Axial Shift pp 353-389 | Cite as

Case Study: The Territorial Evolution of Australia and the United States

  • Benjamen GussenEmail author


In 1949, David Henry Drummond noted:

It is significant that since the Imperial Parliament handed over the control of Australia to the Commonwealth, no new State has been created, notwithstanding that Sir Henry Parkes, the founder of the Federation, said—‘that as a matter of reason and logical forecast, the division of the existing colonies into smaller areas to equalize the distribution of political power, will be the next great constitutional change.’

This chapter provides ‘broad brush’ analysis to inspire this ‘next great constitutional change.’ Although a proviso is in order: No matter how persuasive the rationale for new States is, there is still a need for further evaluation.


  1. Adkins, L and R A Adkins, Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome (Oxford University Press, 1994).Google Scholar
  2. Andersen, Brigid, Split Queensland in Two or Face ‘A Reckoning Across Australia’, Katter MP says (1 April 2016) ABC News
  3. Australian Government, Northern Australia: Emerging Opportunities in an Advanced Economy (2015a).Google Scholar
  4. ———, Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia (2015b)
  5. Bækgaard, Martin, Søren Serritzlew and Kim M Sønderskov, ‘The Hunt for the Optimal Jurisdiction Size: Looking for Simpler Questions that Can Be Answered’ (Working Paper, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, October 2013).Google Scholar
  6. Berkin, Carol et al., Making America: A History of the United States (Cengage Learning, 7th ed, 2014).Google Scholar
  7. Blainey, Geoffrey, ‘Why Every Major Region Should Be its Own State’ in Wayne Hudson and A J Brown (eds), Restructuring Australia (Federation Press, 2004) 26.Google Scholar
  8. Blom-Hansen, J, K Houlberg and S Serritzlew ‘Size, Democracy, and the Economic Costs of Running the Political System’ (2014) 58 American Journal of Political Science 790.Google Scholar
  9. Borrello, Eliza, Malcolm Turnbull Scraps Federation White Paper After $5 Million Work (28 April 2016) ABC$5-million-tax-white-paper-scrapped/7367204.
  10. Bunge, Mario, The Sociology-Philosophy Connection (Transaction Publishers, 1999).Google Scholar
  11. Bunson, M, ‘Colonia (Roman)’ in M Bunson (ed), Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire (Facts on File, 1994).Google Scholar
  12. Cole, John, ‘The Historical Context of Australia’s Federation’ in A Federation for the 21st Century Research Report of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA, 2014)
  13. Crowe, D, ‘Federation “Starving” States’, The Australian (Surry Hills), 27 October 2014, 1.Google Scholar
  14. Drummond, David Henry, The Australian Constitution and New States: The Case for Constitutional Review (The NSW Constitutional League, 1949).Google Scholar
  15. Drummond, Mark Lea, Costing Constitutional Change: Estimates of the Financial Benefits of New States, Regional Governments, Unification and Related Reforms (PhD Thesis, University of Canberra, 2007).Google Scholar
  16. Evatt, H V, The Royal Prerogative (Thomson Reuters, 1987).Google Scholar
  17. Chief Justice Robert French, ‘The Northern Territory – A Celebration of Constitutional History’ (Speech delivered at the Kriewaldt Lecture for the centenary of the Northern Territory Supreme Court, 23 May 2011)
  18. Glassner, M I, Political Geography (John Wiley & Sons, 1993).Google Scholar
  19. Gregory, Denis, ‘The Man who’s Creating a United States of Australia’, Sun-Herald (Sydney), 11 May 2003, 13.Google Scholar
  20. Gussen, B F, ‘On the Problem of Scale: Hayek, Kohr, Jacobs and the Reinvention of the Political State’ (2013a) 24 (1) Constitutional Political Economy 19.Google Scholar
  21. ———, ‘On the Problem of Scale: Spinozistic Sovereignty as the Logical Foundation of Constitutional Economics’ (2013b) 7 (1) The Journal of Philosophical Economics (online).Google Scholar
  22. ———, ‘On the Problem of Scale: A General Theory of Morphogenesis and Normative Policy Signals for Economic Evolution’ (2015) 12 (1) Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review 81.Google Scholar
  23. ———, ‘On the Territorial Evolution of the Australian Federation in the 21st Century’ (2017) 22 James Cook University Law Review 15.Google Scholar
  24. Hanks, Peter, Frances Gordon and Graeme Hill, Constitutional Law in Australia (LexisNexis, 3rd ed, 2012).Google Scholar
  25. Herzl, Theodor, Altneuland (Hermann Seemann Nachfolger, 1902).Google Scholar
  26. Johnston, Robert D and Douglas Brinkley, The Making of America: The History of the United States from 1492 to the Present (National Geographic, revised ed, 2010).Google Scholar
  27. Judah, Asher, The Australian Century (Connor Court Ballan, 2014).Google Scholar
  28. Kresl, Peter Karl, Planning Cities for the Future: The Successes and Failures of Urban Economic Strategies in Europe (Edward Edgar, 2007).Google Scholar
  29. Lassen, David Dreyer and Søren Serritzlew, ‘Jurisdiction Size and Local Democracy: Evidence on Internal Political Efficacy from Large-scale Municipal Reform’ (2011) 105(2) American Political Science Review 238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lefèbvre, Henri, La Production de L’Espace (Anthropos, 1974).Google Scholar
  31. Masahisa, Fujita and Jacques-Francois Thisse, Economics of Agglomeration: Cities, Industrial Location, and Globalization (Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed, 2013).Google Scholar
  32. Moorehead, J I, ‘Why New States’ in F A Bland (ed), Changing the Constitution (NSW Constitutional League, 1950).Google Scholar
  33. Oliver, J E, ‘City Size and Civic Involvement in Metropolitan America’ (2000) 94 (2) American Political Science Review 361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Parsons, N, Vienna: A Cultural History (Oxford University Press, 2009).Google Scholar
  35. Passmore, Daryl, ‘Referendum Queensland: MPs Will Force Referendum to Split Queensland in Two’, The Courier Mail (online), 26 March 2016
  36. Pelinka, P, Eine kurze Geschichte der SPÖ. Ereignisse, Persönlichkeiten, Jahreszahlen (Ueberreuter, 2005).Google Scholar
  37. Poole, Thomas, ‘United Kingdom: The Royal Prerogative’ (2010) 8(1) International Journal of Constitutional Law (I CON) 146.Google Scholar
  38. Pyke, John, Government Powers under a Federal Constitution: Constitutional Law in Australia (Thomson Reuters, 2017).Google Scholar
  39. Quick, John and Robert Randolph Garran, The Annotated Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth (LexisNexis Butterworths Australian, revised edition, 2015).Google Scholar
  40. Redak, V, A Novy and J Becker, ‘Modernizing or Polarizing Vienna?’ in F Moulaert et al. (eds), The Globalized City: Economic Restructuring and Social Polarization in European Cities (Oxford University Press, 2005) 167.Google Scholar
  41. Rienstra, Anna and George Williams, ‘Redrawing the Federation: Creating New States from Australia’s Existing States’ (2015) 37 Sydney Law Review 357.Google Scholar
  42. Saunders, Cheryl, ‘The Constitutional Framework for a Regional Australia’ in Wayne Hudson and AJ Brown (eds), Restructuring Australia (Federation Press, 2004).Google Scholar
  43. SGS, Australian Cities Accounts 2014–15 (SGS Economics and Planning, 2015).Google Scholar
  44. Stein, Mark, How the States Got Their Shapes (HarperCollins, 2009).Google Scholar
  45. Tiebout, Charles, ‘A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures’ (1956) 64(5) The Journal of Political Economy 416.Google Scholar
  46. Trinklein, Michael J, Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It (Quirk Books, 2010).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawSwinburne University of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations