By the turn of the century, colonial Australians had developed a system of government, land tenure and philanthropy, all of which lacked any recognition of indigenous land rights. There was however, a tradition of violence.
Colonial society, fearful of aboriginal resistance to settlement, condoned massacres of aborigines as prudent necessity. Across the continent, Aborigines fought on against the violent invasion of their lands by killing settlers, livestock, and destroying property.
In 1830, full martial law was declared in Tasmania and more than two hundred armed men formed a cordon across the island, rounded up the remaining Aborigines and exiled them to Bass Strait.
But from the middle of the nineteenth century, improvements in gun design increased the colonists' military advantage over Aborigines.
Massacres continued, with the last known occurring in 1929, in the country of the Warlpiri and Anmatyerre people. The casualty figures from the one hundred and forty year 'Australian war', totalled about two thousand colonists and twenty thousand indigenous Australians dead.
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