Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Writing the History of the Australian Frontier Essay

Writing the History of the Australian Frontier - Essay Example However, Reynolds denied the claim by Windschuttle and stood by his original estimate. Thus, there started a conflict between the two distinguished figures over the number of Aboriginals killed in the frontier. "This skirmish was the first in what has since become known as the Aboriginal history wars. Windschuttle fired more shots in articles in the last four issues of Quadrant in 2000. Reynolds returned fire in a major article in the March 2001 issue of The Australian Review of Books. And there have been carefully staged verbal skirmishes in venues like Gould's Book Arcade in Sydney, on ABCTV Lateline and at the National Press Club in Canberra." (Ryan 2001, P. 31). Therefore, there has been a significant conflict of ideas and arguments by Henry Reynolds and Keith Windschuttle on the topic of writing the history of the Australian frontier and it is essential to comprehend the main areas of disagreement and agreement between the two. This paper undertakes an exploratory analysis of th e major arguments by Reynolds and Windschuttle in order to identify the major areas of disagreement and agreement between them, the evidence provided by each of them to support his position, and the utility of Ryan’s article to comprehend the realities of this controversy.... h Windschuttle has been their positions on the number of causalities in the Australian frontier and the two proposed significant substantive evidences to argue their positions. According to Reynolds, "It seems reasonable to suggest that Aborigines killed somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 Europeans in the course of the invasion and settlement of the continent. There were many hundreds of others who were injured and carried both physical and psychological scars for the rest of their lives. Calculating the Aboriginal death toll is much more difficult For the continent as a whole it is reasonable to suppose that at least were killed as a direct result of conflict with the settlers." (Reynolds 1981, P. 99). Therefore, he mainly argues that the casualties can be calculated around 2,000-2,500 Europeans, and it is much more difficult to calculate the Aboriginal death toll. He also ascertains that Tasmania documented the conflict better than anywhere else in the country and Ryan's estimate of 800 is possibly more precise than the other estimations. The secondary effects of the invasion include disease, deprivation, and disruption which were responsible for the premature deaths of many more people and it is not possible to arrive at a realistic figure on the question. Windschuttle confronted the views by Reynolds on the number of deaths in the Australian frontier and his article "The Myths of Frontier Massacres in Australian History," claimed that many massacres of Aborigines in the Australian frontier were fabricated pointing out that the number of casualties in the frontier was far fewer than estimations of Henry Reynolds. He also disagrees with Reynolds' argument that the number of the Aborigines who died defending their territory outnumbers, in both relative and even

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