It seems that a sad hallmark of indigenous peoples is their oppression and systematic elimination at the hands of foreigners. The Native American marginally survives today after centuries of conflict with Europeans. The Ainu of Japan were nearly entirely wiped out by half a millennium of oppression at the hands of the mainland Japanese. So it is with the Aborigines of Australia, who would face a fate most similar to that of the Native Americans, again, at the hands of Europeans. The landing of the first Europeans on the Australian continent would prove to be a fateful one: one which would forever change the existing society of the Aborigines. Until that first arrival in 1788, the Aborigines had held a monopoly on the continent; they were the only human inhabitants of the island. This paper is an exploration of the Aborigines: their history, their culture, and the violent collision of cultures that occurred beginning in 1788. Their history is inextricably linked with the arrival of the first Europeans on the Australian continent during that year. The year marked the first arrivals; they would increase steadily from then on. Thus, in actuality, this paper is a story of two migrations: that of the Aborigines across Australia, and that of the British into Australia.
[...] First, the British had no intention to respect and treat Aboriginal land as the Aborigines had. Second, the British were planning on staying. The British-Aborigine conflict had its root in three main points. First, most of the British settlers were hardened criminals. This was, after all, to be a penal colony. The population was comprised mostly of the convicts banished from Britain. One can only imagine the crimes that they committed, and were presumably still capable of committing again, to earn such a sentence. [...]
[...] They were viewed as intellectually inferior to European children, and received inferior education. Soon, being Aborigine meant being poorly educated, another reason for the Europeans to look down on the Aborigines. However, this was not a condition of race so much as it was of class: it was not that Aborigines were incapable of being well-educated, but rather pervasive and systematic racism to that effect prevented them from receiving a proper education. This, in essence, is Steinberg's thesis, and it gains more evidence in light of the Aborigine experience with education in, by then, a predominantly white society. [...]
[...] presenting Aboriginal history in a manner that highlights the uniqueness of their condition. It is estimated that the Aborigines originated some 50 to 120 hundred thousand years ago. There is a large variability in the time of their first arrival because the oldest human remains in Australia are about 45,000 years old; the earliest charcoal, evidencing humans or lightning, dates to 100,000 years; and the lowest sea levels, which would make the easiest voyage for the Aborigines, were believed to be 120,000 years ago. [...]
[...] By taking it, the British forced mass starvation upon the Aborigines (one of the conditions that would leave few viable options for many Aboriginal men but to join a Native Police Force). In desperate attempts for food, the Aborigines tried to form reciprocal relationships with the British. They offered the domestic services of their women to the British. The Aborigines believed this would result in a return of food for all of them. Rather, the British returned luxuries, such as tea, tobacco, and sugar, to the few Aborigines that brokered the exchanges. [...]
[...] International law at the time stated that land cannot be forcefully taken from natives, rather, it had to be consented away from them: an unlikely situation, to be generous. This law, however, only held true if the land was in use, in a European sense of the word. The Aborigines had no European style buildings, and they had no organized government. As hunters and gatherers, they had no crops. All these signs suggested to the Europeans that the land was not in use. [...]
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