If the demographic and moral results of systematic colonization were in Australasia, after all, what the theorist promised himself; the same cannot be said of the economic and more particularly agricultural ones. More than the cultivation of the soil, the Wakefield system favored land grabbing and land speculation; more than agriculture, the great capitalist agriculture in particular, predicted and cherished by Wakefield, it favored (a strange thing at first sight) pastoralism. Local owners and British capitalists, speculators and land sharks (land sharks) soon monopolized the best lands or bought as much land as they could by auction, to sell it in due course at the highest possible price to future immigrants, without the cultivation even remotely following the appropriation of the land. To give just one example, precisely in Victoria, where agriculture also made the greatest progress at that time, still in 1850 the acres of cultivated land were only 52,341, compared to 354,561 alienated; in 1860 the former will slightly exceed 350,000, while the latter will already be close to 4 million! According to educationvv, the social consequence of this was that, very soon, immigrants, to whom the high price of the lands near the inhabited centers prevented from settling on their own account on the ground as agricultural owners, they ended up not finding agricultural work even as wage earners; hence the centralization of the workforce in the cities, to a greater extent than the demand for it, and the phenomenon, very strange and inhumane (for a new country in particular, depopulated and with vacant and endless land), a phenomenon that it would seem a painful characteristic of the old villages only, from the soil completely absorbed by private property and by the very dense population. In fact, in Australia, already in the twenty years under examination, alongside the granting of subsidies to the unemployed, the use of these in public works, specifically decreed for this purpose. how strange and inhumane (for a new country in particular, depopulated and with a vacant and exterminated land) of unemployment, a phenomenon that would seem painful characteristic of old countries only, from the soil completely absorbed by private property and by the very dense population. In fact, in Australia, already in the twenty years under examination, alongside the granting of subsidies to the unemployed, the use of these in public works, specifically decreed for this purpose.
All this benefited, directly or indirectly, by sheep farming, which was already so favored by the Australian soil and climate and stimulated by the growing demand for wool on the part of the metropolis every day. The very high price of land (an English law of 1842, the Crown land sales, applied to all the colonies of Australasia, established a uniform system for the sale of land by auction, at the minimum initial price of one pound per acre) further promotes squatting, that is, the abusive spread of pastoralism, beyond the limits officially open to colonization, in the still vacant lands, on a larger scale than in the past. Secondly, the owners of the immense tracts of land purchased for the sole purpose of speculation find in pastoralism, pending the sale of those lands, the cheapest and most profitable way to use them profitably, with relatively little use of capital and even less. of workforce. Finally, in pastoralism, at certain times of the year, that is, during the shearing period, the working forces excluded from small working property and not adequately required by large capitalist agricultural property are employed; which was still missing in Australasia at that time, of the goad that on it (as on pastoralism) would have provoked a rapid expansion, that is, the demand for products by the international market. The Wakefield system, thus, promoting pastoralism in Australasia, albeit unwittingly, most effectively promoted the most appropriate form of colonization in that environment and at that time: pastoral colonization, capitalist and aristocratic colonization of which the squatters will be then and for many years to come the undisputed referees and lords. The land legislation of the country will be shaped according to their needs, guaranteeing them the monopoly of a continent. In vain do the governors try to hinder or prevent squatting, in vain do the Commissaries of the lands of the Crown undertake to prevent any occupation of land not sold or formally leased; for the individual interest is in those territorial conditions stronger than any legal imposition. In 1836, after the commissioners had been abolished and proved powerless to the need, the government of New South Wales, that is, of the mother colony still embracing most of Australia, began to come to terms with the squatters.. The colonial territory was divided into many pastoral districts and, upon payment of a very low tax, temporary grazing licenses were granted, which did not give any rights to the land, but legitimized the trespass of the shepherd beyond the borders of his possession. This practice was then legalized by a Colonial Statute of 1839, which legally opened the interior of the colony to the shepherds, establishing that they could obtain a license to occupy the interior with their flocks without limitation of extension: annual renewable license, subject to the payment of a fixed tax of 10 pounds.