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1788

Australia Day

On 26 January 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip guides a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively founding Australia. After overcoming a period of hardship, the fledgling colony began to celebrate the anniversary of this date with great fanfare. Australia was originally planned to be a penal colony. In October 1786, the British government appointed Ar... Read more >

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1950

Republic of India is born

On January 26, 1950, the Indian constitution takes effect, making the Republic of India the most populous democracy in the world. Mohandas Gandhi struggled through decades of passive resistance before Britain finally accepted Indian independence. Self-rule had been promised during World War II, but after the war triangular negotiations between Gandhi, the British, and the Muslim League stalled ... Read more >

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1788

First Australian Penal Colony Established

The first 736 convicts banished from England to Australia landed in Botany Bay. Over the next 60 years, approximately 50,000 criminals were transported from Great Britain to the "land down under," in one of the strangest episodes in criminal-justice history.The accepted wisdom of the upper and ruling classes in 18th century England was that criminals were inherently defective. Thus, they could ... Read more >