One Continent, Two Federalisms: Rediscovering the Original Meanings of Australian Federal Ideas

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Title One Continent, Two Federalisms: Rediscovering the Original Meanings of Australian Federal Ideas
Author Brown, Alexander Jonathan
Journal Name Australian Journal of Political Science
Year Published 2004
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Carfax Publishing
Abstract Federalism is usually described in political science as a single body of ideas—in Australia's case arriving in the 1840s–50s and moving to constitutional reality in the 1890s. This article re-examines the origins and diversity of federal ideas in Australia. It suggests that federal thought began influencing Australia's constitutional development significantly earlier than previously described. This first Australian federalism had a previously unappreciated level of support in British colonial policy and drew on Benjamin Franklin's American model of territorial change as a 'commonwealth for increase'. The revised picture entrenches the notion of federalism's logic but also reveals a dynamic, decentralist style of federalism quite different from Australia's orthodox 'classic' or compact federal theory. In fact, Australian political thought contains two often-conflicting ideas of federalism. The presence of these approaches helps explain longstanding dissent over the regional foundations of Australian constitutionalism.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Copyright Statement Copyright 2004 Taylor & Francis. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Volume 39
Issue Number 3
Page from 485
Page to 504
ISSN 1036-1146
Date Accessioned 2007-10-26
Language en_AU
Research Centre Socio-Legal Research Centre; Centre for Governance and Public Policy
Faculty Griffith Law School
Subject Constitutionalism and Constitutional Law
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1a

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