Australia's road to independence

In the first decades after the First Fleet arrived in Australia, colonies were run by governors who ruled over the settlers. In the beginning, governors held almost all the power, as they ruled on behalf of Britain, but communication with Britain was difficult and slow.

From the early 1820s, the governor was advised by a council, whose members were appointed by the British Parliament. The Parliament had authority over both the council and the governor. New South Wales, Van Diemen’s Land (later Tasmania), and Western Australia also benefited from a court system in the following years.

Around 1930, the people of New South Wales wanted to be represented in the government, and by 1843, they had the right to vote. However, the right to vote was granted only to the wealthy, and they could vote only for some members, while the others were chosen by the British. Moreover, the governor still held most of the authority over the colony.

From 1850 to 1861, the Governor of New South Wales had the role of ...

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