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"Describe The Benefits The Colonies Gained From Federation, And Discuss The Impact That Federation Had On The Typical Australian"

872 words - 3 pages

In January 1901, the six separate, self-governing colonies of Australia united in federation, consequently creating the continent- nation, the Commonwealth of Australia. A constitution was drawn up modelled similarly, upon the British and American constitutions. As an outcome of federation, the life of the separate states, and individual citizens shifted. Edmund Barton, the introductory prime minister of federal government supported the growth of the nation's economy, and developed the creation of a fused defence system. In the following subsections, we will discuss the reasons for the states, desiring federation, and the benefits they obtained, in signing the historical Commonwealth of Australia Act in the June of 1900[Western Australia signed a month there after.]The birth of a new century, and nation, was the cause for celebration, for the people Australia. The formal ceremony, held in Centennial Park, Sydney was attended by 200, 000 people. Nationwide, citizens celebrated in a newfound sense of nationalism. Nationalism was among the first and most significant compensations of federation. The petty state rivalries, especially between NSW and Victoria, were for the moment dismissed. Within the following decade, this sense of nationalism helped create a freer economy and transportation system. The individual states, allowed a central government pass decisions concerning the nation as a whole i.e. defence system.The economy of the six colonies, prior to federation, had relied heavily on the rural sector. The discovery of gold in Victoria and Western Australia, especially, lead to economic growth. Following federation, the economy of Australia, and the individual states, was booming. Australia's patterns of exports show, that in 1901 the value of exports stood at 35.3 million pounds. The figure doubled to 67.5, in 1911. The Australian economy had never seen such a rate of growth, over a 10-year period. The growth of the manufacturing industry was an underlying factor in the stated growth. Federation had provided an organized labour force. Rapidly expanding manufacturers, of Victoria, created markets in the other states.The rising prosperity of the nation coincided with critical social reforms, both in the work place and outside. The basic wage was adopted, in 1907. The minimum wage was at 42 shillings a week. This was an essential amendment for the federated government in stepping towards an egalitarian society. However, this attitude did not always parallel reality. For the working class, many lived in substandard housing and with little education. They customarily lived close to their work places, in the inner suburbs. Steam and electric trams, began operations by 1909. The newly improved, transportation system, within states, facilitated the urban sprawl, of major cities. Newly developed suburbs, in the outer suburbs, were home to the wealthy middle class. This class prospered, following federation. The growth of...

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