At the effusion of the War in Europe in 1914, Australia was still a immature state, holding been recognized as a Federation merely 13 old ages earlier in 1901. Australia ‘s regional location meant that it was geographically isolated from the long-standing battle between many of the European states. Despite Australia non being straight involved with the tensenesss which brought about the declaration of war, Australians shortly found themselves playing an of import function in what was thought to be ‘the war to stop all wars. ‘ Australia committed itself to the war attempt there was small resistance to be found among the public owing to the state ‘s strong commitment to Britain. However, subsequently a figure of people questioned the demand of Australia ‘s engagement in World War I.
Australia ‘s relationship with Britain
Australia was a member of the British Empire although it became a Federation since 1901. This meant that when Britain declared war on 4 August 1914 non merely were the Gallic and Russian imperiums forced to fall in the British, but Australia every bit good found itself at war. At the clip the Labor leader, Andrew Fisher, assured the British that ‘Australians will stand beside our ain to assist and support her to our last adult male and our last shilling. ‘
Australia, being a newly-created state with merely a late established national ground forces and an even newer independent naval forces, did non hold the strength or the fiscal agencies to protect itself sufficiently. This demand for support from the British, peculiarly the British Royal Navy which was the largest and most powerful naval forcess in the universe at that clip, strengthened the demand for British aid. Australia ‘s leaders were good cognizant that Australia had to take steps to guarantee her self-preservation in the instance of an onslaught. They acted consequently, ensuing in the offer of limitless assistance to the British Empire and her Alliess.
Reasons for Enlistment
The Australian people themselves reacted to the eruption of war in an exceeding behavior of enthusiasm. They had a natural, strong sense of nationalism and trueness to their ‘mother state. ‘ About 90 per centum of Australians holding a British background and with many features of life, including jurisprudence and instruction, being based on the British system, many Australians still recognised themselves as being British. For these grounds they wanted to assist Britain ‘s cause in any manner they could. Besides, Australians had an unbelievable sum of pride for their male monarch and state. This resulted in feelings of hatred towards other states and increased their desire to take up their arms under the British Empire.
The public volitionally pledged their responsibility, with 1000s of Australian work forces instantly volunteering to contend for Australia and the British Empire. Statisticss show that voluntaries made up the chief expeditionary force in the Australian Army in World War I. Initially, Australia ‘s part to the war was traveling to be 20 000 work forces. With all the exhilaration environing the War, the enlisting offices were overwhelmed with registrations. By the terminal of 1914, 50 000 had volunteered.
Resistance to Involvement
Although it was clear the bulk of people were prepared to give their full support to the engagement of Australia in the War, there were besides a few groups who were non. Out of fright of ridicule, among other grounds, these groups usually did non voice their sentiments aloud until some clip into the War when uncertainty was get downing to come up as the existent costs of war began to look.
Of the groups who did non back up the War, those who disagreed were on the footing of moral evidences, every bit good as ‘pacifists ‘ who believed it was incorrect to kill other people. Besides, some trade brotherhoods were opposed to the war out of concern that there would be a deficit of workers because they would be killed. In peculiar, the industrial workers played an of import function in act uponing others against the War. They besides assisted in act uponing politicians who normally belonged to leftist motions such as the Australian Labor Party. These two groups, along with the Roman Catholic Church leaders, acted together on the issue, particularly in the latter old ages of the War as the world began to drop into Australian society.
A major enlisting run in universe war 1 was Propaganda. It was chiefly dominant in the old ages 1915 and 1916 when it was at its extremum, enrolling 100s of 1000s voluntaries in the each twelvemonth. Propaganda achieved its end by act uponing work forces in many ways. First, it influenced work forces through agencies of persuasion, fright, guilt, struggle and accusal. Then it targeted to the emotions of the adult females, friends and household of those who were qualified to travel to war.
Propaganda postings were popular at the clip, because they were inexpensive and easy to make, besides to be displayed merely approximately anyplace. Immediately they were able to show significance to a broad audience. Australian propaganda postings operate six different characteristic to appeal to work forces to enlist. These included:
Appealing to their devotedness by naming people to garner around the flag ‘ and reminding them of their responsibility to the Empire and the British
Using work forces to experience they needed to enlist to turn out their sporting ability, bravery and maleness.
Tempting equals and household to put force per unit area and shame on work forces for non using in order to do them experience ashamed and cowardly.
Promoting a spirit of escapade and a desire to see the universe by utilizing recruitment postings. This places intending on a physical, sport side of war.
Self-interest, including a comparatively good paid occupation.
Making people think that Germans might assail their friends and households.
However, propaganda misplaced valuable facts from the postings. This exclusion gave people a false consciousness of what war was truly similar. The propaganda intentionally ignored to province the worlds which the soldiers had to endure, such as deficiency of nutrient, hostile climatic conditions, physically demanding preparation and, most significantly, the big hazard of hurt and decease.