why did australian people want this?
since australia's settlers were exiled british convicts, why did those settlers want to stay loyal to the country and the crown that discarded them? why did early australians not seek to have an independent australia free of britain instead of allowing australia to be a dominion of the british empire? and why do australians still want to be a member of the commonwealth with queen as head of state? do anglo-australians not feel some animosity toward britain for exiling their ancestors?
- Brigalow BlokeLv 78 years agoBest Answer
Australia's settlers were not just exiled British convicts.
As early as 1820, convicts and ex-convicts made up less than half the British population. The first people in my family to arrive got here in 1791 as a military family. They have more than 15,000 descendants and only one of my ancestors was an convict, who arrived here just before the convict system was closed down in the 1860s. That would be close to typical of people of British extraction in Australia, one to five convict ancestors and the rest free settlers from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales over the next 150 years.
The crown did not discard the convicts. The crown has not ruled in the United Kingdom since the English Civil War in the 1600s. Parliament has ruled in the United Kingdom ever since the restoration of the Stuart monarchy and when James II challenged that, he was kicked out in 1688. No monarch in London is permitted to enter the House of Commons.
There were several reasons for setting up in at Botany Bay and Norfolk Island in 1788. The first was the Norfolk Island pine that was hoped would provide ship masts and the local flax plant which was hoped would provide fabrics. The masts for most British ships were imported from the Baltic countries like Finland and this meant that they had to pass between Denmark and Sweden and close to Russia. In time of European war the supply of masts could be blocked. Neither the pine or the flax were any good, as it turned out.
A second reason is that it gave British ships a possible resupply depot for the trade with China.
Since the loss of the 13 colonies in North America, convicts could not be sent there so people convicted under harsh imprisonment laws for minor offenses accumulated in British prisons. Some government leaders in Britain realised that given a new start most of these convicted people would turn out to be useful citizens. The original colony was planned to be small, just big enough to support itself and produce food etc for passing ships and make a bit of money on the side. The convicts were to serve out their time as agricultural workers and eventually become small land holders themselves. That in effect is what happened. Most of the convicts knew they were far better off here than back in England, even by 1820.
The British learned something from the American Revolution of the 1770s and the near rebellions in Canada so by the end of the 1840s there was an elected local government in New South Wales and by the 1860s in other colonies as they split off from New South Wales. People who have thier own elected governments are not much concerned about some other government in another country.
Later in the 19th century Australia was not united, it consisted of six colonies which were more or less independently governed by their own parliaments. None of them had any chance of defending themselves against any European power or the USA as they did not have the population or the industrial resources. At the start of the Second World War Australia had about 7 million people and little secondary industry. It was not until about 1959 that the Australian population passed 10,000,000. Much of the 3 million increase came from immigration, mostly from Britain, but also Holland, Ireland, Greece, Italy and other European countries.
According to the 2011 census, 25% of Australians were not born here. Most of that 25% were born in the United Kingdom, the other main sources of English speaking immigrants are New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, India and even the USA. Mandarin is the second most common language spoken at home and the number of Indian-born people in Australia had doubled since the previous census.
The republic referendum of several years ago was narrowly defeated, because royalist politicians interfered in the question that was being asked. The question was slanted to give two answers to a single question. This is not a fair question, because you can agree with one proposition and not agree with another. That was the way I saw it. I don't know about other people.
What I do not want is a republic with an elected president. It puts far too much power in the hands of one person, which should be obvious to Americans after the invasion of Iraq on the spurious grounds of weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein sheltering terrorists, neither of which were true. The US president has more political power than any English king since 1688. I want parliament to rule, not some single politician.
Australia is not a dominion of the British Empire. It ceased to be one in 1936 but the decision was not ratified by the Australian government until 1941. Further changes have made the country what amounts to a republic with a ceremonial head of state, which is the way I like it.
- tentofieldLv 78 years ago
While the majority of people on the First and Second Fleets were convicts, that was soon not the case and free settlers flocked to Australia. South Australia had no convicts at all and a huge influx of free settlers came with the gold rushes of the 1850s. Since 1854 no convicts have been transported to Australia and it has all been free settlers.
Many migrants to Australia, including the convicts, were loyal to the monarchy and saw the UK as their "home". Even in the 1940s and 1950s many Australians spoke of the UK as "home" even though they had never been there. The push to complete independence has been in the last fifty years and the rise of the republican movement has been in the same time frame.
Whether Australia remains a monarchy or becomes a republic, we will stay in the Commonwealth along with many other republics such as India and Pakistan. The Queen will remain head of the Commonwealth while she lives and it is likely, but not guaranteed, that Charles will be asked to be head of the Commonwealth when he becomes king. Whether Australia becomes a republic or stays a monarchy will be decided sensibly and honourably after the Queen dies. There is no desire to get rid of the Queen and republicans are happy to wait for the right time.
- Anonymous8 years ago
The early settlers were a mixture of convicts and free settlers. Most came from various parts of Britain and viewed the English speaking world as its "parent". Most had relatives back in Britain and always considered themselves connected to it. Until federation in 1901, Australia was a collection of separate colonies with no central government, each colony being a part of the British Empire in its own right. Transport and communication between the states was scant and people were too busy establishing a life for themselves and their families to become organised into a combined entity. The vastness of Australia and our scant population meant that no one was willing or able to combine and fight for independence as happened in other countries.
- Anonymous8 years ago
When you consider that this country was first settled only a little over 230 years ago yet today is a vibrant , modern , world leader in many areas we have come a long way from humble beginnings..
The basic foundations that the nation has been built on are all pillars of the British system of government & law .Irregardless of the fact we started out as a penal colony that yoke was shed fairly early in our short history yet our ties to the UK remain strong to this day & our migrant intake from there is still the greatest in overall percentage terms.
Where to from here remains to play out....as I said , we are still a young nation & there's no hurry .Source(s): J..
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- Anonymous8 years ago
1000's of years of Royalty and tradition don't get washed away by becoming a convict.
Or going to prison even if it was a prison on the other side of the world. America did what you are advocating and threw out the Monarchy. Replaced it with guns rule. Well you can have that.
As Binga said, we are quite happy with OUR lot thanks and so I can tell you are a hell of a lot of others as our Borders are under virtual assault by every poor person on the planet. America is crumbling into economic and social decay. Ask ANY refugee or asylum seeker where they would prefer to be and I bet the list is topped by Aussie. Convict past maybe but bed of roses today mate.
- mollyLv 78 years ago
When you consider that our ancestors were sent here for punishment and kept Britain for themselves I think joke is on them and they would be more annoyed than us.
- BingaleeLv 78 years ago
One generally stays loyal to their place of origin.I am tired of people from other countries telling us what we should do & what we should think.We are what we are,& most of us are happy with it.