Australian Patriotic Association

Last updated
Australian Patriotic Association
Founder William Wentworth
Founded1835 (1835)
Headquarters Sydney

The Australian Patriotic Association is considered the first political party in Australia. It was formed in 1835 by a group of influential colonists of New South Wales which had among its leaders William Wentworth, the son of a convict woman and the publisher of the influential newspaper the Australian; Sir John Jamison, a surgeon and founder of the Agricultural Society; and William Bland, a prominent emancipist doctor. [1] . Members included prominent businessman Prosper de Mestre, Samuel Terry, W.E. Riley, J. Blaxland and A.B. Spark.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In March 2019, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

William Wentworth Australian poet, explorer, journalist and politician

William Charles Wentworth was an Australian explorer, journalist, politician and author, and one of the leading figures of early colonial New South Wales. He was the first native-born Australian to achieve a reputation overseas, and a leading advocate for self-government for the Australian colonies.

Sir John Jamison was an Australian physician, pastoralist, banker, politician, constitutional reformer and public figure.

In September 1834 Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer, M.P., wrote from England that the situation in the colony was not well understood in London, and suggested that an organised association should be formed, and that it should appoint a parliamentary agent for New South Wales. [2] This resulted in the formation of the Association in 1835 by Wentworth. Bland was its "chairman of the committee of correspondence" (i.e.: Secretary). The Association sought representative government for the colony with a broad franchise, and was opposed by more conservative free settlers in the colony who, while favouring representative government, sought disenfranchisement of emancipists.

The Association had representatives in England to put their case before the British government, which was then considering a new constitution for New South Wales. Bulwer acted as parliamentary agent until 1838, when he was succeeded by Charles Buller. A petition went forward to the British government in 1839. [2] During 1839–1841, Bland wrote letters for the Association which show the constitutional struggles towards autonomy. Bland, as secretary, helped draft two bills for a "representative constitution", which contributed to the drafting of the New South Wales Constitution Act, 1842 (UK) [3] with Bland representing Sydney at its reading and approval passages.

The Association also supported the incorporation of the City of Sydney as a municipality, which happened in July 1842 [4] with a broadly based franchise. The colony's 1842 constitution gave to emancipists the same political rights as free settlers, but which was subject to a property test. The right to vote was limited to men with a freehold valued at £200 or a householder paying rent of £20 per year, both very large sums at the time. With its goals partly achieved, the Association disbanded in 1842. The first election under the new constitution took place in 1843, with several of the members of the now-disbanded Association standing, including Wentworth and Bland elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council.

City of Sydney Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

The City of Sydney is the local government area covering the Sydney central business district and surrounding inner city suburbs of the greater metropolitan area of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Established by Act of Parliament in 1842, the City of Sydney is the oldest, and the oldest-surviving, local government authority in New South Wales, and the second-oldest in Australia, with only the City of Adelaide being older by two years.

New South Wales Legislative Council Upper house of the Parliament of New South Wales

The New South Wales Legislative Council, often referred to as the upper house, is one of the two chambers of the parliament of the Australian state of New South Wales. The other is the Legislative Assembly. Both sit at Parliament House in the state capital, Sydney. It is normal for legislation to be first deliberated on and passed by the Legislative Assembly before being considered by the Legislative Council, which acts in the main as a house of review.

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  1. Encyclopædia Britannica, Australian Patriotic Association
  2. 1 2 John Cobley, Bland, William (1789–1868), Australian Dictionary of Biography , Volume 1, MUP, 1966, pp 112–115.
  3. "New South Wales Constitution Act 1842 (UK)".
  4. "History of Sydney City Council" (PDF). City of Sydney. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2007.