The Colony of Van Diemens Land was the name given to the colonial government in control of Tasmania from 1825 to 1856.
In 1825 the Colony of Van Diemens Land gained administrative independence from New South Wales. Between 1825 and 1855 the Colony of Van Diemens Land was run by multiple Governors. The colony at this time was made up primarily of convicts and laws were made and implemented with this in mind. Laws were intentionally harsh and there was no representative government until 1850 when a partially-elected Legislative Council was created. This means that the institutions that had the power to create laws - the Governor and Legislative Council - were not elected by the people of Tasmania but appointed by those already in powerful positions.
Prepared by: Elizabeth Daniels
Created: 2 December 2014, Last modified: 26 May 2015