A history of Australia is a book written by Mark Peel and Christina Twomey (2011) giving a clear chronological narrative of Australia both politically, culturally, and socially. It starts from the first explorers to present-day Australia. Each and every chapter in this book gives a detailed narration of the event as they happened.
The first chapter states that the first people to live in Australia came to explore the waterways passing through the inlets of the islands that lay across the Timor trough (Peel and Twomey, 2011, p. 4). They settled around here, later spreading out in the northern savannah, the western and eastern coast forests. They used fire to hunt, clear and improve their lands. The first languages spoken were bilingual or multilingual. They fed on fruits, roots, tubers, vegetables and dried meat. They upheld their culture and traditions. In Chapter 2, the Great South Lands are founded in the 1500-1800 (Peel and Twomey, 2011, p. 19). They were discovered through exploration. Explores and fleets would pass on their way to Africa or Asia and would stumble on the islands by mistake then they would settle there. The men who occupied the New South Wales, now an English colony, were men from Europe, West Indies who had spent time in Africa doing imperial works.
Chapter three talks about the Britains prison from 1788-1802. The arrival of the convicts and the settlers who found the indigenous people. At the time, David Collins becomes the Lieutenant-Governor but left in 1791 after a conflict with Philip who took over (Peel and Twomey, 2011, p. 27).The convicts were the largest group being brought in fleets, unlike settlers who came to seek fortune and settle. The convict system mixed together various forms of servitude with convicts laboring in public works like road and building constructions. However, in Chapter 4, there were the free and the unfree people with reforms underway for New South Wales (Peel and Twomey, 2011, p.39). This era was marked by hostility within clans and community. Later, there was a division with many escapees and a new colony in Van Diemens Land. But, the New South Wales Act was made in 1823 which saw the land gain a supreme court under the leadership of Governor Brisbane.
Chapter 5 reflects on how the new Australias continued to grow by gaining other colonies from 1829- 49. The first one being edged in 1825 and then venturing into the unsettled lands (Peel and Twomey, 2011, p.49). They would move ahead of official settlement and simply take the land. The creation of new colonies and settlers still coming caused a formation of new religions and languages through a mix of Irish. The settlers also wanted to sub line the aboriginal into the created an aboriginal reserve.
Chapter 6 describes the golden lands that changed the society that hosted them. The Victoria gold territory was established (Peel and Twomey, 2011, p.84). Many people came looking for gold, digging or policing the diggers. But, this gold could be the source of many greedy confrontations with settlers fighting to have the gold sites. The Gold Fields Commission, later abolish the licenses due to the unending conflicts creating miners right.
Chapter 7 discusses the way Australia was fighting to be at the forefront of the race in 1868-88. They sold the lands policies portraying Australia as a land of promise to migrants. People wanted an Anglo-Saxon that was powerful and that would sustain them. In 1888, as New South Wales celebrated their century, the Australians were facing a new world of opportunities. A truly new world emerges in chapter 8, there is the rise of the labor politics and the non-labor one (Peel and Twomey, 2011, p.122). The ratification of the constitution was voted by eighty percent which saw the federation of colonies which led to the formation of a new Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.
Peel, M. and Twomey, C. (2011). A history of Australia. Hound mills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
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