Federation

By Histroy
  • Catherine Helen Spence (1825-1910)

    Catherine Helen Spence (1825-1910)
    Ctherine Helen Spence was born in Scotland on
    31 October 1825. Her family migrated to South Australia in 1839 after the failure of her father’s business. Spence became a writer. Her novel Clara Morison: a tale of South Australia during the gold fever was the first novel set in Australia to be written by a woman . As a journalist, Spence wrote about social issues and politics in Australia. In 1897 Catherine became a premier of South Australia. She also helped surport Womens right to vote.
  • Catherine Helen Spence 2

    Catherine outlined what she called "pure democracy" and meant to achieve it with a daring new idea - one man, one vote. She was the first fighter for 'effective voting' (ie., proportional representation). Like what is used to elect the Federal Senate
  • Immigration

    Aside from a fear of coming under foreign attack concern over being invaded by non-white immigrants was another major factor which encouraged people to support Federation. Despite the fact that several colonies already had implemented laws which restricted immigrants from certain countries all of the colonies were keen to strengthen their immigration policies by uniting to keep non-whites out of Australia.
  • Immigration 2

    At that time there were particular prejudices against the Chinese and Pacific Islanders. The Chinese immigrated in large numbers during the gold rush period which began in the 1850. From 1863 Pacific Islanders were also brought to Australia to work in the hot conditions in the sugarcane fields. People believed that these foreign workers took jobs away from them and caused their wages and working conditions to be lowered since the foreigners accepted substandards.
  • Period: to

    Road to federation

  • Transport, trade and taxes

    A significant argument in favour of Federation was the need for a uniform rail system. Despite developments in the railway system which allowed even many remote areas to be reached by rail by the late 1800s progress was ultimately restricted by each colony having a different rail gauge (width of the track). When the rail system in each colony was being built, the colonies were operating independently of one another.
  • Transport, trade and taxes 2

    Connecting the tracks between them was not considered and therefore never discussed. As a result Victoria had a gauge of 1.6 metres, while in New South Wales it was 1.43 metres and in Queensland it was 1.07 metres. Without a uniform gauge, trains could not cross colonial borders. At a time when trains were the main means of long-distance land transport having to change trains at the border of each colony was a great inconvenience for people travelling.
  • Transport, trade and taxes 3

    Those involved in inter-colonial trade were also hindered by the rail system, having to unload and reload goods and produce at each border.The need for free trade between the colonies and an overarching government to ensure that it was fair was another reason behind support for Federation. During the 1860s the Victorian government realised that goods from overseas and from other colonies were being produced at a cost which their own industries could not equal.
  • Transport, trade and taxes 4

    It responded with a policy of protectionism which involved imposing customs duties (government taxes or tariffs) on incoming goods, which made them more expensive to consumers than local goods. This encouraged consumers to buy items produced inside the colony, therefore protecting employment and industries. These taxes, however created substantial tension between the colonies. The New South Wales government was particularly opposed to tariffs.
  • Transport, trade and taxes 5

    It believed in free trade as the best philosophy for the most efficient use of scarce resources. A number of people were also concerned that import taxes may even jeopardise foreign relations by discouraging overseas companies from trading with Australia altogether.
  • Alfred Deakin (August 3, 1856, Melbourne-October 7, 1919)

    Alfred Deakin (August 3, 1856, Melbourne-October 7, 1919)
    Alfred Deakin was a lawyer and the second prime minister of Australia. He was prime minister from 1903–04, and then from 1905–08. He led the federation movement in Victoria. Only Edmund Barton worked harder to create the new nation of Australia.
  • Growing national pride

    The growth in national pride towards the end of the 19th century served as a considerable factor in securing Federation in Australia. It was not until the 1870s when the percentage of the non-Indigenous population born in Australia began to exceed the number born in the British Isles, that people in the colonies began to consider themselves as something other than British.
  • Growing national pride 2

    Unlike their ancestors, they were no longer as interested in wearing the British fashion and composing artworks, poems and songs about Britain. Even before the colonies were united and Australia had become a nation, national pride had begun to form. The nation's current national anthem (Advance Australia Fair) was first performed in 1878 despite being more than two decades before Australia officially even existed as a nation.
  • Growing national pride 3

    Cricket also instilled a feeling of national pride in Australians when, prior to the colonies being federated, the best cricketers from each colony went on to play in a Test match in London in 1882 where they defeated England by seven runs.
  • sir Edmund Barton (1848-1920)

    sir Edmund Barton (1848-1920)
    Edmund Barton was born and raised in Sydney. At the age of 30 he became lawyer and member of parliament. He was the leader of federation moovment in New South Wales and was the first Australian Prime Minister from 1901 to 1903. He wes responceable for getting the words of the constution right.
  • Charles Cameron Kingston (1850-1908)

    Charles Cameron Kingston (1850-1908)
    Charles Cameron Kingston was a lawyer. In politics he was a radical and impatient with those opposed to Democratic reforms. He challenged one of his opponents to a duel with pistols and was arrested by the police. Even after that he beca me premier. He was a great supporter of federation except from insisting that the small states must have the same number of senators as the large states.
  • Defence of the Colonies

    Defence of the Colonies
    One of the key reasons for Federation was to achieve a united defence force which could protect Australia better. Around the 1880 the Australian colonies had become increasingly concerned over the close proximity of foreign powers. A Russian presence in the Pacific Germany occupying parts of New Guinea and France having colonised New Caledonia left the colonies in fear that attempts may be made to invade Australia.
  • Federal Council establishment

    Australian identity created the opportunity for establishing the first inter-colonial body. The Federal Council of Australia established in 1889 could inject laws on certain subjects but did not have a permanent secretariat an executive or independent source of revenue.
  • Henry Parkes (1815-1896) delivers the Tenterfield Address

    Henry Parkes (1815-1896) delivers the Tenterfield Address
    Henry Parkes, offen called the 'Father of Federation', delivered the Tenterfield Address which was a call for the colonies to unite. It was called the Tenterfield Address because it was delivered in Tenterfield NSW. He did this because he wanted the colonies to unite as a country.
  • Henry Parkes (1815-1896) delivers the Tenterfield Address 2

    Henry Parkes (1815-1896) delivers the Tenterfield Address 2
    In this speech he reminded his audience that the American colonies had joined as a federation after an armed revolution the previous century. He said, 'Surely what the Americans have done by war the Australians could do about in peace.'
  • Lost interest in federation.

    Economic depression means the colonial parliaments lose interest in federation.
  • Corowa Conference

    The Corowa Conference was held to dicuss a constitution an the New South Wales town of Corowa, the conference propsed the people of the colonies should elect representatives to write a new constitution and that the people of the coloiens should then vote on it at referenudums. In Hobart 1895 the colonial premiers accepted the proposals of of the Corwa Conference.
  • Women granted the right to vote!!

    South Australia granted women the right to vote in 1894. Western Australia followed in 1899 and New South Wales in 1902. That same year women Australia-wide were granted suffrage (The right to vote in political elections) in Commonwealth elections. And South Australia wanted to make sure this continued after federation.
  • Edward Braddon

    Edward Braddon
    Edward Braddon was born in Cornwall, England. He
    Migrated to Tasmania in 1878 and settled at Leith on the north-west coast. He entered the Tasmanian parliament the following year and was premier of asmania from 1894 to 1899. Braddon was a Tasmanian representative at the federation conventions and upset some of the other delegates when he insisted at the last moment that the federal government give three quarters of the customs money back to tasmania and the other states.
  • National Australiasian Convention

    National Australiasian Convention
    In March-April 1897 the National Australiasian Convention meets in Adelaide and decides on the best model for the new federal government.
  • Secret Meating about national Capital

    Secret Meating about national Capital
    Premiers hold a secret meeting in Melbourne agreed to six amendments to the Constitution Bill including that the site of the Capital be in New South Wales, but not within 100 miles of Sydney.
  • The votes are in!

    New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania & Queensland voted Yes for federation. Only Western Australia said no. Australia was about to become a nation. Western Australia joined in a year later, but the constitution had already been written and approved by the Queen. That's why there's a line in the agreement saying Western Australia gets to be a part of the Commonwealth if her majesty is satisfied that the people of Western Australia have agreed.
  • Conference of State Premiers

    A conference of State Premiers is held in Melbourne to support the delegates in London. The meeting confirms that the delegates' mission is to have the Constitution Bill passed in London in the form voted by the Australian people.
  • Western Australia's referendum

    Western Australia holds a referendum at which an overwhelming majority of voters approve the Constitution.
  • Constitution Act Passed

    The British Parliament passes the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act.
  • Queen Victoria agrees!

    Queen Victoria agrees!
    Queen Victoria agrees to the new constitution in 1900 and WA decides to join the federation.
  • Date of federation

    Date of federation
    In January 1901 six Australian colonies united to form a federation: the Commonwealth of Australia. The celebrations and commemorations marking the birth of the new nation showed a popular spirit embracing a common destiny. The road to becoming a nation was a long series of conferences, conventions, debates, discussions and referenda. By publishing this Guide we aim to make the records of the New South Wales Government more accessible to all those interested in the federation process.
  • Death of the Queen

    Death of the Queen
    Queen Victoria died 2 weeks after Federation.
  • First federal election

    The first federal election is held and Edmund Barton confirmed as first Prime Minister.
  • Duke of Cornwall and York's visit

    Duke of Cornwall and York's visit
    The Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V) opens the first Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia in the Exhibition Building in Melbourne.
  • National Flag is Flown

    National Flag is Flown
    Australia new national flag is flown for the first time. There were 32,823 entries in the competition for its design.