The growth of self-government in Tasmania.

Meston, Archibald Lawrence 1927 , 'The growth of self-government in Tasmania.' , Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania , pp. 176-187 .

1927_Meston_sel...pdf | Download (637kB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


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

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Meston, Archibald Lawrence
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
ISSN: 0080-4703
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Additional Information:

Copyright Royal Society of Tasmania

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page