"What were the arguments for and against federation?"

Thanks for your question. Before 1901 Australia was not a nation, but a collection of six British colonies. The colonies were almost like separate countries; for example, each had its own government and laws, its own defence force, issued its own stamps and collected tariffs (taxes) on goods that crossed its borders. In the late 1800s, popular debate in Australia about the idea of federating revealed there were many different opinions. Some of the areas where people felt strongly for or against federation were:

This is just the tip of the iceberg! Check out this Closer Look paper  to find out more about federation, or look at our video or factsheet.  

diagram to help explain What were the arguments for and against federation?