Australia History Between 1830 and 1850 Part IV

According to anycountyprivateschools, there was an energetic and enlightened governor, Gipps, who tried in 1844 to put a stop to the impressive progress of the pastoral monopoly, with a heavier taxation for rents and with the obligation made to the holders, or de facto owners, of to acquire in ownership a minimum part of their runs or pastoral estates. But the squatters, covering the privilege with the orthodox cloak of a constitutional question of a tributary nature, in order to deceive the people and have (as they had) their support, they balked in support of the theory of the first occupant’s law (the No man’s land theory), as opposed to that of the full availability of land by the Crown (the Crown’s land theory). The Land Act of 1847, applied by the English government to the colony of New South Wales, while marking a transaction between the two theories, gave cause for success to pastoral capitalism and consecrated, within the limits of the law, the land monopoly through a new system of pastoral rents. The colony’s territory was divided into three categories of districts (the colonized, the intermediate, the non-colonized); and in all three categories the shepherds were allowed to obtain public land leased for pastoral purposes, by means of the payment of a very low annual rent. But, while for the colonized districts the rent was kept annually, as it had been for the whole territory of the colony until then, for the intermediate districts it was increased to 8 years, and for the non-colonized, that is, for the majority of the country., at the age of 14. Even more: the law of 1847 established that the land rented in this way could not be sold to others except to the tenants themselves, during the lease period; and that, even after the expiration of this term, they still have a right of pre-payment on all or on any part of the fund, at the fixed price of one pound per acre! The land monopoly, guaranteed by this law to the squatters to the detriment of the settler (free selector), will legally remain in force in New South Wales and in the colonies, still included in it that year (Victoria and Queensland), until 1860. But also in the other Australian colonies, pastoral capitalism thanks to its extremely favorable renting system and other favorable land arrangements, it will remain the ruler of society, as well as Australian, Australasian, in those decades; in the same way that the breeding industry will be, rather than the dominant note, the practically exclusive basis of the Australian economy of the time.

Owners or owners of enormous runs (in many cases hundreds of thousands or even millions of acres); owner of the only wealth of the country, cattle (some runs even counted 30,000 sheep as well as several thousand cattle); the squatters, true kings of the region, saw the whole of Australian society gravitating around them: from the sheep shearers eternally running around from run to run, to the carters who brought wool from the inside to Sydney or Melbourne along thousands of miles of roads, built by squatters without any government aid, to the workers and shopkeepers of the urban centers, to the same farmers who rounded up the meager fruit of their lands by spending part of the year in pastoralism, where they also found a refuge when drought, one of the typical scourges of Australian agriculture, threw them on the pavement. The economic dominance would certainly have led the pastoral aristocracy to the political one, if an unexpected fact, the discovery of gold, had not come to give Australian society another direction, not only economic-social, but also political. at a time when the Australian colonies, largely ripe for political autonomy, were achieving it. As the culmination of the era of systematic colonization, self – supporting financial, of these colonies), is the granting of colonial autonomy, i.e. of responsible government, to the Australian colonies. Already in 1842 the English government, wanting to give some satisfaction to the public spirit of the Australian mother colony, New South Wales, discontented and restless for the still lack of any elective element in its administration, had created a legislative body in it, composed for two thirds of elected members, with electoral suffrage, however, very limited and based on the census; while in the same year the Sydney municipality was established with ample local authorities and the following year those of Melbourne and other centers.

The agitation against criminal deportation was a first political cornerstone of the new council, which was largely elected, squatters by reason of its economic-social importance, it was no less so in the lower class, due to its very origin and to the already very significant urban centralization. The example of Canada, which, first among the colonies, obtained colonial autonomy in those years, and the new direction, liberal in economics and liberal in politics, now prevalent in the metropolis where the economic and administrative policy of the colonial pact had made his time, the advent of that colonial autonomy for which they were, where more and less, ripe for the colonies, as well as for Australia and the whole of Australasia, was also hastening. It was Lord John Russell’s credit for having listened to the voice of those colonies in time, promoting the parliamentary act of 1850 which opened the way to legislative independence and the government responsible for them. The 1850 law relating to Australasia cut off two new colonies from the territorial body of New South Wales (Victoria, constituted by the ancient district of Port Phillip, and Tasmania, i.e. the island formerly called Land of Van Diemen), in addition to the four colonies then officially existing in Australasia (New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and New Zealand), and established the conditions under which a seventh could be formed with the northern part of New South Wales (Queensland, established in 1859); at the same time granting the settlers of the four colonies, namely New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, the faculty to reorganize their administrations according to norms they have deliberated and to modify the constitutions of their respective colonies. This faculty was also given in 1852 to New Zealand, and in 1859, with the same law that constituted it in the colony, to Queensland.

Responsible government, the self-government, thus triumphed in the colonies of the whole Australasia, where during the sixth decade of the century. XIX, governments were established constituted as a rule of a royal governor, representative in all and for all the Crown and nominated by the latter, of an executive council or ministry responsible before the legislative power of the colonies, and finally of two legislative chambers, where both are elected (Victoria and Tasmania), where one is elected and the other is appointed governor. It was so politically ordered, around the middle of the century. XIX Australia: which, after only sixty years of colonization, and despite the painful difficulties of the beginning, already harbored a flourishing and progressive society. There were, in 1851, half a million residents, distributed as follows: New South Wales, 265,503; Victoria, 76,162; South Australia, 63,039; Western Australia 5886; Tasmania, 68,809 (New Zealand had 26,707 at the time). Its wealth, still all pastoral, was represented by the 17 million or more sheep, the nearly 2 million head of cattle, as well as the 166,421 horses and 121,035 pigs, which Australia, including New Zealand, possessed in 1851. This wealth allowed that half a million individuals to import from outside, even then, for pounds 4,358,892 of goods in the face of an export of wool rising to a good 4,598,718 pounds. The major cities, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, in which the squatters, segregated most of the year in their runs, went to profuse their riches after the shearing, they were already on their way to the rank of small Pacific metropolis.

Australia History Between 1830 and 1850 4