The European Idea of Wilderness Essay

634 WordsDec 30, 20123 Pages
Marcia Langton article on The European Construction of Wilderness describes a particular view of the Aboriginal displacement by the English and the claim that they original made to the land under Terra Nullius and the impact of native title cases like Marbo vs Queensland. The expression Terra Nulluis is a Latin word meaning “land belonging to no one person”. This was the regulation that was used to depict a land which has never been subject to the rule of any other authority especially by European Explorers when the occupied land did not live up to European Ideals, it was easier than conquering the land in question. The British used this International law to cement their claim on Australia when it settled here in the 1788.The British were able to achieve this because the native population in the Settlers eyes were less than people, they were not civilized, they had not cultivated the land or created what the British classed as settlements and they observed no real governmental structure. So they claimed the land and declared it Terra Nullius. Langton’s article dismisses the idea of Terra Nullius as a work of fiction, which was a term used heavily by the media in 1992 during and after the Marbo case. The points that she make are interesting, but are judgmental and full of her own prejudices, which are ironically similar to the ones she claims are perpetrated by the government. It is just another biased chapter in the history wars. Eddie Marbo’s case was different to any other Native title case that had been brought before the court. The decision of the High Court’s justices had created a very large legal mess, because they recognized that they had to work within a legal system that originated from British law, it was decided that the laws had been mistakenly used in Australia. The term Terra Nullius was not used correctly and it was decided that Australia
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