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Australia, in conjunction with Tasmania one of the smallest continents in the southern hemisphere was populated for 42,000 years by indigenous Australians. In the 16 & 17 hundreds, this small continent was discovered by the Dutch and British in 1606 and 1770 respectively. Settlements were then establish in 1788 by the British New South Whales and then later was establish in the 19th century

Etymology of Australia means "southern"  and later the name became more popular during the 19th century from works including "A Voyage to Terra Australis"  written by Matthew Finders.  Finders was the first navigator to circumnavigate Australia. Many historians believe that the first indigenous tribes inhabited Australia perhaps 42,000 years ago by land bridges and sea crossings from Southeast Asia. Many of these people where hunters with a rather complex oral culture.

During the 17th century the Dutch had sighted and charted the complete western northeastern hemisphere. Later James Cook mapped out the Eastern hemisphere but still there were no settlements. From 1788 until 1911, the United Kingdom established settlements in different parts of Australia. Unfortunately, due to infectious disease from settlers, the indigenous population decreased sharply to 350,000 at that time.

Australia is a democratic constitutional monarchy based on parliamentary system of government. Essentially Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of Australia making her a monarch of the commonwealth realms. Australia is composed of six states, mainland and other minor territories. Australia has several parties including Australian Labor Party, Liberal Party and National Party. There are two chambers in government and  senate positions for both chambers are held every 3 years.

The Australian culture is predominantly Anglo-Celtic meaning British and Irish through many distinct characteristics are derived from the indigenous Australian culture. Recently, the Australian culture has been influenced by American pop art,  Non-English speaking and nearby Asian neighbors.  Many of the Arts that are predominant include crafts, dance, theatre, painting, music, opera, cinema and literature. Much of the indigenous folklore and traditions have been passed orally instead of being documented. One of the greatest English writers of the 20th Century is Patrick Write who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1973. Australia's film industry has also influence Australian culture with many critical commercial successes.

Australia Rental Car Savings

May 8, 2011