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To-day the democracy that rules Australia is disposed to treat history as a record, as well forgotten, of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of others.

In clearing the crowded gaols, in producing raw materials and food for the city-dwellers of the old land, they played a role of increasing importance in the grand speculation of industrialism—that experiment on which the British people have staked their capital, their mighty energy, their very life-blood.

Australia emerged from the degradation of convictism by taking the place for which Spain had proved inadequate in the divided tasks of growing and manufacturing wool, both formerly discharged by Britain herself.

India, China and Japan are well started on the road to industrialism. Ages earlier, larger streams had carved out the deep valleys drowned under Port Jackson.

Self-sufficiency in finance would be the reward of self-respect. As their harvests were swept away almost as often as not, the exiles found their main support in the stores and clothing brought from overseas and served out by the naval captains still in command.

"The world's uncultivated areas are mainly wheat-producing land." Geographically, with her wheat lands near the coast, Australia is better situated to supply an industrialized Asia with foodstuffs than are the inland prairies of America or the steppes of Russia. Thus the harbour formed by their submergence had escaped silt. But the plain behind lacked a fit scene for immediate agriculture, the hard labour to which the convicts brought by the First Fleet had been condemned; and it was walled off from the rest of the Continent by the Blue Mountain cliffs. Australia, Physiographic and Economic.] The only denizens of the virgin land were primitive hunting tribes who, by restriction of their numbers and by elaborate taboos, had adjusted their hunting to the supply of game.

Her industrial resources, well placed on the Eastern coast, would be developed in due course as the internal economies of an exchange kept technically alert by international competition. Till the mountains were crossed it was a port without a hinterland.* The great sandstone gorges thirty miles westward of the harbour beat back inland exploration for a quarter of a century. No competition with other races or cultures had narrowed their fields and enforced pasture or agriculture, the domestication of animals and plants in chosen spots.

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