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Introduction There is no doubt that Australia did not gain independence after the proclamation of the Constitution in 1901 Some may argue that it has been obvious since following Britain into both World Wars However Australia through a gradual process and after almost 100 years has gained legal but not political independence As long as there is a monarch of the UK and of Australia and its states there will always be connections This paper will recognise the five most prominent constitutional steps in the process towards independence in five main discussions by firstly realising the absence of independence after Federation in 1901 and the factors that tie Australia and Britain together Secondly acknowledging the beginnings of independence after the separate signing of the Treaty of Versailles Third the Balfour Declaration 1926 and Statute of Westminster 1931 which was adopted in 1942 declared Australia and the other Dominions of Britain equal in status and increased Australias legal independence The fourth discussion will look at the accomplishment of Australias legal independence through the Australia Act 1986 Lastly this paper will examine the Republic Debate the final step to independence that failed to win the public in 1999 This step is said to be the only way to achieve political independence of Australia and with its failure stops Australia short of reaching complete independence Federation and the Commonwealth of Australia The independence of Australia began with Federation in 1901 that expressed interest as early as 1853 There were many conferences held by the colonies during the eighteen-sixties but interest declined for a time until 1891 when the movement for federation revived Baalman 1973 The Imperial parliament passed the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act in 1900 the blueprints of the Commonwealth setting out how the federation would be established A few months later Queen Victoria proclaimed that the people of the colonies should from 1st January 1901 be united in a Federal Commonwealth under
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