This chapter examines the meaning, method, and practice of conquest in Australia. It suggests that the continent and islands of Australia were claimed for the British Empire in an interlinked chain of ritual extending over more than fifty years. James Cook hoisted the British flag on Possession Island on August 22, 1770 and claimed the territory he had seen in the name of King George III and this claim was reinforced by the King himself on 12 October 1786. Several other claims were made and settlements established from that moment until 1829, but the actual conquest of the country and its people extended a long time beyond those years.
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