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Freedom And Rights Report

1669 words - 7 pages

On behalf of Britain, Captain James Cook claimed Australia’s east coast in the year 1770. He declared that Australia was Terra Nullius — meaning ‘the land belonging to no one.’ According to the eighteenth-century law, people of another land could legally take over a land that had no owner. British colonisation commenced with the arrival of the First Fleet to establish a penal colony at what became Sydney in January 1788. However, prior to British colonisation, it is estimated that there were at least 300,000 Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia and over 500 different clan groups or 'nations' around the continent, many with distinctive cultures and beliefs. Consequently, the ...view middle of the document...

The white Australia policy was introduced and Indigenous people were excluded from the vote, pensions, employment in post offices, enlistment in Armed Forces, and maternity allowance. As a result of a 1937 conference, outlining the issue of Aboriginal affairs, the federal government introduced the policy of assimilation whereby Indigenous Australians, who were ‘not full of blood’, would conform to the attitudes, customs and beliefs of the white majority.

In the year 1938, the Day of Mourning was held by the Aborigines league (est 1932) and the Aborigines Progressive Association (1937). This was the first major protest by Indigenous people. By 1949, the Australian Citizenship Act gave Aboriginals the right to vote in Commonwealth elections if they were enrolled for State elections or had served in the Armed Forces. In 1957, the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC) formed with support from Federal and State Governments, churches and major Indigenous organisations. Its aim was to promote Aboriginal Sunday as a day to draw community attention to Indigenous people in Australia. Following this, in 1958, the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines began a ten year campaign to end Constitution's discrimination against Indigenous people. Conclusively, in 1962, all Indigenous people were given the vote in Commonwealth elections.

Historical Context in USA
The great majority of African Americans descend from slaves brought in directly from Africa, or more often, from the Caribbean. These slaves descended from prisoners of war captured by African states and sold to Arab, European or American slave traders. The first Africans in the New World arrived with Spanish and Portuguese explorers and settlers. By 1600 an estimated 275,000 Africans, both free and slave, were in Central and South America and the Caribbean area. The first African slaves were brought to Point Comfort, 30 miles down stream from Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. The English settlers treated these captives as indentured servants and released them after a number of years. This practice was gradually replaced by the system of race-based slavery used in the Caribbean. By the end of the 17th century, approximately 1,300,000 Africans had landed in the New World. From 1701 to 1810 the number reached 6,000,000, with another 1,800,000 arriving after 1810. Some Africans were brought directly to the English colonies in North America. Others landed as slaves in the West Indies and were later resold and shipped to the mainland.

All the American colonies had slavery, but it was usually the form of personal servants in the North (where 2% of the people were slaves), and field hands in plantations in the South (where 25% were slaves.) These statistics show the early imbalance that would eventually tip the scale and rid the United States of Slavery.

The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated segregation in all...

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