This book seeks to highlight the influence of the Enlightenment idea of social progress on the character of the "civilising mission" in early Australia by tracing its presence in the various "civilising" attempts undertaken between 1788 and 1850. It also represents an attempt to marry the history of the British Enlightenment and the history of settler-Aboriginal interactions. The chronological structure of the book, as well as the breadth of its content, will facilitate the readers’ understanding of the evolution of "civilising attempts" and their epistemological underpinnings, while throwing additional light on the influence of the Enlightenment on Australian history as a whole.

chapter |22 pages


chapter 1|31 pages

A Shortcut to Civilisation

The Idea of Social Progress and the Founders of Australia

chapter 2|34 pages

The Purveyors of Modernity

Early “Civilising” Attempts

chapter 3|31 pages

Lachlan Macquarie

The Enlightened Autocrat, the Laird of New South Wales

chapter 5|25 pages

The Folly of the Enlightened Mind

The Port Phillip Aboriginal Protectorate, the Rise of the Scheme

chapter 6|36 pages

The Port Phillip Aboriginal Protectorate

The Climax and the Unravelling

chapter |5 pages