- The history of Australia



                               The history of Australia
                                      - 102
                                         1999 .
      General information about Australia3
           National anthem, flag and the coat-of-arms3
      Terra Incognita (Unknown land)..4
      First European settlement.4
      Creation of the Commonwealth of Australia5
      New crown colonies.5
      Australias ties with Great Britain and the USA..6
                           General Information about Australia
         Australia is situated in the south-west of the Pacific Ocean. The area
         of this country is 7,7 million square kilometres. The population of the
            country is about 20 million people. The capital is  Canberra. The
       population of Canberra is about 300 thousand  people. Official language is
          English.  Australia is the largest island in the world and it is the
                                   smallest continent.
           The Commonwealth of Australia is a self-governing federal state. It
        has got 6 states: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia,
                          Tasmania and 2 internal territories.
                       National  Anthem, Flag and the Coat-of-Arms
            Australian national flag consists of 5 white  stars  of  the  Southern
      Cross  and the white Commonwealth star  (the large seven pointed star) on  a
      blue background with a Union Jack in  canton.  The  Southern  Cross  is  the
      southern Crux, whose four chief stars are in the form of cross.
            The flag of Australia is the only one to fly over a  whole  continent.
      The small Union Jack represents the historical link with  Britain,  and  the
      large seven-pointed star represents the six states and the Territories,  and
      the small stars form the  Southern  Cross    a  prominent  feature  of  the
      southern hemisphere night sky.
            A distinctive Australia flora and fauna is reflected in the  countrys
      coat-of-arms by the symbols of Australias  endemic  animals;  kangaroo  and
      emu and twig of wattle (a kind of acacia).
            Australia officially adopted green and gold as its national colours in
            The Australia national anthem was adopted in the 1970ties. It is  used
      on the all official and ceremonial occasions.
                                     Terra Incognita
                                     (Unknown Land)
            It is supposed that Australias native inhabitants,   the  Aborigines,
      arrived in Australia   at  least  40,000  years  ago.  The  first  Europeans
      visited the shores of Australia in 1606. The Spanish ship of  Luis  Vaes  de
      Torres sailed through the strait which now bears  his  name   and  separates
      Australia and Papua New Guinea. In the same  year  the  Dutch  ship  Duyfken
      (Little Dove) sailed into the Gulf of Carpentaria. Among later  voyagers  is
      Dirk Hartog (1616), who left an inscribed  pewter  plate  (Australias  most
      famous early European relic, now in Amsterdam) in Western Australia.
            Abel Tasman, Dutch navigator, visited Tasmania,  which  he  named  Van
      Diemens Land, in 1642.
            The first Englishman to visit the continent was a  buccaneer,  William
      Dampier, who landed near King Sound on the northwest coast in 1699.
            A second wave of immigration began in 1770, when Captain  James  Cook,
      of the British Navy, sighted the east coast of the continent.
             Cook had been sent to Tahiti to make  astronomical  observations  and
      when  his  mission  was   completed,   he   sailed   south   in   Endeavour,
      circumnavigated New Zealand and headed due west. On  April  20,  1770,  Cook
      sighted land near Cape Everard, in the southeast corner  of  Australia.   He
      turned north, charting the coastline as he went and, 9  days  later,  landed
      at Botany Bay, which he named for the  variety  of  botanic  specimen  found
      there. He raised the British flag and claimed New South Wales as a   British
                                First European Settlement
            It is probably due  to its geographical position  that  Australia  was
      the last continent to be inhabited by the white man. It was  just  a  little
      over 390 years that the Australian continent was discovered.
            The first landing by Europeans took place in 1606. More than a century
      and a half later an expedition headed by the  British  explorer  James  Cook
      added the land to the possessions of the British crown.
            Until the name Australia (meaning  South  Land)  became  generally
      accepted for the continent, it had been referred  to  as  New  Holland,  New
      South Wales, or Botany Bay.  During  the  War  of  Independence  (1776)  the
      former  British  colonies  in  America  declared   themselves   independent.
      Britain tried to make up for this loss  by the seizure of  new  territories.
      Besides, the convicts  could  no  longer  be  transported  to  the  American
      colonies (which had served  this  purpose  for  over    hundred  years)  and
      British jails were more than badly overcrowded.
            The first contingent of the convicts and  their  guards  landed  where
      Sydney stands today, on January 26,  1788.  It  was  the  so-called   First
      Fleet and these people were called first  fleeters  Now,  Australia  Day,
      January 26,  commemorates  the  landing.  Gradually  more  and  more  people
      arrived (they were convicts as well  as  free  settlers)  and  a  number  of
      settlements were founded along the southern  and  eastern  coasts.  For  the
      first few years, the colonists  were   almost  entirely  dependent  on  food
      supplies from overseas but gradually the land  around  the  settlements  was
      brought under cultivation. Soils were generally poor and  crop  yields  low,
      but better agricultural land was soon found near Parramatta,  to  the  west.
      Exploratory voyages were also made along the east  coast.  The  boldest  was
      that of Captain Matthew  Flinders  who,  in  1802-1803  circumnavigated  the
            Australia Day is a very important holiday for the Australians, another
      equally important holiday is called Anzac Day.
                        Creation of The Commonwealth of Australia
            In 1901 the separate colonies in Australia merged together and  became
      the States of the Commonwealth of Australia, which acquired  the  status  of
      dominion of Great Britain.  The Commonwealth of Australia  a federation  of
      the 6 former colonies as states    was  declared  to  come  into  being  on
      January 1, 1901.  The first  Governor    General,  the  Earl  of  Hopetoun,
      convened  the first Parliament of the Commonwealth  of  Australia  on  April
      29, 1901. It was opened in Melbourne on May 9 by Duke of Cornwall and  York,
      son of King Edward VII. Sir Edmund Barton was the first Prime Minister.
            The constitution provided for Federal Parliament to sit  in  Melbourne
      until a federal capital territory was selected and established. The  present
      Australian Capital Territory was  ceded  from  New  South  Wales  to  become
      federal territory in 1911, and the future  capital  was  named  Canberra  in
      1913. The first Federal  Parliament to meet in Canberra was  opened  by  the
      Duke of York, later King George VI, on May 9, 1927.
            Though Australia  now  is  an  independent  state,  according  to  the
      Constitution the head  of  the  state  is  the  Monarch  of  Great  Britain,
      represented by the Governor-General. His duties include assenting to  bills,
      opening, proroguing and dissolving Parliament and  commissioning  the  Prime
      Minister to form  a government. Governor-Generals residence  Jarralumla  is
      in Canberra.
            The  Commonwealth  of  Australia  is  composed  of  6  states  and   2
      territories: the State of New South Wales with its capital  in  Sydney,  the
      State of Victoria with its capital in  Melbourne,  the  State  of  Queenland
      with its capital in  Brisbane,  the  Sate  of  Western  Australia  with  its
      capital in Perth,  the  State  of  Tasmania  with  its  capital  in  Hobart,
      Australian Capital Territory with  its  Federal  Capital  in  Canberra,  and
      Northern Territory with its capital in Darwin.
                                   New Crown Colonies
            Great Britain  was on the verge  of  loosing  13  rebellious  American
      Colonies in 1770. At that time Captain  James  Cook  who  led  a  scientific
      voyager planted the British ensign on a continent that would soon provide  a
      vast new colony: Australia.
            The will to establish new crown colonies was insistent even before the
      old ones mere lost. The Parliament debated  the site as early as 1779.  Only
      18 years after Captain James Cook had landed in Botany Bay,  Captain  Arthur
      Philip arrived  in Sydney Cove to begin the first settlement.
            In many ways, America and Australia have had  corresponding  histories
      of exploration, colonization,  immigration,  and  growth.  Both  began  with
      settlements on the fringes of huge continents, gradually pushing  inward  to
      cultivate a wilderness interior. And both  developed  a  frontier  ethos  of
            As the convicts earned their freedom, they went into the  outback  and
      staked claims on land. These  men,  known  as  Squatters,  raised  sheep  or
      cattle, depending on the type of land they found for themselves.
            Other convicts however reverted to  their  criminal  ways  and  became
      outlaws, raiding the towns and stealing from the squatters. The  early  part
      of Australian history is filled  with  the  tales  of  the  settlers.  These
      bushrangers often became folk-heroes in the  tradition  of  Robin  Hood  and
      Dick Turpin in England, and Jesse James in the United  States.   Many  poems
      and songs were written about them  and  at  one  time   it  was  a  criminal
      offence  to  sing  or  recite  these   ballads    which   glorified   crime.
      Nonetheless,  every  Australian  today  knows  the  stories  of  the  famous
      bushrangers. These ballads and songs started  the  tradition  of  Australian
      yarn and its heroes, Dads Dave among them.
            The hard rough life in  the  outback  was  no  place  for  women.  The
      Squatters searched the towns for wives to take to their stations. It  wasnt
      very pleasant prospect for a new bride, but some girls were lucky enough  to
      undertake the adventure.  The image of a  typical  Australian  was  a  tall,
      thin and blond man  who  was  called  a  Cornstalk,  sometimes  wearing  a
      cabbage tree hat.
            Australians celebrated their bicentennial beginning Jan. 26, 1988  and
      continuing all next year. On that date  in  1788,  11  ships  arrived   from
      Britain, and 1.030 settlers, including 776 convicts, began  their  new  life
      in waterfront section of Sydney called the Rocks.
                     Australias Ties With Great Britain And The USA
            Initially, Britain and the Commonwealth  countries  were  the  central
      elements  of  Australias  foreign  policy  and  activity.   Later,   closer
      relations were also developed with the USA,  partly  because  of  the  vital
      role it played in the Pacific during and after World War II.
            Australia can seem quite British at times  and  somewhat  American  at
      others. Political, legal, and educational institutions derive from  Britain.
      Each state capital is named after a colonial  politician  (Perth,  Brisbane,
      Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne) or  British  royal  figure  (Adelaide).  Dry  and
      witheringly hot towns bear names from Englands  green  and  pleasant  land.
      The  representative  of  the  England  queen  is  the  formal  head  of  the
      governmental structure. Only since 1984 has required that  a  civil  servant
      in Australia be an Australian  previously it was sufficient to be British.
            American    influence   comes   in   culture,   technology,    defense
      arrangements, and business. Books from USA have  made  a  major  advance  in
      Australian  intellectual  circles  since  the  1960s.  American   ideas   of
      management and problem-solving are becoming more and more popular.
            Significantly, Australian dollar was introduced in 1966.
            In the past some  Australians  often  felt  that  Australian  culture,
      products, accents, lifestyles compared  unfavorably  with  Britain  and  the
      USA. This attitude has  changed.  A  strong  sense  of  distinct  Australian
      identity has grown with the growing recognition in the world  of  Australian
      films, literature and arts.
      1. Australia and New Zealand in brief,  ,    ,  1998
         ., .223
      2. .. .  55     .,  ,  
          , 1997 ., . 160
      3.  .  . , -, 1998 ., . 95