Australian Commonwealth
(1900)
   Passed by the British Parliament under the auspices of the then-Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain, the Australian Commonwealth established a federal government for Australia, creating a British Dominion on the Canadian model. It provided for a lower House of Representatives elected by population, a Senate with equal representation for each state as an upper house, and a ministry responsible to the lower house, on traditional British lines. There was full adult suffrage. A governor-general resident in Australia represented the sovereign. To ensure passage of the constitution within the various prefederation Australian colonies, powers not specifically allocated to the federal government were reserved to the states.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Bolton, Geoffrey, ed. The Oxford History of Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1996;
    Robson, L. L. A Short History of Tasmania. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1985.
   MARK F. PROUDMAN

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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