cohesion and division in Australia during World War 2

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Task 3 Essay - Cohesion & Division “Australia’s involvement in the Second World War created a sense of cohesion rather than division” Unlike the First World War which caused large social divisions within society over conflicting issues, Australia’s involvement in the Second World War served to create a sense of cohesion rather than division. There was a sense of national unity to provide support for Britain at the beginning of the war and as the threat of a Japanese invasion increased, so did this sense of unity. However as the war progressed, Australia became more independent from Britain and was prepared to act in its own interests to protect Australia. The general sense of cohesion was…show more content…
Australia’s new dependence on America resulted in a large influx of American soldiers to Australia and while Australian society was initially accepting and welcoming of their unorthodox culture, behaviours and morals, this quickly turned to contempt and created an unsavoury relationship between Australians and Americans whom they saw as being a bad influence on the women and youth of Australia. Australians regarded Americans as being, “overpaid, oversexed and over-here”. However, while this had the possibility to cause influential divides in society, Australians realised the necessity for the American presence in their country and the security they had provided, overruling any irritation felt towards them. The Australian war effort in the pacific regions had also served to amplify and fuel the ‘Anzac legend’ creating a national sense of pride and unity during the war. Australia’s involvement in the Second World War thus served to create a more independent Australia, in charge of its own policies and decisions in foreign affairs, creating cohesion within society. Along with the American presence, Australia’s treatment of aliens also had the potential to cause considerable divisions. When war broke out, many foreigners, mostly Germans, and other ‘dangerous persons were made to prove their identity and placed under strict rules which they had to adhere to in order to live in Australia. However it was not the government, but the

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