To Constitute a Nation: A Cultural History of Australia's Constitution

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 13, 1999 - History - 272 pages
This imaginative and resonant book looks at the constitution as a cultural artifact. Irving looks beyond the well-known events, places and figures to locate federation and the constitution in the context of broader social, political and cultural changes. Despite its paradoxical construction, there is something uniquely Australian about the constitution, and it marked a utopian moment as the old century gave way to the new. Irving analyzes the background and outcomes of the recent Constitutional Convention and considers its significance for Australia's future. A new chapter covers the development of the constitution in the twentieth century.
 

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Contents

Colonial Nuptials
6
The Imaginary Nation
25
Imagined Constitutions
46
Models For a Nation
62
Things Properly Federal
79
White Australians
100
Australian Natives
119
The People
134
Half the Nation
171
The Federal Compact
196
Conclusion
212
Epilogue
216
Key Sections of the Constitution
220
Notes
224
Select Bibliography
244
Index
253

Citizens
156

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