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Replenishing the EarthThe Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Angloworld$
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James Belich

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199297276

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297276.001.0001

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Last Best Wests

Last Best Wests

Chapter:
(p.393) 13 Last Best Wests
Source:
Replenishing the Earth
Author(s):

James Belich

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297276.003.0016

Australia now had its ‘Last Best West’, and it was not the only one. Between the 1880s and the 1920s, the settler revolution boomed into the last viable frontiers of the Anglo newlands, from Western Australia to Oklahoma, Southern California to the Yukon. It also went beyond them, in two senses: beyond the Anglo-world, to Siberia, the Argentine pampas, and elsewhere, and beyond viability, into the marginal arid lands of the Great Plains of the United States, the Canadian Prairies, and central Australia. In these late cases of explosive colonization, the boom mentality reached boiling point, and colonizing crusaders honestly believed they could transform deserts and arctic wastes into promised lands flowing with milk and honey. The staggering thing is that, sometimes, they were right.

Keywords:   Last Best West, settler revolution, Western Australia, Oklahoma, Southern California, Yukon, Siberia, Canadian Prairies, Australia

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