (328 pages)

First Footprints: The Epic Story of the First Australians
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First Footprints: The Epic Story of the First Australians
  • Manufacturer: Allen & Unwin
  • Brand: Allen & Unwin Academic
  • ISBN: 1743314930
  • EAN: 9781743314937
  • PartNumber: 42053
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Edition: Main
  • Number of Pages: 328
  • Author: Scott Cane
  • Publication Date: October 1st, 2014
  • Release Date: October 1st, 2014
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.3 Inches by 6.8 Inches by 0.9 Inches
  • Weight: 1.70417328526 Pounds
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Rooted: An Australian history of bad language

By Amanda Laugesen

NewSouth Publishing
Kindle Edition
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Rooted: An Australian history of bad language
  • Manufacturer: NewSouth Publishing
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  • Kindle Edition
  • Format: Kindle eBook
  • Author: Amanda Laugesen
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