The History of Australia and New Zealand

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The History of Australia and New Zealand

The history of Australia

The first recorded sighting of Australia by Europeans was in 1606, when the Dutch ship Duyfken („little dove“) under the command of Willem Jansz, sighted the western coast of Cape York. The captain wasn´t very surprised with his „discovery“ and wrote in his log-book: „There is nothing special…“. After that he left Australia. In the time the spanish ship of Luis Vaez de Torres sailed north of Cape York and throught the Torres Strait, thus proving that New Guinea was separate from any southern continent. In 1616 Dirk Hartog discovered an inscribed pewter plate in western Australia. The Dutchmen after the Jansz report were not contend and wanted to continue their succesfull colonisation of the East (India, Java, Ceylon…). In 1642 their send a great voyager from the Netherland – Abel Tasman. He discovered the island, which he called Van Diemen´s Land. Today it is called Tasmania. Tasman was looking for gold, silver and also oriental spices in the north of Australia, but he like Jansz found nothing. Therefore in the 17th century the Europe wasn´t very intrested on colonisation of Australia. In 1770 by chance Captain James Cook from England landed in the east of Australia. He called that land by law of his king George III. New South Wales. This part of Australia is most beautiful (Cook also discovered by chance The Big Wave Rock) and so captain Cook in England claimed Australia as the British colony. Joseph Banks a member of the Royal British Academy, suggested to occupate Australia by the british conviets. The situation was complicated by Declaration of Independence in USA. Great Britain can´t more use the territory in America, so it choose a new one, an Australia. The first immigration was on May 13, 1787, the „First Fleet“ set out from England on the way to Australia having on board 1,030 people of whom 700 were conviets. The commander of this fleet – Arthur Philip – landed in Botany Bay /discovered by Cook´s scientists/ and became the first governor of this colony. Well, governor Philip was in first years in Australia very schocked, when he offen was meeting armed aborigines, when he found out, the the East beach isn´t shielded before strong ocean wind and there was not a drinkwater. Fortunetly, later he reconsidered with his crew the place 12 miles further along the beach and found there a bay, which today is called Sydney like the city lying there. It was on January 26, 1788 and nowday the Australians celebrate this date.

For about 40 years the region around Sydney and the Tasmania Island were the only parts of Australia, which were colonized. On the fifth continent landed about 160 000 conviets. The convict systém lasted till 1866, when it was officially abolished in the last colony in Australia – in western Australia.In London the Royal Family awaited that, the New South Wales will be a strong, rich and independet /in economy/ colony. Well, it wasn´t so easy and till 1790 the agriculture in Australia had to be supported from London. After 1790 came the first positive results and to Australia were coming more and more people from the whole world.
When farmer Edward Hargraves in 1851 found the first peace of gold in Bathurst near Sydney, the gold rush in Australia very quickly started. The other deposits of gold were found in Ballart and Bendigo, in the state of Victoria and later in 1890s in Coolgardie and Karlgoorlie in Western Australia. This foundations contributed to the exploration as well as to the economic and constitutional growth of Australia. So did the pioneer work of the „overlands“ – the Australian drivers in the 19th century who opened up new territory by driving their cattle throuth remote areas to new stations, or to market, before the establishment of regular stock routes.
The idea of independence appeared as early as in the first half of the 19th century. Things of common interest to the colonies were discussed irregulary and it was not until 1891 that the proposition of a federal constitution was made. This document led the British Parliament to agree with the constitutional law and on September 17, 1900, Queen Victoria proclaimed the Commonwealth of Australia to be recognized from January 1, 1901.
One of the first problems solved by the Federal Parliament was its own seat – according to the constitution it was Melbourne, but in 1911 a place for a new seat was chosen and in 1927 the Parliament started to work in Canberra. Another important law – the Immigration Restriction Act (1901) – proclaimed the White Australia Immigration Policy and every immigrant had to prove knowledge of some European language in a written test. It was guilty more as 50 years, but nowdays, when Australia is in contact also with well-developed Asian countries, is the written test no more required. The role of the Federal Parliament increased.
Australia played an important role in bolt World Wars. After World War I. Australia had strongly devolved economy, mainly its industry, on the other hand it owned much money, mainly to Britain.

The economic crisis in the 1930s lasted relatively shortly.In World War II. Australian troops fought e. g. in the Near East. The japan planes bombed the town Darwin and they get near to Sydney. In this war Australia lose 27,000 soldiers. In 1951 Australia therefore signed the Pacific Security Treaty called also ANZUS. This fact caused, that Australia became more and more independet from the Commonwealth and orientated to USA, Asia and later to the EC. Australia embarked on a fresh period of expansion, wiht new mineral finds playing a large part in economic growth. In 1993 the Federal Parliament in Australia abolished the colonisation document (doctrine) – Terra Nullius Doktrin and so the aborigines in Australia became the same law as other Australians.

Political system of Australia

Australia is an independent sovereign nation within the Commonwealth, retaining the British monarch as head of state and represented by a governor general. As in the British system, the executive, comprising of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, is drawn from the Federal Parliament. The Parliament consists of two chambers: an elected Senate of 76 members (12 for each of the six states, two for the Australian Capital Territory, and two for the Northern Territory) and a House of Representatives of 148 members, elected by universal adult suffrage. Senators serve for six years, and members of the House for three years. Voting is compulsory: The Senate is elected by proportional representation, but the House of Representatives is elected as single-member constituencies with preferential voting. Each state has its own constitution, governor (the monarch´s representative), executive (drawn from the parliament), and legislative and judicial systém. Each territory has its own legislative assembly.

The states and territories Capital
New South Wales
South Australia
Western Australia
Northern Territory
Australian Capital Territory Sydney

The main political parties are The Liberal Party, the National Party (normally in coalition), the Australian Labour Party and the Australian Democrats. The last relics of UK legislative control over Australia were removed in 1986.

The history of New Zealand

Before annexation, the British, the Americans and the French were active in various trades around New Zealand. Their whalers, traders and sealers were working around the New Zealand coastline.

Deep-sea whaling commenced during the years 1791-2, the first arrival being the whaler, „William and Ann“. Shortly later, in 1792, the whaler „Britannia“ began operating in Dusky Sound (South Island).
From 1797 American whalers arrived, and during the 1830s the French whaling ships turned up in significant numbers. Seals were hunted, and their skins taken for the Chinese market. The flax trade grew.
Tensions arose sometimes. The Ngati Tama and Ngati Mutunga tribes allegedly killed the crew of the French whaling ship „Jean Bart“. In retaliation, the French corvette „l´Heroine“ under the command of J.-B- Thomas Médée Cécille, burnt a village and reportedly took a captive back to France.
The missionaries were also present at this time, and before 1840 there were three groups: the Anglicans, represented by the Church Missionary Society, the Wesleyans and the Roman Catholics. The French Bishop Jean Baptiste Francois Pompallier, set up the first Roman Catholic Marist mission in Hokianga in 1838.
The Bay of Islands became the stopover for traders and whalers, and the shantytown of Kororareka grew as a result. On route for Dusky Sound, in the south, the whalers called in at Kororareka for provisions, and also for women, in the numerous brothels which had sprung up. New Zealand became a country without law and order, left to its own devices – vices. In view of the degrading situation, 13 Bay of Island and Hokianga chiefs, backed by the Church Missionary Society, requested Britain to intervene, in 1831. At first Great Britain was hesitant to act, but was prematurely pushed to a decision by the actions of „The New Zealand Company“, coupled with rumours of French plans for their own colonisation of New Zealand. The French navy had been exploring New Zealand, showing the flag in support of its whaling fleet and of its nationals, of whom Bishop Pompallier.
Adding to the general confusion, a Baron Charles Philippe Hippolyte de Thierry whose family had fled from France to Great Britain at the time of the French Revolution, met with the missionary Thomas Kendall, in Cambridge in 1820. De Thierry arranged with Kendall for the purchase the land in New Zealand. The deed of sale indicates that Kendall bought 40,000 acres of land in the Hokianga area on behalf of de Thierry, for the price of 36 axes. The land was bought from the chiefs Muriwai Patoune and Tamati Waka Nene.

It became debatable later on as to whether the Maoris truly understood the concept of the document they were signing.
De Thierry had plans for the systematic colonisation of New Zealand, similar to those ideas of Edward Gibbon Wakefield. It was not until 1837, 15 years later, that de Thierry arrived in New Zealand to claim his land. During this long lapse of time the Maori chiefs from Hokianga had sold portions of de Thierry´s land to other Europeans, who settled the land and thus brought economic opportunities to the local people. The Maoris were also aware by this time that their land was of more value than 36 axes.
Captain Stewart, of the merchant ship „Elizabeth“, had arranged the transport of Te Rauparaha, chief of the Ngati Toa tribe, to the South Island in 1830, in return for a load of flax. From the South Island, Te Raparaha was then able to lead surprise raids against the Ngati Tahu tribe at Akaroa. Stewart also assisted in transporting the Ngati Tahu Chief Tamaiharanui to Kapiti Island, where he was subsequently tortured and killed by the Ngati Toa. (Because of this incident, Ahu, a relative of Tamaiharanui, went to Sydney to request intervention concerning the control of British citizens in New Zealand.)
In spite of this, on de Thierry´s arrival in New Zealand the Hokianga chiefs generously offered him a smaller portion of land on the understanding that he renouce his claim to the 40,000 acres in the deed of sale. However, before de Thierry arrived back in New Zealand, the British Government had nominated James Busby, in 1833, to act as „Official British Resident“. When de Thierry returned to Hokianga in 1837 aboard the vessel „Nimrod“, accompanied by a small group of colonists, he found a New Zealand on the way to British annexation. He subsequently wrote an autobiography, naming himself as the principal pioneer colonist of New Zealand.
March 1834, Busby held a meeting at Waitangi with northern Maori Chiefs. Busby put forward the idea of voting on a national flag, so that ships built and registred in New Zealand would fly the Independent Tribes flag and therefore be recognised according to maritime law. The new flag was voted, and was also hoisted and flown on land, at the Bay of Islands.
In October 1835 Busby called for a second meeting when he heard rumours that Baron de Thierry had plans of setting up an independent state of Hokianga.

34 northern Chiefs then signed a Declaration of Independence, calling themselves the Confederation of United Tribes.
They shared Busby´s concern, along with that of the British government, that the necessity of some sort of regulation governing contracts and disputes between European and Maori should be set up.
In 1837 Busby sent a report to the Secretary of State for Colonies, informing the British authorities of the greatly increasing land purchases not only by settlers from New South Wales, but also from French and American citizens. However, Busby´s particular statute and the limitations imposed did not allow him much control over the situation in general, and in 1838 the British Government replaced Busby with a British Consul, by the name of Captain William Hobson.
James Reddy Clendon, born 1st Octotber 1800 in England, acted as United States Consul in New Zealand from 1838, based in the Bay of Islands. James Clendon was a witness to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, and a memeber of the first Legislative Council 1841-1844.
Self-government of the British colony of New Zealand had been granted in 1856, with the Crown retaining responsibility for defence and foreign affairs through a Governor. Following a series of Anglo-Maori wars, British farming communities, mostly in the North Island, had profited from the invention (1869) of refrigeration of meat. Immigration into the South Island had been stimulated by a gold rush in the 1860s, but Asian immigrants had been excluded since 1881. During the years 1891-1911 Liberal administrations had introduced extensive social legislation, including the enfranchisement of women, 1893.
In 1914 the conservative government of William Massey was in office. Massey was a strong imperialist and some 10,000 New Zealand volunters served in the ANZAC Middle East army. In 1916 conscription was adopted. Following Worl War I New Zealand was given mandatory powers over German West Samoa. The conservative Reform Party remained in office through the 1920s under Massey and Coates, but the farming industry was not as prosperous as before the war. The worldś Great Depression severely affected the economy, although the Ottawa Conference (1932) decision to adopt imperial preference helped to restore it. The Labour Party held power during the years 1935-49, instituted a programme of public works after the war. It has since alternated in office with the National Party New Zealand sent troops to the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The government supported USA in Vietnam, but in 1972 the Labour government withdrew from SEATO and brought its troops home. Concern over nuclear pollution has been a growing issue in New Zealand. Prime Minister Holland protested to Britain that he had not been warned of the first hydrogen bomb tested from Christmas Island in 1957.

This issue culminated in the decision of David Lange´s government to adopt a totally non-nuclear policy.
Since the British accession to the EEC, New Zealand has strengthened its trade links with Australia and ist Asian neighbours, after attempts to renegotiate protocol 18 of Britain´s Treaty Accession on dairy and sheep-meat products had largely failed. As a multiracial society, New Zealand has during the later 20th century, achieved increasingly successful integration between two races, Maori and European.

The political systm of New Zealand
In 1907 the title of dominion was adopted, with a bicameral Parliament: a House of Representatives and a Legislative Council, the latter being abolished in 1950. The Statute of Westminster was not to be fully adopted until 1947, and in 1949 the British Parliament renounced its control over the New Zealand Constitution.
Today, is New Zealand an independent parliamentary democracy within the British Commonwealth. The official Head of State is the British Queen, represented by a governor-general. English is a official and dominant spoken language, the Maoris speak a Malayo-Polynesian language. A busy seaport Wellington is a capital of New Zealand within over 1,340,000 inhabitants.

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