In his recent book, Forgotten War Newsouth , Australian historian Henry Reynolds says in recent times, Australian military historians have followed the lead of conventional historians in acknowledging the Frontier Wars of In , Jeffrey Gray published A Military History of Australia in which he observed that the conflict between the Australian Aboriginal tribes and settler invaders has been persistently downplayed with the result that Aborigines have not been conceded the dignity due to a worthy opponent. Gray defines war 'as an act of force to compel an enemy to do your will' and he comes down decisively in favour of viewing the conflict between Aborigines and the British as warfare.
He contends that to deny the status of combatant to Aboriginal peoples is to deny their bravery and their will to resist the British invasion with every ounce of their being. He says the British Army found it difficult at first to operate on the Australian frontier because Aboriginal guerrilla tacts minimised the effect of muskets and Aboriginal warriors generally were able to evade pursuit. The situation began to change from when the army issued soldiers with horses giving them the mobility to counter Aboriginal tactics over a wide frontier. On Anzac Day, Australians commemorate, Australian men and women who lost their lives in defence of this country in overseas wars.
In considering Indigenous deaths in the Frontier Wars, Reynolds estimates conservatively that frontier violence caused around European deaths while Indigenous deaths numbered at least 20, Historians generally regard the Frontier Wars to have ended in with the killing of a large number of Warlpiri people officially thirty-one by a police punitive party at Coniston in the Northern Territory in response to the death of a European. There were comparisons with Indian rebellions; Jamaican riots; fierce hordes in the Sudan; savage Abyssinians, Apaches, Iroquois,Maoris, Zulus and many others.
Frontier conflict was the most persistent feature of Australian life for years. This was an inescapable consequence of the invasion and colonisation of the continent. The invaders saw no need to negotiate purchase of land or make treaties as they had done in North America and New Zealand.
The Frontier Wars were a series of violent confrontations and massacres across the continent and many Europeans were ruined through despair and bankruptcy following Aboriginal incendiary raids on crops, huts and livestock. Native peoples fought the invaders on a tribe by tribe basis because each of them was a sovereign people defending their land.
In a battle between the Duangwurrung people and George Faithful's party near Benalla in , natives killed eight of his men.
Australian frontier wars
Faithful wrote of Aboriginal women and children running between his horse's legs to retrieve spears for their warriors to re-use. Conditions on the frontier were unpredictable and revenge was often the principal motive for an attack on both sides. There were no frontlines, no clear demarcation between territories held by opposing forces, and no distinction between civilians and combatants.
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The Aborigines sought to remain on their traditional lands rather than fall back before the invasion and they continued to defend their land and sacred places for as long as they were able. Eventually, the British gathered the disoriented leftovers of colonial conquest on reserves and they entered the twentieth century out of sight and out of mind. For the AWM to say that the Frontier Wars do not fit its charter is to exclude a whole people from commemoration based on a trifle. By way of comparison, our partners in the Anzac.
This is a moral issue-it is incumbent on non-Indigenous Australians to own our past and accept that our forebears perpetrated wrongs against Australia's Indigenous peoples. If our Indigenous peoples could go to the War Memorial and see a portrayal of their resistance heroes and testimony to their ancestors' tenacious struggle for their land what a boost to their morale it would be.
If we are to be members of one nation, we cannot continue to have conflicting stories about our past. Indigenous politicians are publicly involved. The latest overview of this debate is the Brian Atwood and S. John Connor's title appears in one footnote, no. Connor himself discusses much of the evidence they argue about, and sometimes agrees with some of their factual conclusions. But his focus is on war and militarism rather than apportioning responsibility for massacres and genocides. Connor's frontier wars fit within the general pattern of British Empire wars against indigenous people in all the main colonies.
Everywhere the British moved into the lands of indigenous people and in one way or another displaced the original owners. Everywhere the indigenous population densities were lower or much lower than those of the incoming colonists. This was not only the case in the patterns of invasion in the founding of Virginia from to and of New England from to , examples which Connor might have found additionally useful to his own case.
Even the foundations of Spanish Hispaniola from to and of New France from to are probably relevant to these general points. As in Australia later, fights over food called "food fights" in Virginia , led to frontier wars. Population pressures and displacements led to competition and violence not only between colonists and indigenes but among traditional warring indigenous groups also.sandpolmamorse.tk
Australian frontier wars
Indigenes raided European crops and herds and burned frontier settler houses. But some also made alliances with the colonizers. Settlers set up gangs to attack indigenes and colonial authorities sent European troops and settler militias against indigenous resistance groups but also made alliances and attempted to integrate the original landowners into colonial society. Everywhere numerous colonizing invaders displaced or destroyed [End Page ] less numerous indigenes even after suffering serious defeats at the hands of indigenous warriors.
Connor's main colonization wars in Australia follow these patterns. Up to there were five Australian foundation colonies. Sydney up to and the first British efforts in Northern and Western Australia between and he calls "beachhead frontiers" where government foundation outposts, even with unruly convict workers, did not press seriously on Aboriginal living resources.
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Violent British-Aboriginal encounters were small and few. Collaboration became the dominant feature.
But as ex-convicts and free settlers began to move into interior river valleys with good soil for corn, wheat, and pasture, they impinged on the important Aboriginal food bases in the Hawksbury-Nepean River areas from to , the Bathurst and Hunter Valley Districts from to , in Van Diemen's Land from to , and the Liverpool Plains and Port Philip districts up to In these foundation agricultural settlements hungry Aborigines raided settler fields and flocks, settlers shot at raiding Aborigines and formed gangs to attack Aboriginal villages, Aborigines attacked isolated farm houses and settlers