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Australia's Reputation And National Identity Essay

1756 words - 7 pages

Australia has followed their mother land (Britain) into every arising war even before it became the commonwealth of Australia. Australia had an allegiance with Britain so it and its people did what they could to support Britain. When Joseph Benedict Chifley became the prime minister of Australia, Australia's alliances started to change. From around 1945 Australia started to become known as an alliance of America more so than one of its motherland England.One of the first large wars Australia went into was the Boer War. It went from 1899-1902. Southern Africa had been shared between British colonies and independent republics of Dutch-Afrikaner settlers, known as Boers. Throughout the nineteenth centaury the two powers had maintained a wary co-existence, although the question became wether Britain or the Boers should control Southern Africa. The two had already fought an inconclusive war in 1880.Disocvery of gold and diamonds in the Boer republics in the 1880s intensified rivalry, and British imperial ambition and Boer independence resulted in friction that in 1899 provoked the Boers to attack.As apart of the British Empire, the Australian colonies offered troop for the war in South Africa. 16,175 Australians served in contingents raise by the six colonies of (from 1901) by the new Australian Commonwealth, with about a third of the men enlisting twice. The outbreak of war had long been expected in both Britain and Australia. The Australian troops fought boldly with the Britains against the Boers and were known for their brave imperial bushmen which where a major factor in the capture of the Boer capitals.Australia's reputation was literally born after the Boer War. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in the middle of the war after all. Australia had made a name for itself because of its eager troops and excellent mounted riflemen. The young nation suddenly had a national identity. Nationalism of Australia was at its peak as it was a new nation as well as its involvement in the Boer War.The First World War (1914-1919) for Australia, as for many nations, remains the most costly conflict ever in terms of deaths and casualties. From a population of fewer than 5 million, 3000,000 men enlisted, of which over 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed or taken prisoner. The outbreak of war was greeted in Australia, like many other places, with great public enthusiasm. In response to the overwhelming number of volunteers, the authorities set physical standards for recruits.Most of the accepted into the army in 1914 were sent first to Egypt, not Europe, to meet the treat, the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), posed to British interests in the Middle East and the Suez Canal. After four and a half months training near Cairo, the Australians departed by ship for the Gallipoli peninsula, together with troops from New Zealand, Britain and France. The Australians landed at what became known as ANZAC Cove on 25 of April 1915, where they established a feeble...

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