Australia’s Colonisation and Racial Policies
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From the earliest contact, Britain’s view of Australia was underpinned by economic motives: extension of the Empire through possession, possibilities of trade and investment, as well as the protection of property, reduction of overcrowding in jails, and the relief of poverty at home. But more insidious than these explicit economic motivations was the way in which economic progress was understood in relation to different races or human types. The known peoples of the world were ranked within a hierarchy of civilisation, with the British race and its advanced industrial economy at the apex and the Aborigines said to lack precisely those attributes and capacities which explained Britain’s economic success. From this perspective, they were always a problem to be managed in one way or another by government authorities. From an indigenous perspective, Australia remains a colonising power, and...
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