History Speech - a Workingman's Paradise

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During the early 1900s, life was harsh, but for those who worked successfully, they became prosperous. Australia, advertised as a workingman’s paradise at the time, was in some ways a workingman’s paradise, but also completely the opposite in many other ways.

Employers were not very nice, and exploited the fact that there were shortages in jobs. Many people were ready and willing to swoop in on a job if an employee quit, like vultures. The land was a place of equal opportunities, they said. Life is comfortable, and employment was easy, they said. In reality, life was difficult; the economic depression had bitten a huge chunk in Australia’s backside. Workers received very low wages, and were forced to work in poor conditions.

Most workers laboured for 10 hours a day – that’s almost half your day at work. Basic wage hadn’t been established at the time, and it just was a horrible period of life.

The workers, the lower class citizens, did attempt to protest and fight back through strikes, the most famous being the six month long shearer’s strike, one of the many factors involved with the forming of the Australian Labour Party. The strike was eventually cut down, but by the end of it, there was a big impact on the working class. On August 1890, the Australian Labour Party was established; it was to be governed by the working class for the working class. That was just the beginning.

The 1880s was a time when the federal idea really took flight. Foreign powers like Germany and France were moving in on New Guinea, and New Caledonia. That gave them a very valid reason to federate. The most populated colonies like New South Wales and Victoria were getting closer, rail lines being a joining factor.

In the 1890s, Australia was on the brink of Federation. New South Wales was steadily recovering its economic and demographic superiority lost during the depression.

It was January 1st, 1901 that Australia officially became a Federation and on March 20th, 1901...
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