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Charles Napier, big business, and history

  1. Dec 10, 2003 #1
    I'm watching a documentary on Australian history at the moment. Their brief mention of Charles Napier was interesting. They say he tried to secure a system in which the natives would be treated as equal under the law, and would be viewed as owners of the land, such that any who wanted that land would have to make legitimate purchases. However, as with the rest of the European settlement of Australia, big business took over, and his ideals were swept aside.

    I recall that almost exactly the same thing happened to Governor Phillip. He had similar ideas, but was overtaken by the settlement/expansion of Europeans.

    The Royal Society, way back in the beginning, was one of the backers for the earliest exploration of Australia. They had as a condition for their support an agreement that all the lands here would be considered the property of the natives, and those natives would be treated decently. Of course, this didn't happen.

    Even back then, big business was crushing people underfoot. Or perhaps it is more fundamental to say that even back then, and perhaps always, human greed exerts more influence than altruism.
  2. jcsd
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