|Captain Cook was an English sea captain who sailed
the Endeavour in 1770. He went through the Great Barrier Reef
which is more than 1,243 miles. He mapped the southern, eastern
and northern shores of Australia.
|Seventeen years later the English First Fleet sailed
to Australia carrying 800 convicts and 200 soldiers with Captain
Arthur Phillip. Normally the convicts would have been taken to
America but the U.S. had already declared its freedom. Since
Australia had already been mapped out by Captain Cook and was
uninhabited by everyone but the Aborigines, they decided to go
|After a few years, the penal colony expanded and people
began to build new settlements on Van Dieman's Land (which was
later named Tasmania) and on the northeastern coast of Australia.
Explorers found a way through the Blue Mountains so they were
able to use the land on the other side.
|In 1814, Matthew Flinders named this land "Australia".
Explorers began crossing west to fully map the country. They
established more cities including the major cities Adelaide,
Melbourne, and Perth. Britain stopped sending convicts to New
South Wales in 1840 and to Western Australia in 1868. During
the 1850's, the population rocketed due to a couple of things.
First, there was a gold rush and everyone wanted to get a mine
and get rich. Another major contributing factor is that there
was a lot of land west of Sydney so people wanted to get farmland.
|In 1901, the very first day of the twentieth century,
the six colonies in Australia came together to form the Commonwealth
of Australia. Australia still pays respect to the British king
or queen, as the British monarch is Head of State, represented
by a Governor-General, but Australia is an independent country.