Under the Southern Cross We Stand

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by johnboy, Jul 5, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: September 1796 - Crossing the Blue Mountains

    johnboy From the bottom of the world

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    Tasmania
    18 September 1796, Blue Mountains wilderness, Colony of New South Wales

    It had been an arduous ten days since they had moved forward from the base camp he had established on an earlier expedition along the Nepean River. He had failed in 1794, but now there was no such failure. There had been hazards for sure. He had actually trodden on the head of a large black snake. Thankfully it had not been the brown type that were not only frighteningly aggressive but whose bites were almost universally fatal.

    Henry Hacking considered now that it was that Bass and Flinders were both correct. Taking the black Bennelong had been more than useful, not only in terms of navigating the rugged country but also finding the vital path between the impenetrable escaladed perpendicular mountains without falling into the succession of deep ravines that dominated the region and trapped the unwary for fruitless days.

    Now he stood on the top of exposed sugar loaf and the view was spectacular. Miles and miles of lightly timbered plains to the West as far as the eye could see. He scrambled down the slope as fast as possible, using the climbing irons provided by Bass and Flinders, re-joining them, the native Bennelong and their three other companions.

    Two days later they had cut through the Blue Mountains. For almost 20 years, the Blue Mountains marked the edge of the Colony's Westward expansion. Now it's main requirement, more grazing land, which would help support the cropping and sheep of the colony. Henry Hacking himself would no doubt benefit in the best possible way, by provision of a hopefully land grant.

    He remembered again the view from the top. Miles and miles of some of the best watered country that one could wish for. Land that seemed to go forever. For ever and ever.


    Blue Mountains terrain

    BM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  2. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

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    Dec 18, 2016
    Not a bad start. I'm going to keep an eye on this one.
     
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  3. Burnlogic Well-Known Member

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    May 5, 2016
    I’m going to guess that instead of the Aussie outback we all know and love (and secretly fear), its going to be perfectly livable and fertile land. I wonder if the aboriginals developed more than just Stone Age tech...
     
  4. Unknown Member

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    Corpus Christi, TX
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  5. Eonex 秘鲁人红色外套

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  6. Višeslav Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2018
    As would I. Can't wait to see where this is going.
     
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  7. Donald Reaver Still alive Donor

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  8. holyknight Well-Known Dude that comments here and there.

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    ..Just past Macho Grande, unlike Stryker.
    The only thing that comes to mind, it's that for some Quirk of fate, when the Australian Continent formed, there also formed multiple HIGH mountainous chains (4000-5000 Mt's) that acted as massive water collectors... Rather than the dry outback, instead it became massive fertile plains, if not even a lake or two that formed from the millennia of rain from the clouds being stopped by said mountain chains....
     
  9. Eonex 秘鲁人红色外套

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    Let's remember that this is normal AH, not ASB-territory, although I'm not so sure if a change that big needs to be ASB.

    But having all that arable land would be very nice. I want to see it too.
     
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  10. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    The Land That Time Forgot
    Couple the date at the start with the second statement and the POD looks a lot like an earlier colony of NSW.
    Of course, could just be typos but I am also intrigued.
     
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  11. johnboy From the bottom of the world

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    Here, crossing the Blue Mountains 20 years early, which will result in a changed New South Wales.
     
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  12. Unknown Member

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    To say the least; wonder how Australia develops ITTL; it'll still be a dumping ground for convicts, but a lot of colonists will go there, too...
     
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  13. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry to admit as an Australian, but I don't know much about the Blue Mountains crossing. How did it impact NSW in our timeline? I'm asking anyone, not just the creator of this thread.
     
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  14. Eonex 秘鲁人红色外套

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    20 years is quite a lot of time. Early starts always give a great advantage, but I don't know which one exactly since I know almost nothing about Australian history :(
     
  15. Retro_Reaction Member

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    Jun 23, 2019
    The "outback" is perfectly habitable and arable, for the most part anyway. It's just sparsely populated. If you look at maps of Australia, almost all land except for the major cities is used for some kind of agriculture or Husbandry. Most of the view of Australia being an inhospitable rock come from the fact country Australia is super duper isolated (there are towns further away from humans, than the space station is from the ground).
     
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  16. Not James Stockdale Those Protestants... Up to no good, as usual

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    The largest cattle station in Australia (in South Australia) runs cows at about one per two square kilometers, close to about 400 acres per cow. A ranch in Florida with a similar number of cattle has them at about 10 acres per cow. The Outback is usable for extraordinarily low density pastoral activities, but the kind of intensive agriculture that can support endemic urban populations is impossible without significant irrigation.
     
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  17. Threadmarks: October 1798 - More convicts are needed

    johnboy From the bottom of the world

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    1 October 1798, Rag and Bone Inn, Sydney, Colony of New South Wales

    John Macarthur watched as St Philip's Church burned, the small spire lurching drunkenly as the flames ate further into the structure. Built by convicts, it had been destroyed by their negligence as well. It was to be expected in a penal settlement, after all. The opening of lands beyond the Blue Mountains had created opportunities for the colony not previously expected and the availability of land beyond said mountains had consequently seen more land become available in the Sydney Cove area as a number of landholders had elected to move beyond the mountains onto new, larger, land grants.

    Governor John Hunter was concerned that the French may return to the Southern regions, but that seemed most unlikely to him. Bass and Flinders were due to repeat their exploration ambitions with an expedition to Van Diemen's Land, however, Macarthur personally thought such efforts were the height of folly. Macarthur had established a small flock of Merino sheep over two years ago and they were doing well, very well indeed in the protected lands round Sydney Cove, where depredations by native dog and blacks were kept to a minimum. No, there were two things the colony required. More livestock and more convicts. Transportation numbers had fallen to less than 400 per annum during the French Revolutionary Wars, as convict labour was needed in the dockyards and in the services. Previous to such time, numbers transported had been three times this. Previously, only a third of those sentenced or given respite from a death sentence to transportation were actually put on a transport ship; the rest got no further than the hulks; old, unseaworthy ships acting as prisons. Terms of transportation were usually seven years or life. The hulks were still in use as prisons, tying up Royal Navy resources when the ships could well be used for harbour defense, training and military accommodation.

    If influence could only be brought to bear in Whitehall, numbers of convicts transported could be greatly upped, both to the benefit of the Colony as a whole and also to the mother country in the return of raw materials such as wool. Areas such as Ireland could be focused upon, where the absence of pestiferous political rebels would be welcomed. If more numbers could not be obtained, then other alternatives would have to be looked at, possibly including obtaining natives from Britania in the Loyalty Islands, a chain some distance North of the penal settlement at Norfolk Island.

    No, Governor Hunter was largely an ineffective man and generally easily influenced by the last person to talk to him. It would not be a difficult task to convince him of the requirement of such a plan. Without growth, the Colony would stall and now they had all the land that any man would possibly want to expand into. In fact, with the generosity of recent land grants, it would perhaps be worth investigating many of the London lock up houses that existed. In England 10,000 people were imprisoned for debt each year and those of superior class were well kept but in many cases unable to extricate themselves from their predicament. Whilst there was no way to do so in England, a different story awaited in New South Wales, where a man's fortunes could quickly be made.

    John Macarthur

    LON10_EFGB_001-thumb.jpg
     
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  18. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

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    What's a 'London lock up house'? I'm guessing that's a term for prison.
     
  19. johnboy From the bottom of the world

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    An aristocratic prison for the well to do but penniless
     
  20. Pangur The Cat Donor

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    It would be a source to increase the population however just how useful they would be is another question. if you wan to grow the colony you need doers and they (the aristocrates) alwmost certainly will lacking in basic farming skills
     
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