You are here
Informit Service< Back to Informit Humanities & Social Sciences Collection
John West's 'Union Among the Colonies'
Drawing on his experience as a leader of the successful intercolonial movement against the renewal of the transportation of convicts to Australia, West, in a series of articles, argued the case for federation. These articles, published in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1854 under the title 'Union Among the Colonies', maintained that federation was necessary for the colonies because it would allow them to combine strength with freedom.
A theorist of the 'checks and balances' school who signed the articles 'John Adams' after the one-time American president, West believed that the American federal system provided a model for Australian colonies seeking to maintain the essentials of the British system of government. These articles provide a cogent argument for federalism that is still relevant in the twenty-first century, not least because the idea of 'checks and balances' remains central to any discussion of contemporary Australian politics.