A map of Australia - Cours d'Anglais avec Maxicours - Lycée

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The Commonwealth of Australia or Australia is made of six constituent states that federated in 1901 (New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia) and two internal self-governing territories (the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory).
Each state has its own government, enjoying a limited sovereignty. Canberra is the federal capital city.

1. The discovery
Australia was one of the last land to be discovered by the Europeans.
When the British landed there in the 18th century, there were about 250,000 to 500,000 Aborigines (the Aborigines are black primitive native groups that have been living in Australia for about 40,000 years). James Cook claimed Australia to the British Crown and hence enabled the British to get rid of their convicts in a faraway land.
In 1788, the first prisoners landed in Australia which was then turned into a gigantic open prison.
2. A huge country
Australia is a vast country : about 14 times bigger than France with its 7,741,000 square kilometres.
It is also very arid, mainly covered with desert, and very low. Its highest peak is Mount Kosciusko in New South Wales (2237 m).
There are about 19 million inhabitants in Australia (Aborigines = 1,5 %). The population mainly lives in cities such as Sydney (1st most populated city ), Melbourne (2nd), Brisbane (3rd), Perth or Adelaide. 85 % of the Australian population is urban.

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