A very different island - still trying to find themsleves. I did not find the people overly friendly and the government is fine happy. Kind of like their bitter wars which desimated the indigenous people. Australia is like that - Union Minded I call it. Only do what they are paid for, no problem calling in sick, lots of time off, nothing more. Wages are so high so tipping is rare - no incentive to out perform. Those that do stand out and are tipped. Perhaps it is because of their convict and free settlers beginnings. It is mentioned a lot.
The British used colonial North America as a penal colony through a system of indentured servitude. Merchants would transport the convicts and auctioned them off to (for example) plantation owners upon arrival in the colonies. It is estimated that some 50,000 British convicts were sent to colonial America, representing perhaps one-quarter of all British emigrants during the 18th century. The State of Georgia for example was first founded by James Edward Oglethorpe by using penal prisoners taken largely from debtors' prison, creating a "Debtor's Colony". However, as this largely failed, though the idea that the state began as a penal has stayed both in popular history, and local lore. The British also would often ship Irish and Scots to the Americas whenever rebellions took place in Ireland or Scotland, and they would be treated similar to the convicts, except that this also included women and children.
When that avenue closed in the 1780s after the American Revolution, Britain began using parts of what is now known as Australia as penal settlements. Australian penal colonies included Norfolk Island, Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania), Queensland and New South Wales. Advocates of Irish Home Rule or of Trade Unionism (the Tolpuddle Martyrs) sometimes received sentences of deportation to these Australian colonies.. Without the allocation of the available convict labor to farmers, to pastoral squatters, and to Government projects such as roadbuilding, colonisation of Australia would not have been possible, especially considering the considerable drain on non-convict labor caused by several goldrushes that took place in the second half of the 19th century after the flow of convicts had dwindled and (in 1868) ceased.
The state is named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who made the first reported European sighting of the island on 24 November 1642. Tasman named the island "Anthony van Diemen's Land" after his sponsor Anthony van Diemen, the Governor of the Dutch East Indies. The name was later shortened to Van Diemen's Land by the British. It was officially renamed Tasmania in honour of its first European discoverer on 1 January 1856. The Colony of Tasmania (more commonly referred to simply as "Tasmania") was a British colony that existed on the island of Tasmania from 1856 until 1901, when it federated together with the five other Australian colonies to form the Commonwealth of Australia. The possibility of the colony was established when the Westminster Parliament passed the Australian Colonies Government Act 1850, granting the right of legislative power to each of the six Australian colonies.
The Legislative Council of Van Diemen's Land drafted a new constitution which they passed in 1854, and it was given Royal Assent by Queen Victoria in 1855. Later in that year the Privy Council approved the colony changing its name from "Van Diemen's Land" to "Tasmania", and in 1856, the newly elected bicameral parliament sat for the first time, establishing Tasmania as a self-governing colony of the British Empire.
The Colony suffered from economic fluctuations, but for the most part was prosperous, experiencing steady growth. With few external threats and strong trade links with the Empire, the Colony of Tasmania enjoyed many fruitful periods in the late 19th century, becoming a world-centre of shipbuilding. Tasmanians voted in favour of Federalism and on 1 January 1901 the Colony of Tasmania became the Australian state of Tasmania.
Tasmania has been volcanically inactive in recent geological times but has many jagged peaks resulting from recent glaciation. Tasmania is the most mountainous state in Australia. Tasmania's tallest mountain is Mount Ossa at 1,617 metres (5,305-feet). The mountain lies in the heart of the world famous Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Much of Tasmania is still densely forested, with the Southwest National Park and neighbouring areas holding some of the last temperate rain forests in the Southern Hemisphere.
Tasmania was first inhabited by the Tasmanian Aborigines. Evidence indicates their presence in the region, later to become an island, at least 35,000 years ago. Rising sea levels cut Tasmania off from mainland Australia about 10,000 years ago.
By the time of European contact, the Aboriginal people in Tasmania had nine major ethnic groups. At the time of British settlement in 1803, the indigenous population was estimated at between 5,000 and 10,000 people. Through the introduction of infectious diseases to which they had no immunity, war, persecution and intermarriage, the population dwindled to 300 by 1833. Almost all of the indigenous population was relocated to Flinders Island by George Augustus Robinson. Conflicts between settlers and Tasmanian Aborigines had vastly increased during the 1830s, which became known as the Black War. In 1830 Robinson investigated the Cape Grim massacre that had occurred in 1828 and reported that 30 Aborigines had been massacred. Robinson was to be brought in as a conciliator between settlers and Aborigines. His mission was to round up the Aborigines to resettle them at the camp of Wybalenna on Flinders Island.
Robinson befriended Truganini, to whom he promised food, housing and security on Flinders Island until the situation on the mainland had calmed down. With Truganini, Robinson succeeded in forging an agreement with the Big River and Oyster Bay peoples, and by the end of 1835, nearly all the Aboriginals had been relocated to the new settlement.
Robinson's involvement with the Tasmanian Aboriginals ended soon after this, though, and the Wybalenna settlement became more akin to a prison as the camp conditions deteriorated and many of the residents died of ill health and homesickness. Because of this, Robinson's place in history is generally viewed as negative, especially within the current Aboriginal community. Some historians agree that his initial intentions were genuine, but his abandonment of the community is viewed as a turning point for the worse for the Tasmanian Aboriginals. Moreover, his promises of providing a place where Aborigines could practice their cultural traditions and ceremonies never came to fruition.So there you have it - a very interesting but troubled place - still trying to find itself.