Who was James Cook? James Cook was an Englishman who was born in 1728. Cook came from a poor family, and was lucky to get a basic education. When Cook was 26 he joined the navy. By the time Cook was 29 he had been made a commander of a warship.
The Endeavour- 1770 • James Cook was made the captain of a ship called the Endeavour. This ship was to sail to Tahiti for scientific observations. • Cook was given some secret instructions in an envelope. The instructions told him that he also had to go and explore the unknown New Holland.
Then, on 19 April 1770, New Holland was spotted. The Endeavour travelled north and finally landed at Botany Bay on 29 April 1770. They spent a few days here collecting plants and flowers and observing the land and the people.
Further up the coast, the ship was damaged on the coral of the Great Barrier Reef. A camp was set up so the crew could repair the ship. This place is known today as Cooktown.
When the ship was repaired, the crew continued up to the very top of Australia, Cape York. The next day they went ashore and claimed Australia for Britain. Cook named it Possession Island.
What Captain Cook thought of AustraliaCaptain James Cook was very impressed with Australia. When Cook returned to England, he told King George III that the soil was good for crops. He said that there were lots of birds and animals to hunt for food and that the waters were filled with fish.
The King was pleased with this news and began to plan to move English people to this country to secure it for him.What is Terra Nullius?When Captain Cook was in Australia he decided the land was ’Terra Nullius'. What does that mean?
Terra nullius means 'land belonging to no one'.This meant that Captain Cook believed that the land was free for whoever got there first to take it.
Why was Australia Terra Nullius? When Captain Cook and his crew were in Australia they met Aboriginal people who were considered the first inhabitants of Australia.
Cook decided that because of the way the Aboriginal people lived it was not their land. • The Aboriginal people did not show their ownership with fences or markers, like people in Europe. • Cook decided that the British could colonise.
This decision led to Australia's Indigenous people losing all their rights to the land. The fight for land rights is still going on today.