The Fatal Show-Australian History
THE FATAL SHOW-AUSTRALIAN HISTORY 5
TheFatal Show-Australian History
TheFatal Show-Australian History
WhatKarskens Finds Problematic About the Long Historiography of Early NewSouth Wales
Karskensobserves that what actuallyhappened in New South Wales was the establishment of a penal colony.Australia’s long historiography is an antiquity about the origin ofNew South Wales, which isclosely linkedtothe transportation system of the convicts and the suffering andbrutality under British colonial masters. This historiography thenfocuses on sociological, political, and historical reasons, whichcontributed to the settlement of the Britons(Karskens, 2013).Karskens posits that at the time when the Britons propagated thistransportation system, convicts were considered to be people withoutstatus due to their corrupt nature. She notes that the convict systemwas never a form of slavery and that the long historiography of thecolonial period between 1788 and 1822 was not a time of terror andincarceration as is commonly purported. Karskens argues that freeimmigrants benefitted from the economic foundations that were set bythe Britons.
Therecently revealed studies by scholars illustrate that the details ofthe colonial period were not clearly understood leading to amisunderstanding over their distinctions and motivations. Further,Karskens notes that the history of New South Wales largelyconsists of narratives of tyranny, torture,and slavery, which still dominate the imagination of the Australians(Karskens, 2013).All these memories werereportedwhile giving little consideration to the advancements of the 19thcentury. As a consequence, the convict period was understood to be atime of shame and evil.
Thoughthe ideal representation of the early convict period is supposed toberepresentedby the cradle and the hoe,it is represented commonly by the ball and the chain. The commonunderstanding is that Australian history and its origin was inslavery rather than a different type of civilization. Karskens notesthat Australia’s identity and history havefor a long time beentiedto convicts and a system of bondage rather than stating theachievements and the successes of the architects of the Australiansociety.
TheAlternative Interpretation That Karskens Offers
Karskenssuggests that the alternative way of interpreting the Australianhistory is by considering it to be a time, which was known asa cradle, a hoe,and a colonially built ship. She suggests that it is critical tofocus on the achievements recorded during the period rather than thesystemic challenges documented in the society. There wereachievements of convicts, which allowed them to have small landgrants and to be part of Agricultural works. Karskens observes thatthe gold system did not exist originallysince ex-convictswere allowed to own property and to build houses(Karskens, 2013).
Thesuggestion that the author makes is that convicts should not only beunderstoodin the context of their challenges but rather in the depth of theirnature and character. Successful farming wasrecordedamong the ex-convict farmers in New South Wales, who had achieved alevel of self-sufficiency. They prospered in growing crops likepotatoes, maize,and wheat. The suggestion then is that the ex-convicts did not sufferwithout reprieve and though they were mostlyilliterate and had to provide labor, they were also entitled torights such as those of practicing subsistent farming(Karskens, 2013).The author also suggests that the alternative way of perceiving theAustralian historiography is by comprehending the antiquity of theex-convicts and the activities such as farming and town building inwhich they were involved in.
Karskens,G. (2013). The settler evolution: space, place,and memory in early colonial Australia. Journalof the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, 13(2).
No related posts.