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Austr alia's Federation. By: Henry Knights. Why and how did Australia become a nation?. Until 1901 Australia was not a nation. It was made up of six colonies which were mostly self governed but still under the laws and power of the British parliament.

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austr alia s federation


By: Henry Knights

why and how did australia become a nation
Why and how did Australia become a nation?

Until 1901 Australia was not a nation. It was made up of six colonies which were mostly self governed but still under the laws and power of the British parliament.

There were problems with this arrangement as each colony had its own systems for services such as railway, schooling, taxes, post and others.

  • At first federation was not a popular idea. A small group of people were frustrated with this situation and agitated for change. Sir Henry Parkes (1815-1896) was a major player with a desire for independence and for the birth of our nation.

The word Federation describes a period in Australia but the word comes from the system of government known as the federal system. This was the form of government adopted from 1901 when the British Parliament passed laws for the colonies to govern in their own right.

The first Governor General was Lord Hopetown and Australia’s first Prime Minister was Sir Edmund Barton.

how did australian society change during this time
How did Australian society change during this time?
  • After Federation the Australian public began to embrace the idea and became more patriotic . A type of architectural style called federation evolved. These houses often had stained glass windows with Australian animals and plants in their design.
  • (a arrangement of gum leaves and flowers) (citizens arch Melbourne)
  • Public buildings were being constructed to mark federation. An example is the Citizens Arch in Melbourne. It was built in 1901 to celebrate the visit of the duchess and Duke of Cornwell who visited to open the new Commonwealth Parliament.
who where the people who came to australia
Who where the people who came to Australia?
  • In 1901 98 % of people in Australia were white. Most migrants had come from the United Kingdom although there were Chinese who migrated around the time of the Gold rush in the 1850’s to work in the goldfields and other laborers had come from the Pacific Islands. Voting at the time of federation was restricted to white males. Women, aboriginals, Asians and the poor were excluded.
  • Supporters of Federation had the idea of Australia being a white nation. One of the first laws was the white Australia policy. It restricted the ability of Asian or Pacific Islanders to work. Migrants had to do a dictation test which was difficult and in English so many failed.
henry lawson
Henry Lawson
  • Henry Lawson is a famous Australian writer and poet. He was an early republican.
  • In 1880 he wrote a historic poem called “ A song of the republic”. It was published in the Sydney Bulletin in 1887 which was the major newspaper in Australia prior to Federation.
  • His writing was influential as it caused people to consider these radical views at the time.