Economics and the Dreamtime: A Hypothetical History

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Cambridge University Press, Dec 13, 1993 - Business & Economics - 252 pages
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The economic significance of Aboriginal culture for the British colonizers of Australia is rarely addressed and, until now, has not been closely studied by an economic historian. This imaginative book presents a concept of a pre-European Aboriginal economy. It shows how an Aboriginal presence over millennia shaped the local environment and responded to it, so that the Aboriginal economy developed into an ordered system of decision-making able to satisfy the wants of the people. The book analyzes the processes which allowed economic control of a country to pass, after more than 60,000 years in Aboriginal hands, into European hands within 60 years of settlement. Professor Butlin's presentation of the contrast between one of the world's most ancient economies and one of its youngest is both illuminating and exciting.
 

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Contents

Conventional views and alternative approaches
9
NonMalthusian Issues Pathways and Innovations
12
Scarcity Possibilities in Aboriginal Migration
33
Some Possible Migration Scenarios
40
A Synthesis
47
Introduction
50
The Process of Early Settlement
55
Variety in the Precontact Aboriginal Economy
64
British Development in the Long Run
184
The Hunter Gatherers of Empire
188
British American and Macassan Presence in the Takeover
194
The Major Players
197
Aborigines and British Law
200
The Economics of Takeover
203
The Composition and Demographic Impact of Disease
213
The Interaction of Disease with Resistance Integration and Submission
219

The Nature and Function of Aboriginal Economy
69
Dynamic Elements in the Aboriginal Economy
85
The Problem of an Exposed Population
100
Reestimating precontact populations
119
Turning the models around
131
History and theory
144
Free Lunches antipodean style
156
Conclusions
225
Bibliography
229
Preliminary modelchecklist of Aboriginal Migration to Australia
241
NOAA Depth Contour Maps
244
Index
245
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