Brief History of Australia


It may be too general, and everyone may know it, I’d like to make it clear; the brief history of Australia.

From the prehistoric times, Australia was populated by aborigines, who migrated to the continent more than 40 thousand years ago. Although, Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian and Arabic seafarers, possibly, set down on the northern shore of Australia until 1000 A.D. Anyway, the West learned about it only in XVII (17) century, until this time Australia was known as mythical southern continent, which must occupy the large part of the southern hemisphere and should balance the land’s mass of the northern hemisphere. In time of the Middle Ages, Australia was called: “Terra Australis Incognita”, which means, “Unknown Southern Land”. There were a lot of seafarers who tried to find this mythical continent.

Firstly, Australia was discovered by Dutchman seafarer W. Janszoon in 1606. Afterwards, it was searched and opened by A. Tasman in 1642. Anyway, Australia was, officially, discovered by James Cook and in 1670 he declared Australia as the property of British Crown. Australia was considered as an unattractive place for the colonization, but with the loss of North America, Great Britain made the decision to organize the settlements of convicts in Australia; therefore criminals and their wardens were the first permanent settlers of Australia. In 1830, Great Britain subordinated entire continent to itself, and in Australia the first free settlers appeared. In 1881, the discovery of the gold increased the flows of settlers. In 1901, the unification of the 6 Australian colonies has occurred and was named as Commonwealth of Australia, which has become a dominion. Moreover, in 1931 Australia obtained complete independence from the metropolitan country. From 1945, Australia is the member of United Nations.  In 1967, civil liberties were given to Australian aborigines.

Currently, Australia is a highly developed industrial-agrarian country. According to the basic statistical indices, which include standard of living of population – Australia occupies the 13th place. Besides the mining and agricultural branches of economy, the most important role in the economy of the country plays the tourism.

This is a post by Nikita Gorbachev.


Tourism Australia, 2009. viewed 8 August 2009



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