The push for Australian Nationalism was defeated at the Republic referendum of 1999. But debate continues as to weather Australia's withdrawal from British Imperialism should be finalized. .
With the colonisation of Australia in 1788, the British Empire found a foreign land that it could send its unwanted, criminals and thieves who were deported from England to Australia with only military personnel to force them into labor and brutal punishment. That colony by 1881 had become several of great wealth and prosperity. Seven British colonies that were governed by themselves and who sought to unite themselves under a singular flag and constitution (About Australia, p1, Online accessed 29/10/03).
According to Thomas Kenealy and Janet Baker, motivation for Federation in its bluntest form was to show loyalty to the crown, for "National Defence" against invasion from Asia, the elimination of cross border tariffs, and the "Preservation of legal and political ties with mother England" (Baker, p 30, 1994) This shows that even with the Nationalism of Federation in 1901, Australia still had a strong sense of Empire. .
Although Federation made Australia a nation, Imperial fervor still reigned. When Australia went to war in 1914, its forces went under the name Australian Imperial Forces, and a great deal of men enlisted to fight for "Mother England" (Kyle, p 34, 1992) The Federation of Australia's states was centered on the introduction of the Australian constitution, a document that was well suited to the imperialistic view Australia had for itself at the time. (Kyle, p 43, 0000) A republic movement had been whispered as early as 1880, (Baker, p51, 1994), but at that time republicanism was seen as a nuisance, a radical idea and was given little thought although some notable Australians such as Henry Lawson, and papers such as Sunday Telegraph and Sydney Times advocated it. It wasn't until 1991 that the Republic debate sparked national interest that was to last almost twelve years.