Studies About Australia

Australia, known as the "Land Down Under" because of its location in the southern hemisphere, is one of the only countries that inhabit an entire continent. Australia has given the world famous actors, singers, and top athletes. Its culture is primarily European, due to the colonization efforts of Britain in the 19th century.

Australia's History

Australia was originally home to native people who found the continent by boat around 40,000 years ago. The island was explored by several European ships before the British formally declared a colony on Australia in 1788. Most of the early colonists were convicts that had been accused of crimes in England. The severity of their crimes ranged from petty theft to outright murder. These convicts were a rough and ready people who carved a living from the harsh Australian landscape. In 1942, Australia gained full independence from Britain. Modern Australia is home to bustling metropolitan cities filled with art, culture, and business.

Size and Population

The entire continent of Australia is approximately the same size as the United States. Most of the land is harsh desert, known as the outback, which is difficult to cultivate. Most of the Australian population lives in large cities that stretch along the southern coasts of the continent. The interior outback regions are still populated by tribes of aborigines who trace their lineage back to the earliest settlers of the island. Australia is home to roughly 22 million people, excluding the aborigines who are difficult to count accurately.

Economic Exports

Much of the Australian economy is based on tourism. Millions of tourists visit the island nation annually. Australia is also home to several gems and minerals that provide them with a lucrative export industry. The gold that is located within the Australian outback played a large part in luring more people to Australia and increasing the general population. Australia exports gold, diamonds, and other precious metals and stones. It is also home to deep coal mines and natural gas reserves that have become more lucrative in recent years. The Australian people enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.

Government Structure

The Australian government is democratic in nature. It includes three separate political parties, including the Liberal Party, the Nationals, and the Australian Labor Party. Each group is eligible to present candidates for all forms of government leadership roles. The country is currently controlled by the Australian Labor Party, which is focused on labor reform and climate control. Much like the United States, Australian government consists of a congress, senate, and president. Each segment of the government works to represent the will of the general Australians who vote each representative into office.