The Dawn of a New Australia
A Federation WebQuest for Stage 5 Students
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What was happening in Australia in the last decades of the 19th century?
What did people want? See below the logo for some ideas.
Before Federation, Australia was divided into six separate colonies. The colonies had mainly been established by migrants from the countries of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. There were, however, Europeans, Americans, Chinese and Africans who had settled here. On the other hand, by the late 19th century the majority of the population were Australian born citizens. As well, each of the colonies had its own government, constitution and laws. Each even had its own symbols. The state badges, shown above, were just one of those symbols.
The idea of Federation was about how people at the end of the 19th century wanted Australia to be governed. However, everybody and every colony had their own ideas and many issues were raised and discussed. Some of those issues remain important to people even today. These issues included economics such as trade and tariffs; migration and the control of migration; communication between the colonies; the defence of the colonies. Because of the increasing number of the population being Australian born there was a growing interest in being independent of Great Britain.