Indigenous Australian Histories

Indigenous Australian Histories

The colonization of Australia started around 1606 when the European mariners came across the land of Australia.  From 1606 to 1770 the number of Europeans in Australia increased significantly. This was facilitated by increased number of merchant ships passing along the Australian Coast. Scholars attribute the primary basis of Australian colonization by the British to English Lieutenant James Cook. This was during the reign of King George III when Cook claimed the ownership of an island on the east coast of Australia and named it New South Wales. In 1788 the number of British in Australian soil continued to increase when the first fleet of the British Colony arrived (Ballyn, 2011).  The British seemed to have vested interests that encouraged its entry to colonize this continent as well as the Australian indigenous people. This essay seeks to address the primary factors behind these two aspects. Additionally, it elaborately explains the theories of the race which were rampant colonization. This is a Student Sample ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW

Primary Factors behind the Colonization of Australia by the British

The fundamental factor behind the colonization of Australia was mainly to create a place for prisoners in Britain (Ballyn, 2011). The era of Industrial Revolution in Britain replaced human labor and thus created the problem of unemployment as well as the rise in the levels of crime (Norris, 2010). The prisoners in Britain had flooded the cells availing the government with the challenge of accommodating them. This condition worsened when the America refused to take in more convicts after the American Independence War in 1783. This propelled the British Government to look for an alternative settlement of prisoners.

Australia was viewed as the solution to the above problem, and this resulted into the transportation of the convicts in the continent. With the addition of Philip’s task which was established as the way of punishing the convicts, the British believed that the penal colony would be able to make large amounts of money to sustain the colony. However, the British seemed to be fully focused on occupying Australia apart from making it a penal colony. This was indicated by the fact that once the convicts finished their punishment they were permitted to join the society and engage in the normal activities such as carpentry, retail, and even landownership. The transportation of the convicts was mainly facilitated by the British expertise on transporting human cargo (Ballyn, 2011). For many years British had transported immigrants in North America during Agrarian Revolution in Europe. This made it easy for the British to transport a huge number of convicts despite the fluctuating weather conditions which could affect the nature of the ocean waters. This is a Student Sample ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW

Apart from creating a place for prisoners British had also other primary factors that fueled to the colonization of Australia. First, the British had very little knowledge about the indigenous people of Australia and from their descriptions they believed that they were naturally friendly.  Secondly, the Britain was also interested in trade and thus it had to put mechanisms in an attempt of protecting its trade route to China. Thirdly, the political competition among the European nations also had an influence in the colonization of the Australia. French, the key competitor of British in acquiring colonies, forced British to expand its empire in the attempt of preventing French from encroaching in the continent of Australia as well as Southwest Pacific. Finally, like any other colonialist, Australia was well endowed with natural resources hence attracting the attention of the British.

Theories of Race in the Colonization of Australia

Over years the issue of race and racism has not of been key interest (Back & Solomos, 2000 ; Bobo, 2003)). However, the need by the Scholars to explain how racism shaped the life of the past societies led to the realization and acceptance of the theories of the race. The practice of racism was well evidenced during the colonial periods which were characterized by the alienation of the land from the natives (Wolfe, 2006). This essay seeks to use these theories for an understanding of racism and undermining of culture among the indigenous people of Australia during the colonial era by the British.

Monogenesis and Polygenesis Theories

Monogenesis theory purports that although all the races were created by God from Adam and Eve, some races were disfavored by God for either being non-Christian or uncivilized (Ardill, 2009). Those who justified this theory purported that the disfavored races were termed sub-human and thus were not supposed to intermingle with the favored races. On the other side, the supporters of polygenesis argued that God created different human beings for different geographical regions, and some were better than others. British settlers justified this theory forcibly to occupy the land of aboriginal inhabitants in Australia (Royal Commission, 1991). Additionally, the British believed that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were uncivilized, and thus they had no right to existence. From this notion, the rights of property ownership of more than four hundred indigenous people were ignored. They lost the ownership of their land, and even their existence could not be recognized (Norris, 2010).

Eugenics Theory

This theory was applied through the observance of the public policy which suggested that the strong race in the society should be allowed to reproduce while the weak human race should be prevented from reproducing. Eugenics theory was appropriately applied in government policies contributing to the dispossession of the indigenous people of Australia (Ardill, 2009). In support, Dunn, Kamp, Shaw, Forrest, & Paradies (2014) noted the history of the Australian indigenous people as the subjects of dispossession and genocide is unforgettable among many inhabitants.  In addition to dispossession, the aboriginals were treated like animals in their nation. Ballyn (2011) noted the indigenous people of Australia were exiled both externally and internally. The applicability of theory in the state laws permitted the authorities to evict the indigenous children from the families by force with the aim of either assimilating them or segregating them with the notion that they will eventually be wiped out.


The colonization of Australia came with many adverse effects despite having some benefits. The British felt mightier and superior to the indigenous people of Australia. This facilitated the application of the racism theories. The aboriginal inhabitants were ripped off what belonged to them. They lost their land, culture and even their pride. Their existence was neither valued nor recognized. They were subjected to poverty and their normal daily lives were interfered with. The suffering and humiliation subjected to the natives of Australia causes the need to question the benefits of British colonizing Australia. This is a Student Sample ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW


Ardill, A. (2009). Sociobiology: Racism And Australian Colonisation Griffith Law School Review. 18(1), 82-113.

Back, L., & Solomos, J. (2000). Theories of Race and Racism. London: Routledge.

Ballyn, S. (2011). The British Invasion of Australia. Convicts: Exile and Dislocation. Lives in Migration: Rupture and Continuity, 16-29.

Dunn, K. M., Kamp, A., Shaw, W. S., Forrest, J., & Paradies, Y. (2014). Indigenous Australians’ Attitudes Towards Multiculturalism, Cultural Diversity, ‘Race’ and Racism. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 13(4), 19-31.

Bobo, L. D. (2003). Race, Racism, and Discrimination: Bridging Problems, Methods, and Theory in Social Psychological Research. Social Psychology Quarterly, 66(4), 319-332.

Norris, R. (2010). The Colonial Economy: Antecedents, Establishment, Effects. In The More Things Change. The Origins and Impact of Australian Indigenous Economic Exclusion – Chapter 3, pg. 25-29

Royal Commission. (1991). Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. National Report on the Dispossession of the Aboriginal People, 2-10.

Wolfe, P. (2006). Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native. Journal of Genocide Research, 8(4), 387–409.

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