Australia’s Greentime history

Daryl Best on use and abuse in Australia's environmental history.

In the United Kingdom, there is a growing awareness of the environment in History. This is a field about which much has been written in the United States. In Australia, the ways in which the environment has affected society, over time, are central to what constitutes Australian history and identity. This topic continues to be a rich field for historiographical study, the findings of which are interpreted by different political parties in Australia to validate their raison d’être. The theme surfaces in the study of Aboriginal societies, the impact of European peoples since 1770 (when Captain Cook and the botanist Sir Joseph Banks first sighted Botany Bay in New South Wales) and more recently Australia’s constitutional history.

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