This is an NFSA Digital Learning resource. See all Digital Learning websites.
Justifications
More Information
Web video - requires <a href="http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/">QuickTime</a> <br> <a href="#transcript">Transcript here</a>

Over the centuries, nations that have invaded and seized the lands of others have often attempted to justify their takeovers.

However justification has seldom been regarded as necessary when the land occupied is literally a terra nullius, with no one living there. Usually it's simply a matter of 'finders keepers' and the only argument might be about which colonising power got there first.

But it's somewhat different when land is inhabited. Justification is usually sought by claiming that the inhabitants are inferior in some way and, in Western thinking, this takes us to the idea of the "barbarian".

Eminent thinkers such as Aristotle and St Thomas Aquinas pondered the barbarian, and some thinkers even developed scales for measuring degrees of barbarity and savagery. So, the lower the level at which a particular people are placed, the less they need to be taken into account during a takeover.
Justifications For Conquests Of Britain
Text
 
Britain, Britain, conquest
...social Darwinism...
Text
 
barbarism, Britain, Darwin, Charles, social theory
Williams On The Discourses Of Conquest
Text
 
barbarism, native American, sovereignty
In Defence Of The Indians
Text
1550-1551
Anaya, S. James, barbarism, colonialism, colonisation, Columbus, Christopher, Europe, indigenous people, International law, New World, property law, terra nullius
Belonging To Country
Topic
 
aborigines, Australia, dreamtime, indigenous Australians, land ownership, land rights, sacred
Atninga avenging party
Image and Text
May, 1, 1901
aborigines, anthropology, Baldwin Spencer, Walter, cultural preservation, culture, custom, warriors
Adapted To Their Continent
Topic
 
Australia, First Fleet, indigenous people, land use
Jicarilla Girl
Image
1920s
Curtis, Edward S., indigenous people, United States of America
Papago Woman
Image
1920s
Curtis, Edward S., indigenous people, United States of America