Chapter One o The most important areas of development before 1900 were ports, roads and railways. A country as big as Australia would soon be crippled if its products could not reach local and overseas markets. Therefore, the development of transport was critical to the growth of the wool, sugar, beef, mining and dairy industries. o In 1900 Australia had ridden 'on the sheep's back'. This meant that Australia's wealth came mainly from primary industry wool was still Australia's most important industry, with over half of the money made in exports coming from the wool industry. o The most important invention for Australia was refrigeration technology, which allowed the transportation of goods in a frozen state. Primary or farming products could now be sent great distances and even sold at overseas markets, especially in Britain. The beginning of refrigeration technology was the key to strengthening Australia's primary industry. o An increase in the manufacturing of heavy and light industrial products in factories had created a boom time in the 1880's and strengthened Australia's economy.
Up until the, Australians had imported the goods they needed from England. This meant that Australians were spending too much money on British imports, supporting the English economy rather than the Australian economy. o The growth of manufacturing industries in cities provided employment for unskilled workers and made moving to the city an attractive option. o Cities grew and so did infrastructure needed to support factories and manufacturing. o Negative impacts about factories and cities were: o Wages low (making them live in poverty) o Factories were dangerous (which if got injured wives or children had to be the bread winners) o In the cities people were living in poverty in housing that had become Overcrowded and over crowded o Skilled workers and their families belonged to the middle classes and lived in the growing suburbs that sprang up around the cities. Breadwinners from this group could afford a mortgage and the cost of travelling to work each day. o The infrastructure of a society refers to basic needs of society, such as roads, hospitals and water o primary industry, especially sheep and wheat, the driving force behind Australia's growth a nation in 1901. But not all people Benefited especially from this in the early years of the century. o The Depression of the 1890's followed a boom time for Australia's colonies.
The immediate causes of the Depression were a large-scale drought in New South Wales a reduction in the value of wool, wheat and metals the withdrawal of British investment loans o Life inside the house was very hard for the unskilled workers and could not afford workers, some machines but the skilled might afford some but the wealthy usually had some. o Unskilled workers usually had to work for 12 hours a day or even 16 hours. o Skilled workers in 1901 was much easier for them (skilled workers are protected by craft unions) the women were required to take care of the house and children and if they were real successful they had machines and slaves they also only worked for 8 hours. o Wealthy people's time was spent on leisure like theatres and had a lot of social time. o From 1890 to 1910 Australia wore what was fashionable in England the climate of England was very cold while in Australia it was very hot that had a negative impact because the clothes were supposed to keep you warm when it was already warm then they were very hot. Poor could not buy clothes neither make them because had no time. While wealthy could. Percentage of population born in Australia, 1861-1901 1861 over 50% born in the United Kingdom 1871 60% born in Australia 1881 75% born in Australia 1901 82% born in Australia o The colonial states became stronger; they came into greater contact with each other.
This intact created areas of disagreement and conflict including economic problems such as tariffs or taxes on imports and exports from colony to colony; debate over free trade and new markets; and the need for government loans from Britain to build such infrastructure as roads and railways. The colonial governments were also faced with the problem of defending such a large continent. o As these problems became more pressing, the colonies saw the need to communicate with one another to find solutions. Trade unionists, politicians, lawyers and businessmen entered into this process of solving problems. A group of men representing three of Australia's colonies contributed a great deal to creating the Australian nation: Henry Parkas and Edmund Baryon of New South Wales; Alfred Deacon of Victoria, and Samuel Graffiti's of Queensland o A growing sense of being Australian began to develop among the colonies. This was helped along by new agents of change that emerged at the end of the nineteenth century: o the telegraph o railways o trade unions o o political representation o Cultural and community events such as sport, theatre and literature. o As Australians grew to see themselves less as British and more as Australians, the step to self-government became very important. o Many steps were taken before the 1899 June referendum when Australians voted 'Yes' for a new nation to begin on the 1 January 1901. Much work had to be done on developing a constitution that could be made law by an Act of British parliament.
Businessmen, politicians and lawyers who had been working on solving the problems of the colonial states took part in conferences for constitutional change across the continent. o Since self-government in the 1850's, each colony had begun to develop its own identity and to pursue its own policies. It became clear in the public debate over Federation that there were many reasons for combining the resources of the continent. As stated, the colonies faced many problems that needed solving: o immigration o communication o transport o defence o currency and banking o trade o Some Australians believed that the colonial parliaments created under separate. British Constitutional Acts could solve the individual and unique problems of each colony. They believed that the colonial parliaments' four main functions o listed below were enough to protect and support the growing separate colonies: o formation of elected government o law making o reviewing and scrutinizing the actions of the government o Overseeing judicial power. o Other Australians believed that the problems of the colonies could not be overcome.
They saw the differences between free trade and protectionism and the problems of enormous distances, lack of effective transport and communication, and the unbridled self-interest of separate colonies as insurmountable. Another issue was that some, for whom Britain was home, saw Australia as a land of exile. They were apathetic and viewed their time in Australia as temporary. o The movement for federation was too strong to stop. It continued because of the economic agents of change discussed earlier. There was also the growth of distinctive Australian literature, theatre and art, which made people think of themselves as more Australian than English, Irish or Welsh. Also, Australian-born citizens now greatly outnumbered immigrants, and a majority of Australians had no experience of life in Britain. o In 1890 the first Federation Conference took place with the support of the colonial premiers. o t was not until 1895 that New South Wales Premier George Reid adopted the Corowa Plan, named after the town on the New South Wales-Victorian border where a Federation Conference was held.
The Premier's Conference of 1895 adopted the Corowa Plan and this became the first time that electors would take part in the building of a nation's constitution.