Chapter

Australasia: one or two ‘honorable cannibals’ in the House?

Julie Evans, Patricia Grimshaw, David Philips and Shurlee Swain

in Equal Subjects, Unequal Rights

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780719060038
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700334 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719060038.003.0004
Australasia: one or two ‘honorable cannibals’ in the House?

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This chapter focuses on the expansion of the British Empire and early political developments in the British settler colonies in the region of Australasia from the late 1830s to around 1870. The first colonies on the Australian continent and the islands of New Zealand in the decades from the late 1830s to 1870 were notable for their swift movement politically from initial Crown colonies to virtual local self-government. The British Government first made arrangements for representative government based on a property franchise for all of these colonies, and then conceded responsible government to the settler colonists. Further, by 1860, the legislatures of the eastern and southeastern Australian colonies had instituted full manhood suffrage. The Indigenous peoples of the Australasian colonies, Aborigines and Maori, were included in this process to self-government and democracy. The means by which colonists could acquire land and their subsequent usage of it would strongly influence Maori and Aborigines' entitlement to political citizenship and the likelihood of their exercising it.

Keywords: settler colonies; British Empire; Australasia; Aborigines; Maori; representative government; political citizenship; Crown colonies

Chapter.  10510 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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