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Discovering Indigenous LandsThe Doctrine of Discovery in the English Colonies$
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Robert J. Miller, Jacinta Ruru, Larissa Behrendt, and Tracey Lindberg

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199579815

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579815.001.0001

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The Doctrine of Discovery

The Doctrine of Discovery

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 The Doctrine of Discovery
Source:
Discovering Indigenous Lands
Author(s):

Robert J Miller

Jacinta Ruru

Larissa Behrendt

Tracey Lindberg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579815.003.0001

This book shines new light on the mostly ignored historical and legal evidence of the use of the Doctrine of Discovery in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. In these countries, Christian Europeans assumed that they held sovereign, property, and commercial rights over the indigenous peoples under the ‘legal authority’ of the Doctrine. This chapter examines the development of Discovery in Europe, focusing on England's role in that development and its use of the Doctrine in these four English colonies. It also sets out the elements of Discovery to explain its underpinnings and definition and to explain how it was used in these four countries to acquire the rights of indigenous peoples. These four countries still struggle to deal with indigenous peoples and, in fact, they were the only countries to vote against the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Keywords:   Doctrine of Discovery, Johnson v. M'Intosh, terra nullius, conquest, pre-emption, conquest of Ireland, Captain James Cook

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