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Australian History - That Lachlan Macquarie was a Good Governor

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Introduction

History Essay By James Hogan, 9S Was Lachlan Macquarie a good governor? Whether Lachlan Macquarie was a good governor of Australia is debated regularly. Many state his positive aspects in support, while others turn to his mistakes in rebuttal. Regardless of stance, it is accepted that during his period of governorship, the colony was significantly more productive than it had ever been before that time1. There was also little civil unrest, and it remained in a state of peace and tranquillity2. To develop and maintain such conditions, the governor would have to be of a visionary nature, fair, and devoted to keeping law and order, and that is what will constitute "good" in this essay. With that in mind, it can be said that Lachlan Macquarie was a good governor, as his actions were evidence of all of those qualities. First, his extensive improvements to the colony's infrastructure and the numerous economic reforms that he put into place lead to an era of prosperity. He introduced coinage to the colony3 and commissioned the building of hospitals and housing. He improved the roads and bridges4. The impacts that these improvements had were the introduction of a stable economy and social well-being. ...read more.

Middle

In his third letter back to Castlereagh, he wrote: "I have, nevertheless, taken upon myself to adopt a new line of conduct, conceiving that emancipation, when united with rectitude and long tried good conduct, should lead a man back to that rank in society which he had forfeited, and do away, in as far as the case will admit, all retrospect of former bad conduct..."11 His efforts in allowing the emancipists, who the majority of the colony deemed as of the same class as convicts, the opportunity to enjoy the same status as free settlers is an example of fairness. He did not allow the prejudice that stemmed from the exclusivists to sway his dream of a moral, equal society, and this is clear evidence of him being a fair governor. However, it must be taken into account that Macquarie did make mistakes. His attitude towards emancipists earned him many enemies amongst the exclusivists of the colony. These enemies were often stifled by Macquarie12, and it was their meddling that eventually led to the removal of Macquarie as governor. In addition, his attempts at educating and civilising the Aboriginal population of the area failed. ...read more.

Conclusion

Clark, A History of Australia - Ibid., p. 378 3 Burke, Ersie & Mirams, Sarah, Australian History - Dreamtime to the Great War, Oxford University Press, 253 Normanby Road, South Melbourne, Australia, 2001, p. 56 4 Burke, Ersie & Mirams, Sarah, Australian History - Dreamtime to the Great War, Oxford University Press, 253 Normanby Road, South Melbourne, Australia, 2001, p. 56 5 Australia's Dictionary of Biography - Lachlan Macquarie http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A020162b.htm 6 The Papers of Lachlan Macquarie and Family from the State Library of New South Wales - Publisher's Note http://www.adam-matthew publications.co.uk/digital_guides/empire_and_colonial_administration/Publishers-Note.aspx 7 Burke, Ersie & Mirams, Sarah, Australian History - Dreamtime to the Great War, Oxford University Press, 253 Normanby Road, South Melbourne, Australia, 2001, p. 55 8 Burke, Ersie & Mirams, Sarah, Australian History - Dreamtime to the Great War, Oxford University Press, 253 Normanby Road, South Melbourne, Australia, 2001, p. 56 9 Encyclopaedia Britannica - Emancipists http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/185476/Emancipist 10 C.M.H. Clark, A History of Australia, p. 271 11 Hawkesbury History - Lachlan Macquarie www.hawkesburyhistory.org.au/members/macq_miller.html 12 Burke, Ersie & Mirams, Sarah, Australian History - Dreamtime to the Great War, Oxford University Press, 253 Normanby Road, South Melbourne, Australia, 2001, p. 57 13 C.M.H. Clark, A History of Australia - Sydney Gazette, 15 February 1822; Journey of a Voyage from New South Wales to England in 1822 12 February 1822 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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