The Lead up to South Australia's Parliament
British governments from the 1840s onwards encouraged the development of representative government in the Australian colonies. They passed legislation setting up elected Municipal Councils, then a partially elected Legislative Council, for each of the colonies. They also invited each Legislative Council to draft constitutions that would give each colony representative self-government and their own Parliament.
The First Parliament
South Australia's Legislative Council prepared a constitution which was adopted in 1856, and which was one of the most democratic constitutions of its time. Elections were held in March of 1857 and in April 1857, South Australia's first Parliament came into existence.