Australasia 1820: Australasia after the Napoleonic Wars
In 1815 the Napoleonic Wars came to an end and the following year the British restored the Dutch East Indies to the Netherlands. At about the same time the growing British colony of New South Wales successfully pushed to give Australia its present name, relegating the old Dutch name of New Holland to the western part of that continent. Meanwhile, to the east, traders and missionaries became increasingly involved in the supply of cheap muskets to warring Pacific tribes. In New Zealand, this helped fuel the Musket Wars among the indigenous Māori.
5–17 Apr 1815 1815 Tambora eruption▲
In 1815 Mount Tambora, on the island of Sumbawa in the Dutch East Indies, erupted with a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 7—only unambiguously confirmed eruption of that scale since the Lake Taupo eruption in about 180 CE and the largest observed eruption in history. The explosion ejected some 41 cubic kilometers of ash into the air, destroying the village of Tambora and reducing the height of Mount Tambora from 4,300 m to 2,851 m. As a result of the eruption, global temperatures dropped significantly, leading 1816 to be dubbed the Year Without a Summer.
18 Jun 1815 Battle of Waterloo▲
The French army led by Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated near Waterloo, southern Netherlands (modern Belgium), by British and allied forces under the Duke of Wellington combined with a Prussian army under Gerbhard von Blücher. The defeat ended Napoleon’s brief return in the Hundred Days, forcing him to abdicate and surrender to the British a week later.
19 Aug 1816 Dutch East Indies▲
During the Napoleonic Wars the British occupied the Dutch possessions in the East Indies. In 1816 the British departed and independent Dutch rule was restored, formally creating the colony of the Dutch East Indies.
27 Jun 1817 Murders Abroad Act▲
The British Crown gave assent to the Murders Abroad Act 1817, allowing for the more effectual punishment of murders and manslaughters committed in regions outside the British Empire, most notably the Bay of Honduras, New Zealand, and Tahiti. The act clarified that New Zealand was not a British colony—despite Captain James Cook having claimed the country on behalf of King George III—but granted the Governor of New South Wales the legal authority to try homicides committed there by British subjects. In 1823 the act was extended to include lesser crimes.
12 Dec 1817 Naming of Australia▲
The continent of Australia began being called such from around 1794, replacing the earlier Dutch name of New Holland. In 1817 Governor Lachlan Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office that the name Australia be formally adopted for the continent; the Admiralty agreed in 1824. New Holland continued to be used for the western part of the continent, until the establishment of Western Australia in 1832. Antarctica, which had hitherto been called Terra Australis or Australia, was left nameless by this move until the name of Antarctica was agreed upon in the 1890s.
Feb 1818–Oct 1820 Great Ngāpuhi taua▲
In 1818 the Ngāpuhi chief Hongi Hika launched a raid across the eastern North Island of New Zealand, attacking a number of other Māori tribes as far as Roto-a-Tara in Hawkes Bay in 1819 and capturing almost 2,000 slaves. Following this, Hongi traveled to England with the missionary Thomas Kendall, where he was introduced to King George IV as the “King of New Zealand” and received a suit of armor and traded land for muskets. Meanwhile the Ngāpuhi mounted another raid down the west coast where, with the support of Ngāti Toa chief Te Rauparaha, they advanced as far as Cook Strait.