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Australian nationalism asserts that the Australians are a nation and promotes the national and cultural unity of Australia. Australian nationalism has a history dating back to the late 19th century as Australia gradually developed a distinct culture and identity from that of Britain, beginning to view itself as a unique and separate entity and not simply an extension or a derivation of British culture and identity.
By the late 19th century, Australia was governed as a series of six largely self-governing colonies that were spread across the continent. Attempts to coordinate governance had failed in the 1860s for want of popular support and the support from the British government, but by the 1880s, and with the rise of nationalist movements in Europe, the efforts to establish a federation of the Australian colonies began to gather momentum. British imperialism was a significant driver of this nationalism, with Britain eager for the Australian colonies to consolidate in order to better cement British influence in the South Pacific. This form of nationalism supported a view of Australia as a nation of "White Britons"; Indigenous Australians were not included in this vision of a unified nation.