House of Parliament, Sydney, 1896

Extract of an article by Pitt Corbett, Challis Professor of Law, in the University of Sydney, published in “New South Wales: the mother colony of the Australias” in 1896.

Earlier Forms of Government

The first settlement of New South Wales dates back to the year 1788.  The history of the government of the Colony since that times may be roughly distributed into four periods: – (1) A period of military and despotic government, extending from 1788 to 1823, adapted only to the circumstances of a penal settlement; (2) A period of civil but non-representative institutions, extending from 1823 to 1842, during which the colony was ruled by a Governor and a Legislative Council appointed by the Crown; (3) A period of partially representative institutions, extending from 1842 to 1855, during which the Legislative Council consisted in part of elective members, although the executive government was still conducted by officials who were appointed by and responsible to the Home Government; and (4) A period of responsible government, extending from 1855 to the present time (1896), during which the Legislature has consisted of two Houses, one nominated and the other elective, whilst the executive government has been virtually conducted by Ministers responsible to the elective chamber.  Each of these periods has left its mark on existing institutions.

Provenance: “New South Wales: the mother colony of the Australias“. Frank Hutchinson, Edited by F. Hutchinson.
Author: Frank Hutchinson
Date of Publication: 1896
Publisher: C. Potter
Place of Publishing: Sydney
Copyright status: Out of copyright
Courtesy: The British Library

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