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Vietnam War's Impact on Australia’s Relationship with the World

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 03:04 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 34.1 
  • Words: 1142
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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 of threats from the Asian countries.   Another major belief Australia had was that it could never adequately defend itself but had to look for support from other countries such as The Great Britain and the United States, which the Prime Minister, Robert Menzies called “Our Great & Powerful Friends”.

During the World War II when the war broke out in 1939, Australia still saw itself as an important part of the British Empire and immediately declared its support for Britain. On the other hand, there was always the understanding throughout Australia that if the time ever came when Australia needed military support, Britain would come to the nation’s aid.   In 1940, the British Government had doubts that Japan would advance into South-East Asia but when it happened, Britain then expressed doubts that Japan would mount an invasion of Australia.   With the fall of Singapore in 1942, Britain’s assumptions proven wrong, Australia was automatically threatened by Japan and Britain was not able to come to Australia’s aid because they were heavily occupied struggling with the German Nazis and this meant that Middle East was its major priority, rather than Australia which the Japanese forces were intruding into.   These had the effect of Australia feeling vulnerable and lonely, and all the traditional...


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