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Introduction: connecting past, present and future

Chapter


Abstract


  • Australia's economic history is a remarkable story and one worth telling:

    the transformation in a little over two centuries of a largely subsistent indigenous

    economy and a small, initially impoverished, convict settlement to a

    nation of nearly 23 million people with advanced economic, social and political

    structures and among the highest standards of living in the world. It is

    the history of vast lands with rich exploitable resources, cyclical shocks and

    changes, and the new peopling of a continent to build a modern economy

    of workers and consumers. It is the history of business, community and government,

    of the interactions of private and public sectors. It is about nation

    building through the creation of major infrastructure, but also through

    leveraging the benefits of international economic linkages. It is also about

    tackling adversity - economic depressions in the 184os, 1890s and 1930s and

    military conflict in 1914-18 and 1939-45. At the same time it is about building

    prosperity - in the 186os to the 188os, from 1945 to the 1970s, and most

    recently and quite spectacularly from the 1990s to the present. It is the recognition

    of some of the costs of that economic growth, particularly the severe

    impact on the prior Indigenous (i.e. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander)

    population and on the environment, and how to redress those impacts.

    Finally, like all good history, Australia's tale is about human volition and

    behaviour and the institutions that are created to harness and govern that

    human endeavour - for our purposes, specifically how this has worked out

    in 'Terra Australis Incognita' through its economy. The history of Australian

    development, thus, has resonance for the country's own sense of itself. It

    also has interest for others, both as part of the global human story and for

    its distinctive insights.

UOW Authors


Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Ville, S. & Withers, G. (2015). Introduction: connecting past, present and future. In S. Ville & G. Withers (Eds.), The Cambridge Economic History of Australia (pp. 1-8). Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9781107029491

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84954119159

Book Title


  • The Cambridge Economic History of Australia

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 8

Place Of Publication


  • Melbourne

Abstract


  • Australia's economic history is a remarkable story and one worth telling:

    the transformation in a little over two centuries of a largely subsistent indigenous

    economy and a small, initially impoverished, convict settlement to a

    nation of nearly 23 million people with advanced economic, social and political

    structures and among the highest standards of living in the world. It is

    the history of vast lands with rich exploitable resources, cyclical shocks and

    changes, and the new peopling of a continent to build a modern economy

    of workers and consumers. It is the history of business, community and government,

    of the interactions of private and public sectors. It is about nation

    building through the creation of major infrastructure, but also through

    leveraging the benefits of international economic linkages. It is also about

    tackling adversity - economic depressions in the 184os, 1890s and 1930s and

    military conflict in 1914-18 and 1939-45. At the same time it is about building

    prosperity - in the 186os to the 188os, from 1945 to the 1970s, and most

    recently and quite spectacularly from the 1990s to the present. It is the recognition

    of some of the costs of that economic growth, particularly the severe

    impact on the prior Indigenous (i.e. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander)

    population and on the environment, and how to redress those impacts.

    Finally, like all good history, Australia's tale is about human volition and

    behaviour and the institutions that are created to harness and govern that

    human endeavour - for our purposes, specifically how this has worked out

    in 'Terra Australis Incognita' through its economy. The history of Australian

    development, thus, has resonance for the country's own sense of itself. It

    also has interest for others, both as part of the global human story and for

    its distinctive insights.

UOW Authors


Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Ville, S. & Withers, G. (2015). Introduction: connecting past, present and future. In S. Ville & G. Withers (Eds.), The Cambridge Economic History of Australia (pp. 1-8). Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9781107029491

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84954119159

Book Title


  • The Cambridge Economic History of Australia

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 8

Place Of Publication


  • Melbourne