Relocations: land, legislation and memory
in Imperial spaces
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This chapter explores the extent of Scottish and Irish involvement in the pastoral geographies that were the mainstay of the Australian economy until the gold rushes of the 1850s and which remained of considerable importance thereafter. It compares the legislative framework that provided the basis for this pastoral exploitation with contemporary Scottish and Irish land legislation. The triumph of pastoralism in south-east Australia appeared complete by the 1840s. The major Irish Land Acts of 1870, 1881, 1885 and 1903, undermined the economic basis of the landlord class. The Banner maintained its qualified support for Charles Gavin Duffy's Land Act in the face of mounting press criticism of the Act's failure to prevent squatters from consolidating their existing runs in the areas opened for selection, or speculators from amassing lands there. In Ireland and Scotland, similar legislation invoked differing claims to ethnic authenticity and political legitimacy.

Imperial spaces

Placing the Irish and Scots in Colonial Australia

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