Australia Early History


The history of Australia began when man came to the Australian continent from the north more than 42,000 years ago (and even 68,000, according to some studies). However, its written history did not begin until Dutch explorers spotted it in the 17th century. Despite having been seen since the 16th century by Portuguese and Spanish sailors, who for strategic reasons had kept its discovery secret. However, they implied that the southern land was uninhabitable and therefore did not colonize it, thus leaving the way open for subsequent British expeditions. The interpretation of Australian history is still a matter of discussion today, particularly with regard to the treatment of Australian aborigines by European colonizers.

With regard to Australia, prehistory is understood to be the period from the immigration of the original residents to the first confirmed European sighting, in 1606, which can be included as part of its early history. Australian prehistory is considered to be a few thousand years longer than in other parts of the world because there are no records of human events on the continent prior to contact with Europeans. Recent studies have concluded that the first Europeans who sighted the island were the Spanish when they were sailing through the Pacific.

Helmets belonging to 16th century Spanish soldiers and mortars, which were used to make flour, have been found in Australia. The exact date of the first human settlements in Australia is still up for debate. However, the southern land is believed to have been inhabited by humans for between 42,000 and 48,000 years; at that time there was a period of massive ecological change believed to have been the result of human actions.

According to localcollegeexplorer, the earliest Australians were the ancestors of today’s Aboriginal Australians; they came across land bridges and short sea crossings from Southeast Asia. Most of these people were hunter-gatherers with a complex oral tradition and spiritual values based on the worship of the land and the belief in dreamtime. The islanders of the Torres Strait, ethnically Melanesian, from that time inhabited the islands of the Torres Strait and parts of the extreme north of Queensland; They have cultural practices that are different from those of other Australian Aboriginal groups.

Contact with Asians

For at least the last several centuries, Makassar (an Indonesian city, on the present island of Sulawesi) had been trading with the aborigines of the north coast, particularly with the Yolngu of Arnhem Land. In 1603, Father Matteo Ricci, an Italian Jesuit who spent a long time in China, made a map of the known world of the time. In the space where Australia would be located, he noted: No one has been to this southern land, therefore we know nothing about it. He also wrote Tierra del Fuego and Tierra de Loros in Chinese characters, thus suggesting that the Chinese knew or perhaps had even visited Australia.

European exploration

The earliest writings on the discovery of the Australian continent by European explorers date back to the early 17th century. The first European sighting of the continent was made in 1606 by the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, who sailed through the Gulf of Carpentaria in his ship Duyfken, sighting and landing on the west coast of the Cape York peninsula. However, some historians claim that the Spanish expedition of Pedro Fernández de Quirós sighted the Australian continent a few months earlier. In fact, the navigator Luis Váez de Torres belonging to the Quirós expedition, he was the first to map the strait that bears his name: Torres Strait. On the other hand, the name of the country and continent “Australia” comes from the place name “La Austrialia del Espíritu Santo” that Quirós gave to Isla Espíritu Santo, today part of Vanuatu. Other writers have argued that Portuguese browsers may have discovered Australia even earlier, in the 16th century.

The journalist Peter Trickett has recently written the book Beyond Capricorn, where he states that the Portuguese Cristovão de Mendonça arrived at Botany Bay in 1522, that is, 84 years before the Dutch and Spanish, and 250 years before the English. In this book there is a fragment of an exact map of part of the Australian coast, written in Portuguese, leaving no doubt that the Portuguese were the first to arrive in Australia. Other European travelers (predominantly Dutch, but also French and English) were supposed to have later reached the recently discovered land. By the early seventeenth century, the western and northern shores of what had been called New Holland had been fully charted and navigated by the Dutch in 1770, the Endeavor expedition under the command of British Royal Navy Lieutenant James Cook sailed and charted the eastern coast of Australia, landing on the mainland for the first time at Botany Bay. on April 29, 1770.

Cook then headed north and, before leaving, landed on Possession Island in the Torres Strait on August 22, 1770. There he formally claimed the east coast of Australia for the Kingdom of Great Britain and named it New South Wales (Australia). Since Cook’s discoveries made possible the first European settlement on the continent, he is often popularly thought of as the discoverer of the southern land, even though the actual discovery occurred more than 160 years before Cook’s voyage. On returning to England, the reports made during the expedition generated interest on the continent as it was considered as a solution to the problem of British penal overcrowding, aggravated by the loss of the American colonies. Accordingly, the 13 of maypole of 1787, they left Portsmouth eleven ships captained by Ar. Phillip to Botany Bay with about 1,500 people on board including sailors and officers, in addition to 772 cows. The fleet reached Botany Bay and, as the place was inhospitable, they moved to Port Jackson, the current site of Sydney. The captain became the first colonial governor and the landing date, January 26, 1788, is the first national day

.Australia Early History