Ekonomiko-geographical description of Australia
The course Work of Krim Yulia Group 1 "J" Zarafshan 2010
Commonwealth of Australia
Coat of arms
Anthem:Advance Australia FairN1
English (de facto)N2
Federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, see Government of Australia
Queen Elizabeth II
from the United Kingdom
1 January 1901
Statute of Westminster
11 December 1931
Statute of Westminster Adoption Act
9 October 1942 (with effect from 3 September 1939)
3 March 1986
Australian dollar (AUD)
variousN3 (UTC+8 to +10.5)
variousN3(UTC+8 to +11.5)
Drives on the
Australia (pronounced /??strejlj?/ ?-STRAYL-y? or /R?strejlj?/ o-STRAYL-y?, or more formally as /T??strejli?/ aw-STRAY-lee-?), officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent (the world's smallest), the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.N4 Neighbouring countries include Indonesia, East Timor, and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia to the north-east, and New Zealand to the southeast.
For some 40,000 years before European settlement commenced in the late 18th century, the Australian mainland and Tasmania were inhabited by around 250 individual nations of indigenous Australians. After sporadic visits by fishermen from the immediate north, and European discovery by Dutch explorers in 1606, the eastern half of Australia was claimed by the British in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales, founded on 26 January 1788. The population grew steadily in the following years; the continent was explored, and during the 19th century another five largely self-governing Crown Colonies were established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies became a federation, and the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Since Federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system and remains a Commonwealth realm. The population is 22 million, with approximately 60% concentrated in and around the mainland state capitals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. The nation's capital city is Canberra, located in the Australian Capital Territory.
Australia is a developed country, with a prosperous multicultural society and excellent results in many international comparisons of national performance such as human development, quality of life, health care, life expectancy, public education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. Australian cities routinely rank among the world's highest in terms of cultural offerings and quality of life. It is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, ANZUS, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, South Pacific Forum, and the World Trade Organization.
Artist's rendition of Port Jackson, the site where Sydney was established, viewed from the South Head. (From A Voyage to Terra Australis.)
The name Australia is derived from the Latin australis, meaning "southern". Legends of an "unknown land of the south" (terra australis incognita) date back to Roman times and were commonplace in medieval geography but were not based on any documented knowledge of the continent.
The first recorded use of the word Australia in English was in 1625, in "A note of Australia del Espiritu Santo, written by Master Hakluyt", published by Samuel Purchas in Hakluytus Posthumus. The Dutch adjectival form Australische was used by Dutch East India Company officials in Batavia to refer to the newly discovered land to the south in 1638. Australia was used in a 1693 translation of Les Aventures de Jacques Sadeur dans la Decouverte et le Voyage de la Terre Australe, a 1676 French novel by Gabriel de Foigny under the pen-name Jacques Sadeur. Alexander Dalrymple then used it in An Historical Collection of Voyages and Discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean (1771), to refer to the entire South Pacific region. In 1793, George Shaw and Sir James Smith published Zoology and Botany of New Holland, in which they wrote of "the vast island, or rather continent, of Australia, Australasia or New Holland". It also appeared on a 1799 chart by James Wilson.
The name Australia was popularised by Matthew Flinders, who, as early as 1804, pushed for the name to be formally adopted. When preparing his manuscript and charts for his 1814 A Voyage to Terra Australis, he was persuaded by his patron Sir Joseph Banks to use the term Terra Australis as this was the name most familiar to the public. Flinders did so, but allowed himself the footnote:
"Had I permitted myself any innovation on the original term, it would have been to convert it to Australia; as being more agreeable to the ear, and an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth."
This is the only occurrence of the word Australia in that text; but in Appendix III, Robert Brown's General remarks, geographical and systematical, on the botany of Terra Australis, Brown makes use of the adjectival form Australian throughout, this being the first known use of that form. Despite popular conception, the book was not instrumental in the adoption of the name: the name came gradually to be accepted over the following ten years. Lachlan Macquarie, a Governor of New South Wales, subsequently used the word in his dispatches to England, and on 12 December 1817 recommended to the Colonial Office that it be formally adopted. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known officially as Australia.
The word Australia in Australian English is pronounced [??st???lj?, -li?]. Since early in the 20th century, the country has been sometimes referred to locally and internationally as Oz.N5 Aussie is common colloquially as an adjective, and as a noun referring to an Australian.N6
Human habitation of Australia is estimated to have begun between 42,000 and 48,000 years ago. These first Australians may have been ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians; they may have arrived via land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia. Most of these people were hunter-gatherers, with a complex oral culture and spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime. The Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, were originally horticulturalists and hunter-gatherers.
A replica of Lieutenant Cook's ship HM Bark Endeavour in Cooktown Harbour
The first recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland was made by the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, who sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula in 1606. During the 17th century, the Dutch charted the whole of the western and northern coastlines of what they called New Holland, but they made no attempt at settlement. In 1770, James Cook sailed along and mapped the east coast of Australia, which he named New South Wales and claimed for Great Britain. Cook's discoveries prepared the way for establishment of a new penal colony. The British Crown Colony of New South Wales began a settlement at Port Jackson by Captain Arthur Phillip on 26 January 1788. This date was later to become Australia's national day, Australia Day. Van Diemen's Land, now known as Tasmania, was settled in 1803 and became a separate colony in 1825. The United Kingdom formally claimed the western part of Australia in 1829.
Separate colonies were created from parts of New South Wales: South Australia in 1836, Victoria in 1851, and Queensland in 1859. The Northern Territory was founded in 1911 when it was excised from South Australia. South Australia was founded as a "free province"--that is, it was never a penal colony. Victoria and Western Australia were also founded "free" but later accepted transported convicts. The transportation of convicts to the colony of New South Wales ceased in 1848 after a campaign by the settlers.
Port Arthur, Tasmania was Australia's largest gaol for transported convicts.
The Indigenous Australian population, estimated at 350,000 at the time of European settlement, declined steeply for 150 years following settlement, mainly because of infectious disease. The "Stolen Generations" (removal of Aboriginal children from their families), which historians such as Henry Reynolds have argued could be considered genocide by some definitions, may have contributed to the decline in the indigenous population. Such interpretations of Aboriginal history are disputed by some conservative commentators, such as former Prime Minister Howard, as being exaggerated or fabricated for political or ideological reasons. This debate is known within Australia as the History Wars. Following the 1967 referendum, the Federal government gained the power to implement policies and make laws with respect to Aborigines. Traditional ownership of land--native title--was not recognised until 1992, when the High Court case Mabo v Queensland (No 2) overturned the notion of Australia as terra nullius (literally "no one's land", effectively "empty land") at the time of European occupation.
The Last Post is played at an ANZAC Day ceremony in Port Melbourne, Victoria. Similar ceremonies are held in most suburbs and towns.
A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, and the Eureka Stockade rebellion against mining licence fees in 1854 was an early expression of civil disobedience. Between 1855 and 1890, the six colonies individually gained responsible government, managing most of their own affairs while remaining part of the British Empire. The Colonial Office in London retained control of some matters, notably foreign affairs, defence, and international shipping. On 1 January 1901, federation of the colonies was achieved after a decade of planning, consultation, and voting. The Commonwealth of Australia was born and it became a dominion of the British Empire in 1907. The Federal Capital Territory (later renamed the Australian Capital Territory) was formed from a part of New South Wales in 1911 to provide a location for the proposed new federal capital of Canberra. (Melbourne was the temporary seat of government from 1901 to 1927 while Canberra was being constructed.) The Northern Territory was transferred from the control of the South Australian government to the Commonwealth in 1911. In 1914 Australia joined Britain in fighting World War I, with support from both the outgoing Liberal Party and the incoming Labor Party. The Australians took part in many of the major battles fought on the Western Front. Many Australians regard the defeat of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) at Gallipoli as the birth of the nation--its first major military action. The Kokoda Track campaign is regarded by many as an analogous nation-defining event during World War II.
Britain's Statute of Westminster 1931 formally ended most of the constitutional links between Australia and the UK. Australia adopted it in 1942, but backdated it to the beginning of World War II to confirm the validity of legislation passed by the Australian Parliament during the war. The shock of the UK's defeat in Asia in 1942 and the threat of Japanese invasion caused Australia to turn to the United States as a new ally and protector. Since 1951, Australia has been a formal military ally of the US, under the ANZUS treaty. After World War II, Australia encouraged immigration from Europe; since the 1970s and the abolition of the White Australia policy, immigration from Asia and elsewhere was also encouraged. As a result, Australia's demography, culture, and self-image have been transformed. The final constitutional ties between Australia and the UK were severed with the passing of the Australia Act 1986, ending any British role in the government of the Australian States, and ending judicial appeals to the UK Privy Council. At the 1999 referendum, 54% of Australian voters rejected a proposal to become a republic with a president appointed by two-thirds vote of both houses of the Australian Parliament. Since the election of the Whitlam Government in 1972, there has been an increasing focus on the expansion of ties with other Pacific Rim nations while maintaining close ties with Australia's traditional allies and trading partners.
Parliament House, Canberra was opened in 1988, replacing the provisional Parliament House building opened in 1927.
The Commonwealth of Australia is a constitutional democracy based on a federal division of powers. The form of government used in Australia is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of Australia, a role that is distinct from her position as monarch of the other Commonwealth realms. The Queen is represented by the Governor-General at federal level and by the Governors at state level. Although the Constitution gives extensive executive powers to the Governor-General, these are normally exercised only on the advice of the Prime Minister. The most notable exercise of the Governor-General's reserve powers outside the Prime Minister's direction was the dismissal of the Whitlam Government in the constitutional crisis of 1975.
There are three branches of government:
· The legislature: the Commonwealth Parliament, comprising the Queen, the Senate, and the House of Representatives; the Queen is represented by the Governor-General, who by convention acts on the advice of his or her Ministers.
· The executive: the Federal Executive Council (the Governor-General as advised by the Executive Councillors); in practice, the councillors are the Prime Minister and Ministers of State.
· The judiciary: the High Court of Australia and other federal courts. Appeals from Australian courts to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in the United Kingdom ceased when the Australia Act of 1986 was passed.
The bicameral Commonwealth Parliament consists of the Queen, the Senate (the upper house) of 76 senators, and a House of Representatives (the lower house) of 150 members. Members of the lower house are elected from single-member constituencies, commonly known as "electorates" or "seats", allocated to states on the basis of population, with each original state guaranteed a minimum of five seats. In the Senate, each state is represented by twelve senators, and each of the territories (the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory) by two. Elections for both chambers are normally held every three years, simultaneously; senators have overlapping six-year terms, since only half of places in the Senate are put to each election unless the cycle is interrupted by a double dissolution. Although the Prime Minister is appointed by the Governor-General, in practice the party with majority support in the House of Representatives forms government and its leader becomes Prime Minister.
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