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Protectionist Party

The Protectionist Party was a political party in Australia from the 1880s until 1909. It argued that Australia needed protective tariffs to allow Australian industry to grow and provide employment.

It had its greatest strength in Victoria and in the rural areas of New South Wales. Its most prominent leaders were Sir Edmund Barton and Alfred Deakin, who were the first and second Prime Ministers of Australia. Once the issue of tariffs was settled, the Protectionists merged with the Free Trade Party to become the Liberal Party in 1909.