Why was Australia established?

Updated: 8/18/2023
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10y ago

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The first European settlers in Australia were primarily convicts from England, together with the officers and the marines who guarded them. They arrived on the First Fleet, a fleet of eleven ships.

Australia was first settled on 26 January 1788, 18 years after James Cook had claimed the east coast for England, under the name of New South Wales.

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Australia was inhabited by indigenous tribes before any European settlers made their way to the island. In 1770, Great Britain laid claim to the eastern coast of the continent. A penal colony was formed on the land, and in 1788, prisoners were sent to the place which had been named New South Wales. Numerous other colonies were established on the continent, and in 1901, the six colonies federated to form the Commonwealth of Australia.

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Australia was originally a place where petty crimnals were sent to spend their time , it was more or less a jail.

There were many more reasons why Australia was established.

The British decided to establish a colony in Australia for several reasons:

1. To expand the British empire, and prevent the French from gaining a foothold in the Australian continent or in that part of the Pacific.

2. To solve the problem of Britain's overcrowded prisons (a consequence of the Industrial Revolution) by establishing a new penal colony in a land which showed promise for eventually becoming self-supporting. Britain had been sending their excess prisoners to North America, but the American War of Independence put a stop to the practice. After James Cook's successful voyage which involved charting the eastern coast of Australia, New South Wales was seen as a viable proposition for a convict colony. In particular, it was endorsed by Sir Joseph Banks, the influential botanist who travelled with Cook.

3. Australia could provide commercial and political gains to Britain.

4. Due to war, Britain needed to find an alternative supply of Flax and timber as her Baltic supply was under threat. It was believed that nearby Norfolk Island would provide this.

5. Britain needed a port in the East to promote trade with China and to extend its naval and commercial power.

The first permanent settlers arrived in Australia with the First Fleet on 26 January 1788 to set up the new penal colony.

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