Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Australian History and other Australian topics.
Confederation of the separate Australian colonies did not come until a constitution, drafted in 1897–98, was approved by the British parliament. It was put into operation in 1901; under its terms the colonies of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania, all of which by then had been granted self-government, were federated. The Northern Territory was added to the federation in 1911.
Australia fought alongside Great Britain in both world wars. Darwin, Port Jackson, and Newcastle were bombed or shelled by the Japanese in World War II. The Allied victory in the battle of the Coral Sea (1942) probably averted a full-scale attack on Australia. After the war Australia became increasingly active in world affairs, particularly in defense and development projects with its Asian neighbors; it furnished troops to aid the U.S. war effort in South Vietnam.
In 1983, Bob Hawke won his first of four terms as prime minister against a coalition of the Liberal and National parties. In 1991, as Australia foundered in a deep recession, Hawke lost the prime ministership to fellow Laborite Paul Keating. Keating led Labor to its fifth consecutive electoral victory in 1993. In the Mar., 1996, elections, however, 13 years of Labor rule were ended by a Liberal-National party coalition led by John Howard, who promised deregulation, smaller government, and other conservative economic reforms. Howard's coalition was reelected, although by a smaller margin, in 1998. In a 1999 referendum, voters rejected a plan to replace the British monarch as head of state with a president elected by the parliament