+612 9045 4394
Australia's Democracy : A Short History - John Hirst

Australia's Democracy

A Short History

Paperback Published: 1st August 2002
ISBN: 9781865088457
Number Of Pages: 368

Share This Book:
This title is not in stock at the Booktopia Warehouse and needs to be ordered from our supplier.
Click here to read more about delivery expectations.

Australians did not invent political democracy, but they have created a unique form of it. Australia's Democracy tells the story of the political structures Australians have made.

It's a story which traces the growth of democratic rights and freedoms from convict times until the present. It charts the transitions from the era when racism limited political rights to today's concern that everyone's human rights be respected; from the demand that governments be free to carry out the people's wishes to the current desire to see all government power checked and controlled. It examines notable Australian political innovations like the secret ballot, the basic wage and the practice of democratic manners.

Australia's Democracy also explores the oddities of Australia's political society: where there has been strong opposition to military conscription but not to compulsory voting; where egalitarianism and the belief in 'a fair go' have not led to a universal welfare system nor prohibited the growth of private schools; where politicians have been held in contempt but governments have been competent and efficient; where the people have been scornful of British snobbishness but loyal to a British monarch; and where men have been keen about mateship, leaving women to take citizenship seriously.

This is the first book on Australia's democratic history. It is written by one of Australia's most notable historians whose hallmark is fresh interpretation, an engaging style and a compelling eye for the human story in history. John Hirst brings the history of our particular democracy to life in a lucid, entertaining and vivid way for students of history and for general readers so that they can better understand the society in which they live.


1. Rights without votes, 1788 - 1850

2. Votes for men, 185 - 1880 33

3. Real democracy, 188 - 1920

4. Threats to democracy, 192 - 1970

5. Rights and limits, 196 - 2000


1. Comparisons

2. Society

3. Nation

4. Distinctions

5. Dignity

6. Welfare

7. Citizens

8. Soldiers

9. Schools

10. Equality

11. Government

12. Voters

13. Finale


1. Timeline

2. Democratic landmarks

3. Australian prime ministers

4. Guide to political labels

Further reading



ISBN: 9781865088457
ISBN-10: 1865088455
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 1st August 2002
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 15.2  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.66
Edition Number: 1