This book is the first detailed study of what happened when the well-established Australian colonial governments joined together to form the Commonwealth of Australia. It tells how the State politicians, anxious not to lose the political limelight, strove to maintain their former power and status virtually unchanged, and how the politicians of the new Commonwealth Government seized every opportunity to enhance their own authority and prestige. The part played by the Colonial Office in settling some of the disputes which arose is of particular interest now that its influence has waned completely. The study also reveals something of the jealousy which persisted between Victoria and New South Wales and of the first attempts at co-operation between Commonwealth and State. One thing which emerges clearly from this book is that during the period 1901-10 a pattern of inter-governmental relations was formed in Australia which has not greatly changed since - a pattern marked at the same time by co-operation and antipathy, where the steady growth of Commonwealth power has continued to be resisted firmly by the States. The writing of this book involved research into a mass of hitherto unexamined official government correspondence, both Commonwealth and State. Its interest is not only for historians, but for all who wish to learn something of the background to Commonwealth-State relations and who seek to understand the continuing rivalries which are a feature of the relationship.