The constitution provided for Federal Parliament to sit in Melbourne until a federal capital territory was selected and established. The present Australian Capital Territory was ceded from New South Wales to become federal territory in 1911, and the future capital was named Canberra in 1913. The first Federal Parliament to meet in Canberra was opened by the Duke of York, later King George VI, on May 9, 1927.
Though Australia now is an independent state, according to the Constitution the head of the state is the Monarch of Great Britain, represented by the Governor-General. His duties include assenting to bills, opening, proroguing and dissolving Parliament and commissioning the Prime Ministerto form a government. Governor-General's residence Jarralumla is in Canberra.
The Commonwealth of Australia is composed of 6 states and 2 territories: the State of New South Wales with its capital in Sydney, the State of Victoria with its capital in Melbourne, the State of Queenland with its capital in Brisbane, the Sate of Western Australia with its capital in Perth, the State of Tasmania with its capital in Hobart, Australian Capital Territory with its Federal Capital in Canberra, and Northern Territory with its capital in Darwin.
New Crown Colonies
Great Britain was on the verge of loosing 13 rebellious American Colonies in 1770. At that time Captain James Cook who led a scientific voyager planted the British ensign on a continent that would soon provide a vast new colony: Australia.
The will to establish new crown colonies was insistent even before the old ones mere lost. The Parliament debated the site as early as 1779. Only 18 years after Captain James Cook had landed in Botany Bay, Captain Arthur Philip arrived in Sydney Cove to begin the first settlement.
In many ways, America and Australia have had corresponding histories of exploration, colonization, immigration, and growth. Both began with settlements on the fringes of huge continents, gradually pushing inward to cultivate a wilderness interior. And both developed a frontier ethos of independence.
As the convicts earned their freedom, they went into the outback and staked claims on land. These men, known as Squatters, raised sheep or cattle, depending on the type of land they found for themselves.
Other convicts however reverted to their criminal ways and became outlaws, raiding the towns and stealing from the squatters. The early part of Australian history is filled with the tales of the settlers. These bushrangers often became folk-heroes in the tradition of Robin Hood and Dick Turpin in England, and Jesse James in the United States. Many poems and songs were written about them and at one time it was a criminal offence to sing or recite these ballads which glorified crime. Nonetheless, every Australian today knows the stories of the famous bushrangers. These ballads and songs started the tradition of Australian "yarn" and its heroes, Dad's Dave among them.
The hard rough life in the outback was no place for women. The Squatters searched the towns for wives to take to their stations. It wasn't very pleasant prospect for a new bride, but some girls were lucky enough to undertake the adventure. The image of a typical Australian was a tall, thin and blond man who was called a "Cornstalk", sometimes wearing a cabbage tree hat.
Australians celebrated their bicentennial beginning Jan. 26, 1988 and continuing all next year. On that date in 1788, 11 ships arrived from Britain, and 1.030 settlers, including 776 convicts, began their new life in waterfront section of Sydney called "the Rocks".
Australia's Ties With Great Britain And The USA
Initially, Britain and the Commonwealth countries were the central elements of Australia's foreign policy and activity. Later, closer relations were also developed with the USA, partly because of the vital role it played in the Pacific during and after World War II.
Australia can seem quite British at times and somewhat American at others. Political, legal, and educational institutions derive from Britain. Each state capital is named after a colonial politician (Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne) or British royal figure (Adelaide). Dry and witheringly hot towns bear names from England's green and pleasant land. The representative of the England queen is the formal head of the governmental structure. Only since 1984 has required that a civil servant in Australia be an Australian - previously it was sufficient to be British.
American influence comes in culture, technology, defense arrangements, and business. Books from USA have made a major advance in Australian intellectual circles since the 1960s. American ideas of management and problem-solving are becoming more and more popular.
Significantly, Australian dollar was introduced in 1966.
In the past some Australians often felt that Australian culture, products, accents, lifestyles compared unfavorably with Britain and the USA. This attitude has changed. A strong sense of distinct Australian identity has grown with the growing recognition in the world of Australian films, literature and arts.
1. Australia and New Zealand in brief, Москва, издательство "Лист", 1998 г., с.223
2. Т.Ю. Журина. 55 устных тем по английскому языку., Москва, издательский дом "Дрофа", 1997 г., с. 160
3. Филипп Стил. Атлас мира. Москва, "Олма-Пресс", 1998 г., с. 95