FREE! Click here to Join FunTrivia. Thousands of games, quizzes, and lots more!
Quiz about European History in Australia 16061788
Quiz about European History in Australia 16061788

European History in Australia 1606-1788 Quiz


European contact began in, or went sailing by, Australia in 1606. Here are some historical facts from that time until the historic First Fleet settlement arrived in 1788.

A multiple-choice quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 3 mins.
  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Quizzes
  4. »
  5. History Trivia
  6. »
  7. Australian History
  8. »
  9. Australia 1600s to 1800s

Author
Creedy
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
380,781
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
9 / 10
Plays
735
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. The first European to set foot on Australia was the rather confused Dutchman, Willem Janszoon. What was rather comical about that? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. During a voyage of exploration to the southern parts of the Pacific in 1606, Luis Vaez de Torres sailed incredibly close to the far north tip of Australia, unseen by any European up until then. What is unusual about this? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. In 1616, the Dutch explorer, Dirk Hartog, landed on the west coast of Australia. What did he leave behind? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Christened after the previous name for Indonesia's capital city, what was the 1629 Dutch ship that had a dreadful connection to Western Australia? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. In 1642, which intrepid Dutch explorer missed mainland Australia altogether, but discovered a small island to its south that he called Van Diemen's land? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. The first Englishman set foot in Australia in 1688. What was his name? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. The elusive east coast of Australia was finally charted in 1770. Which great English sailor achieved this feat? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. One reason Australia was settled so quickly after the discovery of the east coast by Captain Cook in 1770 was due to the American Revolution. In what way? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. One reason Australia was settled so quickly after the discovery of the east coast by Captain Cook had an international rationale. In what way? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. One reason Australia was settled so quickly after the discovery of the east coast by Captain Cook was to do with where prisoners were being housed in Britain. Where was that? Hint



(Optional) Create a Free FunTrivia ID to save the points you are about to earn:

arrow Select a User ID:
arrow Choose a Password:
arrow Your Email:




Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The first European to set foot on Australia was the rather confused Dutchman, Willem Janszoon. What was rather comical about that?

Answer: He actually thought he was in New Guinea

Willem Janszoon (c.1570-1630) set sail for New Guinea from Indonesia in November 1605. Totally missing the later named Torres Strait altogether (which would have taken him down past the east coast of Australia if he followed the coast along), he landed instead on the eastern side of what is now Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria, near the town of Weipa today. That was on 26 February, 1606. Janszoon then proceeded to explore 320 kilometres of this coastline, believing he was safely in New Guinea. Not at all impressed with what he saw, he described the area as unappealing, swampy and populated by murderous natives. Ten of his crew were killed by them.

When he finally realised he wasn't in New Guinea after all, Janszoon called this area of Australia "Nieu Zeland" after the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands, and sailed away. So then, the first European to set foot in Australia actually thought he was in another country altogether - but then proceeded to name us New Zealand instead, a country also undiscovered at that time.
2. During a voyage of exploration to the southern parts of the Pacific in 1606, Luis Vaez de Torres sailed incredibly close to the far north tip of Australia, unseen by any European up until then. What is unusual about this?

Answer: Torres failed to even mention it

Luis Vaez de Torres was a Portuguese maritime explorer who lived from c.1565-1607. During a voyage of exploration late in 1606, he sailed from Peru to Vanuatu to Mexico, and then through the strait separating Papua New Guinea and northern Australia, before proceeding to the Philippines. Today Torres Strait, that narrow stretch of water separating Papua New Guinea and Australia is named after him. Bizarrely, however, and although it has been established by master mariners that Torres could not have failed to see the far north part of Cape York Peninsula, this apparently short-sighted mariner made no mention of Australia at all.
3. In 1616, the Dutch explorer, Dirk Hartog, landed on the west coast of Australia. What did he leave behind?

Answer: A pewter plate nailed to a post

Dirk Hartog (1580-1621) was actually heading for Indonesia when he accidentally discovered the west coast of Australia. Before that, however, he got separated from the rest of his fleet and landed in South Africa instead. Full of hope, he set off once more for Indonesia, but again was blown off course, and this time he found himself half way down the west coast of Australia, near what is Shark Bay today. He took one look at the dry and barren semi-desert land and then, after exploring the coast and nearby islands for two days, he left. Not, however, before he nailed a pewter plate to a post to a (no trees there), placed it in the ground, and inscribed it with his name, the name of his ship, and the date and departure of his visit. That was the second contact with European civilisation in Australia.

Incidentally, another Dutch explorer, Willem de Vlamingh, who landed in Shark Bay eighty years later, found that plate by chance and took it back to the Netherlands with him. Now the Dutch won't give that oldest written artefact of European contact with out country back to Australia.
4. Christened after the previous name for Indonesia's capital city, what was the 1629 Dutch ship that had a dreadful connection to Western Australia?

Answer: Batavia

Owned by the Dutch East India Company, the Batavia was a ship that was built in 1628. On her maiden voyage to Indonesia, she carried 341 people plus gold and silver to be used for later trading purposes. During that fateful trip, several men on board, including the skipper, decided to take the ship and, with all the bullion on board, start a new life elsewhere. The skipper deliberately steered the ship off course towards the south, planning to stage a mutiny when this was discovered. As it neared Beacon Island, off the southern coast of Western Australia, however, the ship struck a reef and was wrecked. Forty people drowned, but the rest of those on board made it to nearby islands that held no fresh water or produce.

The captain and a number of loyal men decided at that stage to leave them there to fend for themselves, and make their way in a longboat back to Indonesia to seek help. By the time they returned, they were horrified to find that the skipper and his cohorts had slaughtered more than 200 people out of boredom and blood lust, and were in an ongoing battle with the survivors. Captured and taken back to face trial in Indonesia, these mutineers suffered rather agonising deaths or severe floggings for their crimes, but that was small consolation for the surviving passengers. Of the original 341 people on board, only 68 in total made it back to Indonesia.
5. In 1642, which intrepid Dutch explorer missed mainland Australia altogether, but discovered a small island to its south that he called Van Diemen's land?

Answer: Abel Tasman

Abel Tasman (1603-1659) was the first European explorer to discover Van Diemen's Land (later named Tasmania), and New Zealand, and to spot the distant lands of Fiji. He failed to sight the southern coastline of Australia as well, but sailed straight past it instead, found Tasmania along the way, kept going east until he hit New Zealand, waved to Fiji as he sailed on by far out into the Pacific, and then headed back to Batavia (Dutch East Indies/Indonesia).

Tasman's connection with Australia was yet unfinished though. Two years later, in 1644, he set off again. This time he followed the south coast of New Guinea towards the east, but he too missed Torres Strait. He turned south before he got that far, hit the north coast of Australia and followed it westward, marking it as New Holland on his charts, before sailing back to Batavia. Astonishingly though, he also missed the great east coast of Australia! After that, the Netherlands made no further attempts to explore it. By doing this, they left the door wide open for the English to do so.
6. The first Englishman set foot in Australia in 1688. What was his name?

Answer: William Dampier

Born in Somerset, England in 1651, William Dampier died in that country in 1715. In between times though, he did a lot of exploring. That included his record of being the first person to circumnavigate the world three times, and his exploration and charting parts of Western Australia. On 5th January 1688, on his first circumnavigation of the world, Dampier anchored off the north west coast of Australia and stayed there for two months while his ship was undergoing repairs. He thoroughly investigated the area during this time, making copious notes on the flora and fauna and local native people he encountered. He described the location as totally unsuitable for human habitation, and the native aboriginals he met as "the most miserable people in the world".

In 1699, Dampier set off again on commission from King William III of England to explore the east coast of Australia, but instead spent a great deal of time exploring parts of the west coast once again, making many notes as he went. Eventually he sailed north again, and then across the top heading towards the east, but never actually made it to the east coast, because his ship was in such a poor state by then that it was in danger of sinking. He turned back to sail to England, but his ship foundered near Ascension Island, half way across the Atlantic, and he and his crew had to spend five weeks there until rescued. They finally arrived back in England in August, 1701. So, by the turn of that new century, Australia's eastern and southern shorelines still remained undiscovered and unmapped.
7. The elusive east coast of Australia was finally charted in 1770. Which great English sailor achieved this feat?

Answer: James Cook

On 19th April 1770, the English Captain James Cook, in his gallant little ship Endeavour, sighted the east coast of Australia at Port Hicks in Victoria - the first time European eyes to do so. This momentous date marked what would shortly become European settlement in this great south land. On his expedition to observe and record the transit of Venus on behalf of the British Royal Society, Cook had set out from England on 1768. Accompanying him were sealed orders from the Admiralty. After the transit of Venus was duly noted and recorded (not terribly accurately) he opened those orders. He was to search the South Pacific for the theorised land of Terra Australis. Proceeding to do so, Cook explored and mapped the entire coastline of New Zealand along the way, before heading north-west to try to find that elusive east coast of our land. And he did. Finally. After 165 years of constant elusiveness.

James Cook went on to chart, fairly accurately, the entire east coast of this nation. As they journeyed northwards, the party called in and landed at what we now call Botany Bay (in New South Wales) to allow the botanist Joseph Banks to collect various flora specimens to take back to England. There Cook made first contact with the native people, before sailing north once again. When the Endeavour ran aground on the coral reefs up at what is now Cooktown in north Queensland, this mighty voyage of discovery was delayed for some seven weeks, but then resumed after repairs had been made. On 22nd August, 1770, the stout-hearted little Endeavour reached Torres Strait, and here, on Possession Island, Captain Cook claimed the entire east coast of Australia in the name of Great England's King George III.
8. One reason Australia was settled so quickly after the discovery of the east coast by Captain Cook in 1770 was due to the American Revolution. In what way?

Answer: American colonies refused to take any more convicts

Prior to the American Revolution in 1776, England had been sending more than 2,000 convicts a year to the colonies in that new land - a total of some 50,000 in fact. That great Revolution put paid to that, when the colonies there refused to take any more. Perhaps you may be wondering at this sudden influx of criminals in the British world? This was because the face of crime and punishment had changed drastically during the Age of Enlightenment. Very briefly, the concept of punishment had evolved from retribution to deterrence, and the notion of capital punishment, once looked upon as a day outing's for the general public to see the many executions that took place, was gradually being replaced by the concept of imprisonment, transportation or banishment instead.

But the colonies of America, which had hitherto provided a convenient depository for convicts, now dug in their heels and said no.
9. One reason Australia was settled so quickly after the discovery of the east coast by Captain Cook had an international rationale. In what way?

Answer: Britain wanted a secure base in the Pacific region

Britain wanted needed a secure base in the Pacific, not only because of its centuries old rivalry with France, a country that was well and truly sniffing around that area by then, but also because the troublesome Russia was beginning to nose about as well.

In addition to that, the British East India Company, formed in 1600, was starting to look a bit wobbly by the late 1700s - and Britain needed a solid base in the Pacific to continue its monopoly on trading with India. And right there, as a solution to those issues, was that new land in the south, now known in its entirety as New South Wales, waiting like a ripe plum to be picked and consumed by a hungry and opportunistic Britain.

It was unpopulated by any other European country, it held the promise of much undiscovered wealth in its own right, and it was convenient to Asia and India for trading purposes.

It was also perfect to fill the gap should the British East India Trading Company collapse entirely - and to thumb the nose, most satisfactorily, at France and Russia as well.
10. One reason Australia was settled so quickly after the discovery of the east coast by Captain Cook was to do with where prisoners were being housed in Britain. Where was that?

Answer: In very many rotting ships on the Thames

Britain, at this time period, had no jails for everyday criminals as such, but mainly debtors prisons only. As the notion of capital punishment for all but the most major crimes was fast becoming abhorrent, criminals who weren't being sent overseas, were being placed in rotting ships on the Thames instead. Old merchant and naval ships, way too rickety to use on the open seas, were converted into floating jails, and left anchored in London's Thames river. Conditions on board these ships were absolutely dreadful. Death, disease, pestilence, vermin, dysentery - all were the unhappy daily lot of the prisoners in those rotting hulks. This floating population of prisoners increased drastically after the American Revolution and the cessation of convicts being accepted there. At first a place for the wealthy and curious to visit (from a safe distance) and stare and gape, the mood of the general population began to change as those numbers of ships and prisoners increased. The government began to be inundated with complaints about these unsightly vessels clogging up the waters of the Thames, and the threat to the health and safety of law-abiding citizens their inmates posed.

A drastic solution was required. That is when Joseph Banks, the botanist who had accompanied James Cook on his mammoth voyage of discovery to the east of Australia in 1770, suggested the convicts be sent to Australia instead. He gave the country a glowing report, which, in fact, was considerably removed from the truth. But the British government, not knowing the realities of that distant land, and caring even less as far as criminals were concerned, fell on his suggestion like a ravenous lion. Within eighteen years, a fleet of eleven ships containing 1,373 settlers, children, convicts and guards was on the way. On 26th January 1788, this small band landed at Sydney Cove - and the country which had been content to sleep peacefully and unperturbed for the previous 40,000 years, took its first unsteady steps towards the rest of the globe - and the amazing nation we are today.
Source: Author Creedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.
Related Quizzes
This quiz is part of series History Allsorts:

I love British, other European, American and Australian history, but any history really. So here's ten history quizzes on a range of subjects for you. "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce"...Karl Marx. What a depressing thing to say. Silly old bugger.

  1. Walk These Ancient Streets Average
  2. Illuminating the Dark Ages Average
  3. European History in Australia 1606-1788 Easier
  4. Beauty Products in Ancient Rome Average
  5. Amusing Quotes from History's Great Figures Tough
  6. Changing Face of Fashion Through Time Easier
  7. Quotes About Young People Over Time Average
  8. Ten Leading Women of the World Very Easy
  9. Medieval History Innovations Average
  10. Hello, This Is Alexander Graham Bell Easier

6/24/2024, Copyright 2024 FunTrivia, Inc. - Report an Error / Contact Us