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The rise of the British empire - Australia
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Case Study 1: Why did the British become empire builders in Australia?

The first Europeans to gain a really strong foothold in the Pacific Ocean were the Dutch. Their main concern was to build up their trade with China. However, Dutch explorers became aware that there was a large land in the southern Pacific, which they called New Holland.

Despite this, it was the British who claimed and colonised the huge continent and called it Australia. Why did the British do this?
Look at the background and the sources in this case study and see what you can discover about their motives.

Use the Worksheet to record what you find out.
The Background will give you an introduction to the rise of the British empire in Australia.
1   2   3   4
1. Instructions to Captain Cook, 1769   2. Letter from Captain Cook on Australia, 1770   3. Extract from Cook’s log book, 1770   4. Medallion on the future of a new colony, 1789
5   6        
5. Convict colony records, New South Wales, 1792   6. Painting of the arrival of British colonists        
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