In soc.history.what-if on Sat, 17 Jun 2017 14:00:29 -0700 (PDT)
Post by David Johnston Post by Zebee Johnstone
In soc.history.what-if on Sat, 17 Jun 2017 19:20:27 +1000
Post by SolomonW
Australia has changed from a penal colony under direct military rule to a
democracy with almost no violence.
Well...not amongst the whitefellas no.
But the way it changed was to expand into land and resources that were
taken by quite a lot of violence.
Without that "Free land" the change couldn't have happened.
That renders the concept of change without violence moot since there was always violence somewhere in a nation's past and the past is always a foundation for the present.
The violence was endemic during the change from penal colony to
democracy, and without that systemic aggression the change would have
been very different.
We are not talking "somewhere in a nation's past" at this point, we are
talking at the same time. It wasn't as if the indigenous were all dead
or completely disposessed at Federation never mind in the time between
that and the end of transportation. They were being disposessed, and in
some cases shot or poisoned in the 1920S, never mind "nation's past".
Without the good country that was being expanded into in the early
days, and the less good country being taken in the later days, the
colony wouldn't have been viable and importantly there would have
been no suitable way for convicts and later free settlers to build
lives. Not as whitefellas of the 19thC understood agriculture anyway.
And probably not in those numbers with 19thC tech, as the sustainable
methods of agricaulture and the very different seasons and viable crops
and livestock (you try herding kangaroos...) wouldn't allow for the
So if you want to import a lot of people and find work and land for
them to use, you have to have the land. If you confine them into a
small area they'll fight each other over it. Oz was able to
transition because they took land and resources from others and so the
new whitefellas didn't have to fight the old for them.
So yeah, aside from minor confrontations like Eureka and the various
shearer's strike riots whitefellas didn't fight whitefellas over the
changing political landscape. Partly because politics generally had
evolved in the 19thC so different ways of doing things were acceptable
and partly because there was land for the taking providing you didn't
mind slaughtering a few blacks. Without both of those things it
couldn't have happened.
Yout WhatIf is to work out how that would have happened if they hadn't
been killing the indigenous. How could 19thC Brits have negotiated,
and more importantly could they have changed agriculture to a more
sustainable method so the wheat and the hooved livestock didn't
destroy the soil and the channel country wasn't drained?
That negotiation is possible is shown by the NZ experience but that
has its own problems.
Given the First Feet's general agricultural incompetence, maybe
someone in the next 20-30 years could have seen how the Aboriginals
were managing the country and working within the constraints of
climate and native vegetation and tried something different? (But
again.. how the hell do you herd kangaroos?)