Map of the day

Source – Cornell University

Click on image for a high-res interactive view

Australia – Its Size, its Neighbours, and its Future.

The White Australia Post Card.

An early rendition of ignorance, published in 1908 by?Cole, E.W., printer and publisher

Colectors notes are as follows:

In the words of Jack Lang, an important Australian Labor politician of the 1920s and 1930s, “White Australia . . . was Australia’s Magna Carta. Without that policy, this country would have been lost long ere this. It would have been engulfed in an Asian tidal wave. . . . swallowed up by the rolling advance of a horde of colored people.” Lang 1956. The policy began as “a simple bread-and-butter issue,” white Australian miners “trying to save their jobs” against the Chinese who “flocked” to the country during the Gold Rush of the 1850s and 1860s (ibid.) and again later in the century during the search for cheap labor for Australian sugar cane plantations. The Barton Government of 1901 – the first elected after establishment of the Australian Federation – depended on the support of the Labor Party, which at that time had only three planks in its platform: electoral reform, old-age pensions, and “Total Exclusion of colored and other undesirable races.” When the Party expanded its platform in 1908, it’s first plank was “Maintenance of a White Australia.” Ibid.


This postcard, published the same year, stands against the White Australia policy. Squares with white dots are used to illustrate the massive disparity between the population density of India, China, Java and Japan and that of Australia. Text at the lower left of the map asks, “Can the overflow of Asia’s millions be kept out of Australia?” The text below the map points out that the nation is “vast and almost empty” and concludes, “A White Australia will be impossible – firstly, because coloured people will help to inhabit its tropical part; and secondly, because the tropical heat will darken the skin of the white settlers and their descendants.” Text at the lower right of the map concludes, “Australia should not and will not remain an uninhabited dessert.”
The postmark on the verso is dated March 4, 1908.

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