Essay on The Effect of the Vietnam War on the Australian Society

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The Effect of the Vietnam War on the Australian Society

The Vietnam War had great political impact and led to deep division within Australian society. The Australian people were forced to take the issues about the Cold War, Vietnam and the arms race seriously because of Australia’s military involvement in Vietnam from 1962 to 1972. As a result, our fear of communism and of Asia increased dramatically.

Australia, occupying a large mass of land, yet having a small population had always lived in the belief that they were threatened some way by the foreign powers and this led to the formation of “The White Australia Policy”, which was set up in 1901. This policy clearly reflects the enormous fear
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These had the effect of Australia feeling vulnerable and lonely, and all the traditional beliefs of the mother country, Britain, coming to Australia’s aid in time of need vanished and with the reaction of Britain towards Australia, Australian Government had to accept the fact that they were only expendable part of the British Empire.

Australia, led by the Curtin Government at the time, at last realized the limits of British powers, yet desperate in need of allies and protectors, looked up to the United States as the only support to assist Australia. This realization made a great impact in the changes of the relationships between Britain and Australia.

United States did come to rescue Australia in 1942 but the motive was for its self interest because Australia was the best place from which the Americans could apply its counter offenses against the Japanese, and when General MacArthur arrived in Australia he was greatly welcomed by the Australia government, seeing as they didn’t have much choice other than follow US military strategies due to the fall of British power. This World War II played a major role in Australia’s beginning relationships with the United States and United States took over Britain’s place of being
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