1. Introduction -- Pt. I. Contexts -- 2. Religion -- 3. Politics -- Pt. 2. The Possibilities of Improvement -- 4. The Earth and its Fruits -- 5. Science and the Land -- Pt. 3. The Improvement of Human Nature -- 6. The Cultivation of the Mind -- 7. Of Crimes and Punishments -- 8. Race and the Limits of 'Improvement'
"The Enlightenment and the Origins of European Australia surveys some of the key intellectual influences in the formation of Australian society by emphasising the impact of the Enlightenment with its commitment to rational enquiry and progress, attitudes which owed much to the successes of the Scientific Revolution. The first part of the book analyses the political and religious background of the period from the First Fleet (1788) to the mid-nineteenth century. The second demonstrates the pervasiveness of ideas of improvement - a form of the idea of progress - which originally largely derived from agriculture but were to shape attitudes to human nature in fields as diverse as education, penal discipline and race relations."--BOOK JACKET