Europeans in Oceania

Europeans In Oceania

Europeans in Oceania

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European exploration and settlement of Oceania began in the 16th century, starting with Spanish landings and shipwrecks in the Marianas Islands, east of the Philippines. Subsequent rivalry between European colonial powers, trade opportunities and Christian missions drove further European exploration and eventual settlement. The British became the dominant colonial power in the region, establishing settler colonies in what would become Australia and New Zealand, both of which now have majority European-descended populations. New Caledonia (Caldoche), Hawaii, French Polynesia, Norfolk Island, Easter Island and Guam also have significant European populations. Overall, Europeans in various forms have become the primary ethnic group in Oceania, both numerically but, more important, culturally.

European settlement of Australia and New Zealand

European settlement in Australia began in 1788 when the British established the Crown Colony of New South Wales with the first settlement at Port Jackson. New Zealand was part of New South Wales until 1840 when it became a separate colony and experienced a marked increase in European settlement.

While the largest European ethnic group to originally settle in both Australia and New Zealand were the English, the settler population in Australia from early times contained...
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