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The growth of self-government in Tasmania.


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Meston, Archibald Lawrence (1927) The growth of self-government in Tasmania. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania. pp. 176-187. ISSN 0080-4703

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The loss of the American Colonies in 1783 did not convince the statesmen of Great Britain that the grant of self government was the only way to retain colonies; but it had lasting effects on the British colonial policy. Colonies, with rare exceptions, had been founded to increase the commerce of the Mother-Country by providing her with markets for the export of her manufactures. This commercial conception of Empire was still uppermost after the loss of our American colonies, and the discovery that British exports to America increased instead of diminishing after the grant of independence raised doubts about the value of colonies. In all colonies after the loss of her American empire, Great Britain adopted a uniform policy in regard to government. All new colonies, however acquired, were treated as conquered colonies, that is, they were not granted loca1 legislatures, but coming under the Royal prerogative were controlled by governors and nominated executive councils. That New South Wales and Tasmania should be treated as conquered colonies was, at their foundation, quite in accord with this principle of English law. Both were occupied as military posts. The first occupants consisted entirely of soldiers, civilians attached to the military, and convicts. The powers claimed and exercised by the early governors of publishing General Orders, by which they could do anything on their own authority, were all military in character, and were tolerated under the plea that for all practical purposes there was a state of war between the authorities and the convicts; in other words, that the colony was a conquered possession.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, RST, Van Diemens Land, natural history, science, ecology, taxonomy, botany, zoology, geology, geography, papers & proceedings, Australia, UTAS Library
Journal or Publication Title: Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Page Range: pp. 176-187
ISSN: 0080-4703
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Additional Information: Copyright Royal Society of Tasmania
Date Deposited: 05 May 2012 04:43
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:30
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