Australia Old History

By | January 2, 2023

Australia is an independent nation in Australasia. With the capital city of Canberra, Australia 2020 population is estimated at 25,499,895 according to countryaah. Australia has been populated for about 50,000 years. In the 17th century, European explorers “discovered” the continent and in the late 18th century the British began to use it as a penal colony. Soon, voluntary immigrants from England and Ireland also came and the country developed rapidly thanks to the wool and mining industries. At the same time, immigration meant displacing the indigenous people, the Aborigines. In 1901, a federal state was formed, which became an autonomous member of the British Commonwealth. Australia was loyal to Britain in both World War I and World War II, but since then it has applied to the United States as a military partner.

  • Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Australia, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

Archaeological finds show that ancestors of today’s Aborigines came to Australia from Southeast Asia. They developed nomadic hunter cultures and spread across the continent. In the coastal areas, especially in the east, from the 11th century BC, there were more settled groups that fed on agriculture and fishing. For Australia political system, please check diseaseslearning.

Decades later, European colonizers arrived. The Spanish Torres for 1606 through the healthy north of the continent that got his name. The Dutchman Tasman “discovered” in 1642 the island in the south named after him. The mainland was explored in the 1770s by British explorer James Cook. His client, the British Crown, decided to use the country as a place of refuge for prisoners since the colonies in America became independent. Up to 1868, a total of about 160,000 prisoners were brought to Australia. At the same time, voluntary immigration was going on and in 1820 the free immigrants were more than the prisoners.

When New South Wales became the penal colony in 1788, several hundred thousand Aborigines lived in Australia. Ever into our time, however, the European-hated residents have cultivated the myth that the continent was uninhabited – terra nullius – when their ancestors arrived. Until 1921, the number of Aborigines dropped to about 60,000 due to massacres, illnesses and alcohol abuse. The Aborigines who remained were forced into the country and deprived of their cultural and economic base. Others were forced to live in social misery on the outskirts of white society. The residents of Tasmania were completely eradicated.

In the 1850s, the British colonies gained New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland autonomy with their own constitutions. Western Australia became self-governing in 1890. The colonies developed independently and partly in competition with each other. Among other things, there existed three different track widths on the railways and protection duties existed for a long time between the colonies.

1840–1890 rapid economic development occurred thanks to the wool and mining industry. The discovery of gold in New South Wales and Victoria in 1851 gave further impetus to immigration and development. Chinese came to the gold fields, Afghans joined and opened up the continent’s interior and Japanese became a leader in the mother-of-pearl industry. However, European immigrants still dominated completely. In ten years the population tripled and by the census of 1891 Australia had four million residents (the urinals were not counted). Melbourne developed into a financial center, while Sydney and Adelaide became industrial centers, as coal and iron ore could be mined nearby.

Falling wool prices led the colonies into economic depression in the 1890s. They were forced to demolish their customs walls and in 1901 they joined forces in a federal state, the Commonwealth of Australia, which declared itself independent. The federal state became an autonomous member of the British Commonwealth. In 1911 Canberra was named the capital. However, the states maintained extensive self-government.

In the years before the First World War, a modern party system emerged: the well-ordered were gathered in the Liberal Party, the workers of the Labor Party. The Liberals have traditionally retained British heritage, while the Labor Party has been more nationalistic and focused on Australian independence. Under the leadership of the Workers’ Party, however, Australia loyally entered the First World War on the British side. In Gallipoli, Turkey, the Australians suffered major losses in 1915.

During the interwar period, the Rural Party (later the National Party) was formed to safeguard the interests of farmers. A coalition between the party and the liberals led the country into World War II. Following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States became Australia’s ally after it became clear that the British could not provide enough support. The United States took over Britain’s role in Australia’s defense and in 1951 Australia, the United States and New Zealand formed the Anzus Pact for joint defense in the Pacific.



All forces leave Afghanistan

The last Australian combat units leave Afghanistan.

Free trade agreement with South Korea

Australia and South Korea sign a free trade agreement that deals with agricultural products and energy.


Vote on carbon tax

Parliament’s lower house votes to abolish the disputed carbon tax (see July 2012 and September 2013)

Indonesia calls it ambassador

Indonesia calls home its ambassador to Australia for “consultations” since media published information from Edward Snowden that Australian intelligence service must have intercepted President Yudhoyonos, his wife, Vice President and several Indonesian ministers’ phones.


Law on same-sex marriage is approved

Parliament in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) metropolitan area approves a law that makes same-sex marriage legal.

New South Wales state of emergency

New South Wales proclaims state of emergency because of the severe fires raging in the state. Firefighters are struggling to get the fires, which are the worst in years, under control. Hundreds of people have left their homes that have been destroyed by the fire.

Abbott in windy weather

Prime Minister Abbott is criticized in the media for having used taxpayers’ money during his time as opposition leader to pay trips to sports competitions in which he participated. Abbott defends himself by combining the contests with meetings with voter groups.

Bill Shorten is elected Labor leader

On October 13, Labor will elect Bill Shorten as the new party leader. For the first time, all party members are allowed to take part in the vote on who will become a new leader. Shorten has previously been Minister of Education.


Tony Abbott takes over as prime minister

Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott takes office as new prime minister for a bourgeois coalition government on September 18. Only one woman is part of his new government. He immediately begins to take steps to stop the many boat refugees and to recall the carbon tax imposed by the Labor government in July 2012.

Elections lead to a shift in power

Early results from the parliamentary elections on September 7 indicate that there will be a change of power. The coalition between the National Party and the Liberal Party has won well over half of the seats in the House of Representatives, while Labor has made one of its worst choices in a long time. Following the election, Kevin Rudd announces his resignation as Labor leader.

Opposition criticizes Labor

In its election campaign, the bourgeois opposition highlights Labour’s repeated problems with agreeing on who should lead the party. In addition, it promises to withdraw the unpopular carbon tax as well as the taxes in the mining industry.


Elections are announced

Prime Minister Rudd asks Australia’s Governor-General to dissolve Parliament and announce elections until September 7. The election campaign starts shortly thereafter. The economy, but also the climate and asylum policy, are expected to be major election issues.


Assange creates party

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange launches a new party, WikiLeaks Party (WLP), and says he plans to run for office in the Senate election this fall despite being hidden at Ecuador’s Embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden where he is accused of sexual offenses. According to Assange, WLP’s ambition is to place Australia’s foremost investigative journalists in the Senate where they will monitor the government’s work and contribute to reviewing the decision-making processes.

Asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea

Later that month, Rudd and Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill agreed that paperless boat refugees traveling to Australian territory should not be able to stay there and gain refugee status. Instead, they should be shipped directly to Papua New Guinea and apply for asylum there. The agreement is criticized by human rights advocates as well as by Papuan officials with refugee issues at their table. A similar agreement is concluded a week later with the island nation Nauru.

Plans for regional meeting

At a meeting in Bogor, Indonesia, Prime Minister Rudd and Indonesian President Yudhoyono agree that a regional meeting will be held to try to curb the growing flow of boat refugees from, for example, South Asia and Afghanistan via Indonesia to the Australian Christmas Island. Yudhoyono emphasizes the importance of countries of origin, transit and recipients having to attend the meeting.

Increased voter support for Labor

Opinion polls show that Labour’s change of leadership has led the party’s voter support to increase by 4 percent. It is now fairly even between the Liberals and Labor in the polls, which also shows that significantly more voters would prefer Rudd as prime minister over the Liberals’ Abbott.

Rudd’s new government is presented

Prime Minister Rudd presents his new government. The ministers who stood next to Gillard leave their posts and are replaced by politicians loyal to Rudd. No changes are made to several of the heaviest ministerial posts (defense, foreign and domestic). The new government has a record number of female ministers.


Rudd wins over Gillard

Prime Minister Gillard decides that a vote on the party leader post should be held within Labor. She makes the decision since it turned out that Rudd’s supporters sent around a call among the party members in an attempt to establish a party leader election and thus rid Gillard. She loses the vote to Rudd with the numbers 45 to 57. At the same time, Gillard also leaves the post of prime minister and Rudd is installed as head of government the following day, June 27.


government reshuffle

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd does not want to stand and challenge Gillard in a vote on who will lead Labor after Gillard is questioned as Labor leader. Rudd believes that he does not have enough support within the party. Gillard continues as party leader and conducts a government reform where several ministers who have given his support to Rudd are forced to leave their posts.

Formal apology for adoption team

The government makes a formal apology to the people affected by forced adoptions in accordance with the adoption law that prevailed in the country from the 1950s until 1970.


Gillard announces parliamentary elections

Prime Minister Gillard calls for parliamentary elections in September.

Severe floods

Severe floods hit Queensland and New South Wales. Thousands of people must be evacuated. Four people are reported dead.

Australia Old History