Archive for July, 2015


Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

‘Once more the discoveries of Captain Cook were influencing the direction of Britain’s overseas expansion’. Vincent T. Harlow, Founding of the Second British Empire, 1763-1793, Vol. 2, Longmans, 1964

1763 – 1793: A collision of external and internal circumstances determined New Holland to be the lynch-pin of thatSecond British Empire’. Together they led to the invasion of the island continent and the near destruction of its Indigenous First Peoples.

The American Revolution A World War. Ed. David K. Allison & Larrie D. Ferreiro, Smithsonian, Books Washington, DC

What drove Britain to invade?

Externally the War of American Independence (1775-1783) and the loss of her ’empire in the west’. The humiliation of that defeat, that had been only made possible by the vast amounts of men, money and munitions France supplied Washington’s Patriot home-spun militia, made further conflict between Britain and France inevitable.

Internally the threat of revolution epitomised by the devastating Gordon Riots of 1780; impending abolition of slavery, an avalanche of homeless starving unemployed paupers, rising street crime together with an army of convicted criminals 10,000 strong, confined since 1775 on prison-hulks, moored along the River Thames at the very heart of London.

1786 – 2 August, London: An attempt was made to assassinate King George III in early August 1786 served as a trigger point that led directly to the invasion of far-off New Holland and sealed the fate of a free people – Australia’s First Nations’ Peoples.

1786 – 26 August, Westminster. Three (3) weeks after the failed assassination attempt King George, at the State opening of Parliament, announced his government’s decision to dispatch a large armed expeditionary force of eleven (11) ships, the ‘First Fleet’, into the ‘imperfectly explored’ southern oceans.

‘In determining the daily ration no distinction was drawn between the [245] marines and the [583 male ]convicts…the standard adopted was that of the troops serving in the West Indies’. Wilfrid Oldham, Britain’s Convicts to the Colonies, Library of Australian History, Sydney 1990