Joseph Cook

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by Pilarfraser
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies
Historical biographies

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Joseph Cook

Early LifeJoseph Cook was born 1860 Silverdale, England. His dad was William Cooke and mum was Margaret Fletcher. He grew up in a poor family. Cook left school to start work in the coal mines at the age of nine but was forced to return to school because of the elementary education act in 1869. His father died in a mining accident so he became the family worker. In the 1880s he immigrated to Lithgow NSW, became general secretary of the Western Miners Association on 1887.Joseph was ashamed of his last name so he changed it from Cooke to Cook and avoided alcohol, gambling and any sort of entertainment. He was married to Mary Turner.

General StatementJoseph Cook was an early prime minister from 1913-1914 of a federated Australia. He helped fund military institutions and was the 6th prime minister.

Years as Prime MinisterJoseph Cook introduced a bill abolishing preferential employment for trade union members in the public service.World War I broke out in the middle of a campaign for September 1914 election.In 1908 a new protective tariff was introduced and the free traders found themselves having to unite with the protectionists in the parliament to keep Labor forces at bay. The ‘fusion’ ministry, headed by Alfred Deakin, gave Cook the chance to be a part of government, and he became deputy prime minister and minister for defence. Labor won the 1910 election in a landslide the electorate judged the political opportunism of fusion harshly and the conservatives were obliged to form a new party, which they called the Liberal Party.Then Cook became the leader.

Entry to PoliticsWhen Cook was 31 he became Labor member for Hartley in the NSW parliament. He was a minister in George Reid’s free trade government. In 1891 Cook was elected NSW legislative assembly as Member of Parliament for the coalfields seat of Hartley. It was the first time he won the seat in any parliament of Australia. Cook was the leader of those parliamentarians who refused to accept the Labor party’s decision to make all members sign a pledge. His protest was grounded in Labor’s objection to protectionism.

Interesting FactsHis religion is MethodismMary Turner his wife is a local school teacherHe was a prime minister when war was declared

3 major AcheivementsIn 1901 when he succeed George Reid as a leader of free trade party he played an important role of bringing together anti-socialists political forces that eventually formed a Labor party.When Cook was minister of defence {1909] he setup a military college and military training.Cook also represented Australia in a imperial war conference.

Joseph Cook


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