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Testing the new nation

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  1. Testing the new nation World War I

  2. Outcome 1 • Analyse the ways in which Australians acted in response to a significant crisis faced by the country during the period 1914 – 1950.

  3. Key Knowledge 1 • The chosen crisis • The ways in which Australians responded to that crisis

  4. The chosen crisis: WWI • Have accurate knowledge of: The causes and outbreak of WWI Why Australia entered the war. The main stages of the war, particularly focusing on Australia’s participation in it. (Timelines)

  5. The ways in which Australians responded Who are Australians? * • Groups or Individuals / Public or Private accounts • Government • Political parties • People on the homefront: women, men, children • Soldiers • Australians of non-British descent *This is not an exhaustive list but includes some groups that you may consider.


  6. The ways in which they responded: • When compiling your revision notes, keep it simple. • You cannot include every detail – be discerning, which do you think serve as good examples? • Maybe use stages of the war to analyse different responses: beginning, middle, end of war.

  7. The ways in which people responded: at beginning of war The Government Enthusiastic response: “to our last man and shilling”. Andrew Fisher, 1914 The ‘general’ public Enthusiasm: enlistment – c.7000 in Victoria and c.10 000 in Sydney in first two weeks of recruiting.

  8. The ways in which people responded • Less positive responses from: • IWW – International Workers of the World • WPA – Women’s Peace Army • Society of Friends

  9. The ways in which Australian responded to the crisis • Later stages of the war • Women: mothers and wives • Returned soldiers • Political Parties: Labor, Nationalists,

  10. Key Knowledge 2 • The extent to which the crisis shook old certainties • And provided people to argue for change.

  11. What were these old certainties? • These old certainites could include but are not limited to: • That Australia was bound to support Britain • That defence wise we were secure. • That Australians had many benefits extended to them in the form of legislation and social liberties • That economically, the country was robust • That roles of men and women were fairly well entrenched into ‘private and public’ roles • That citizenship was not always open to all sections of society

  12. What were these old certainties? • Other ‘certainties’ to contemplate are: • That the preservation of a ‘white’ Australia was evident. • That some sectors of the society were alienated. (Immigration Restriction Act)

  13. Old Certainty: Australia’s Support for Britain • Some, but not all, examples include: • British opinion of its power over its dominions: 1911, British PM : The authority of the Government of the United Kingdom in such grave matters as … the declaration of war cannot be shared.

  14. Old Certainty: Australia’s support for Britain • Australians’ heritage: • One soldier noted his reasons for enlisting were: “…well! Dear ‘Old England’ was at war… In those days England was regarded as home and I still regard it as such, although all our family were born here in Perth.” (from Brisbane Worker 6 August 1914.)

  15. Old Certainty: Economic security • Much tighter government regulation during this period: introduction of taxes to cover costs for the war. (average yearly cost of the war effort alone was 62 million pounds)

  16. Old Certainty: Economic security • Inflation and Cost of Living • Rising prices – less rapidly rising wages • Accusations of ‘profiteering’ • Price increases in Australia • ‘Real’ wages

  17. The extent to which it provided opportunities to argue for change • Sometimes changes occurred without much opportunity for discourse - economic terms. • Restrictions put in place by the War Precautions Act.

  18. The extent to which it provided opportunities to argue for change • Distancing from empire – ‘birth of a nation’ • At the end of war loyalty to the notion of empire was not as unswerving. Eg: attitudes towards war during Western Front campaign. • Conscription – the failed issue cannot always be read as a reaction against empire – other reasons have to be considered • The formation of a ‘true’ Australian identity: not much opportunity for arguing change if you analyse this in context of what had already been established and who ‘created’ this identity.

  19. The extent to which it provided opportunities to argue for change • The roles of men and women • By and large the roles of women remained the same by the end of the war. • During the war: middle-class women experienced some change to their ‘usual’ daily lives • The roles of men: not overtly challenged – but reinforced. For eg: expectations of ‘manliness’ – ‘White feathers’; returned servicemen.

  20. The extent to which it provided opportunities to argue for change • People in the agricultural industry • In the long term they could not exact a change in government policy to ensure that they would receive a fixed price for their crops. This was seen as a luxury that last for the war. • The emergence of the industrial sector in employing more people than the agricultural sector didn’t allow opportunity for arguing change – it seemed a natural attrition.

  21. Key Knowledge 3 • The extent to which the cohesion of Australian society was maintained or redefined by the experience of the crisis.

  22. Cohesion • To what extent was Australian society cohesive? • Unified – in sections but there were clear socio economic divisions whether publicly acknowledged or not • Some were unified on the fact that some people enjoyed benefits and some didn’t. (A strange irony, I know!)

  23. Cohesion • Maybe one could argue that the society was not cohesive because: • There were such clear divisions and difference of opinions as to who enjoyed rights etc. • At the outbreak of war not everyone supported Australia’s participation.

  24. Cohesion: Maintained or redefined? Maintained: • Still clear socio-economic divisions • Still strong ties to Britain – although jarred a little • With regard to some issues Australia was united – failed conscription referenda • Roles of men, women and children – some changes in some circumstances.

  25. Cohesion: redefined? • Look at treatment of German Australians • Is this redefining the ‘cohesion’ or confirming it?

  26. Cohesion: redefined? • Strikes – Industrial unrest • Beginning to end of war: soldiers’ reactions – not as united? • Reinforced the old certainties

  27. Planning your revision notes • Make notes under each ‘dot point’ • Have specific examples listed with correct bibliographic detail (important for research task) • Don’t try to include every possible example • Use examples that you think illustrate the content most efficiently.