Subversive Historian – 10/31/08

The Invasion of Waikato

Exactly one-hundred and forty-five years ago on this day in people’s history, the New Zealand Land Wars were reignited. On October 31st, 1863, British military forces under the command of General Duncan Cameron led an invasion into Waikato. In what became the largest in a series of conflicts that framed the land wars, the invasion stemmed from the colonial government’s desire to confiscate the fertile lands of the indigenous population. The King Movement comprising of a federation of Maori tribes, resisted against the British colonial incursions and defended their right to land. Devastating confiscations did indeed take place immediately after the British claimed a relative victory confirming one of the main motivations for the invasion in the first place.

This Halloween there are sure to be bag snatchers taking candy from kids, but one-hundred and forty-five years ago on All Hallow’s Eve, the British took more than some snicker bars, they took millions of acres of indigenous land!

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