We have observed in other chapters the rapid economic growth and sectoral
shifts in activity that characterised 19th-century Australia (Madsen, this volume).
Enterprise made an important contribution to this story; particularly
by responding to extreme economic uncertainty in the early period, meeting
the opportunities presented by expansion in the middle years of the century
and adjusting to the cyclical vicissitudes of the latter years prior to Federation.
At the same time, business enterprise played an increasingly important role
in shaping that environment and the economic evolution of the Australian