Victoria, the smallest state, after Tasmania, in the Australian Commonwealth. It was sighted by Captain Cook in 1770, and the harbour of Port Phillip was discovered in 1801; but it was not permanently colonised till 1835. Port Phillip was administered from Sydney from 1836 till 1851, when it was constituted the colony of Victoria. Victoria occupies the south-east of Australia (separated from New South Wales by the Murray River), and has an extreme length from E. to W. of 420 miles, while its greatest breadth is only 250; its coast-line is 600 miles, and its area 87,884 sq. m. (almost exactly the same as England, Wales, and Scotland). Gold was discovered in 1851, and attracted many immigrants; the first railway was opened in 1854; and responsible government was introduced in 1857. A chain of varying height, the Dividing Range, traverses the greater portion of the colony from E. to W. 60 to 80 miles from the coast; the eastern portion, termed the Australian Alps (with peaks touching 6500 feet), divides the watershed of the Murray from Gipps-land. Most of the rivers rise here; those on the north find their way into the Murray, which has a total length, including bends, of 1300 miles, 980 of which form the northern boundary of the colony. The principal streams flowing north are the Mitta Mitta, 175 miles long; Ovens, 140; Goulburn, 345; Loddon, 225; Avoca, 163; and Wimmera, 228; the last mentioned losing itself in Lake Hindmarsh. The chief of the southern streams are the Snowy, Glenelg, Yarra, and Latrobe. Many of these rivers are in the summer season mere chains of water-holes, and only the Murray and Yarra are navigable. The principal lakes are Victoria (45 sq. m.) and Wellington (54) in Gippsland, Corangamite (90; salt), in the Western District, and Hindmarsh (47; brackish) and Tyrrell (66; salt), in the Wimmera or NW. District.
The greater portion of Victoria was in its natural state an open forest, but in the W. there were large plains, and a portion of the extreme NW. is covered with a dense scrub of dwarf eucalyptus (mallee). At Melbourne the maximum temperature is 105°, minimum 30°, mean 57° 3', and the average annual rainfall is 25.26 inches. North of the Dividing Range the temperature is rather higher and the rainfall rather less. Most of the gold-fields are in the central districts. Gold was first worked at Clunes, Ballarat, Forest Creek, and Bendigo. Originally the workings were shallow and alluvial, but most of the gold is now obtained from quartz reefs (some being 2500 feet deep). The total yield of gold up to 1904 was over 67,557,353 oz. (value £269,970,746), more than half the produce of all Australasia. Copper, silver, tin, coal, and antimony have been found, and brown coal is abundant. There are more than 11,000,000 sheep, and 1,600,000 cattle. The chief crop is wheat; the other cereals are grown, with potatoes, hops, and tobacco; and of late much wine, brandy, grapes, and raisins are produced. All the English fruits grow in Victoria, besides those of southern Europe. There are over 3000 miles of railway, in five systems, which connect with Adelaide and Sydney. The fiscal policy is protective. The value of total imports in 1898-1903 fluctuated between £16,770,000 and £18,927,340; that of exports fluctuated from £15,872,246 to £19,707,070 (including in order gold, wool, live-stock, cereals, butter, hides, and meat). The exports to Britain average above £6,000,000 annually; the imports thence range from £4,700,000 to near £8,000,000. The revenue, over 8 millions in 1891, had decreased, owing to a commercial crisis, to about 6 millions during 1893-98, but in 1901-4 had recovered to over 8 millions; the expenditure being a little less. The debt, incurred for public works, was upwards of £51,500,000 in 1904.
The executive government is in the hands of a governor chosen by the sovereign, assisted by a ministry appointed by the governor, but responsible to the legislature. The legislative council consists of thirty-five members, who must possess, and are elected by persons who enjoy, a property qualification; and a legislative assembly of sixty-eight members, who have no qualification, and are elected practically by universal suffrage of all male adult residents of British nationality.
Members of the legislative assembly receive a salary of £300 per annum. The state is divided into thirty-seven counties, but for purposes of administration it consists of sixty urban municipalities, called cities, towns, or boroughs, and 148 rural municipalities or shires. The defence force includes 5000 officers and men of all arms; the naval flotilla comprises one ironclad, six gunboats, and some torpedo boats. The fleet consists of fourteen vessels- Educational establishments are of four kinds: the Melbourne University, with affiliated Anglican, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan colleges; technical schools and colleges, including five schools of mines; an agricultural college, and working-men's college; and private and primary state schools. Primary education is free, secular, and compulsory. There is no state church. Melbourne and Ballarat are the sees of Anglican bishops, and the R. C. Church has an archbishop of Melbourne and bishops of Ballarat, Sandhurst, and Sale. Episcopalians number 432,704, and Catholics 263,710. The pop. at the census of 1901 was 1,200,914 - 98 per cent. British subjects by birth. Aborigines and Chinese had much decreased since last census. In 1903 there were 52,756 immigrants and the exceptionally large number of 66,159 emigrants. Three-fifths of the pop. live in towns - Melbourne, the capital (with two-fifths of the total pop.), Ballarat, Sandhurst, Geelong, etc. See Australia and books there cited, and works on Victoria by Hayter, Thomson, Walch, Brough Smith, M'Coy, Jenks, Bonwick, Labil-liere, Shillinglaw, Westgarth, and Turner.
Victoria. See Hong-kono; also Cameroons.
Victoria, capital of British Columbia, near the SE. extremity of Vancouver's Island. Esquimalt (q.v.) is 2 miles distant. Victoria possesses government buildings, a cathedral, public library, hospitals, electric trams and lighting, and factories. Pop. (1881) 5925; (1901) 20,816.
Victoria, (1) a seaport of Brazil, on an island in Espirito Santo Bay; pop. 10,000. - (2) Capital of Tamaulipas state in Mexico; pop. 14,575. - (3) A town of Guzman Blanco state in Venezuela; pop. 12,000.