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The Effects Of Colonization Of Australia On Aboriginals

The effects of the colonization of Australia on the Aboriginals affected them for years to come. The first known European to settle in Australia was a Dutchman by the name of Willem Janszoon in 1606. Australia was first known by other European followers as New Holland. Lieutenant James Cook claimed the east coast of Australia in 1770. This had some disastrous effects on the Aboriginals and inflicted them with violence and disease for many years to come.


Violence was a key problem at this period of time and shooting and spearings were common. Diseases such as measles, small pox and influenza, spread like wildfire. Many historians believe that disease was what inflicted the most damage on the Aborigines.  There were also several battles and wars fought during this period of time. Pemulwuy's War (1795–1802), Tedbury's War (1808–1809) and the Nepean War (1814–1816). While some battles took place, most of they used guerrilla warfare tactics.

A small pox epidemic took over Sydney in 1789. Some believe that this epidemic was caused by British marines when they ran out of ammunition, but no one really knows for sure how it happened. Small pox took over again in 1829-1830 killing off more than 40 to 60 percent of the Aboriginal population. At this point it had spread way beyond the original European settlement.

The aborigines became violent in an effort to protect their land from the European settlers. When the British arrived, nearly 60 aborigines were killed when they approached Risdon Cove. By the 1830’s the Aboriginal population went from thousands down to hundreds once the British had settled on their land. Nearly thirty aborigines were killed in 1838 as a result of an attack on Myall Creek.  While advocators such as John Polding and Noel Pearson attempted to fight for the rights of the aborigines, it fell on deaf ears as violence and disease continued to take over the Aboriginals of Australia.

Campaigns for their rights became prominent in early 20th century.  Advocators fought for better treatment, pay, and conditions for the Aboriginals. While this was an extremely trying time for the Aboriginals, they were extremely grateful for the few that were in fact fighting for their rights. They were only trying to protect their land and keep themselves free from invasion. Their treatment was unfair and severely unjust. This was a sad time in American history.