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The political association of van Diemen's land: a failed experiment in democracy


Ward, M, The political association of van Diemen's land: a failed experiment in democracy, Papers and Proceedings: Tasmanian Historical Research Association, 67, (3) pp. 59-75. ISSN 0039-9809 (2020) [Non Refereed Article]

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In the early 1830s Van Diemen's Land was ruled by its lieutenant-governor under instructions from the British government, and colonists had no voice. The Political Association of Van Diemen's Land had a short and unsuccessful existence after it was established, according to its proponents' rhetoric, to represent the free people of Van Diemen's Land in front of the lieutenant-governor and, if necessary, parliamentarians in London. In reality, a significant factor in its establishment was the hostility of its leaders towards George Arthur's rule, although there was undeniably also a real desire by some to accelerate the introduction of 'free institutions' such as an elected legislature and trial by civil jury. These objectives conflicted with Arthur's vision of a well-functioning penal colony, so he flatly refused to recognise or communicate with the Association. This led to it being ineffective from the outset and, coupled with some poor choices of issues to campaign on, the Political Association failed within eighteen months.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Article
Keywords:Van Diemen's Land, political association, Thomas Horne, George Arthur
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Australian history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Ward, M (Dr Malcolm Ward)
ID Code:148137
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:History and Classics
Deposited On:2021-12-07
Last Modified:2021-12-08

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