Fathers of our Constitutional Inheritance

Fathers of our Constitutional Inheritance

Australia’s successful constitution is a combination of a written document and an unwritten parliamentary system based on custom and precedent imported from Britain.

This series – first published by the IPA in late 2018 – documents how that system evolved by examining ten of the most important fathers of our constitutional inheritance. Each piece succinctly explores both the life and significance of a subject, directing those interested towards further study. Five Australians and five Britons have been selected to give a far-sighted view of the establishment of key institutions and concepts.

From the gradual emergence of the office of Prime Minister, the transportation of democracy to Australia and the creation of our own unique federal system, the pieces showcase the deep roots from which the tree of Australian democracy has grown.

This is pivotal background information for anyone concerned with the origins, strengths and evolution of the Australian Constitution in its broadest sense.

Click here to navigate through the series, which covers the following ten important historical figures.

  • Edmund Burke
  • George Reid
  • Henry Parkes
  • Charles the Second Earl of Grey
  • William Charles Wentworth
  • Robert Walpole
  • Walter Bagehot
  • Samuel Griffith
  • James Bryce
  • Edmund Barton.



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