How was race an enduring theme in 18th century australian politics?

Essay by ellieeeeeepCollege, UndergraduateB, May 2012

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STUDENT 11499120 STUDENT 11499120

How was race significant as an enduring theme in 19th century Australian politics?

In the 19th century, Australian politics were governed based on race and status. Race will always be an enduring theme in politics, for no matter what colour, age or gender someone is, they will often fight for the right to govern themselves. The 19th century in Australia was a 100 years of cruelty, racism, intolerance and prejudices. This essay will examine the British politics of Australia, and their relations with the Chinese, Irish and Aborigines.

From the very first 'official' time Australia was discovered by the English, the native Aborigines were ostracised through laws and regulations. In 1770, James Cook sailed into the Eastern Coast of Australia, named it New South Wales and claimed possession in the name of the English monarch (Macintyre, 2001, p.1). From that day, until 1901, Australia was officially seen as British territory.

The natives, who had been living there for at least 50,000 years prior to this 'discovery', were viewed as savages. King O'Malley, an Australian politician, informed the House of Representatives that 'An Aborigine is not as intelligent as a Maori. There is no scientific evidence that he is a human being at all' (Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, House of Representatives, 12 September 1901, Vol. 4 Excerpts.) O'Malley's view was one that was commonly shared amongst the British, and demonstrates that 100 years after the British arrived, and they were still concerned whether Aborigines were human or not. This barbaric judgement confirms that Aborigines were still a concern to the British, and were definitely a continuing worry to the ruling of the country. Another reason why the British disregarded the Aborigines could be attributed to John Locke, and his view on obtaining land. Locke maintained that...