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New South Wales

New South Wales History Timeline

BC - 1700s

  • (50,000BC) Aborigines settled along the coast
  • (1770) Captain James Cook charted and took possession of the east coast of Australia, named the region "New South Wales"
  • (1788) Arthur Phillip arrived with First Fleet to found convict settlment at present-day Sydney
  • (1788) Parramatta founded as a likely place for a successful farm
  • (1790s) Coal discovered in Hunter and Illawarra regions; Merino sheep were imported into New South Wales
  • (1791) Toongabbie founded as a government farm and convict station to grow food for colonies
  • (1804) Town of Newcastle established as secondary punishment for convicts
  • (1804) In Castle Hill Rebellion, convicts rebelled against colonial authority in Castle Hill area (first and only major convict uprising in Australian history)
  • (1807) First export of wool to England
  • (1808) Rum Rebellion was act of rebellion against Governor Bligh, government overthrown by military coup
  • (1810) Lachlan Macquarie assumed office, military power ended
  • (1810 - 1821) Lachlan Macquarie established public works, bank, churches, charitable institutions, sought relations with Aborigines
  • (1812) Governor's Court and Supreme Court established
  • (1815) Road built over the Blue Mountains
  • (1820) Inland settlement established at Bathurst
  • (1824) New South Wales proclaimed a crown colony
  • (1825) Legislative Council appointed to advise Governor
  • (1825) Trial by jury introduced
  • (1825) Tasmania seceded from New South Wales, became separate colony
  • (1838) In Myall Creek Massacre, 11 stockmen killed 30 unarmed Australian Aboriginals
  • (1841) New Zealand, originally part of New South Wales, became separate colony
  • (1843) First elections held for the Legislative Council
  • (1851) Gold found near Bathurst sparked a gold rush
  • (1851) Victoria seceded from New South Wales, became separate colony
  • (1855) New South Wales granted responsible government by British
  • (1856) Stuart Donaldson named first premier of New South Wales
  • (1858) New gold rush in far north
  • (1858) Universal male suffrage granted by Parliament
  • (1858) Secret ballot introduced

1800s continued

  • (1859) Queensland separated from New South Wales
  • (1861) Anti-Chinese riots in goldfields killed several people, wounded many others in Lambing Flat Riots
  • (1861) Crown Lands Act 1861 introduced, reformed land holdings, broke squatters' domination of land tenure
  • (1870) Last British troops left, police and local military maintained law and order
  • (1879) Royal National Park, Australia's first national park (and the second in the world), opened in Sydney
  • (1883) Silver discovered at Broken Hill
  • (1886) Industrial depression began, caused wide-scale unemployment
  • (1889) Railroad network linking Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney completed
  • (1890) Maritime Strike occurred over pay and working conditions
  • (1893) Financial crisis caused closure of 13 trading banks
  • (1895) Income tax began
  • (1901) New South Wales became a State of the Commonwealth of Australia
  • (1901) First elections held, Edmund Barton confirmed as Prime Minister
  • (1901) Industrial Arbitration Act passed, provided for compulsory arbitration
  • (1902) Women granted right to vote
  • (1908) Sydney rockchoppers struck for over two months, employers backed down on all issues as no strikebreakers were found

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on July 10, 2020.