School in a Book: History of Australia and Oceania

Ancient History (3000 BCE to 500 CE)

The Polynesians: The first people to settle modern-day Australia. [?] They might have first come from Taiwan, then Melanesia, an area in the Pacific Islands (2000 BCE). After that, they settled the Polynesian Triangle around Fiji, then moved to Tahiti and the Marquesas (1300 BCE). From there, they visited America, Easter Island and Hawaii. They carved wood; kept livestock; and grew coconuts, taros, yams and vegetables. They were remarkable sailors, with large oceangoing canoes featuring sails and paddles stabilized with outriggers or doubled up like catamarans. They also had advanced knowledge of stars, currents and winds.

Easter Island statues: They might have created the famous Easter Island statues, or they might have been created by unknown earlier settlers since the Polynesians weren’t known to be stone carvers.

The Middle Ages (500 CE to 1500 CE)

The Maori: The Polynesians who settled modern-day New Zealand during the Middle Ages (850 CE and on). They traded with the Aborigines.

The Aborigines: The Polynesians who settled modern-day Australia. [?] The Aborigines were tribal societies ruled by chiefs. They were experts in wood carving, even though they were isolated from Asia and Indonesia.

Early Modern Times (1500 CE to 1900 CE)

New Holland: The name the Dutch gave the Australian continent in the 1700s after discovering it in the 1600s. (The Dutch also discovered Tasmania and New Zealand around this time.)

Captain Cook: The British explorer who claimed New Zealand and Australia for Britain. He also traveled to Tahiti, Hawaii and Antarctica. In Antarctica, he was pushed back by glaciers.

First Australian colonists: Convicts exiled from Britain in the late 1700s. These were followed by free settlers, who also colonized New Zealand. They introduced new diseases to the Aborigines and changed local culture.

British takeover of New Zealand: During the 1800s, the British colonists of New Zealand competed with the Maori for land. Eventually, the Maori gave ownership of the island to the British in exchange for land ownership rights. Some accounts claim that two versions of the treaty were written, though, with one leading the Maori to believe they were giving up governorship, not ownership. Following this, there were violent Maori uprisings. Eventually, New Zealand became an official British colony.

The new nation of Australia: The nation created by the British in the 1800s. Following this, the British and Aborigines coexisted, but not entirely peacefully. Many Aborigines were killed in conflicts over land and many others died of Western diseases.

The Commonwealth of Australia: A federation of various Australian colonies founded in the early 1900s. These colonies set up governments based on free trade and equal rights. Many of them achieved independence from Britain and wrote constitutions based on the American and British constitutions.

(Add: When did Australia as a whole achieve independence from Britain? What about New Zealand?)

The Australian gold rush: The influx of settlers in the 1900s (mid or early?) resulting from the discovery of gold there. (Need more.)

Australia during World War II: During World War II, Australia fought on the side of the Allies. (Need more.)

Post-world war Australia: After World War II, Australia gained wealth and tourism. They imported a great deal of American technology and culture.

The Modern Era (1900 to the Present)

The Commonwealth of Australia: In the early 1900s, the leaders of various Australian colonies united in a federation called the Commonwealth of Australia. These new colonies set up governments based on free trade and equal rights, and many of them achieved independence, writing their own constitutions based on the American and British constitutions.

The Australian gold rush: In the late 1900s, there was a gold rush.

Australia in World War II: During World War II, the Australians fought on the side of the Allies.
During the robust postwar economic times, Australia gained wealth and tourism. They imported a great deal of American technology and culture.

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