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Australian National University (1962)

Back of Bourke : a study of the appraisal and settlement of the semi-arid plains of eastern Australia

Heathcote, Ronald Leslie

Titre : Back of Bourke : a study of the appraisal and settlement of the semi-arid plains of eastern Australia

Auteur : Heathcote, Ronald Leslie

Université de soutenance : Australian National University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1962

Résumé
The nineteenth century European invasion of the world* s temperate grasslands brought the prospective settlers into contact with novel environments, adaptation to which imposed severe strains upon traditional techniques of land use and traditional appraisals of land quality. The eventual settlement of these lands was achieved only after considerable modifications had been made to those techniques and appraisals and several studies have been made of the processes of modification in North America, particularly in connection with the development of faming on the Great Plains. In such studies, the emphasis has been upon the development of land for agriculture, pastoral land use has been regarded as only a temporary precursor to eventual cultivation. Yet there remain today extensive areas of the drier temperate grasslands from which agriculture is still excluded and where the dominion of the herdsman is unbroken. Some studies have been made of the sequence of settlement in such localities, but little effort has been directed towards understanding the mental processes involved in the physical adaptation of traditional techniques and concepts. Too much stress has been laid in academic as well as popular literature, upon the conflicts between the farmer and the herder, and between the farmer and his environment ; not enough consideration has been given to the initial conflict between the herdsman and his environment. This thesis, therefore, is a contribution towards restoring the balance for a portion of the plains of eastern Australia.

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