Questions tagged [australia]

Australia is both the continent, and the country by the same name. Questions related to Australia may concern the inhabitants of the continent, European contact with the continent, the continent, or the country's role in history, and anything else that is historically significant about Australia.

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1answer
129 views

What kind of religions did ancient aboriginals of Australia follow?

What kind of religions did ancient aboriginals of Australia follow? Was there religion monotheistic, pantheistic or polytheistic? In Wikipedia I read this Australian Aboriginal religion and ...
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Did Aboriginal Australians know slings?

Did Aboriginal Australians know slings? Search on scholar.google did not find anything and Google only showed this photo of 1940, so they could get this idea from Europeans. If they knew slings that ...
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1answer
124 views

Why didn't Sir John Kerr just call an election? [closed]

During the Australian constitutional crisis of 1975, the Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismissed the sitting Prime Minister and appointed the Leader of the Opposition as PM in order to trigger an ...
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1answer
102 views

What was life like for Australian convicts in the last few decades of transportation?

What was life like for Australian convicts in the last few decades of transportation? The last convict transportation arrived in 1868, what happened to convicts during this latter period? Were they ...
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2answers
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Why didn't Indonesians/Indian Ocean traders bring marsupials to Asia and placental mammals to Australia/New Guinea?

When Alfred Russel Wallace went to Indonesia and studied biology, he noticed that marsupials lived in the Eastern Islands (Australia, New Guinea, Sulawesi, Makulu Islands, North Makulu Islands, The ...
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8answers
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Why didn't Aboriginal Australians invent agriculture?

From what I've gathered at a glance, Aborigine Australians have about 50000 years of history on their continent, roughly equivalent to that of people on other continents. Yet from what I can gather, ...
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1answer
147 views

Has anyone written Australian history from the perspective of the original inhabitants - the aborigines?

I once read that an aboriginal man from Australia in an ironic gesture planted a flag on English soul and proclaimed it now was a part of the aboriginal empire. I’m curious as to whether there have ...
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Why might one think that Australia gained independence from the UK in December 1920?

I'm looking at a dataset claims that Australia gained independence from the UK in December 1920.† I found this puzzling and this could very well just be a mistake. But I'm wondering if there's any ...
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1answer
112 views

Did any UK declaration of war extend automatically to Australia?

On 1939-09-03, the UK declared war on Germany and Australia did the same. A New Zealand government website claims: In contrast to its entry into the First World War, New Zealand acted in its own ...
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4answers
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In World War 1, why were the Australian and Canadian troops so good?

I'm reading a book about the first world war, and makes it clear that the Canadian and Australian troops made quite a name for themselves. They acquitted themselves very well in many of the actions ...
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320 views

How did early colonial Australia deal with its gender imbalance?

Australia was a penal colony, so since there are more male criminals than female, it stands to reason that Australia would have a large gender imbalance with more men than women. Indeed, Wikipedia's ...
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1answer
168 views

Help to identify WW1 or WWII badge

Can someone identify this badge please. It has a number on the back that looks like 742299. What is the significance of the number and why is there a 60 in the crown on the front of the badge.
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How motivated were the Australian, Canadian and NZ soldiers in the British army during the two world wars? [closed]

How motivated were the Australian, Canadian and NZ soldiers in the British army during the two world wars? Did they feel that their homeland was under threat or did they have problem understanding why ...
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1answer
247 views

When did the accusations of convict stain against white Australians stop being culturally significant?

"White Australians" in the 19th and early 20th century were generally subject to a cultural belief of genetic criminality from other British settler societies, this varied from cultural claims to ...
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1answer
202 views

Did Indigenous Australians burn land to get Europeans to move on, and did Europeans follow suit?

I was told by a guide that when European settlers originally arrived in Australia, Indigenous populations burnt their land to get the Europeans to move on. I am aware that the Indigenous did burn ...
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141 views

Is this a coin, token or medallion?

I found this attached to a rock, on a beach in Western Australia a number of years ago. I cannot identify the Coat of Arms although have looked in numerous sites. The reverse appears to be a Lion ...
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1answer
275 views

When did keeping convicts in Australia become unprofitable?

When the first penal colony was founded in Australia in 1788, keeping convicts was profitable as a form of slave labour. Today, Australia is one if the world's most expensive places to keep prisoners....
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158 views

Why do people in Melbourne Victoria Australia get a public holiday for a horse race

Every year on the first tuesday of novemember there is a public holiday for the Melbourne Cup the arcticle in wikipedia explains when it became a public holiday but not why. As early as 1865, Cup ...
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580 views

When were 1942 lend-lease trucks sold to the public?

I am restoring a Chevy truck from 1942. The truck was part of the lend lease program and I wondering if someone knows approximate years the trucks were sold to private people. The truck was sold to a ...
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2answers
246 views

Which personal weapons, if any, were carried by the 1606 Janszoon expedition when it landed in Australia?

Wikipedia mentions early 17th century exploration of New Holland beginning in the first few years of the 1600s, but insofar as I can tell doesn't really go into what was carried on board those ships. ...
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1answer
175 views

Who was the 18th century French eccentric who proposed the Dutch colonize SW Australia?

Some time ago, I read a story on the internet about a French eccentric/scientist living in the 18th century who had studied climate zones on the Earth. He came to the conclusion that there were a ...
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1answer
323 views

What possible uniform with decoration is my ancestor from New South Wales in the early 1900's wearing?

I have found the below picture of my ancestor. It was taken approximately in the early 1900's in New South Wales, Australia. I don't think he was knighted. I have found a census record that he was a ...
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270 views

Why were penal colony members from Australia moved to San Francisco in 1840's?

The Wikipedia article about San Francisco's Barbary Coast old red light district says, under the heading "Sidney Town": By the end of 1849, several ships from Australia brought former members of ...
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Convict stowaways crossing the Pacific in 1796

According to H.H. Bancroft's "History of California", in 1796, English convicts stowed away on the Otter in Botany Bay, and were forced ashore in California at gunpoint. Governor Borica was ordered by ...
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Why didn't Asians discover Australia?

Asians were trading with each other. Indians, Malay, Javans and Chinese were competing with each other for trade route supremacy. As South as Timor were in touch with Asian civilizations. How did no ...
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Has there been evidence of ancient Chinese exploration of Australia?

Has there been evidence of ancient Chinese exploration of Australia? Specifically, up through the Middle Ages, before there was extensive contact with Europeans?
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This is the second time Australia has had 6 PMs in 10 years. What caused it the first time?

Australian Federal Politics has been tumultuous for Prime Ministers. The last 10 years have seen 6 Prime Ministers (when a political term in Australia is normally four years). But this is not the ...
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Australian Head of State [closed]

Under the Australian Constitution, who will become Australia's Head of State if the British monarchy is suddenly dissolved or overthrown and Britain becomes a republic?
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665 views

Was there a viable alternate supply route to Australia during World War II?

In the spring of 1942, there was the danger, or at least the fear, that Japan would conquer all of New Guinea, the Solomon islands, and ultimately Samoa, thereby cutting off Australia from American ...
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595 views

Australian Immigration 1945-present

I have been wondering for a while and have always wanted to know about Australia's immigration history, my main question being: Why has Australia accepted many migrants from 1945 to the present time? ...
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Why was the Japanese Army's fatalities inflicted:suffered ratio so low in the Pacific theatre?

Leaving aside the naval battles of the Pacific, why did the Japanese army do so poorly against allied forces (specifically United states and Australian forces) when on the defensive. While logistics ...
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414 views

Was Australia ever attacked during WW2? [closed]

Being European, I know history of World War II from Europe's perspective (and mainly with focus on Czechoslovakia). So: Was a land belonging to Australia ever attacked during WW2? For scope of ...
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Why weren't Australian Aborigines enslaved?

While there are many articles discussing the Australian Aborigines' de facto legalized slavery, or essentially free labor, the fact seems to be that they were never de jure slaves, as Africans were. ...
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Did the aborigines of Australia and the Maoris in New Zealand know about each other's existence, before the Europeans came?

The aborigines are believed to have migrated from India in prehistoric times. The Maoris are thought to have arrived from Polynesia and elsewhere in eastern Asia. They travelled by canoe. It's one ...
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Identifying a ship in Sydney Harbour

I am trying to identify the ship in this picture in order to date the photograph. The writing on the back says it is "Aquatania" (sic) but when I search for that name on the internet the Aquitania has ...
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1answer
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Which fruits and vegetables did Chinese migrants introduce to Australia during the gold rush?

The gold rush in Australia saw many Chinese migrate to the country, with the Chinese population in Australia reaching around 40000 in the 1860s. Many brought with them vegetable seeds to grow near ...
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1answer
428 views

Execution at the scene of the crime under Australian law

The Criminal Law Consolidation Act Amendment Act 1971 (South Australia) removed the ability for Aboriginal murderers to be executed at the scene of the crime as allowed by the Criminal Law ...
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1answer
313 views

Was a direct telegraph line between America and Australia ever created?

After reviewing a source about American-Australian relations pre-WW2, there are a couple of troubles the Americans had with their relationship with Australia (see the excerpt of the source below). My ...
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1answer
3k views

Did any other countries try to breed a race out like what happened in Australia? [closed]

In Australia's History, the Europeans tried to breed out Aboriginals colour by pairing a Aboriginal Woman with a White Man. They did this because they believed... That Aboriginals were a dying race ...
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3answers
377 views

Was the penal system used to colonise Australia?

Margaret Atwood once said on the Stranger Than Fiction podcast that the British had a strategy to colonise Australia via the penal system. That is, their motivation for sending criminals to the ...
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1answer
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America vs. Australia as a “Penal Colony”

The common explanation for the usage of Australia as a penal colony is that the American Revolution made the usage of America as one no longer tenable. From Wikipedia, "On Convicts in Australia": ...
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When did Australia declare war on Germany in WWII

In 1939, Australia had not ratified the 1931 Westminster Statute, and so lacked an independent foreign policy. Menzies recognised this by saying in 1939, that as Britain was at war with Germany, so ...
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220 views

Were there any major battles between Australian Aborigines and English Colonists? [closed]

The English were hostile to most of the natives near their colonies. However, I can't seem to find any evidence as to whether or not the Aborigines partook in any battle against British colonists in ...
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1answer
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Did France actually intend to colonise West Australia and were any resources assigned to this objective prior to 1829?

The Wikipedia article about the History of Western Australia mentions that the British set up a military garrison at King George Sound in 1826 and established a colony on the Swan River in 1829 in ...
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Why did Austronesian/Polynesian people not colonize Australia?

Australia hosted aboriginal populations since prehistory. However technologically advanced civilizations (in comparison) lived nearby, in Indonesia, Polynesia and New Guinea. Why was it not colonized ...
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1answer
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Why did civilisation/city states never take root in Australia and North America?

I recently read that the Australian Aborigines numbered close to a million during the time of Botany Bay and comprised of ~250 tribes/nations. The Native Americans of North America also boasted ...
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Can the Queen of England fire the prime minister of Australia?

My Australian friend says yes. I'm not so sure, considering the monarchy collects no taxes from England, much less a country in the commonwealth. What's the verdict? Can she say "you're fired" and ...
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1answer
301 views

Why did Dorothy Dixers become prevalent in question time in Australia?

Anyone who listens to Question Time in Australia's parliament would notice the many questions from government backbenchers that invite ministers to either extoll the virtues of government policy or ...
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Why did Canada, Australia and New Zealand separate from the UK?

I asked this question in various places on the Web. I haven't received a clear answer. The USA separated from the UK because the people felt that they were not British, and they weren't. Weren't ...
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137 views

What caused the decline in support for the Protectionist Party of Australia?

The Protectionist Party of Australia was one of the three main federal parties at the time of federation and produced the country's first two Prime Ministers, but it was not long before their share of ...