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Strange origins of one of the earliest modern democracies

Reg Hamilton

Until 1832 the small towns of England were ruled by a curious set of institutions. These included the local Church of England and its vestry, and the unelected and self-appointing local government. They also had vigorous campaigns for election to the House of Commons, and public voting, characterised by virulent free speech and the occasional riot. How would these institutions transfer to Britainís colonies?

In 1856 the remote colony of South Australia had the secret ballot, votes for all adult men, and religious freedom, and in 1857 self-government by an elected parliament. The basic framework of a modern democracy was suddenly established. How did South Australia become so modern, so early? How were British institutions radically transformed by British colonists, and why did the Colonial Office allow it?

Reg Hamilton answers these questions with an amusing history of the curious institutions of unreconstructed Dover before modern democracy, in the period 1780-1835, and of the spirited and occasionally shameful conduct of colonists far from home, but determined to make their fortune in the distant colony of South Australia.

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Format Paperback
Size 235 x 160 mm
ISBN 9781862548930
Extent 324 pages
Price: AU$34.95 including GST
Quantity Out of stock