New South Wales

New South Wales, the “mother colony” of Australia, fronts the Pacific for 700 m. on the E. between Queensland (N.) and Victoria (S.), is 2½ times the size of Great Britain and Ireland; mountain ranges (including the Australian Alps) running parallel with, and from 20 to 100 m. distant from, the coast, divide the narrow littoral plains from the great plains of the W. and the interior, and are the source of many large rivers (e. g. the Darling) flowing E. and W.; the climate is warm and everywhere healthy; rain falls plentifully on the coast lands and mountains, but is scarce in the W. The mineral wealth of the colony is very great—gold and silver are found in large quantities, as also copper, tin, iron, &c., but coal is the most abundant and valuable mineral product. Cereals, fruits, sugar, tobacco, &c., are cultivated, but in small quantities compared with the immense output of wool, the chief product of the country. Sydney (q.v.) is the capital and chief port of the colony. Government is vested in a Crown appointed Governor and two Houses of Parliament (triennial and paid). Education is free and compulsory. Established in 1788, the colony was, up to 1840, used as a settlement for transported criminals. In 1851 the great gold discoveries started the colony on its prosperous career.

Population (circa 1900) given as 1,132,000.

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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