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History >> Geography >> Oceania >> Australia

Australia

Timeline and History Overview

Australia Timeline


Aborigine

Thousands of years before the arrival of the British, Australia was settled by the indigenous people of Australia called the Aborigines. This timeline begins when the Europeans first arrived.

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Brief Overview of the History of Australia

Australia was first inhabited perhaps 40,000 years ago by aboriginal peoples. During the Age of Exploration, the land was discovered and mapped by many Europeans including the Spanish, Dutch and English. However, Australia wasn't really explored until 1770 when Captain James Cook explored the east coast and claimed it for Great Britain. He named it New South Wales.


Mountains in Australia

The first colony was established at Sydney by Captain Arthur Phillip on January 26, 1788. It was initially considered a penal colony. This was because many of the first settlers were criminals. Britain would sometimes send their criminals to the penal colony rather than jail. Oftentimes, the crimes that people committed were small or even made up to get rid of unwanted citizens. Slowly, more and more of the settlers were not convicts. Sometimes you will still hear people refer to Australia as being started by a penal colony.

Six colonies were formed in Australia: New South Wales, 1788; Tasmania, 1825; Western Australia, 1829; South Australia, 1836; Victoria, 1851; and Queensland, 1859. These same colonies later became the states of the Australian Commonwealth.

On January 1, 1901 the British Government passed an act to create the Commonwealth of Australia. In 1911, the Northern Territory became part of the Commonwealth.

The first federal Parliament was opened at Melbourne in May 1901 by the Duke of York. Later, in 1927, the center of government and parliament moved to the city of Canberra. Australia took part in both World War I and World War II allied with Great Britain and the United States.

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History >> Geography >> Oceania >> Australia





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