Digitised Image

Fellow settlers! the mountebank statesmen who so much amused you... their new constitution for New Zealand. [Poster]. February 3, 1851.

Reference Number: Eph-D-POLITICS-Wellington-1851-01

Refers to a meeting of the Constitutional Association who were trying to foist a constitution on unwilling settlers.

Key terms:
1 image, categorised under Posters, Political posters, Ephemera and Letterpress works, related to Rt Hon Sir William Fox, I protest (Exhibition, Dr Isaac Earl Featherston, Mantell family, New Zealand Company, Constitutional Association, New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian (Newspaper), Wellington City, Wellington Region (N.Z.) - Politics and government and Constitutions.

Part of:
Fellow settlers! the mountebank statesmen who so much amused you... their new constitution for New Zealand. [Poster]. February 3, 1851., Reference Number Eph-D-POLITICS-Wellington-1851-01 (1 digitised items)

Extent: 1 b&w art print(s)Letterpress on paper 542 x 391 mm.. Vertical imageEphemera

Historical Notes: The struggle to formulate a New Zealand constitution was complicated by the rivalry of the pro-Imperial, pro-Grey faction (whose views, reflected on this poster, were published by the "New Zealand spectator and Cook's Strait guardian"), and the pro-Wellington, pro-Fox faction (whose views were published by the "Wellington independent"). The latter group formed the Wellington Settlers' Constitutional Association, a very well organised and effective group which was pushing for more provincial power than Governor Grey may have wished to see. It organised the meeting mentioned here, where it called for "absolute control of all internal affairs of the colony without any interference whatsoever on the part of the Imperial Government". Five hundred attended, although it is unknown how many were supporters and how many were pro-Imperial opponents encouraged by this poster. The British Government finally passed the Constitution Act in 1852, having received advice from both factions through Grey and Fox.

Conditions governing access to original: Partial restriction - Use photographic copy where possible.

Other copies available: File print in Ephemera Room.

Inscriptions: Inscribed - Recto - bottom right: Printed at the "Spectator" office.

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