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Cultural Genocide of the Aborigines

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"Cultural Genocide of the Aborigines"

In the 1800s, the aboriginal tribes of Austrailia's population was estimated around 750,000. There were hundreds of languages, religions, and traditions, which vaired greatly among different tribes. In 1788, British colonization of Australia began in Sydney. The most immediate effect of the British settling in Australia was the spread of new diseases. The Aboriginal tribes had not been exposed to various types of diseases that the British brought with them, which included smallpox, measles, chickenpox, influenza, and veneral disease. The effects of these outbreaks were devastating to the tribes. The tribes were also forced off of their land, which led to a shortage of water and food. Combined with the disease already plaguing the Aboriginees, the loss of land and direct violence reduced the Aboriginal population by an estimated 90% between 1788 and 1900. In addition, birthrates were severely decreased because the spread of veneral diseases caused infertility.

Another impact of the british settlement was the loss of many cultural and religious practices. The British had the impression that they could move the Aborigines off of their land, and that they would be happy and able to thrive somewhere else. This was not true, and due to being uprooted from their traditional land; they could not maintain their religious and traditional practices. Tribes were dispursed and their cultures were mixed.

By the early 20th century the indigenous population had declined to between 50,000 and 90,000, and the belief that the Indigenous Australians would soon die out was widely held, even among Australians sympathetic to their situation. But by about 1930, those Indigenous Australians who had survived had acquired better resistance to imported diseases, and birthrates began to rise again as communities were able to adapt to changed circumstances

The third consequence of the British settlement was something called "The Stolen Generation". The term is used to describe Aboriginal children (usually of mixed decent) that were removed from their homes and families, and placed into foster homes, orphanages, camps, or boarding houses. The children were removed in order to prevent them being socialised in Aboriginal culture, and raise the boys as agricultural labourers and the girls as domestic servants.

Estimates have been made that between

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