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The Black War: Violent Conflict Between British Colonists And Aboriginal Australians

Aborigines of Tas 1870

 

The Black War, which lasted from the mid-1820s to 1832, was a bloody conflict between British colonists and Aboriginal Australians in Australia. The Aboriginal Australians were thought to have existed for 40,000 to 45,000 years before the arrival of the first Europeans in the region, though some estimates put the figure as high as 60,000 years. More than 200 European colonists and approximately 900 Aboriginal people were killed in the conflict, which was fought primarily as a guerrilla war by both sides.

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The Black War began with the rapid expansion of British settlers and agricultural livestock throughout Tasmanian areas that were Aboriginal hunting grounds. Poverty is also thought to be a driving force behind the attacks; as hunting grounds shrank and native game disappeared, hunting became more dangerous.

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The Aboriginal people attacked the settlers to avenge the atrocities committed by British settlers, convicts, and soldiers, such as widespread rape, murder, and kidnapping of Aboriginal women and girls.

Fearing for their lives, the Europeans retaliated primarily at night or early in the morning with soldiers, civilians, and anyone willing to join the pursuit parties. The Aboriginal people, on the other hand, attacked during the day with weapons that were primarily used to kill livestock. Bounties were frequently offered to those who kidnapped or killed Aboriginal people.

After January 1832, conflict between Aboriginal peoples and British settlers was almost completely resolved. Almost 200 more Aboriginal people were deported, first to Hunter Island and then to Flinders Island.

Journalist Henry Melville coined the term “Black War” in 1835.

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Written by How Africa News

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