1900 July- Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act passes Parliament and recieves Queen Victoria's assent.
1900 September- The queen has decreed that Australia will become a commonwealth on Jan 1.
1901 Jan 1- Australia becomes independent and control is turned over to a temporary government led by Edmund Barton.  The new government faces many challenges, including the British wars in China and South Africa in which several thousand Australians were serving, but jumps into action.  It organizes the first federal elections and extends voting rights to women.  Barton is elected for a second term (ending in 1903).
Two of Australia's founding fathers and considered the key activists in achieving Federation (left Alfred Deakin, right Edmund Barton.
1901- later in the year two major acts were passed assuring a white majority and white control of Australia:   1) The Immigration Restriction Act-  This act demanded that all immigrants pass a literacy test in any European language, oddly even asians who spoke English or French managed to fail the test.
The Pacific Islands Laborers' Act- This required the repatriation of all migrant working Pacific Islanders (Kanakas) living in Australia.
1902- Barton agrees to pay 240,000 pounds per year to ensure the protection of Australia by the Royal Navy.
1903- Deakin becomes prime minister and the Labot Party takes control of governemnt.
1905- Japanese crush the Russian Navy in the Straits of Tsushima.  Australian fear of Japan grows.
1908- The United States' Great White Fleet visits Australia at Deakin's request.
1909- Britain is locked  in an Dreadnought arms race with Germany and moved to allow Australia as well as the other commonwealths to have fleets of their own in order to reduce costs.
1911- the King of England names the new Pacific Fleet the "Royal Australian Navy" beacuse Australia paid for and manned the bulk of the ships.  Australia finally has its own blue water navy, though it is agreed that in time of war the ships would automatically be placed under control of the Royal Navy.
         The significance of these first ten years is evident in the actions of the government.  The white population now offically severed from the mother empire found itself drifting in an ocean surrounded by foreigners, potentially hostile foreigners, whose customs and language posed a threat to white culture and authority.  These foreigners also threatened the labor movement because they drove down wages.  This coupled with constant Japanese agression created an offical atmosphere of hostility towards all asians which would persist for decades.   Another significance seen is the openness of the Australian govenremnt to have relations with the U.S., even against Britain's wishes.  These steps, along with new tariffs, show the growing autonomy among the government and population of Australia.
1901-1914 continued>>>