1834-1851 - Colonial Government
The founders of South Australia had a vision of a colony with greater political and religious freedom, together with opportunities for them to become wealthy through business and land holding.
Many of these ideas were reflected in the South Australia Act, passed by the British Government in 1834 and which established the colony and its government. The Act also included a promise of representative government when the population reached 50,000.
In 1836, the first European settlers arrived in South Australia. Adelaide was founded and the first government established - a colonial government, under Governor Hindmarsh.
The British Government laid down a number of regulations to protect the land of the Aboriginal inhabitants of South Australia but in practice these were not implemented.
The new settlers had no official voice in how they were governed. Until 1851, the Governor ruled South Australia with the assistance of an appointed Executive Council of paid officials. Public pressure for some say in government began almost immediately. The colonists objected strongly to the government interfering in their religious activities, in the selection and settlement of land or in their business activities.