By Stuart Banner

Throughout the 19th century, British and American settlers bought an unlimited quantity of land from indigenous humans in the course of the Pacific, yet in no locations did they gather it an analogous approach. Stuart Banner tells the tale of colonial cost in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. this day, indigenous humans personal even more land in a few of these areas than in others. and likely indigenous peoples make the most of treaty rights, whereas others don't. those adaptations are traceable to offerings made greater than a century ago--choices approximately no matter if indigenous humans have been the vendors in their land and the way that land was once to be transferred to whites. Banner argues that those variations weren't as a result of any planned land coverage created in London or Washington. really, the choices have been made in the neighborhood by way of settlers and colonial officers and have been in line with elements atypical to every colony, resembling even if the neighborhood indigenous humans have been agriculturalists and what point of political association they'd attained. those adjustments loom very huge now, even perhaps higher than they did within the 19th century, simply because they proceed to steer the process litigation and political fight among indigenous humans and whites over claims to land and different assets. owning the Pacific is an unique and largely conceived examine of the way colonial struggles over land nonetheless form the relatives among whites and indigenous humans all through a lot of the realm.

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Additional info for Possessing the Pacific: Land, Settlers, and Indigenous People from Australia to Alaska

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North America had some empty places, but Australia sounded like an empty continent. The Aborigines were not just few in number, Cook and his colleagues explained. They were also less technologically advanced than other indigenous people the British had encountered. They had no clothing. ” Unlike the Indians of eastern North America, and unlike the Polynesians Cook met on the way to Australia, the Aborigines were not farmers. ”8 The absence of Aboriginal farms was crucial, because the British were heirs to a long tradition of thought associating the development of prop- 18 AUSTRALIA erty rights with a society’s passage through specific stages of civilization.

51 But compensation would never be awarded. The other oft-proposed remedy for the injustice of terra nullius was to allocate reserves for the Aborigines. The merchant George Fife Angas was one of the founders of South Australia, but he believed that “positive injustice has been done to the natives” by the founding of the colony, because the Aborigines’ land had been taken from them. Questioned by a House of Commons committee in 1841, Angas made his view clear. Were they not migratory tribes? —No, they had distinct limits; every family had a location.

Were they not migratory tribes? —No, they had distinct limits; every family had a location. Had they such a fixed residence previously to the settlement of any Europeans in the country? —Yes, it was accurately defined; not only was the district of the tribe defined, but the districts of the families of the tribe were so also. Defined in relation to each other? —Defined in relation to each other. Then did they recognise the rights of property in land? —In that sense they did. They respected each other’s portions of land?

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