Australia's Federation Essay

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Australia became an independent nation on 1 January 1901. The British Parliament passed legislation allowing the six Australian colonies to govern in their own right as part of the Commonwealth of Australia. The birth of our nation is often referred to as 'federation'. This is because the Constitution created a 'federal' system of government. Under a federal system, powers are divided between a central government and several regional governments, which are known as the states that make up this country. Nationalism in Australia is believed to have emerged within the society of emancipists during the early 19th century. It has evolved, and continues to evolve, over time as events shape Australia's national identity. By the 1890’s, the majority of people who lived in Australia were born in Australia. Therefore, many people tarted to see themselves as Australians rather than Europeans. By the beginning of the 20th century, the population of Australia had reached 3 874 365. While most of the Australian population was mostly of British origin, only 17.2 percent were from Great Britain. Around 75 percent of the non-Indigenous population were Australian-born. In the 19th century nationalism was a growing trend in Europe and Australia. Historian Don Gibb suggests that bushranger Ned Kelly represented one dimension of the emerging attitudes of the native born population. Identifying strongly with family and friends, Kelly was opposed to what he regarded as oppression by police. Almost mirroring the Australian stereotype Kelly became “a skilled bushman, adept with guns, horses and fists and winning admiration from his peers in the district.” From the 1820s economic growth was based increasingly upon the production of fine wool and other rural commodities for markets in Britain and the industrializing economies of Northwestern Europe. This growth was interrupted by two

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