Prejudice Throughout Australian History

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Prejudice Throughout Australian History Although Australia prides itself on being a multicultural and tolerant community we are, to some extent, a prejudiced society. From the Irish in the convict era, to the Germans during World War I and II and Asians today we have a history of discriminating against minority groups.

Irish Immigrants The first Irish immigrants to arrive in Australia were convicts who landed in 1791. They tended to band together as they shared language, political convictions and religion. To fit into society they kept the fact that they were Catholics secret and gave up their Gaelic language. They were victims of prejudice because of their religion, their pride and pure ignorance.

Irish Pride The Irish are well known for their pride. Many refused to submit to their gaolers, the government and later their bosses. Ireland at this time was under an oppressive rule by the British and many of the convicts arriving were political prisoners or activists against their rulers.

They used a terrorism campaign against the British and as a result it was thought that the Irish could not be trusted. Their national pride lead to the uprising against British rule in Castle Hill near Sydney in 1804. After this uprising many of the Irish convicts? rights restricted and efforts were made to Anglicise them. Speaking in Gaelic was banned as the British could not understand it and were fearful of their "secret" language. These oppressive steps fuelled their pride even more. This was a major cause of hostilities between the Irish and the British and continued until British rule of Australia ceased.

Religion The Irish were Catholics entering a predominantly Protestant society. They were thought to give allegiance to the Pope over the King or Australia and as a result they were persecuted. Masses had to...