(Did you know that Cate Blanchet and Mel Gibson are Australians?)
In 1642, Abel Tasman discovered an island off the Southern coast of Australia; it called it Tasmania. In 1770, James Cook took possession of the west coast of Australia in the name of the British Crown. Really! Well, I can safely say that in 1998, I discovered France and the Riviera, rose my flag and took possession of them. Quelle histoire!
The truth is;
70.000 years ago, African explorers settled in Australia. So did later, Chinese, Indians, and South Americans from Peru and Easter Island, as reflected by DNA studies. While Africans, Arabs, and
Chinese were scouting the world, Europeans were at regressive tribal levels, suffering from utter poverty, fighting 100-year wars, and completely relegated, during the Dark Ages, to the back of the scientific wagon!
Then suddenly, about 500 short years ago, they learned about navigation, grew out of ignorance, and decided to grow out of poverty. The fastest way to do it is by dispossessing everyone else by force. England invaded or occupied every country on Earth, except 22. One of them was Australia.
History tells that Australia was inhabited by the Maori. Not true. Australia (Tierra Australis = Southern Land), was inhabited by landowners, by whatever name they called themselves. When the Europeans arrived, the landowners were asked about their nationality. They only saw themselves as being Maori, that is Normal. The Maoris (Normals) were not homogeneous. They were of many different origins. Some were white with green eyes.
In 1788, after losing its penal colonies, Georgia and Maryland, in the Americas, England started sending its prisoners to Australia.
In 1851, gold was discovered in Australia. As it happened in the Americas, the ensuing gold rush was the beginning of the end for the Aborigines. They were dispossessed, ostracized, jailed, and killed. Numbered at one million in the 1700s, their total number went as low as 50,000 in the 20th century. Today census indicates that there are 550.000 Maori in a population of 23 million Australians, mostly of European origin. It is of note that from 1901 to 1978, non-white immigration was forbidden in Australia (White-Only Policy).
Today’s Australia is a vast and rich country, 85% the size of the US, with only a population of 23 million (15 times smaller than the US). 78% of the population live on 1% of the coastal land. The GDP is about $1.3 trillion and is growing at 2.3% per annum. Unemployment is 5.5%. GINI is around 30.
The majority is white, European, and Christian. The literacy rate is 99%. Life expectancy at birth is 82 years.
Australia, independent since 1901, is a member of the British Commonwealth, headed by a Prime Minister. It is divided in 6 states run by an elected governor.
The country is a strong Pacific ally of the Western bloc. It fought along the Allied forces during WWI and WWII. It has grown closer to the United States during the Cold War. American cultural influence is grand, mostly in the cities.
(Odler Robert Jeanlouie, Wednesday, October 3, 2018, Sydney, Capital of New South Wales.)
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