The Australian Frontier Wars Ethan Leyden

Background: The Australian Frontier Wars lasted from From January 26, 1788 through 1934, 146 years. The accepted amount of casualties were 20,000 indigenous people and 2,500 frontiers (Europeans). Diseases such as small-pox, tuberculosis, measles, and the common flu wiped the number of indigenous people in Sydney, New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria (50% or more). In 1770, James Cook landed at Botany Bay where he encountered hostile natives, Tharawal men. Cook was forced to fire into the group and left leaving and arriving at a new part of Australia. In 1786, Britain wanted to establish Australia as a prison colony due to a lack of people inhabiting the island. This was due to Europerans believing that indigenous people not possessing any property rights. This was the root of all conflicts and the lasting effect on the aboriginal peoples were infertility, loss of hunting ground, disease, and starvation.

Was it a Revolution? The Australian Front Wars were not a revolution, for the British came to colonize and conquer Australia while the aboriginal people were defending the land they had already owned. A Revolution consists of political, social, and economic factors, whereas in these series of battles, contained social and political conflicts but lacked an economic factor. This was due to the intention of Britain, wanting a prison colony and not seeking the land for any economic gain. The aboriginal people didn't have an economic system and were simply in the conflict to defend everything they owned. If anything, the wars could almost be classified as a genocide because the Europeans plotted, dehumanized, and exterminated the aboriginal people and forced the survivors to live in horrid conditions.

Political: The intent of the British, politically, was to conquer and colonize Australia by exterminating the already existing inhabitants. This was to create a prison colony away from the land that Britain already owned. Additionally, the aboriginal people were only involved because they were under attack and threatened for conquer if they didn't defend themselves, they were forced into the public affair. The first massacre occurred at Risdon Cave in the year 1804. The British approached the west to massacre the Gundungurra and to the south-east to massacre the Dharawal. They then forced the women and children of these aboriginal tribes to jump off the cliffs and into the cataract Gorge. Furthermore, another instance is at Van Diemen's Island other wise known as the Black Wars. The aboriginal people living in Van Diemen (present-day Tasmania) were peaceful for decades, however they plotted a resistance killing 50 British men. However, this was not a massacre. The current Governor Franklin moved the aboriginal people off their reservation onto Flinders Island. The conditions on this island deteriorated and caused many of the aboriginal people to die from malnutrition and disease. Another massacre, among over 50, was at Queensland over aboriginal people being pushed off their hunting grounds. Frederick Wheeler (Head of the Native Police in this county) was known for violent regressions and someone warned the aboriginal people that he was going to invade. This made the aboriginal people hide in Goulbolba hill, however they were discovered and 300 were killed. They were herded and shot and drowned by force.

cSocial: The largest impact, socially, was on the aboriginal people who lives were destroyed by disease, massacres, and loss of land. In the Northern Territories, one massacre killed 31 aboriginal people and the British colonized it thereafter. Queensland was occupied due to the massacres by Native Police which include, Battle Mountain, Cape Bedford, and Battle Camp. The means of occupation was caused by force or by poison. In Western Austrailia, the settlers forced aborigianl people off of their own sacred sites, had conflicts with miners, and were forced off their hunting grounds. Lastly, in Northern Austrailia, due to Tiwi people attacks to try and resist occupation, the British massacred their people and set up Cobourg Peninsula, Fort Victoria, and Fort Wellington which were all later abandoned. All conflict ended with the flee and mass murder of the abroginal people, altering the entire existence of these people. This significantly declined the amount of natives even in existence current-day.

Fleeing Aborigine

Economic: The lack of economic factors is the reason why this was not a revolution for the aboriginal people, nor was it for the British. The conflict was mainly around land and the British could easily conquer due to the primitive technology that the natives had. Economically, the British lost money because they lost men and spent money for supplies for wars that lasted way longer than it should have. The aboriginal people were exterminated along with all of their possessions, which in turn destroyed their antiquated economy.

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Ethan Leyden
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