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Clark hated the idea of a
government that upheld
class privilege. He also
remained a republican.

Image title:
Andrew Inglis Clark

National Library of Australia

Image ID:

Vandyck, photographer

Andrew Inglis Clark (1848–1907)

Tasmanian reformer and federalist

Clark was a thoughtful young man who decided that he could not believe in the Baptist religion of his mother or go into his father's engineering business. He became a lawyer instead. In politics he was a reformer and in the 1880s and 1890s he passed the laws that brought Tasmania into line with the mainland colonies, like making trade unions legal and paying members of parliament.

He was a great admirer of the United States and looked forward to Australia being independent of the British Empire. He had studied the constitutions of the United States and Canada and took with him to the 1891 Federal Convention a constitution for Australia already written out. Samuel Griffith used this in drawing up the constitution that the convention accepted.

Clark was very short and did not speak well. At the 1891 convention he worked quietly, going round to the delegates to ask their views and reporting back to Griffith. He did not attend the 1897 Federal Convention because he was travelling in the United States. In 1898 he became a judge in Tasmania.