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with the nation's colonial foundation, then Australians today will continue to experience unease and guilt about race relations with indigenous Australians, f. The history of the war against indigenous Australians continues to be a political issue in the current era.

These claims might all concern the broad topic of the violence attendant on the arrival of European settlers in the country we now call Australia, but in each case, the primary focus of the claim is different.

• Claim a is about the actions of white settlers in the nineteenth century.

• Claim b is about the conflict between settlers and indigenous Australians.

• Claim c identifies the views of some Australian political and religious leaders in the nineteenth century.

• Claim d concerns what historians should be debating.

• Claim e predicts the consequences that will flow from some action concerning the history of violence in Australia, which may or may not happen (as indicated by the 'if').

• Claim f concerns the current status of the history of the war against indigenous Australians, about which many of the other claims might be made.

The differences also show us that there are a variety of different uses for claims. Claims a and b are direct claims, in the first case describing some event and in the second case directly expressing the author's own moral judgment. However, 'Some Australian political and religious leaders in the nineteenth century wrote at the time that the violent conflict between white settlers and indigenous Australians was wrong' is indirect, for it concerns what other people think. There is no indication that the author of the claim either agrees or disagrees with the 'political and religious leaders' who thought this way. Arguments and explanations often require not just our own views on a particular issue, but also our analysis of others' views. We need to make sure that our claims are well formed so that there is no confusion between what we are directly claiming and what we are reporting about other people's views. Claim e demonstrates another crucial type of claim, often used in hypothetical reasoning about a possible future event. To argue in this manner does not necessarily imply that the effect (the 'then' part of the claim) has happened, but simply that it probably ^/'//happen in the future. It may even be part of an argument aimed at stopping some action from happening. We might also find such hypothetical elements in claims such as 'Let us assume for a moment that the violence between whites and indigenous Australians did not occur': such claims do not propose that it did not happen, but simply develop a hypothetical situation that might enable a clearer analysis to proceed. The key point here is to recognise that claims can say and do all sorts of things, and if you are not careful in how you write them, then they will provide a very weak foundation for your analytical structure.

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