107 votes
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Why didn't Aboriginal Australians invent agriculture?

Everyone else is referencing Guns Germs and Steel, but I'm going to give the answer from The Biggest Estate on Earth by Bill Gammage. Gammage suggests that not only did Indigenous Australians ...
Robyn's user avatar
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69 votes
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Why was the Japanese Army's fatalities inflicted:suffered ratio so low in the Pacific theatre?

Training and morale of Japanese soldiers First of all, Japanese Forces were by no means inferior to their enemies in terms of fighting spirit or training. Beyond a doubt, No nation in WW2 had soldiers ...
NSNoob's user avatar
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45 votes

Why didn't Aboriginal Australians invent agriculture?

This is a class of question we here on History.SE called a Guns, Germs, and Steel question. This is because we get a lot of them, and even though the question details may be different, the answers to ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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25 votes

Why didn't Aboriginal Australians invent agriculture?

A proper rephrasing of the question title now is of course: Why didn't Australians invent Eurasian agriculture before the Europeans came to them? Sounds non-sensical? It is not! The obvious answer to ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
25 votes

Did Aboriginal Australians know slings?

The ranged weaponry niche occupied by bows and slings in most other parts of the world was in Australia occupied by boomerangs and woomera (spear-thrower). These wouldn't have had the long range of a ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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22 votes

Why was the Japanese Army's fatalities inflicted:suffered ratio so low in the Pacific theatre?

I want to supplement NSNoob's answer with some more information on Japanese small arms. They lacked the firepower which the Americans could bring down, firepower which is very important in obscured ...
Schwern's user avatar
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20 votes

Why didn't Asians discover Australia?

The people living along the northern coastline of Australia, in the Kimberley, Arnhem Land, Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York had encounters with various visitors for many thousands of years. People ...
rancho's user avatar
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20 votes

Is there evidence of ancient Chinese exploration of Australia?

Is there evidence of Chinese exploration of Australia (before European contact)? There is no tangible evidence that Chinese explorers (or traders or any other Chinese for that matter) did land in ...
0range's user avatar
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19 votes

In World War 1, why were the Australian and Canadian troops so good?

The Australian historian and journalist LA Carlyon in his book Gallipoli reports Australian troops, a higher proportion of whom at that date had grown up in a rural, outdoor life (the same was ...
Timothy's user avatar
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18 votes

Why was the Japanese Army's fatalities inflicted:suffered ratio so low in the Pacific theatre?

In some ways, the Japanese casualty rate was not that much higher than that of the Americans. If you take casualties as "killed and wounded," the Japanese to American casualty rate was less ...
Tom Au's user avatar
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17 votes

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

I agree with the comments, it doesn't look military in nature. Looking at various organization, I finally found an item listed on ebay which seems to match both the wide emblem and the tasseled 8-...
justCal's user avatar
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12 votes

Why was the Japanese Army's fatalities inflicted:suffered ratio so low in the Pacific theatre?

My uncle was a Marine in these battles. His generation spoke very little about the war. He was in the Pacific. One day we were discussing wars. He turned to me and said: "You know we did not take ...
John Hillman's user avatar
8 votes
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When did the accusations of convict stain against white Australians stop being culturally significant?

TL;DR: In the 1950s it was still a stain and mark of derision not to be spoken of. In the 1960s attitudes changes. By the 1970s it had become a badge of pride which it still is for some today. Long ...
Marakai's user avatar
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8 votes

In World War 1, why were the Australian and Canadian troops so good?

One can make much of the prairie and frontier background of the Canadian troops - and one should, as they were 8 cm (3") taller, 5'7" (178cm) at age 21 compared to just 5'4" (170cm) for Brits of the ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
8 votes

Why didn't Aboriginal Australians invent agriculture?

T.E.D. answer is correct from my point of view (I also agree with Diamond theory regarding to availability of plants and animals as a must for civilized life). But, to give a little bit more context. ...
Santiago's user avatar
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8 votes

Why didn't Aboriginal Australians invent agriculture?

One way to approach the question would be anthropological. There is a dissertation with the title, “Why Foragers Do Not Become Farmers,” which you can download for free. It's based on work done in the ...
adam.baker's user avatar
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7 votes
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Who was the 18th century French eccentric who proposed the Dutch colonize SW Australia?

As it turns out, it wasn't an eccentric French scientist at all. It was a servant of the VOC originally from French-speaking Switzerland by the name of Jean Pierre Purry. He perhaps knew about the ...
Fedor Alexander Steeman's user avatar
7 votes

Why didn't Indonesians/Indian Ocean traders bring marsupials to Asia and placental mammals to Australia/New Guinea?

There are actually a number of placental mammals which can be found across the Wallace Line in Australia and New Guinea. The one which probably is most relevant to the question about deliberate human ...
Agent Orange's user avatar
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7 votes

Why wasn't awareness of Australia more widespread in pre-colonial Asia?

WRT the Chinese in particular, perhaps they just didn't care. They could buy their trepang from the people who harvested it, just as the could sell silk to merchants, without caring where the trepang ...
jamesqf's user avatar
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6 votes

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

Given that the truck was a lend-lease vehicle sold in Queensland, I'd guess that it was supplied to Australia under the terms of the lend-lease agreement. Under the terms of the lend lease agreement, ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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6 votes

Why did Austronesian/Polynesian people not colonize Australia?

I can only agree with some of the points, as I have an extensive understanding of Austronesian migratory history but am still vague on Australasian. My only contribution is to add that Australia was ...
jaystao's user avatar
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6 votes

Why weren't Australian Aborigines enslaved?

Putting aside the fact that Britain outlawed slavery in 1833, the conditions for "slavery" were not nearly as favorable in Australia as in the American south. Slavery made sense in the ...
Tom Au's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

This is the second time Australia has had 6 PMs in 10 years. What caused it the first time?

How did the PMs change so quickly? Let's take a look at why did the PMs leave the first time this happened: Edmund Barton (Jan 1901-Sept 1903): Retired from the Parliament and Government to become ...
NSNoob's user avatar
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6 votes

Australian Head of State

Australia calls Elisabeth II "Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth." This formula does not mention ...
o.m.'s user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

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

When I look at what the shipping miracles the Allies managed during WWII, such as the Persian Corridor, I'm inclined to say yes, they would have made it work somehow. Even had Operation FS been a ...
Schwern's user avatar
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5 votes
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Australian Immigration 1945-present

Post world war 2 immigration is considered the third of the major migration phases in Australia's post First Fleet in 1788, according to the Melbourne Immigration Museum We focus on four periods: ...
Marakai's user avatar
  • 2,476
5 votes
Accepted

Execution at the scene of the crime under Australian law

tl; dr Did this punishment ever apply to murderers of other ethnic origins in Australia? No. However applying different rules for the execution of Aboriginal people convicted of a capital ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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5 votes
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Did Indigenous Australians burn land to get Europeans to move on, and did Europeans follow suit?

Many pre-invasion aboriginal cultures managed land by burning. The effects of this were regular fuel reduction, open bush suitable for large game hunting, and the development of desired fire friendly ...
Samuel Russell's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

How did early colonial Australia deal with its gender imbalance?

In the eighteenth century, Australia was more of an open-air prison then a national society in its own right, and so there was no fundamental problem with this gender imbalance. Unfortunately I ...
Brian Z's user avatar
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