Not all of Australia's capital cities depended on convicts for their early development. The settlers who went to Adelaide wanted their new town kept free of convicts and resisted accepting them, even though this meant there were often shortages of workers to build roads, work on farms and construct buildings. Adelaide developed into a city that valued freedom. It had its own local government only a few years after founding, and its women were the first in Australia to gain the vote.
Each of Australia's eight capital cities has a unique history. Some, like Sydney, depended on convicts for their early survival. Others, such as Adelaide, refused to accept convicts and developed differently as a result. Having a reliable source of fresh water was a common requirement, which is why all of the cities are located beside a water supply of some sort. Many cities struggled through their early years, until the 19th century Gold Rush provided them with the funds to build magnificent civic buildings, as well as roads, bridges and railways. Today, each of the capitals has its own character and attractions, and their development plans will determine the shape of Australia's future.