Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:15 pm
Location: Eastern KY
Not sure of all countries, but I think back in 1800s and sooner, did farmers buy their land? Did they just settle any where and start to build. So maybe the farms could be free to start.
Doing a little bit of research, it's both. Intially British settlers were only permitted to occupy within a limited amount of territory. The governor had a right to grant parcels of land privately to individuals, most typically military officers, who were given land at 1 shilling per 50 acres, in exchange for working and occupying the land and fortifying the territory against skirmishes with indigenous people. Land grants were typically very conservative in order to promote management and slow growth, and in recognition of a British government order for the governor and subjects to engage in peaceful relations with any indigenous people. By 1821 less than 1000 square miles had been granted. After 1825, a person could purchase up to 4000 acres of land at 5 shilling to 7 shilling an acre. After 1831, farmers on the edges of the boundaries of the nineteen settled territories began squatting on land beyond the border, with little to no recognition of te rights of indigenous people. After 1936, one could legally do so by paying an annual 10 shilling license. This squatting lead to an additional 200 miles of intrusion into indigenous lands and lead to further expansion of British colonists into the Australian interior.
From Wikipedia, some phrasing added by myself (this is long):
- [+] Spoiler
- In 1770 a British expedition under the command of then-Lieutenant James Cook made the first voyage by Europeans along the Australian east coast. Cook, in his voyage up the east coast of Australia, observed no signs of agriculture or other development by its inhabitants, but did encounter a small group of indigenous hunters who weakly threatened his ship before they ran off after a small skirmish. Some historians argue that under prevailing European law such land was deemed terra nullius or land belonging to nobody or land 'empty of inhabitants' (as defined by Emerich de Vattel). Cook wrote that he formally took possession of the east coast of New Holland on 22 August 1770 when on Possession Island off the west coast of Cape York Peninsula.
The British Government decided to establish a prison colony in Australia in 1786. Under the European legal doctrine of terra nullius, Indigenous Australians were not recognised as having property rights and territory could be acquired through 'original occupation' rather than conquest or consent. The colony's Governor, Captain Arthur Phillip, was instructed to "live in amity and kindness" with Indigenous Australians and sought to avoid conflict. The British settlement of Australia commenced with the First Fleet in mid-January 1788 in the south-east in what is now the federal state of New South Wales. This process then continued into Tasmania and Victoria from 1803 onward. Since then the population density of white people has remained highest in this section of the Australian continent
According to the first census of 1788, as reported by Governor Phillip to Lord Sydney, the Home Secretary, the white population in the colony was 1,030, of which 753 were convicts and their children; the colony also had 7 horses, 29 sheep, 74 swine, 6 rabbits, and 7 cattle. The Indigenous population was not counted or estimated, nor reported at that point. Estimated minimum indigenous population by 1788, based on two 20th-century studies and review of known occupied tribal lands, places that figure around 795,000 nationwide and around 160,000 in New South Whales. More settlers came with the arrival of the Second Fleet in 1789, and the Third Fleet in 1791, with other convict transports in the years that followed.
Governors of New South Wales had authority to make land grants to free settlers, emancipists (former convicts) and non-commissioned officers. Land grants were often subject to conditions, such as a quit rent (one shilling per 50 acres (200,000 m2) to be paid after five years) and a requirement for the grantee to reside on and cultivate the land.
Whaling in Australia commenced in 1791, when Captain Thomas Melvill, commanding the Britannia, one of 11 ships of the Third Fleet, and Captain Eber Bunker of the William and Ann, after landing their passengers and cargo then went whaling and sealing in Australasian waters. Seal skins, Whale oil and baleen (whalebone) were valuable commodities and provided Australia with its first major export industries. Sealing and whaling contributed more to the colonial economy than land produce until the 1830s. When Governor Phillip left the colony in December 1792, the European population was 4,221, of whom 3,099 were convicts.
During the 1790s and early 19th century the British established small settlements along the Australian coastline. These settlements initially occupied small amounts of land, and there was little conflict between the settlers and Indigenous peoples. Fighting broke out when the settlements expanded, however, disrupting traditional Indigenous food-gathering activities, and subsequently followed the pattern of European settlement in Australia for the next 150 years. Indeed, whilst the reactions of the Aboriginal inhabitants to the sudden arrival of British settlers were varied, they became inevitably hostile when their presence led to competition over resources, and to the occupation of their lands. Not all Indigenous Australians resisted white encroachment on their lands either, whilst many also served in mounted police units and were involved in attacks on other tribes. Settlers in turn often reacted with violence, resulting in a number of indiscriminate massacres. European activities provoking significant conflict included pastoral squatting and gold rushes.
Governor Macquarie was appointed in 1810 There was a change of policy under his administration towards the promotion of a private economy to support the penal regime, separate from the activities and interests of the colonial government. There was a significant increase in penal transportation after 1810, which provided cheap and skilled labour for the colony. As laborers, craftsmen, clerks and tradesmen, many convicts possessed the skills required in the new settlements. As their terms expired, they also added permanently to the free population.
In line with the British government's policy of concentrated land settlement for the colony, Governors of New South Wales tended to be conservative in making land grants. By the end of Macquarie’s tenure in 1821, less than 1,000 square miles (3,000 km2) of land had been granted in the colony. Above all, agriculture was established on the basis of land grants to senior officials and emancipated convicts, and limited freedoms were allowed to convicts to supply a range of goods and services. Although economic life depended heavily on the government Commissariat as a supplier of goods, money and foreign exchange, individual rights in property and labour were recognised, and private markets for both started to function.
During Governor Brisbane's 4-year term (1821–1825) land grants were more readily made. In addition, regulations introduced during Brisbane’s term enabled settlers to purchase (with his permission) up to 4,000 acres (16 km²) at 5s an acre (with superior quality land priced at 7s 6d). During his term, the total amount of land in private hands virtually doubled.
Those known as 'free settlers' were only permitted to take up land within the approved areas, which from 1826 was confined to the Nineteen Counties of the Sydney settlement. From 1831 the granting of free land ceased and the only land that was to be available for sale was to be within the Nineteen Counties. Despite the uncertainty of land tenure, squatters ran large numbers of sheep and cattle beyond the boundaries. From 1836 they could legally do so, paying ten pounds per year for the right.
From the 1820s economic growth was based increasingly upon the production of fine wool and other rural commodities for markets in Britain and the industrializing economies of Northwestern Europe. To finance this trade a number of banks set up in London in the 1830s, including the Bank of Australasia in 1835 and the Union Bank of Australia established in 1837. This growth was interrupted by two major depressions during the 1840s and 1890s and stimulated in complex ways by the rich gold discoveries in Victoria in 1851, but the underlying dynamics were essentially unchanged.
At different times, the extraction of natural resources, whether maritime before the 1840s or later gold and other minerals, was also important. Agriculture, local manufacturing and construction industries expanded to meet the immediate needs of growing populations, which concentrated increasingly in the main urban centers.
The opportunities for large profits in pastoralism and mining attracted considerable amounts of British capital, while expansion generally was supported by enormous government outlays for transport, communication and urban infrastructures, which also depended heavily on British finance. As the economy expanded, large-scale immigration became necessary to satisfy the growing demand for workers, especially after the end of convict transportation to the eastern mainland in 1840.
The costs of immigration were subsidized by colonial governments, with settlers coming predominantly from the United Kingdom and bringing skills that contributed enormously to the economy's growth. All this provided the foundation for the establishment of free colonial societies. In turn, the institutions associated with these – including the rule of law, secure property rights, and stable and democratic political systems – created conditions that, on balance, fostered growth.
In 1831, the principles of systematic colonization popularized by Edward Gibbon Wakefield (1796–1862) were put into practice in New South Wales with the substitution of land sales for grants in order to finance immigration. This, however, did not affect the continued outward movement of pastoralists who simply occupied land where they could find it beyond the official limits of settlement, usually in disregard for any rights of indigenous peoples.
By 1840, they had claimed a vast swathe of territory two hundred miles in depth running from Moreton Bay in the north (the site of modern Brisbane) to the Port Phillip District (the future colony of Victoria, whose capital Melbourne was marked out in 1837) to Adelaide in South Australia. The absence of any legal title meant that these intruders became known as 'squatters' and the terms of their tenure were not finally settled until 1846 after a prolonged political struggle with the Governor of New South Wales, Sir George Gipps.
Both the physical environment and the official incentives just described raised expectations of considerable profits to be made in pastoral enterprise and attracted a growing stream of British capital in the form of organizations like the Australian Agricultural Company (1824), which was granted the right to select 1,000,000 acres (4,047 km2) in New South Wales for agricultural development; and new corporate settlements were established in Western Australia (1829) and South Australia (1836). By the 1830s, wool had overtaken whale oil as the colony's most important export, and by 1850 New South Wales had displaced Germany as the main overseas supplier to British industry.
Allowing for the colonial economy's growing complexity, the cycle of growth based upon land settlement, exports and British capital would be repeated twice. The first pastoral boom ended in a depression which was at its worst during 1842–43. Although output continued to grow during the 1840s, the best land had been occupied in the absence of substantial investment in fencing and water supplies. Without further geographical expansion, opportunities for high profits were reduced and the flow of British capital dried up, contributing to a wider downturn caused by drought and mercantile failure.
The discovery of gold in 1851 led to gold rushes in many parts of Australia and changed the direction of the Australian economy. The discovery led to many workers leaving their employment and heading for the goldfields. The gold rushes caused a huge influx of people from overseas, including from many non-British sources. In the 1850s Victoria was Australia's gold mining centre, its population increasing from 76,000 in 1851 to 540,000 in 1861. Australia's total population more than tripled from 430,000 in 1851 to 1.7 million in 1871. There was a resumption of wool as the principal provider of economic growth by 1860.
The colonial governments started a "development strategy" by issuing bonds to the London market, selling public land and using this to fund infrastructure. As fertile land became less available to settlers, pastoral industries continued to increase their land holdings for the use of wool production. This caused a retraction in returns on investment by pastoral companies. Even when poorer land was utilized for the purpose of wool production there was continued investment both from private backers, and governments (in the form of transportation infrastructure).
An investment boom in Australia in the 1880s saw increased economic expansion although the investments were providing less of a return. That can be attributed to foreign funds' becoming more available to Australia. The influx of capital led to Australians' experiencing the highest per capita incomes in the world during the late 19th century.
The eastern Australian colonies saw the start of a severe depression in 1890-91. The impact of the end of the long boom and the collapse of the property market in Melbourne did not impact as greatly the economy of the colony of Western Australia, where substantial reserves of gold were discovered at Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie in a region of Western Australia that subsequently became known as the 'Goldfields'. This prompted a 'Gold Rush' in Western Australia characterized by a sustained, rapid expansion of the colony that would continue up to the First World War. This expansion allowed the development of the port of Fremantle, the opening up of the south-west corner of the colony for agricultural development and the rapid expansion of the colonial rail network.
In the 1880s, the long boom culminated in a frenzy of speculation and rapid inflation of land prices known as the Land Boom and centred on the city of Melbourne. Governments shared in the wealth and ploughed money into urban infrastructure, particularly railways. Huge fortunes were built on speculation, and Victorian business and politics became notorious for corruption. English banks lent freely to colonial speculators, adding to the mountain of debt on which the boom was built. Following the collapse of the Land Boom, property values in central Melbourne would not return to the level of the 1880s until the late 1950s (in real terms).
In 1901, the first federal government formed by the Protectionist Party. In 1904, the Australian Labor Party forms the Commonwealth government, the first labour movement in the world to attain government. While wool-growing remained at the centre of economic activity, a variety of new goods, such as wheat, dairy and other agriculturally-based produce, became part of Australian exports. It was in then that the latter started contributing more to economic growth than wool production. Part of thar emergence of other sources of economic expansion came from technological progress, such as disease-resistant wheat and refrigerated shipping. The development of thise technologies also renewed large-scale foreign investment. That injection of foreign investment led to increases in construction, particularly in the private residential sector. That injection of foreign cash was the main contributor to economic expansion, which was again troublesome for Australia’s economy. Returns on investments, as before, were immensely different from the expected returns.
By the 1920s, agricultural producers were experiencing profit troubles and governments, which invested heavily on transportation infrastructure, were not getting the returns that they had expected. Cutbacks in borrowing, government and private expenditure in the late 1920s led to a recession. The recession itself became worse as other nations fell into depressions. They not only cut back on foreign investments to Australia but also led to a lower demand for Australian exports. That culminated into the biggest recession in Australia's history, which peaked in 1931-1932.