7. Commonwealth countries
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7. Commonwealth Countries Profile: Australia and New Zealand State: Canada Australia and New Zealand were discovered bythe Dutch, namelyAbel Tasman, in the 17th century and they were first calledHollandia Nova. The Portugese were also aware of its existence. However, it is Captain James Cook who is credited with the discovery as it was he who, in 1770, landed in Botany Bay near present day Sydney and claimed the country for Britain. Australia was not settled until 1788, when a penal colony was established at Sydney Cove.At the timeBritish Prisons were too full due to the effects of rapid urbanization and the Industrial revolution and the country needed somewhere to put the convicts so transportation to Australia became a common punishment as a means to create a workforce and population In total162,000 convicts suffered this fate from 1788 to 1868The voyage lasted as long as 8 months and the range of offences was vast but the majority werepoverty related crimes (typically theft of property with a value less than one shilling) though political prisoners were also transported70% of the convicts were English/Welsh, 24% Irish, 5% Scottish and 1% from places ranging from Hong Kong, Jamaica, India, and New Zealand Children were also transported with or without their parents- for example LondonerMary Wade, who went on to have 22 children, was transported at the age of 11 for stealing a dressNot many ever made it home and 15 percent were women In modern times it has become popular and a badge of pride for Australians (Aussies) to trace their family tree back to the original convict settlers The greatest Aussie folk hero,Ned Kelly, was the son of an Irish man transported to Australia for stealing two pigs. He was a cattle thief turned bank robber and murderer but is counted by many as an Irish-Australian hero who fought against a brutal and unfair Anglo/Australian colonial government. He was arrested after a shootout with the police wearing homemade armour. He was executed on November the 11th 1880 at the age of 25. To some, his popularity represents theanti-authoritarian side of the Australian national character.Settlement was slow until thediscovery of gold in 1851 near Orange, New South Wales. Thousands of miners from Europe started pouring in and when the Gold Rush was over two decades later, many stayed behind to live in Australia Population Oz, the smallest continent and often incorrectly though to be largest island in the world in the world, currently has a population of just over 24 millionThe largest city is Sydney, followed by Melbourne, which is Australia’s financial centre. However, thecapital city is CanberraBy the time Europeans arrived Australia had a native Aboriginal population estimated at between 300,000 and 750,000It is thought that there were over 500 Aboriginal tribes speaking many different languagesThough technologically static, beingmainly hunter/gatherer peoples they had a highly developed spiritual and social culture Unfortunately, just like in the Americas, they stood in the way of European settlement and were therefore cruelly suppressed and assimilated. Aboriginal children were taken away from their families and forcibly raised as Christians as shown in the film Rabbit Proof Fence. At least 20,000 children were victims of this. These children are now referred to asthe Stolen Generations. At the end of the 20th century, to acknowledge the harm done to the aboriginal peoples, the Australian government established “National Sorry Day” later called the “National Day of Healing” on the 28th of May.InNew Zealand, where the native population is calledMaori, the clash between locals and immigrants was far less vicious. This was largely because the Maori tribeshad a highly developed understanding of land ownership and warfare so it was not possible for them to be dominated so easilyIn 1840 many Maori chieftains signed theTreaty of Waitangi which ceded control of the land to queen Victoria and the Maori became British subjects There are differences between the Maori and British versions of the treaty and some people view the treaty as a trickMany Maori died of European diseases such as Measles and today, though the position for Maoris is much better than that of Aborigines in Australia, they still face greater economic and social obstacles than the European population Geography/Climate/Nature/Language and more about New Zealand New Zealand, divided into theNorth and South Islands, has a largely temperate climate and is famed for its natural unspoilt beautySheep farming is one of its biggest industries It has a population of about 4.4 million and Maoris are the second largest ethnic group after people of European descentThe capital city isWellington and is the second biggest city after Auckland Like Australia it is an independent country of the Commonwealth and Queen Elizabeth is the head of stateThe national symbol is the Kiwi and New Zealanders are often known as KiwisAustralia has 6 states; New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia and two territories theNorthern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory Its climate is incredibly varied ranging from desert, to mountains, to rainforest.It possesses incredible natural beauties such as theGreat Barrier Reef and Uluru (Ayers Rock). The flora and fauna of Australia is unique LargerMarsupials such as Kangaroos, Wallabies, Wombats, and Koala, which carry their young in pouches, can only be found in Australia.In Australian English the forest is known asthe bush, and the semi arid land or desert is known asthe outbackAustralian English is closer to British English than American English and largely retains British spellings apart from in some namesAboriginal languages have had some influence on the names of Flora and Fauna (Kangaroo), instruments of Aboriginal origin (boomerang), as well as place names such as Canberra which originally meant meeting placeAnother distinctive feature of