Federation occurred in 1901, before that Australia was not a united nation and the six colonies that were a part of Australia, were completely separate from each other. These Australian colonies came together to form what is now known as the commonwealth of Australia. The six individual colonies all had different views on federation, many were for federation and many were against it.
The benefits of becoming one nation at the time would be to have one strong defence force, to improve the welfare of the people and trading goods would be improved in multiple ways. Even though there were many benefits to federation, many people were against it. One major concern was that the colonies would lose their individuality, power and thought their views would not be considered when decisions were being made. The federation of Australia was quite a controversial topic at the time and almost everyone had separate views and wants.
Leading up to 1901, when federation occurred, each of the six colonies had different laws and systems. All of these different set-ups and a lack of communication between the separate colonies lead to the system becoming very inefficient. Sir Henry Parkes, who is now known as the father of federation, created a vision of creating a national parliament and uniting the country. Henry parkes wanted a united country for many reasons, one reason was for the welfare of the people and for people to start identifying Australia as Australian rather than british. In the late 19th century a large amount of the population wanted to continue the british heritage in the colonies.
Chinese immigration was a major problem at the time and was difficult to control. There were many immigrants coming to Australia because of the gold rush and their was a lot of conflict between the migrants and local people. The colonies all wanted a way to restrict chinese immigrants but because each colony was so divided it was hard to gain and maintain control. In order to prohibit Chinese immagration the colonies would need to start to work together. Not only that but by the time of federation almost 3 quarters of the population were Australian-born, almost all colonists shared the same common language and a lot of the culture and heritage was quite alike. Henry parkes thought that the country might as well become one as it could give people the opportunity to feel more connected to other people and not have a more efficient way of life.
One key reason for the federation was to unite Australia’s defence force and improve how goods were transported. At the time each colony had different defence forces, the separation between the army lead to the coast of Australia unprotected. The fact that all of the colonies and defence forces were individual meant that they were not strong enough alone to protect Australia from attack. For this problem to be resolved it made sense to unite the defence force under one command. The inefficiency of the military was not the only issue, the way goods were being transported and the way people would move from place to place was also extremely unintelligent.