Yagan's War Dayna Gallet


Yagan's War, which was part of The Australian Frontier Wars, was not a revolution because although it strived for and established obvious political and social change, economic change was not focused on at all.

This picture represents British people setting on Australian territory


This picture depicts the Australian Frontier Wars

The Australian Frontier Wars took place from 1788-1934. WOAH!! A SPAN OF 146 YEARS? What made people fight for that long? That would be because British people set onto Australia and claimed the land. This was a problem because the Native, indigenous Australian (Aborigine) people were kicked off and all of their land and culture was basically taken away from them. According to Wikipedia, "Under the European legal doctrine of terra nullius, Indigenous Australians were not recognised as having property rights and territory could be acquired through 'original occupation' rather than conquest or consent" ("Australian Frontier Wars"). This gave reason to go into war for 146 years.

Yagan's war

The indigenous Nyoongar people

This all brings us to Yagan's war. Within that span of 146 years of the Australian Frontier Wars, Yagan's War spanned from 1830-1833. Yagan was a Nyoongar warrior, kind of the leader of the Nyoongar people. These people had their own set of customs and traditions. They lived in what is modern-day Perth; western Australia. That is, until, the British people set foot on their land.

Below is a video which greatly reviews the background of what the British people did and the motives of Yagan.


depiction of downright horrible treatment of indigenous Australians

To view the political change from Yagan's War, it is important to view the treatment of the Aboriginal ( Nyoongar) people.

Going back to the fact of what started these wars, "Under the European legal doctrine of terra nullius, Indigenous Australians were not recognised as having property rights and territory could be acquired through 'original occupation' rather than conquest or consent" ("Australian Frontier Wars").

This is a political cartoon of what a British explorer thought of with knowledge from the terra nullius

If all of these laws from Europe were denoting the rights of Indigenous Australians, then it gave a big political reason to the rebellion.

Moving more towards modern day treatment of these people an article noted,"In the 1940s and 1950s the Australian Government policy on Aboriginal people changed to one of assimilation.This meant that the Indigenous people were told to live as the non-Indigenous population lived. This did not work because Aboriginal people did not want to lose their traditional culture" ("Treatment").

The effects of the wars took great impact on the Aboriginal people decades later. The Australian Government basically told Aboriginal people stop living how they are used to. This is inhumane and shows the great effect from the war because what the British people did to them is still carried on through their own government.


Regarding the social change in behavior and/or relations, it is noted that there were some between the indigenous Australians and the British people.

Social change is defined as a considerable, lasting change in the way a society behaves and the norms and values to which the society adheres.

It is safe to say that the relations between the Australians and British people tremendously were altered over the years during the war. In the beginning it was described as, "Relations between them were generally good" ("Australian Fronteir Wars"). This was until, "In the Vasse region relations between the white settlers and the native Wardandi people were strained to the point of violence, resulting in several Aboriginal deaths" ("Australian Frontier Wars").

Also, noted from the video about Yagan above, the speaker talked about Yagan's particular reasoning for fighting back. It goes on to state how after the British people took all of their land, the Natives only saw it as fair to take and use the strange birds the brought. This was, although, theft to the white men. In it he explains, "... the white man took it on themselves to punish any Native who stole from them..." (1:40). It all comes down to custom and culture. The speaker declares, "Nyoongar's law states that if one of their own was killed, they can kill the man who did it..." (1:47).

This picture depicts the Australian Frontier Wars

Going on, this shows the social change within these two groups of people. All of that led to war and changed the way a society behaves as well as the differences of treatment between the indigenous Australians and the British people.


There was no change in economics after these wars. This was not about jobs or money or any of that.


In conclusion, Yagan's war was not a revolution. It made clear and substantial changes in both political and social views but did not have to do with economics. Yagan's war changed the way indigenous Australians were treated and the social behaviors and societies between the British people and the Nyoongars.

Australian Frontier Wars

works cited

"Australian Frontier Wars." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Feb. 2017. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

"The Australian Frontier Wars." Thrivalinternational. N.p., 13 June 2014. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

"Treatment of Aborigines in Australia." Treatment of Indigenous People in Australia. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

"Yagan: An Aboriginal Resistance Hero." Green Left Weekly. N.p., 05 Sept. 2016. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

"Yagan." YouTube. YouTube, 26 Oct. 2016. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

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