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2.2 1890 Australian Labor Party

<p>First meeting of the Australian Labor Federation, Queensland, 1890</p>

John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

<p>First meeting of the Australian Labor Federation, Queensland, 1890</p>

By the 1890s unions had been gaining in size and strength. But their success depended on their unity.

What would happen when an economic depression led to mass unemployment? Would the increased competition mean that the power of unions suddenly weakened greatly? And if it did, would there be some alternative way other than through union strength for workers to try to achieve improved pay and conditions?

Read the information about the formation in 1891 of the Australian Labor Party in the Defining Moment in Australian history: 1890 Depression and strikes; formation of the Labor Party. Use that information to answer these questions.

Look back at the Key Questions. Which of these questions do you think you can now answer fully? Which need more research?

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