Australia has changed hands a lot throughout its history. From being inhabited by the aborigines, which had been there for around forty thousand years, until the British claimed it. However the British were not the first to come across this continent, they were just the first countries to see it as useful. The Dutch were seeking new land and trade in the East Indies, and found that sailing along the coasts of Africa and India too much longer than if the went due east and the cut up. However, the Dutch Vessel, Duyfken, first sighted the coast of modern day Australia in 1606 when it did not turn north in time. In 1642-43 Able Tasman was looking for new land south of Batavia, and shifted course to avoid bad weather. In doing so, he ran into the stormy west coast of Tasmania which he named VanDiemens Land. He also sailed eastward after that and discovered New Zealand. All of these discoveries revealed only desolate deserts and hostile natives. It wasnt until 1770 when James Cook discovered the long avoided east coast that it was seen as a possible resource. The British soon lost their American colony, where they had sent some of their prisoners, and now began to consider Botany Bay, Cooks first landfall, as the next penal colony (Brander, 18). The First Fleet left sail from Portsmouth, England in May 1787 heading for Australia under the command of Authur Phillip (httpozramp). Phillip and his crew landed on January 26, 1788, which is now celebrated as Australia Day (Australia). There were prisoners that were also aboard the ship that landed in Australia. Huddled in the bowels of the ships were 772 terrified convicts- 568 men, 191 women, and 13 children (Brander, 15). Many of the crimes that they were charged with crimes that would be thought of as trivial by todays standards (Australia). They landed in Botany Bay, and approximately forty people had perished during the journey (httpfirst). M…
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