Tatel, Corey

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the natives in Australia had their resources and culture torn apart by English colonization. In 1768, James Cook discovered Australia. Referring to it as “no man’s land,” he claimed it for England and named it South Wales. Although the land was not claimed by another colonial power, the natives, called Aborigines, had long established a nomadic society. However, English colonization led to the disappearance of Aborigine culture and multiple aspects of social change.

The English brought many people over in order to colonize Australia and exploit its resources. When they came, they brought over alcohol and alcohol was exposed to the Aborigines for the first time. It turned out that the Aborigines were particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol because their genetic make up was different than the Europeans’ genetic make up. Many Aborigines became addicted to alcohol and found themselves suffering from alcoholism. The Aborigines had never even been exposed to the substance before, but English colonization of Australia led to alcohol becoming the norm and even a drinking culture. This is a social change because it completely changed the society from what it was previously. The society went from nomads who worked hard to find their resources to alcoholics with a high crimes rate. This change was a direct result of British colonization.

Another social change in Australia that resulted from colonization was the decline of the importance of family. In the early twentieth century, nearly 100,000 Aborigine children were taken from their homes and brought to England to be educated in English schools. The English did this because alcoholism became a huge problem and they thought it would be better for the children not to be around the altered culture. The children who were brought to England became known as “the lost generation.” This was a huge social change because family was previously an important aspect of Aborigine culture. Now, because of colonization, families were literally separated, so family obviously played a much smaller role in society.

Captain Cook making astronomical observations at Tahiti

 

Resources:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/06/aboriginal-australians/finkel-text http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/kenanderson/histemp/cookandaustralia.html http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/european-discovery-and-colonisation

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