New Zeal – Australia and New Zealand
Australia and New Zealand were virtually unique amongst the European colonies in the sense that they were the only new lands to where large numbers of Black slaves were never imported. The result was a successful colony comprised overwhelmingly of Whites (with only a small fraction of original non-White natives) which established a record for stability and progress virtually unmatched in history.
The racial history of Australia and New Zealand is therefore primarily concerned with the interaction between the White immigrants and the native populations: only in the last part of the 20th Century have other racial groups—Asians and a lesser extent Blacks and Middle Easterners—become a factor to be considered.
Within the first ten years of the first White settlement at Sydney in 1788, several major clashes had taken place between the Whites and the Aboriginals. They were one sided: the Aboriginals were an extremely primitive tribe, barely out of the stone age, while the White settlers had all the advantages of White technology: guns, cannons and the wheel.
The British government itself however followed a policy of trying to protect the Aboriginals: indeed the very first state-paid schools for Aboriginals was set up by one of the early governors, one Lachlan Macquarie (who served as governor from 1809 to 1821). This was done long before the colonial governments set up schools for all the Whites. The British government also issued specific instructions to protect Aboriginals: generally they were adhered to; only in a few notable incidents did gratuitous acts of violence take place against the natives. The clashes that did take place were mostly reprisals taken by Whites for criminal acts committed by local Aborigines.
Surprisingly enough, there are no recorded incidents of Aborigines having resisted the takeover of land: they were far too politically undeveloped to form any coherent united action, unlike the Amerinds in North America.
Overwhelmed by the technologically superior Whites, the Aborigines were forced to retreat into the vast interior. As the White frontier was opened up further, Aborigines were even employed on sheep stations, and others used for police patrols.
The effect of white settlement
During the first century of white settlement, the Aboriginal population declined dramatically in numbers. Although there are of course no indications as to what the original Aboriginal population was in terms of numbers, it is so that large numbers died from exposure to diseases which the White settlers brought with them, and to which the natives had not built up resistance.
The spread of diseases was by far the greatest cause of the decline amongst the Aboriginals: but there were other causes as well. The White settlers soon found the presence of Aboriginals near their settlements to be of nuisance value: crime and petty theft along with a very quickly developed serious addiction problem to alcohol caused White settlers to exact severe punishments on the local population. These reprisals were sometimes unjustified and involved serious massacres.
This state of mutual reprisals led to generally strained relations between the White settlers and the locals. However, the rapid thinning out of the Aboriginal population by disease meant that by 1920, according to estimates, there were only about 60,000 left. As a racial factor they were, therefore, insignificant.
“White Australia” policy started in 1856
The development of the mining industry saw for the first time the importation of non-White laborers: Chinese immigrants started arriving after the discovery of gold, and their appearance created alarm amongst the Whites. Eventually in 1856, the state of Victoria formally passed a law prohibiting Chinese persons from entering its territory.
The government of the colony of Queensland started importing Polynesians to work on sugarcane plantations in the early 1860s; a public outcry followed, and the Polynesians were quickly sent back and their jobs were taken by White workers.
The Victoria Chinese exclusion law was then taken up by every other colony in Australia, being extended to include all non-Whites everywhere. This policy of excluding all immigrants except those belonging to the White race became known formally as the “White Australia Policy” and had the overwhelming support of all the colonists.
It was precisely the common acceptance of the White Australia policy which finally drew the various colonies of Australia into political unity, as it underlined the need for common immigration laws.
Rapid progress due to population make-up
All the while, Australia continued to progress as fast as any other modern European country, despite the country only being as young as it was. Almost overnight, White European culture and technology was implemented in Australia and it soon became the superpower of the region, easily dwarfing its much-longer-inhabited neighboring islands.
The rapid rate of Australia’s growth—given its relative youth—is possibly one of the most powerful arguments that can be made for the racial interpretation of history and of how environment is not the overriding factor. There are many Third World lands with greater natural resources, particularly in Africa, which have been inhabited for far longer than Australia, yet they are woefully behind the latter country in development. There can be only one explanation for this differentiation—namely the nature of the population, and not the environment.
Internally, Australia’s racial population make-up hardly changed during the first part of the 20th Century—only Whites were allowed into the country, and this policy combined with a natural reproduction rate created a steady increase of the numbers of Whites.
Homogeneity, key to stability
Australia’s development is notable for its stability, in stark contrast to every other part of the new world settled by White colonists. The key difference between Australia and the Americas or Africa, has been the massive degree of homogeneity amongst the inhabitants of Australia. It has never caused the Australians to become involved in horrendous civil wars nor to face the social unrest and racial violence that has dogged all the other settlements.
The development of Australia into a modern First World country contrasts dramatically with the progress of colonies in South America: although the settlements in South America preceded those in Australia by hundreds of years, Australia is nonetheless far more developed than almost all of South America.
If time, geography or other environmental factors were the sole determinant of the development of a society, it would be fairly logical to assume that a colony dating from approximately 1500 (for example Cuba) would be more developed than a colony dating from approximately 1800 (Australia).
The fact that the levels of development in these two countries differ so vastly can only be ascribed to the populations of these regions, and to no other factor. This is particularly so if it is borne in mind that, by any measure, Australia is a far less hospitable place than most of South America.
This stability has allowed Australia to develop as fast as any nation on earth: and the country is classed as First World even though in reality it was only created during the early part of the 18th century—truly a remarkable example of the truth that a society is a reflection of the people living in it, rather than a product of the environment.
White Australia policy abandoned
In a move which has seen Australia’s non-White population surge in numbers, the White Australia policy was only formally struck from the statute books in 1966 by a Liberal party government under Robert Menzies: unofficially it remained in force well into the 1970s.
Precisely because it has developed into such a stable, advanced and relatively wealthy society, Australia has, in the last three decades of the 20th century, become an attractive focus point for increasing Third World population flows: this effect will be discussed in the last chapter of this book.
New Zealand’s history nearly mirrors that of Australia, with only one small exception: the native population, called Maoris, did not suffer as much in reduction of numbers as the Australian Aborigines. Subsequently, there was a higher number of Maoris for the White settlers to interact with and, therefore, there was a higher degree of racial friction.
As a stable and relatively advanced nation, New Zealand, has, like Australia, become an attractive landing point for increased Third World immigration in the last part of the 20th Century. The extent and implications of this are discussed in a later chapter.