Colonial Ambition Foundations of Australian Democracy PDF

Colonial Ambition Foundations of Australian Democracy This is my favourite book of Australian history Peter Cochrane achieves his vision of an excellent narrative history enlivened by character and colour and details in the right context In contrast to the bored schoolboy view pining for wars and revolution he shows our democratic achievement to be full of struggle and early defeats stratagems and controversy with complicated opponents and very human advocates Co winner of the Prime Minister's History Awards in 2007 this is a robustly researched and elegantly written account of Australia's difficult and in some ways unlikely transition from a pastoralist oligarchy under the thumb of a British appointed governor and legislative council to a parliamentary democracy with close to universal male suffrage The writing does justice to the larger than life eccentric personalities of the main players aligned either side of the battlefield for constitutional reform WC Wentworth spurned emancipist master orator and champion of the suatter conservatives and taunting and opposing him the liberal democrats Robert Lowe the Rev Doctor John Dun Lang and Henry Parkes There is a deftly drawn supporting cast as wellThe book judiciously uotes the no holds barred rhetorical flourishes of these men's speeches in the parliament and 'out of doors' With rigorous attention to detail it manages to make dramatic the struggle to establish features of democratic governance we take for granted today collective responsibility a broad franchise party discipline an elected upper house access to Crown lands This book proved invaluable background reading as research for a novel I am currently writing set in 1850s Sydney This historian has the imagination and elouent style of a fiction writer offering a compelling political narrative against the background of broader developments It colourfully evokes the atmosphere of Sydney as a city coming of age with an urban professional and mercantile class with their own sense of its prosperous steam powered post transportation future A highly recommended read loyal radicals and liberal capital team up to battle sheep lords for control of vast exercise in subjugation and expropriation of indigenous people and land recommended for vindicators of manhood sufferage for her majesty's antipodean colonies Sydney locals New South Welshpeople inclined to believe that their state politics has fallen on hard times Colonial Ambition has all the strengths and a few of the weaknesses of narrative history On the one hand it is vivid Cochrane summons his characters to the stage like a visionary director and has them act out their parts with grand gestures and booming voices William Charles Wentworth thunders in the Legislative Council overflowing with the 'lava' of his indignation Icy Robert Lowe throws a few crystal shards at his foes Henry Parkes rushes about the streets of Sydney tub thumping going for broke stumbling and getting up again Dr Lang grins like a solemn uixote 'Slippery Charlie' Cowper scrawls off letters to his allies and sweats under his collar while he tries to get government in the colony to work The men of Sydney are restless The fogs of London are stifling New South Wales is asserting itself and every tick of the clock strikes a second closer to the hour of its independence It is vivid largely because of how Cochrane writes He says in the introduction that he is determined to let his heroes speak for themselves 'They knew that literacy and oratory were pathways to success They had experienced the power of political speech' Cochrane tells a dramatic story—in the sense that he structures it like a drama or a film He gets his characters in position Then he opens their mouths Like the great dramatists of Ancient Greece or the finest songwriters of Broadway he knows the value of a chorus Throughout the book the orations of his heroes are offset by the words of the men and women of the street who speak as a collective and who demand their rights in no uncertain termsMen with brains men with ambition men with a ha'penny's worth of gumption and tuppence worth of nous were not going to sit in some shepherd's hut for the benefit of some big fat absentee shepherd king No sir And even an imbecile knew that to discourage the gold interest was a great public wrong Once again it was said Wentworth and company had shown their hand and once again the popular preference for London over Macuarie Street was voiced loudly over the uiet hum of the city's political talk That is a fine example of free indirect discourse one of Cochrane's favourite and best stylistic techniues He lets his own voice meld with that of his characters and the effect is electrifyingIt is a ripping yarn that Cochrane tells in this gripping way The men—we'll mention the women in a minute—who fought for and won NSW's independence were fascinating figures It is easy to dismiss the white Australians of colonial times They were generally racist had a poor understanding of their environment committed terrible depredations on Aboriginal people and were rather too keen on the Crimean War But they had impressive ualities too and Cochrane brings them out independance insouciance a remarkable love of culture and erudition a keen understanding of their little country's place in the wider world and a fiendishly strong sense of egalitarianism however compromised it was by other ideas These are truly democratic ualities as Cochrane insists and we should cherish them always Now for the flaws and they must be pointed out The first is the book's incredibly narrow focus on Sydney and on men Both these flaws might be excused given the political and social structure of NSW at the time This is a political history Sydney was were nearly all the political institutions of NSW were based and all the politicians were of course men But the book would have been compelling had Cochrane taken the time to weave in some other perspectives Democracy was won out on the diggings as much as in the streets The Eureka stockade is barely a footnote in his account The campaigns for self rule in ueensland Victoria and South Australia are pushed right to the fringes And the various regional towns are barely in the picture at all Charles Harpur published his radical writings not only in Sydney but in Maitland Daniel Deniehey was an MP and journalist in Goulburn Surely Sarah Wentworth had a larger influence on her husband's political career than merely to believe in him And Adelaide Ironside—whom Cochrane does mention a few times—surely demonstrates that women could have a 'visible' impact on the campaign for self rule if only we look hard enough for evidence of it More broadly it would have pleased this reader if Cochrane had provided social context The people in his book are extremely vivid and full of life but the world they live in is often a little vague Perhaps I am simply too fond of description These faults are almost inevitable in a fine narrative history like this It seems to be a law of the universe that the whole truth is messy vague and difficult for the human mind to grasp To reduce any part of history to a clear and compelling narrative basically reuires focus and simplification The very greatest narrative historians—Barbara Tuchman for example or Eric Rolls—somehow manage to wedge complexity into their lively stories The very greatest analytical historians—EP Thompson Tim Flannery Hannah Arendt—manage to inject narrative flair into their philosophical and speculative analyses Cochrane is very nearly in this league and I'll be keeping my eye out for of his books A detailed history of 18th and 19th century Australia with focus on the political landscape of the time Colonial Ambition Foundations of Australian Start your review of Colonial Ambition Foundations of Australian Democracy Write a review Jan Calzean rated it really liked it Shelves author australia culture australia history nonfiction Cochrane tells the story of the period between and where NSW argues for independence self elected representative from the English Colonial office Strong personalities with Colonial Ambition Foundations of Australian Colonial Ambition tells the story of the politicians and would be politicians of Sydney who were driven by a determination to lift themselves and their new colony to a higher level They wanted parliamentary liberty though they could not agree on what that meant and that contest over meaning centred in Sydney was unremitting The fight for responsible government and democracy is a dialogue between Colonial Ambition Foundations of Australian Colonial Ambition tells the story of the politicians and would be politicians of Sydney who were driven by a determination to lift themselves and their new colony to a higher level They wanted parliamentary liberty though they were sharply divided over the form it might take and these divisions centred in Sydney were unremitting Peter Cochrane tells of the fight for responsible DOC Colonial Ambition Foundations of Australian Colonial Ambition Foundations of Australian Democracy Peter Cochrane Colonial ambition foundations of Australian Colonial ambition foundations of Australian democracy Peter Cochrane Colonial ambition tells the story of the politicians and would be politicians of Sydney who were driven by a determination to push themselves and their new colony to a higher level Colonial Ambition Foundations of Australian Colonial Ambition Foundations of Australian Democracy John Howard mightapprove of this book We know he believes that Australia's historians are a morbid lot who should give attention to the nation's achievements In particular they ignore democracy's success in favour of their leftist obsession with sexism and racism Colonial Ambition Foundations of Australian Colonial Ambition Foundations of Australian Democracy Epub Ambition Foundations of MOBI Foundations of Kindle Colonial Ambition PDF Colonial Ambition tells the story of the politicians and would be politicians of Sydney who were driven by a determination to lift themselves and their new colony to a higher level Colonial ambition foundations of Australian Colonial ambition tells the story of the politicians and would be politicians of Sydney who were driven by a determination to push themselves and their new colony to a higher level New South Wales Politics and government ; History Australia; Colonial Ambition Peter Cochrane — Melbourne Colonial Ambition tells the story of the politicians and would be politicians of Sydney who were driven by a determination to lift themselves and their new colony to a higher level They wanted parliamentary liberty though they were sharply divided over the form it might take and these divisions centred in Sydney were unremitting Peter Cochrane Wikipedia Peter John Cochrane FAHA born April is an Australian historian and writer In his book Colonial Ambition Foundations of Australian Democracy shared the inaugural Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History with Les Carlyon 's The Great War Early life and career Cochrane was born in Melbourne in

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