In this Very Short Introduction, Kenneth Morgan provides a wide-ranging thematic introduction to modern Australia, examining the main features of its history, geography and culture since the beginning of European settlement in New South Wales in 1788. It highlights the distinctive features of Australian life by placing contemporary developments in historical perspective, by paying attention to Australia's indigenous culture, and by making connections between Australia and the wider world.
Essay from the year 2003 in the subject History - Australia, Oceania, grade: HD-, James Cook University (James Cook University), course: Effective Writing, language: English, abstract: In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, explorers from several European nations discovered various parts of Australia, but initially no nation put forward concrete proposals for either the use or the settlement of the land. Dutch explorers first discovered Australia in 1606, but they considered it as being of no economic value to their mother country. British explorers were more fortunate when, in 1768, Lieutenant James Cook, the appointed Commander of His Majesty's ship Endeavour, discovered the more inhabitable east coast of Australia. In 1770, the British government claimed the eastern half of Australia for the British realm and King George III named it New South Wales. At this time, no plans were put forward for the settlement of British people in Australia, or for any other use of the land - it became just another part of the Empire. However, in the years following Captain Cook's discovery, the idea of the newly found land in the far distance began to attract the British government, including the possible use of Australia for convict deportation. Eventually, the first settlement was a penal one and this is now generally considered to be the main reason for settlement, but the analysis of other factors such as non-convict settlers, economic exploitation of the land, empire building, and the use for strategic military purposes, suggests that convict deportation might have been initially just a convenient solution for a social problem: the disposal of the growing number of convicts that were crowded in hulks along the River Thames. Subsequent naval explorations came to suggest substantial benefits for safeguarding British interests: advantages in the competition for trade with Asia and, most importantly, the strengthening of the British Empire.
Sir Timothy Coghlan (1855-1926) was the statistician for New South Wales from 1886. He produced the world's first example of national financial accounts, and is regarded as Australia's first 'mandarin'. His advice was sought by state and federal governments on matters as diverse as tax, public sanitation and infant mortality. In 1905 he took up an appointment as a New South Wales government agent in London, remaining there for the rest of his life. First published in 1918, this monumental book is Coghlan's very personal history of Australia, embracing materials, population growth, trade and land. It combines his long interest in literature, socio-political issues, statistics and finance with his professional interest in demography and fiscal policy. It offers an authoritative and balanced view of both the specific events and general developments in which he was intimately involved.
This collection of literature attempts to compile many of the classic, timeless works that have stood the test of time and offer them at a reduced, affordable price, in an attractive volume so that everyone can enjoy them.