Outline the major developments in the move towards an Australian republic in the twentieth century.

Essay by sarchi July 2004

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The topic of an Australian republic has been hotly debated over for many years. Although there was talk, even in the late 1900s, of Australia becoming a republic, the main push for republicanism has come in the twentieth century.

After colonisation, and the first taste of responsible government, in the 18th and 19th century, Australia began its journey towards republicanism - or, at least, the idea of it - when Federation was celebrated in 1901; Australia began to focus on 'Australianising' political institutions.

From the 1930s, Australia took full responsibility for its defence and foreign affairs. This gave Australia more freedom, but also served to distance Australia even more from the 'Mother country'; without the need to rely upon Britain for our military and alliance decisions, Australians became more adapted to the idea of Australia as a republic.

Another step towards republicanism was the regular appointment, in the 1960s, of Australian-born Governor-Generals.

Governor-Generals, the Queen's representatives in Australia, were now (for the most part) Australian, which meant that one of the most important politicians in the country could now relate to Australians and our ideals.

In the 1970s, Australia changed its national anthem to what it currently is - 'Advance Australia Fair' - as compared to 'God Save The Queen'. This move was symbolic of the new thought processes of the Australian public; moving away from the conservative, British views of the past, and journeying towards the new, multicultural ways of life that we currently enjoy.

Appeals to the Privy Council (if dissatisfied with the rulings of the High Court, a person could take their case to the Privy Council in England, who could then overrule the decision made) were abolished in the 1980s. This, like the surrendering of Australia's defence and foreign policy to Australia, helped to further Australian...