Australia History

Creation of the Australian Confederation

After the gradual (since 1890 intensified) development of an unification movement of the colonies, in which referendums were held on a federal constitution, and after Queen Victoria signed the constitution on July 9, 1900, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania joined forces, Victoria and Western Australia merged on January 1, 1901 to form a federal state (Commonwealth of Australia) within the framework of the British Empire; In 1911 the Northern Territory was added. The rivalries between the cities of Sydney and Melbourne led to the establishment of the neutral capital Canberra (Australian Capital Territory). In the new federal parliament, the Labor Party supported the protective tariff policy of the liberal Prime Minister A. Deakin (1903/04, 1905-08 and 1909/10), one of the founders of the federal government, against the promise of social legislation. In 1908 a laboratory government took over the official business for the first time and subsequently made a contribution to the expansion of social legislation and the school system. During World War I, Australia supported mother country Great Britain and fought with a contingent of over 400,000 volunteers, of whom about 60,000 were killed, and with its newly created navy on the side of the Entente.

After the First World War, Australia, which had signed the Paris Suburb Treaties independently and joined the League of Nations as a full member, was recognized by Great Britain as an independent state (British Empire and Commonwealth) in the Statute of Westminster in 1931. It also became a member of the Commonwealth. The League of Nations gave him the mandate over German colonies in the Pacific (German New Guinea; Bismarck Archipelago).

Domestically, the governments of the country saw themselves confronted with the effects of the global economic crisis (recession, unemployment) between the world wars. The feeling of growing threat from overpopulated Japan led to a ban on immigration for Asians and increased efforts to immigrate from Europe. Towards the end of the 1930s, the Australian government was able to stabilize the country’s economy and finances through drastic measures. In the period between the world wars, v. a. Liberal-conservative forces in various party organizations the Prime Minister: 1923–29 S. Bruce of Melbourne, 1932–39 Joseph Aloysius Lyons (* 1879, † 1939) and 1939–41 R. G. Menzies. with James Henry Scullin (* 1876, † 1953)was a Labor Party representative at the head of government from 1929–32.

In view of the Japanese expansion policy since the early 1930s, Australia gave up the isolationist line it had practiced in the 1920s in foreign policy and, in terms of alliance policy, moved closer to the USA in particular. After the abolition of compulsory military service (1929) under the Scullin government, Prime Minister Lyons built a v. a. the naval and air forces from again (adoption of a three-year plan, 1934). In 1937 he proposed a non-aggression pact by the Pacific powers and imposed (except for the Commonwealth countries) an export ban (directed against Japan) for iron and manganese ores.

On September 3, 1939, as a country starting with letter A according to COUNTRYAAH, Australia entered World War II. Australian armed forces fought first in Europe and North Africa, then after Japan entered the war (December 1941) mainly in the Pacific region to defend Australian territory. In view of the immediate threat to Australian territory from Japanese forces, the Australian government carried out total mobilization with effect from January 25, 1942. This intervened deeply in public and private life, but at the same time strengthened the position of the federal government vis-à-vis the federal states. On February 19, 1942, the Japanese carried out a devastating air raid on the port city of Darwin. Under the pressure of economic necessity, Australia finally developed into an industrial state. After the end of the war, the land served v. a. as a rear base of operations for the reconquest of the Pacific region. On the side of the USA, Australia was particularly involved in the recovery of New Guinea. Over 30,000 Australian soldiers died in World War II.

Prime Minister of Australia

Prime Minister of Australia
Edmund Barton 1901-1903
Alfred Deakin (Liberal) 1903-1904, 1905-1908, 1909-1910
John Christian Watson (Labor Party) 1904
George Houston Reid (Free Trade) 1904-1905
Andrew Fisher (Labor Party) 1908-1909, 1910-1913, 1914-1915
Joseph Cook (Liberal) 1913-1914
William Morris Hughes (first Labor Party, since 1916 National Labor Party, since 1917 Nationalist Party) 1915-1923
Stanley Melbourne Bruce (later Viscount Bruce of Melbourne, Nationalist Party) 1923-1929
James Henry Scullin (Labor Party) 1929-1932
Joseph Aloysius Lyons (United Australia Party) 1932-1939
Earl (e) Christmas Page (Country Party) 1939
Robert Gordon Menzies (United Australia Party, Liberal Party from 1944) 1939-1941, 1949-1966
Arthur William Fadden (Country Party) 1941
John Joseph Curtin (Labor Party) 1941-1945
Francis Michael Forde (Labor Party) 1945
Joseph Benedict Chifley (Labor Party) 1945-1949
Harold Edward Holt (Liberal Party) 1966-1967
John McEwen (Country Party) 1967-1968
John Gray Gorton (Liberal Party) 1968-1971
William McMahon (Liberal Party) 1971-1972
Edward Gough Whitlam (Labor Party) 1972-1975
John Malcolm Fraser (Liberal Party) 1975-1983
Robert James Lee Hawke (Labor Party) 1983-1991
Paul John Keating (Labor Party) 1991-1996
John Winston Howard (Liberal Party) 1996-2007
Kevin Michael Rudd (Labor Party) 2007-2010, 2013
Julia Gillard (Labor Party) 2010-2013
Tony Abbott (Liberal Party) 2013-2015
Malcolm Turnbull (Liberal Party) 2015-2018
Scott Morrison (Liberal Party) since 2018

Australia in the second half of the 20th century

However, against the backdrop of a severe recession, the cabinet found itself in a leadership crisis. On December 19, 1991 Hawke was replaced by his inner-party challenger PJ Keating as chairman of the Labor Party and thus as prime minister.

Under his leadership, the Labor Party surprisingly emerged victorious from the early parliamentary elections in March 1993 after defeats in the elections to the parliaments of the states of Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia in 1992/93 (80 out of 147 seats). With measures such as deregulation (e.g. the banking system), privatization and reforms in state-owned companies, the Keating government achieved the positive economic development that it had set itself as its primary goal, albeit with still high unemployment. She began the targeted preparation for the transformation of Australia into an independent republic. By a law that came into force on January 1, 1994 (“Native Title Act”), the Aborigines received for the first time a legal right to the return of their former land (insofar as it is state-owned); with the on 8. 7. The Native Title Amendment Act passed in 1998 has already restricted these land rights. In December 1994, representatives of the indigenous people displaced from their land because of the British nuclear tests in 1953 reached an agreement with the Australian government on compensation (A 13.5 million) and that the area should be decontaminated by the state over a period of about five years.

Australia was one of the sharpest critics of the nuclear weapons tests resumed by France in 1995/96 on the Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific (suspension of military cooperation and the imposition of limited sanctions). In terms of foreign, security and economic policy, Australia has increasingly oriented itself towards Southeast and East Asia since the end of the East-West conflict. The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was formed in 1989 on the initiative of Australia. In September 1999, the UN Security Council gave Australia supreme command of an international reaction force for East Timor (INTERFET), which led to temporary tensions with Indonesia.

Australia History