Impacts of Ww1 Essay

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IMPACTS OF WW1 ON AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY

Almost a century has passed but Australia still identifies strongly with the Anzac ‘legend' that emerged during the First World War. Entering the war as a small outpost of the British Empire, no one would have anticipated the courage and tenacity displayed by the Australian troops or the extent to which their war efforts would become the foundation of our national identity.

While it lacked large numbers of troops to contribute to the British war effort, Australia gave everything it had and this included primary produce and other vital supplies. In fact, during the war years Government passed the War Precautions Act, which gave it the freedom to make new laws more easily and thus focus the entire
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As the war progressed and numbers of casualties raised it became even more urgent for Australia to provide Britain with more troops. Hughes decided once again to try a public vote on the issue of conscription. Once again the issue divided the nation and even split Hughes' Labor party. In spite of this Hughes was convinced that conscription was the right way to go. However, the referendum was defeated for a second time, this time by an even larger margin.

As a result of the Versailles conference in 1919, (where Prime Minister Billy Hughes insisted that Australia have its own voice at the conference because Britain wanted to speak on behalf of all its dominions) Australia was given control of the former German colony in New Guinea. It was an important gain in the light of which was to follow in World War 2 and it was also given financial compensation, little of which was ever paid.

Australians on the home front also contributed to the war effort joining volunteer organisations such as the Red Cross and by the early 1940s women had the opportunity to join women's auxiliary services in the armed forces. The Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS), Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) and the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service were established so that women could move into support roles and release enlisted men to fight overseas. Women also solved the problem of manpower

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