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Was Australian Antarctica Won Fairly?

Barrett, ND 2007 , 'Was Australian Antarctica Won Fairly?', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The Winning of Australian Antarctica (A. Grenfell Price) described the Douglas
Mawson led British Australian New Zealand Research Expedition (BANZARE)
and the contest to claim Antarctic territory ahead of Norway. Norwegian versions
of this contest, by Bjarne Aagaard and Hans Bogen, were critical of Mawson and
Australia’s claim to a sector of Antarctica west to 45o E. By investigating the
historical drivers that led Norway and Britain to the contest, this thesis
establishes, through the consideration of official documents, the reasons for it and
whether or not Australian Antarctica was won fairly.
Norway’s inexperience in diplomacy and foreign affairs, after gaining
independence from Sweden in 1905, alerted Britain to the value of whaling in the
Antarctic region and resulted in Britain annexing territory to create the Falkland
Islands Dependencies and the Ross Dependency. As he was restricted by British
whaling regulations, the Norwegian whaling magnate Lars Christensen sought
territory free of British control. This led to Norway claiming Bouvet Island which
the British believed was theirs. Britain, with the stated desire to include the whole
of Antarctica in the British Empire, formulated processes to achieve this in
Eastern Antarctica at the 1926 Imperial Conference in London. The process was
specifically developed to thwart attempts by other nations to claim the same
territory. This was achieved by omitting vital geographic coordinates from the
published conference summary, an omission that favoured the BANZARE in
proclaiming territory from 45o E to 160o E for Britain. To remove a possible
Norwegian challenge for the territory, Britain agreed to relinquish its claim to
Bouvet Island in return for Norwegian recognition of British hegemony in

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Barrett, ND
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Copyright 2007 the Author

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