The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901. Its constitution provides for the creation of new states, also by subdividing extisting ones. Several proposals have been made to alter Australia’s composition, yet no change has been made since the act of Federation in 1901: Australia still consists of 6 states and two mainland territories (Northern and Capital).

This map, dated 1838, shows an earlier proposal for the subdivision of Australia into 10 states. It was published by the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society in London, and accompanied an article entitled Considerations on the Political Geography and Geographical Nomenclature of Australia. In it, the following divisions were proposed:

• Dampieria: North-western Australia
• Victoria: South-western Australia (far from the present-day state in the South-east)
• Tasmania: part of present-day Western Australia and Northern Territory (not the present-day island/state)
• Nuytsland: near the Nullarbor Plain
• Carpentaria: south of the Gulf of Carpentaria
• Torresia: Northern Queensland
• Cooksland: near Brisbane, in New South Wales and Queensland
• Guelphia: present-day Victoria, most of New South Wales, part of Southern Australia
• Van Diemen’s Land: what is now Tasmania

That strange blob of land south of the Victoria/Nuytsland coast? That’s Portugal and Spain, lifted from their spot between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, twisted around and dropped here, for size comparison purposes.

Map found here on wikipedia.