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ideal How the segregation & assimilation policies impacted on Aboriginal fam

2.  Compare and contrast the segregation and assimilation policies in relation to the impact they had on the Aboriginal family life.


Aboriginal family life has been disrupted and forcibly changed over the last two hundred years, as a result of the many segregation and assimilation policies introduced by Australian governments.  Often a combination of the two was employed.  The policy of segregation has impacted upon Aboriginal family life, for through this policy, Aboriginals were restricted and prohibited to practice their traditional culture, hence, resulting in the loss of their Indigenous identity and limiting the cultural knowledge for future Aboriginal generations.  The segregation policy also achieved in disfiguring the roles of family members, primarily the male's role within the family.  The policy of assimilation, in comparison to the segregation policies, has also affected Aboriginal family life, because through the removal of children from their Aboriginal homes they to as a result were deprived of their Indigenous identity and cultural links.  However, the policy of assimilation has had far greater an impact upon Aboriginal family life, for it has not only separated families and communities, but denied the parenting and nurturing of a generation of Aboriginal peoples and has also attributed to breakdowns in relationships between the non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal parent.

As European domination began, the way in which the Europeans chose to deal with the Aborigines was through the policy of segregation.  This policy included the establishment of a reserve system.  The government reserves were set up to take aboriginals out of their known habitat and culture, while in turn, encouraging them to adapt the European way of life.  The Aboriginal Protection Act of 1909 established strict controls for aborigines living on the reserves .  In exchange for food, shelter and a little education, aborigines were subjected to the discipline of police and reserve managers.  They had to follow the rules of the reserve and tolerate searchers of their homes and themselves.  Their children could be taken away at any time and apprenticed out as cheap labour for Europeans.  The old ways of the Aborigines were attacked by regimented efforts to make them European .  Their identities were threatened by giving them European names and clothes, and by removing them from their traditional lands and placing them on centralised reserves among Aboriginal people from many different tribes.  

The policy of segregation had an enormous impact on the lives of aborigines. Despite being discriminated against, the aboriginal people were being deprived the right to practice and maintain traditional aspects of their culture, thus their children were being taught to reject their aboriginality.  In turn the rapid decline in population meant that many elders were dead and thus many rituals and traditions were lost .  The loss of elders and the prohibition of practicing rituals impacted on aboriginal family life, as a result of being unable to show their children traditional dances, native language and stories of the dreamtime, cultural knowledge was not sufficiently carried on or passed down to the next generation therefore hindering Aboriginal traditional life and depriving Aboriginal children of their indigenous identity.  

The reserves also held repercussions for the structure and roles within the aboriginal family. The role and status of men more than women was effected, thus many Aboriginal men, especially unemployed, slipped into aimlessness .  Traditionally the male role within the family was that of hunter and gatherer.  It was the husband, or fathers role to find and provide food for his family.  As a result of Aboriginals being considered inferior to whites, thus acquiring a lower rate of pay, many families became dependent on food handouts provided by the missionaries and reserves, thus the fathers role of gathering for his family was subsequently lost, in turn isolating and alienating him from his family.  Due to what was seen as the Aboriginal fathers inadequacies, despite having been placed in areas where there was little employment, segregation had accentuated assimilation, for the preparation had been adequately achieved.

In comparison, to the policy of segregation, the policy of assimilation introduced the separation of Aboriginal children from their parents and the indoctrination of the children into non-Aboriginal ways, thus having a profound influence on Aboriginal ... more

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Enlightenment Ideas And Politcal Figuers Of The Era

Intro to European History
3-3-99
Enlightenment Ideas and
Political Figures of
The  Enlightenment Era


The Enlightenment of the 18th century was an exciting period of history.  For the first time since ancient Grecian times, reason and logic became center in the thoughts of most of elite society.  The urge to discover and to understand replaced religion as the major motivational ideal of the age, and the upper class social scene all over Europe was alive with livid debate on these new ideas.
A French playwright who went by the pseudonym Voltaire is the most recognized and controversial Enlightenment author.  Because of his trademark acidic wit, he was forced to flee the country after giving offence to a powerful nobleman.  He spent the next two years in England where he came in contact with the pivotal Enlightenment idea of religious freedom and the freedom of the press.  When he returned to France, he had some scathing things to say about the less than enlightened policies followed by the French monarchs, especially concerning religious intolerance.  Because his ideas were generally offensive to the ruler of his country, the need to be able to leave France quickly to avoid prosecution was a consideration when deciding where he should live, which eventually was on the Swiss boarder.  There he continued to treat on society and anything else that caught his imagination.
Along with Voltaire were many other Enlightened thinkers, or philosophes, as they came to be known.  A man by the name of Rousseau was also a very influential personality.  His essays mainly treated on social inequality and education.
An Italian by the name of Cesare Beccaria also discussed society, but more in terms of social control and matters of crime and punishment.  He was an opponent of torture, capital punishment, and of any punishment that was done to excess or didnt fit the crime that warranted it.  He arrived at his conclusions through the logic that was so popular of the day.  An excellent example of this logic is in this phrase concerning capitol punishment:  Is it not absurd, that the laws, which detest and punish homicide, should, in order to prevent murder, publicly commit murder themselves?  Rational arguments such as these permeated Enlightened conversations and didnt fail to be noticed by many of the great national rulers of the day.
One monarch who seemed to be particularly inclined to the Enlightenment philosophies was Emperor Joseph II of Austria.  After the less enlightened reign of his mother, Empress Maria Theresa, he was able to finally institutionalize many of the ideas he had been mulling over and thinking about for years.  His mother, being a staunch Catholic, saw little use for such trivial issues, but once Joseph finally attainted complete control over the empire, his reforms were widespread.  Possibly to spite his mother, one of the first thing he did as emperor was seize much of the land occupied by various monastic sects, which he accomplished through his Edict of Idle Institutions.  True to his Enlightened nature, he promptly turned the seized lands into schools and other institutions of learning.  He abolished the death penalty, made everybody equal in the eyes of the law, and ratified legislation that called for complete religious toleration.  He even attempted to make the Jews living in Austria more acceptable to society as a whole.  He had only limited success on this front, but the attempt itself was a drastic step for a monarch of any country to date.  He made great progress economically as well.   Joseph II ended the monopolies that had unnaturally influenced his economy for decades and eliminated stifling internal trade barriers.  After all was said and done, he had created around 11,000 laws in an attempt to transform his country into an embodiment of Enlightened ideals.  Has he himself put it once, I have made Philosophy the lawmaker of my empire, her logical applications are going to transform Austria.
Despite his hopes, the reforms set forth by Joseph II were not as successful as he had hoped.  He angered the nobles by releasing the peasants from serfdom, and the peasants were similarly distressed over the newfound freedoms which they had no experience dealing with.  His reforms were simply ... more

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