Lesson video

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Hello, welcome.

It's me Mr. Benger again.

Thank you for making it through and for working so hard on lessons one and two.

We've now reached lesson three of our inquiry.

In this lesson, I'll be guiding you through the history of settler colonialism in Australia.

This is an incredibly significant, but also often shocking history.

Before we get started as always make sure you've got your pen, make sure you've got some paper and make sure you're in a place where you're ready to learn.

Thank you and let's get started.

Let's start by looking again at our inquiry question.

What did British colonialism look like in the 19th century? Now thinking about where we've got to so far in answering this question, we've identified some key features of colonialism in lesson one.

And then in lesson two, we had a look at India and at what colonialism looks like in a number of different ways there.

This lesson we're going to be comparing.

Well, we're going to be firstly telling ourselves the story of colonialism in Australia, and then we're going to be comparing that to colonialism in India.

In what ways were they similar? In what ways were they different? I'm going to start us off though by a little introduction to colonialism in Australia.

And we're going to start with this painting.

Now, this painting was painted by a British Australian.

A man called John Glover, in 1840 the middle of the 19th century.

What impression of Australia? What impression of the Australian colony does this painting give? Well you can see that it gives a very peaceful image of Australia.

It gives this impression of Australia as a vast rich open countryside with rolling hills.

It's a land of opportunity.

If we look at this map here, we can actually see that it's quite closely connected with that painting in some ways.

Because if you see Australia down here, in the bottom right corner, we've got this man, and this man is quite likely showing an Australian settler.

Now this Australian settler is shown here to be a peaceful, hardworking farmer.

He's here with his spade.

He's also there with his probably a woman who is his wife.

And so these are shown as peaceful hardworking settlers in the land of opportunity that is Australia.

But there is unfortunately more to the story than this.

Look at this painting here or this picture here.

This shows the foundations upon which that supposedly peaceful society was built on.

The land was taken by the Australian settlers was taken from Aboriginal people who had lived in Australia for thousands of years before the British ever arrived.

It was upon this violence and this violent taking of land that settler colonialism was built in Australia.

It was upon these violent foundations that British settlers who had moved to Australia, trying to build a new white British society in Australia.

By the end of the 19th century, this society, this white British settler society had grown so much that a lot of people started to refer to it as part of a greater Britain, a greater Britain that had spread all around the world.

So in this lesson, we're going to be looking in more detail at this question.

What did settler colonialism look like in Australia in the 19th century? Let's just make ourselves completely clear.

What actually is settler colonialism? Well, a settler as we've seen is a person who moves with a group of others to a new country or place.

Australia is an example of a settler colony because large numbers of British people moved there.

This resulted in the creation of a new, white British society.

The British knew, however, as we've seen that there were already people living on the Australian continent, Aboriginal people.

But as the British settler society expanded in Australia, it looked to remove and replace Aboriginal society and Aboriginal people.

This was a bit different from colonialism as we've seen it in India, because in India, a relatively small number of British people ruled over a much larger Indian population.

British people did move to India, but in Australia, the number of British people who settled there was much higher.

Unlike in India, British people tried to start a completely new society in Australia.

Let's just go on to check our understanding of that with a couple of quiz questions.

So to start ourselves off, a relatively small number of British people claimed control over a much larger native population.

Native meaning the people who lived there before the British arrived.

Which one is that? India or Australia? Pause if you need to.

Yes, the correct answer is India.

Moving on.

The British tried to build a completely new society by sending British people to Australia, even though there were already Aboriginal peoples living there.


Which option is the label given to that kind of colonialism? Pause the video, if you need time to think.

Yes, that is settler colonialism.

What we're going to be looking at this lesson.

So how did settler colonialism develop and expand in Australia? Well, it involved as we've seen these same common features, although in different ways, political dominance, economic exploitation and culturalism and racism were all parts of the story.

And this was largely a story of the land and who was allowed to use it.

British settlers or Aboriginal people.

Starting with a map then of Australia, the first thing to note, is that Australia was actually made up of six different colonies.

So there were actually different colonies of Australia.

So we have New South Wales, which was the first colony where the English, oh sorry, the British settlers first arrived.

And then by the middle of the 19th century, British people had spread and arrived in different parts of the continent.

This is roughly how it happened.

So we start in 1788 when the first British settlers, only around 1000 of them arrived.

And at that time there were about a million Aboriginal people.

The settler expansion occurred over the next, well, the whole rest of this century.

But as the settlers expanded, they engaged in Wars with the Aboriginal people to kick them off their land.

By the middle of the 19th century, settler society was increasingly getting bigger and bigger.

The gold rush.

The discovery of gold meant that loads more people arrived and they eventually became so big that they were given self-government.

They were allowed to govern themselves.

By the end of the 19th century, there was a massive growth of big cities.

But alongside this, there was the increasing exclusion of Aboriginal people.

By the end of the 19th century Australia, well, it's just after the end of the 19th century and the 20th century Australia became the Australian Federation.

So all of the colonies joined together to form Australia, but it was still part of the British empire.

Let's go through that story in a little bit more detail and with some pictures.

So, settler colonialism was founded on taking land from native peoples.

In Australia, Aboriginal people had lived on the land for around 50,000 years by the time the first British settlers arrived in 1788.

There were many different Aboriginal societies in Australia, each with different languages and cultures.

In 1788, the British first landed with their first set of settlers in Australia.

Governor Arthur Phillip was the first British governor.

Britain sent these people to Australia to form what is known as a Penal colony.

This means a colony to which Britain sent convicts.

So convicts were people who had been convicted of crimes.

So nowadays, if you're convicted of a crime, you might go to prison.

In those days, they might send you to Australia.

And the idea of the Penal colony was that convicts would be transformed into better people by working hard on the land in Australia.

Once they'd finish serving their sentence, they would be given lands to live on and over time, they would form a new British society there.

The first group of settlers in Australia was made up of the governor, and we can see in the background, there is the governor's house made up of the governor, 550 army or Navy officers and 736 settler convicts.

At that time, it's estimated that there were around 1 million Aboriginal people.

The Aboriginal people experienced the arrival of these British settlers as an invasion.

In 1788, the colony was small with only a few hundred settlers, but over time, more and more convicts were sent from Britain to Australia.

Furthermore, people called free settlers started to travel voluntarily to Australia in search of a new, better life.

As more British settlers arrived, they spread further into Australia and took more land.

The settlers brought new diseases from Europe, which decimated Aboriginal populations.

They used violence to steal land from Aboriginal people.

And took land, which they came to see as peaceful like this.

In what became known as the gold rush.

This picture shows the gold rush.

Many more people arrived in Australia looking for riches.

So gold was discovered.

Many more people wanted to get rich by finding this gold, so went to Australia.

By 1861, there were over 1 million settlers in Australia.

In the later part of the 19th century, settler society increasingly dominated Australia and its landscape.

Large cities were developed such as Melbourne and Sydney.

So here is a picture of Sydney towards the end of the 19th century.

Large cities like this sprung up and developed.

And in addition, thousands of miles of railway track were built to connect the cities.

In this new British settler society, Aboriginal people became increasingly marginalised, set aside, excluded and restricted.

And so let's just check and consolidate that story.

Read the stages of the settler colonialism in Australia.

And can you put them into the right place on our flow diagram? Pause the video now to read those different stages and then write down on your paper where you think they should go.

So pause now please.

Okay, let's check our answers.

So you can pause the screen now to have a look here at the correct order.

So we've got British settlers arriving.

Then they take lands from Aboriginal people.

Then we have the gold rush where more settlers arrive and finally settler society has expanded massively.

This seems a classic case of economic exploitation, even though it also involves these other features, as we will look at throughout this lesson.

This was an example of British people taking the land so that they can build a new society to gain opportunities and prosperity for themselves.

They took this land from Aboriginal people through violence.

And we will look at that now.

So, so far we've looked at the story of how the British settlers first arrived in Australia.

And over time, they built their society by taking land away from the Aboriginal people.

The parts of our timeline we haven't yet explained are this one about self government.

So how did the Australian settlers, the British people who moved to settle in Australia gain so much political power that they were allowed to govern themselves? And then what did this mean for the Aboriginal people? How did they experience and resist these changes? We're going to look first at political dominance, and we're going to look at the hierarchy, the law and how violence and military force were used to build settler power, to build British settler power in Australia.

But first we have to realise that Aboriginal people have their own diverse and complex societies before the British arrived.

They governed themselves before the British ever arrived in Australia.

Different Aboriginal communities have their own cultures, rituals, beliefs, structures and laws.

When the British arrived, the settlers didn't understand Aboriginal society and they didn't even really try to.

The British set up their own laws and hierarchy.

The governor of the colony was at the top of this hierarchy.

And as British settlement expanded, as we've seen settlers used British laws and power to support their violent seizure, their violent taking of land from the Aboriginal people.

British law in the Australian colonies, declared that Britain, not the Aboriginal people owned the land.

Very few settlers were punished for killing Aboriginal people to take their land.

So British law didn't protect the Aboriginal people.

As Aboriginal people resisted, for example by attacking settlers and their farms, the British sent in the army to fight wars against Aboriginal people.

These wars became known as Frontier wars.

By the middle of the 19th century, white British settler society had grown so much that white settlers believed they deserved to have a say in their own government.

They believed they shouldn't just be controlled by the Queen's governor.

They thought they should actually have control over their own government.

They claimed that it was their right as British people in a civilised society to be able to vote for their own government.

And in the 1850s, the British government did let them.

They handed over self-government to the settlers.

This meant that settlers in Australia now had some power to govern themselves and make their own laws.

In most of Australia, all men but not women were allowed to vote for who they wanted to hold important government positions.

However, this was a democracy that benefited and served the white settlers.

It did not benefit Aboriginal people.

Aboriginal groups protested for land in our own country.

They said we deserve land in our own country.

White settler society shouldn't be able to take and roll over it.

But they became increasingly restricted in how they were allowed to live their lives.

As the white settlers gained more freedoms and more power, many Aboriginal people had their freedom taken away from them.

Let's check our understanding of how political dominance, the politics of settler society worked in Australia.

Pause the video now to read through these options and then select the one that you think best describes the politics of settler colonialism.

So I'll say again, pause now and in a moment, we'll reveal the right answer.

Okay, so the right answer is option three, British law did not respect Aboriginal law nor Aboriginal people's rights to their land.

Settlers who killed Aboriginal people were rarely punished.

In the 1850s, settlers gained the power to make their own laws.

So we've now looked at the story of how white British settlers took land and power in Australia.

We've now finally got to focus on what the experience of Aboriginal peoples and their responses were to these developments of settler society.

Important features of the Aboriginal experience here were culturalism and racism.

They tried to assert and continue their own culture and their own lives, but these opportunities were often denied to them by the settlers.

I want to start with this quote from the settler, John Cotton.

This is a British settler in Australia, in the 1840s.

And this is what said.

He said, "The worthless idle Aborigine has then been driven back from the land that he knew not how to make use of and valued not to make room for a more noble race of beings who are capable of estimating the value of this fine country.

Is it not right that it should be so?".

Now this reveals quite a lot of the attitudes of white British settlers.

Their justifications for taking Aboriginal lands by force rested on these culturalist and racist beliefs.

They assumed that Aboriginal people had no laws or developed society of their own.

For example here, saying that the Aboriginal people were lazy, idle, that they're worthless and they didn't know how to use the land.

They claimed the Aboriginal people were inferior, were worse compared with the white race.

As he says here, they should be replaced by a more noble race, a better race of people.

For these reasons, settlers claimed that they had the right to take the land from the Aboriginal people.

But Aboriginal people resisted the seizure of their lands, arguing that they had right to land in their own country.

Aboriginal demands for land did lead to some success as colonial governments set aside some land for Aboriginal people to live on, called reserves.

One example was the Coranderrk Reserve in the colony of Victoria, established in 1863.

However, by the end of the 19th century, these reserves, these pieces of lands for Aboriginal people were becoming more like prisons.

In 1869, the colony of Victoria.

So one of those six colonies that made up Australia.

In 1869, the colony of Victoria passed a law, declaring the Aboriginal people were not allowed to leave the reserves.

So they were restricted in what they were allowed to do.

Throughout the Australian colonies, laws were passed restricting the rights of Aboriginal people.

And in a shocking policy that intensified and got worse in the 20th century, Aboriginal children were taken away from their parents and made to live with white families.

These children have become known as the stolen generations.

The reasons for stealing these children from Aboriginal families was based upon the increasingly influential racist belief in the country, in Australia.

That Australia was a completely or should be a completely white country.

And that Aboriginal people shouldn't be allowed to have their own communities, families and ultimately their own lives.

The historian Thom Blake has described this situation saying that, "If the sight of a trooper or policemen with a rifle, with a gun evoked terror in the 19th century, in the 20th century, it was a policemen with a removal order to take their children".

So this characterises in the beginning of the 19th century, the Aboriginal people were kicked off, forced off their land by force with guns and terror.

By the 20th century, the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century, settlers were persecuting Aboriginal people by taking away their children.

Aboriginal people have resisted these policies and fought for their rights and they still are today, but these were undoubtedly devastating developments for them.

We are now ready to tackle our comprehension questions.

Pause the screen, if you want to take a moment to read them now.

But if you pause the video here, move on to the next page to read the slides and you should be in a position now to answer those comprehension questions and to write some really nice detailed answers about this fascinating, but rather shocking history we have learned about today.

Okay, let's go through the answers.

So question one, how long had Aboriginal people lived in Australia by the time British settlers arrived? An acceptable answer is around 50,000 years.

And the good answer, by the time that the first British settlers arrived in 1788, Aboriginal people had been living in Australia for around 50,000 years.

There were many different Aboriginal societies in Australia, with their own languages and cultures.

Pause the video, if you need time to have a look at your answer and compare it.

Give yourself a tick for all of the good details you've got.

Question two.

In the 1850s, settlers were granted self-government.

What does this mean? This means acceptable answer, they were allowed to rule themselves.

A good answer, by the 1850s, the settlers claimed that they deserved to be able to rule themselves and make laws for themselves.

The British granted them self-government.

And in many of the Australian colonies, all men were allowed to vote for who would run the important parts of the government.

Question three.

How did settlers try to justify taking land from Aboriginal people? An acceptable answer, by saying that the Aboriginal people were an inferior race.

Good answer, many settlers claimed the Aboriginal people had no rights to the land.

They believed this because of the culturalist belief that Aboriginal society was backward.

And the racist belief that the white race were superior to Aboriginal people.

Four, by the end of the 19th century, more and more Aboriginal people were confined, were restricted to living on reserves.

What were reserves? An acceptable answer, land set aside for Aboriginal people to live on.

A good answer, reserves were lands set aside for Aboriginal people to live on.

Over time, these reserves became more like prisons as the governments in Australia placed increasingly cruel restrictions on Aboriginal life.

Question five.

How was settler colonialism in Australia different from colonialism in India? Obviously there's a lot you could say here, but one acceptable answer.

Many British people moved to Australia to start a new society, whereas in India a relatively small population of British people ruled over a much larger Indian population.

A slightly more detailed good answer, many British people moved to Australia to start a new society, whereas in India a relatively small number of British people ruled over a much larger population.

In Australia, this settlement involved removing and replacing Aboriginal people on their land.

Whereas in India, the British tried to rule over the Indian people, but not to completely replace them with a new white British society.

Hopefully you can see now how through this inquiry, we are bit by bit gaining the knowledge to be able to answer this question.

What did British colonialism look like in the 19th century? Remember we started this inquiry by looking at the map and looking at key features of British colonialism.

But we said that British colonialism doesn't happen on a map, it happens in real places to real people.

And we've now looked at two examples of places that's experienced colonialism.

And we've looked at the ways it was experienced, resisted, responded to by different people.

We are now in a position to compare colonialism in India with colonialism in Australia.

What features of the colonialism looked the same and what features are similar and what features looked different? I want you now on a full page to draw a Venn diagram like this.

Two circles overlapping.

Make sure there's plenty of space in that overlapping bit in the middle over here, because there will be quite a few things that you'll need to put in that middle space.

So make sure it's big enough to write a few lines in.

Now, you can see that it looks like it's filled in already, but actually these things are all just in random places at the moment.

I need you to sort them out.

So, if you look at some of these, we've got those different features, those different aspects of what colonialism looked like in India.

Some of these will show what colonialism looked like in Australia, and some of them will apply to both.

And so you'll put that in the middle section.

So things that are just Australia in this side, things that are just India over here and things that you think are features of both Australia and India, put them in the middle.

So pause this slide now and have a go at sorting these out for yourself.

Okay, so here are the answers I came up with earlier myself.

So you can see here in the middle, these ones I can't fit them all in in the middle of my diagram.

Hopefully you had space to.

But I've put them here.

So, look through yours and check your answers.

Do you agree with what I've done here? Have a look, give yourself a tick, for all the ones you think you've got right.

So colonialism in India, we've got key features of the famine that involved diverse groups of people, including Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. And that Britain had a very distant style of rule there.

Australia, it involved the native people being driven off their land and confined in reserves.

Diverse groups of Aboriginal people originally and still live there.

And many British people moved there, intending to settle permanently.

A bit different from India, actually, where a lot of people moved to rule over the Indian people, but not to establish a completely new British society.

We can see there is quite a few common features here.

They were ruled by governors for example.

Queen Victoria was officially at the top of the hierarchy.

British law and British power were.

Sorry, British law was used to reinforce British power.

And so you can see here, we're starting to build up a picture of how to answer that question.

What did colonialism look like in the 19th century? Well, we have to consider that it didn't look the same in every single place.

It looked different, although there were some similarities.

Wow, we've nearly reached the end of lesson three now, and we've covered so much here.

We've covered so much history about the history of colonialism in India and now Australia.

I hope you are learning loads from this inquiry because I certainly learned a lot in planning and making it.

I found this history incredibly thought provoking and challenging, and I hope you're doing it the same.

And I just want to thank you for engaging so well with this inquiry.

We're now just going to return to the slides, to have a look at where we're going to go next for our final lesson.

Well, I'll find a lesson coming up.

Well, whenever you want to do it.

So please come back and have a go at that final lesson.

And what will that final lesson be on? Well, it will be on internal colonialism in Ireland.

Internal, Ireland was within the United Kingdom, but it was also in many ways, a colony and under British colonialism.

It is a very fascinating, contradictory and complex case that we're going to be tackling next time.

As well as that, we're going to be finishing off our inquiry.

Answering our inquiry question in a really interesting way that compares the three countries we will have.

Or the three colonies that we will have looked at by the end of next lesson.

All that remains for me to do for this lesson is to ask you to stop the quiz, stop the video, sorry.

Don't stop the quiz, start the quiz.

Stop the video and move on to the final quiz.

And to say, well done for your hard work today and I look forward to seeing you next time for our final lesson.