Monday, February 28, 2011

Connections in History

There are many different stages societies of people undergo in order to form a country. One way is by breaking off of another nation. Imperialism became popular in Europe during the 19th century, however colonizing areas for resources and power was popular at a much earlier date. The formation and history of the three countries, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States are very similar in origin.

The Colonies:

Great Britain established many colonies in its different spheres of influence all over the world. Britain created its first colony in the Americas in 1607, claimed Australia in 1770, and gained control of New Zealand in 1840. Great Britain forced its government on these territories, forcing them to accept British rule.


After enough provoking, British rule proved to be too much for the colonies (taxation, no representation in the government, etc.). The American Revolutionary war broke out in 1775. The revolt ended successfully for the new nation, the United States, as it ended in 1783. The U.S. had gained its independence and began working on creating equal rights for its citizens through a democratic government system. Britain had its eyes set on Australia for its new penal colony after it could not send its convicts to the U.S. anymore. Many explorers had been to Australia in the 16oos, but “…it was only after the loss of the North American penal colonies, that the British started sending the first significant numbers of White settlers to [Australia]” (white-history 1). Australia did not fight Great Britain’s rule though. By 1901 the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Universal adult suffrage was given to the citizens of Australia under the new democratic government in 1908 (britishempire 1). However the Aborigines were not given the right to vote until 1962 and they were not allowed to lay claim to their ancestral lands until the Aboriginal Land Rights Act was passed in 1976. The Australian parliament apologized for their past wrongs against the Aboriginal people in 2008. New Zealand’s reactions to British rule on the other hand were closer to the U.S.’s response than that of Australia. After Captain James Cook began exploring New Zealand in 1769 he found that the Maori were “intelligent and adaptable, in spite of their inter-tribal wars,” and suggested that Britain should create a settlement in New Zealand (history-nz 1). Cook’s advice was not taken by Great Britain, but many European and American whalers came to the land. Tribal wars erupted along with European disease spread through the fisherman and missionaries passing through. Britain soon stepped into the equation, creating the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. This gave Britain possession of Maori lands in exchange for protection. Land wars developed in 1860 between the Maori and the British settlers and continued for decade. New Zealand eventually became a dominion (self-governing community) within the British Empire in 1907. Finally New Zealand gained their independence in 1947. The United States and New Zealand revolted from Britain’s rule, but Australia did not.

Gold Rush:

Out of these three countries, The U.S. started off the gold rush in 1828 in Dahlonega, Georgia. Active gold mining continued in various locations for the next 20 years, and then the California Gold Rush in 1848 really got things moving. Gold mining continued in the United States as people tried to “strike it rich” in Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, California, Washington, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, and Colorado. The U.S. gold rush lasted until 1860. The first gold discovery in Australia was in 1851 in Victoria. Many different locations in Victoria would find a person rich from 1851 until1860. New Zealand picked up where the U.S. and Australia left off. In 1861 on the South Island Victorian minors who had exhausted the mines in Australia rushed the Otago goldfield at Tuapeka. There was another rush on the South Island in 1864. In 1867 the goldfield at Thames on the North Island was opened for the rush of miners. The rush ended in New Zealand in 1872 (kaelewis 1).

1 comment:

  1. Great Blog! You made excellent comparisons and pointed out very interesting examples of common events that have affected both countries. Your point about Britain not sending significant numbers of white settlers to Australia until after losing the US was a great one!