Lord Rosebery on the Commonwealth of Nations

On a tour of Australia Rosebery delivered a series of important speeches in which he developed his ideas about empire. This culminated in a speech at Adelaide in which Rosebery considered Australia’s desire to nationhood. ‘I claim that this country has established the right to be a nation and will be henceforward recognised by the world…Does this fact of your being a nation, and I think feeling yourselves to be a nation, imply separation from the Empire? God forbid! There is no need for any nation, however great, leaving the Empire because the Empire is a Commonwealth of Nations.’ The speech and that final phrase caught the public imagination and entered the political vocabulary.