10 Interesting Facts about Alfred Deakin

Those who love to study on government should better read one of these following facts about Alfred Deakin really interesting to read. Alfred Deakin was a leader of the movement for Australian federation and later the second Prime Minister of Australia. In the last quarter of the 19th century, Deakin was a major contributor to the establishment of liberal reforms in the colony of Victoria, including pro-worker industrial reforms. He also played a major part in establishing irrigation in Australia. It is likely that he could have been Premier of Victoria, but he chose to devote his energy to federation. Furthermore, to get to know more about him, here are some other facts about Alfred Deakin you might like.

Facts about Alfred Deakin 1: Conferences

Throughout the 1890s Deakin was a participant in conferences of representatives of the Australian colonies that were established to draft a constitution for the proposed federation. He played an important role in ensuring that the draft was liberal and democratic and in achieving compromises to enable its eventual success.

Facts about Alfred Deakin 2: Campaign

Between conferences, he worked to popularise the concept of federation and campaigned for its acceptance in colonial referenda. He then fought hard to ensure acceptance of the proposed constitution by the Government of the United Kingdom.

Facts about Alfred Deakin - Alfred Deakin
Facts about Alfred Deakin – Alfred Deakin

Facts about Alfred Deakin 3: Founder of Commonwealth Government

As Prime Minister, Deakin completed a significant legislative program that makes him, with Labor’s Andrew Fisher, the founder of an effective Commonwealth government. He expanded the High Court, provided major funding for the purchase of ships, leading to the establishment of the Royal Australian Navy as a significant force under the Fisher government and established Australian control of Papua.

Facts about Alfred Deakin 4: Deakin-led Liberal Party

The Deakin-led Liberal Party government lost to Fisher Labor at the 1910 election, which saw the first time a federal political party had been elected with a majority in either house in Federal Parliament. Deakin resigned from Parliament prior to the 1913 election, with Joseph Cook winning the Liberal Party leadership ballot.

Facts about Alfred Deakin - 1901 Cabinet
Facts about Alfred Deakin – 1901 Cabinet

Facts about Alfred Deakin 5: Victorian Legislative Assembly

Deakin stood for the largely rural seat of West Bourke in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in February 1879, as a supporter of Legislative Council reform, protection to encourage manufacturing and the introduction of a land tax to break up the big agricultural estates, and won by 79 votes.

Facts about Alfred Deakin 6: First Federal Parliament

In 1991, Deakin was elected to the first federal Parliament as MP for Ballarat, and became Attorney-General in the in the ministry headed by Edmund Barton. He was active, especially in drafting bills for the Public Service, arbitration and the High Court.

Facts about Alfred Deakin - Bust statue
Facts about Alfred Deakin – Bust statue

Facts about Alfred Deakin 7: Retirement

Deakin retired from Parliament in April 1913. He chaired the 1914 Royal Commission on Food Supplies and on Trade and Industry.He was president of the Australian Commission for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915 to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal, but found his duties difficult because of severe progressive memory loss.

Facts about Alfred Deakin 8: Journalism

Deakin wrote anonymous political commentaries for the London “Morning Post” even while he was Prime Minister. His account of the federation movement appeared as “The Federal Story” in 1944 and is a vital primary source for this history. His account of his career in Victorian politics in the 1880s was published as “The Crisis in Victorian Politics” in 1957.

Facts about Alfred Deakin - With Edmund Barton
Facts about Alfred Deakin – With Edmund Barton

Facts about Alfred Deakin 9: Spirituality

He was active in the Theosophical Society until 1896, when he resigned on joining the Australian Church, led by Charles Strong. Though Deakin always took pains to obscure the spiritual dimensions of his character from public gaze, he felt a strong sense of providence and destiny working in his career.

Facts about Alfred Deakin 10: Legacy

Deakin was almost universally liked, admired and respected by his contemporaries, who called him “Affable Alfred.” He made his only real enemies at the time of the Fusion, when not only Labor but also some liberals such as Sir William Lyne reviled him as a traitor.

Facts about Alfred Deakin - With his wife
Facts about Alfred Deakin – With his wife

Hope you would find those Alfred Deakin facts really interesting, useful, and helpful for your additional reading.

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