Why didn't the East colonise Australia?

May 2011
13,889
Navan, Ireland
#63
It was insisted earlier that these cultures discovered Australia; which is likely yet questionable assumptions. It's not as if any Indian, Arab or Chinese histories or explorers detailed the place. Maybe Indonesia, like those Java kingdoms?
We have to remember the distances involved are huge, Australia may be closer to India and China than the UK but they are still a long way and as I said for what? nothing what did Australia have to offer other than space and potential?

We have to remember that the European explorers were pushing the boundaries of technology and taking huge risks (what a circumnavigation of the globe could have a less than 50% survival rate) and take years. Now OK they wee partly doing this for a thirst for knowledge and a hope of 'new' lands about which there were rumours--- which would imply that travellers had reached the lands before, fisherman in Newfoundland for instance and Viking tales and I am sure there were the Javanese equivalents etc but they were also pushing the boundaries because they knew for a fact that India and China existed and they wanted to get there to trade-- as they already did via intermediaries who put up the price a great deal. A hold full of spices was literally worth more than gold.

Europeans knew about Australia for the better part of two centuries before anyone bothered to settle there, Indiamen (ie the ships) used its west coast as a marker to change course and sail for India -- basically if you saw it you'd gone too far and needed to sail north. Not worth anything and Western Australia isn't exactly the most hospitable place, first European 'settlers' in Australia were (to my knowledge) ship wreaked/ marooned Dutch sailors.

Neither the Indian nor the Chinese (if you don't count Gavin Menzies 'histories') had a record as great sailors for various reasons.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,451
Portugal
#64
Why you are generalizing that Arabs sailors were only slave traders?. For example the Arabs who settled along the shores of South India and in Sri Lanka, were not slave traders.
Slaves were a product. Arab traders traded with products. Slaves were one of them. The slave trade from the Horn of Africa, particularly from Ethiopia to India was intense in some periods.

It was insisted earlier that these cultures discovered Australia; which is likely yet questionable assumptions. It's not as if any Indian, Arab or Chinese histories or explorers detailed the place. Maybe Indonesia, like those Java kingdoms?
The problem with certain claims is always the same: Sources. In History we need sources to make reasonable assumptions. The Arabs, the Hindus, the Javanese sailed in the Indian Ocean before the arrival of the Europeans in the late of the 15th century. Did they or the Portuguese, the first Europeans, arrived to Australia? It is quite possible, we have some tips about it, but we don’t have enough sources to turn that into an unquestionable paradigm.

Neither the Indian nor the Chinese (if you don't count Gavin Menzies 'histories') had a record as great sailors for various reasons.
That is not entirely correct and has a perspective too much Eurocentric, and this is said from an Eurocentric person like me. And that is the problem with writers like Gavin Menzies, they distort things to a point that cause a negative reaction. Chinese, Hindus and Arab did sail far from their homes. We know reasonably well about the Chinese, we just don’t know much about the Hindus, that reached Java quite early, and the Arabs. and Muslims in general. that dominated the Indian Ocean trade before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 15th century. They surely had great sailors, mostly anonymous, but sill great. The Portuguese needed more than half of a century to reach the southern horn of Africa, but from there only one voyage to reach India. That was because the Indian Ocean trade was so well developed.
 
May 2011
13,889
Navan, Ireland
#65
.............................

That is not entirely correct and has a perspective too much Eurocentric, and this is said from an Eurocentric person like me. And that is the problem with writers like Gavin Menzies, they distort things to a point that cause a negative reaction. Chinese, Hindus and Arab did sail far from their homes. We know reasonably well about the Chinese, we just don’t know much about the Hindus, that reached Java quite early, and the Arabs. and Muslims in general. that dominated the Indian Ocean trade before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 15th century. They surely had great sailors, mostly anonymous, but sill great. The Portuguese needed more than half of a century to reach the southern horn of Africa, but from there only one voyage to reach India. That was because the Indian Ocean trade was so well developed.
Of course they produced sailors and traded and the Chinese certainly had the potential to sail great distances and while I think Gaven Menzies work is simply rubbish I don't discount that the Chinese had the technical ability to sail to North America etc or at least the ability to develop that ability (if that makes sense?). However for various reasons they became inward looking.

Neither the Chinese or Indian sailed out of the Indian Ocean because they didn't have to it was the Europeans who had to sail two Oceans if they wanted to trade.

India did not build anything like an East Indiaman or a Ship of the line but when the British arrived they set up shipyards and while initially using British shipwrights were very soon using local craftsmen and the yard was even being run by a local shipwright.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,483
Sydney
#66
The Malays certainly came to Northern Australia ,
so did the Timoreses , Papuans , Maoris and any number of half lost navigators from any number of countries
the place is singularly inhospitable on the West side
the Dutch knew it well and avoided it like the plague , those who didn't got shipwrecked and died there
On the East side it's somewhat better but not by much ,
the land is infertile , no possible resupply , there is nothing worth trading , the women are scarce and remarkably ugly
the South is one solid wall of rock swept by frequent Westerlies which smash your ship on the uninterrupted cliffs of the great bight
there is absolutely no water to be had and no landing spot

1561301578633.png
only around the south Eastern part is it liveable somewhat but that's a lot of effort for little reward

The Good Lord made Australia as the promised land for the rabbits
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,451
Portugal
#68
Of course they produced sailors and traded and the Chinese certainly had the potential to sail great distances and while I think Gaven Menzies work is simply rubbish I don't discount that the Chinese had the technical ability to sail to North America etc or at least the ability to develop that ability (if that makes sense?). However for various reasons they became inward looking.

Neither the Chinese or Indian sailed out of the Indian Ocean because they didn't have to it was the Europeans who had to sail two Oceans if they wanted to trade.

India did not build anything like an East Indiaman or a Ship of the line but when the British arrived they set up shipyards and while initially using British shipwrights were very soon using local craftsmen and the yard was even being run by a local shipwright.
Beginning with the end, the Polynesian, the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch, the English also didn’t build ships of the line or East Indiaman to arrive to the Indian Ocean. Every people has his own naval abilities and solutions. The Arabs had the dhow, the Portuguese had the Caravela and the different types of naus and galleons, so had the Spanish… etc.. most probably the Phoenicians went around Africa with galley ships.

I quite agree with you about Gaven Menzies. We are on the same line there. I also don’t think that the Chinese had technical ability to sail to North America, even if I agree that they had the ability to develop that ability. But it seems that they didn’t, as is seems that they didn’t entered the Atlantic. They just sailed in the Indian Ocean and East Pacific. Integrating a trade network that developed there, such as the trade network that existed in the Mediterranean.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,483
Sydney
#69
My bad ......the fishermen were not Timorese but Makassan . who were watering and beaching their craft when harvesting trepang sea cucumbers
they would have needed some shore base to dry them for the return transport
the dingo is presumed to have been introduced in two waves ,
the second being related to Indonesian contacts ( sailor food perhaps )
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,451
Portugal
#70
My bad ......the fishermen were not Timorese but Makassan . who were watering and beaching their craft when harvesting trepang sea cucumbers

they would have needed some shore base to dry them for the return transport
the dingo is presumed to have been introduced in two waves ,
the second being related to Indonesian contacts ( sailor food perhaps )
Apparently you are right, albeit in some later chronology, if we trust in this Wikipedia entry on this:

Makassan contact with Australia - Wikipedia

“The term Makassan (or Macassan) is generally used to apply to all the trepangers who came to Australia, although some were from other islands in the Indonesian Archipelago, including Timor, Rote and Aru.”
 

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