The process of federation in Australia

Essay by thewierdone March 2003

download word file, 3 pages 3.6

Downloaded 81 times

The process of federation took a long time. It was not until the 1880s that a movement towards federation really began. Before this period of time, the colonies were separated by a belief that federation wouldn't do much good. Each colony was proud of their own independence. Some colonies, such as South Australia, did not want to join other colonies that had convict pasts. The smaller colonies, such as Tasmania, feared that they would be swallowed up by the larger ones while the larger colonies thought they would end up paying the way for the smaller colonies. Before the 1880s people also tended to identify with their local area first and their colony second. This was because people lived in the same towns and cities for most of their lives and it was hard for most to identify with the idea of everyone belonging to a nation first and being governed by a central government.

These beliefs were what separated the colonies pre 1880s.

However, throughout the 1880s, a sense of nationalism began to grow. 70 % of the population were now native born and regarded Australia as home. Many events occurred to spark the nationalism. An important event was the colonization of many areas in the Pacific region. Many Australians were disgusted by this, especially the taking of New Guinea by Germany. Many people believed a united Australia could have prevented this. Also, throughout the gold rushes and from the 1860s onwards, many immigrants arrived in Australia. In particular, many Chinese came to Australia during the gold rushes and some stayed. More immigrants arrived when Pacific Islanders came to work in Queensland. The Australians at the time despised these foreigners but only a united Australia could solve such a problem. In addition to this, technological developments further helped bring...