Nation race and citizen intro
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Nation race and citizen intro
AOS 2: Nation
Race and Citizen
1888 - 1814
Term 2 - 2015
Nation, race and citizen 1888–1914
In 1888 NSW celebrated the centenary of European settlement. People in the colonies looked
back to decades of growth and struggle and forward to the possibilities of a new and
great nation The latter decades of the nineteenth century represented a period of prosperity
and growth, pastoral expansion, urbanisation, immigration (largely from Britain), the
rise of unionism and the emergence of nationalist themes in art, literature, architecture
and science. There was a widely accepted notion of egalitarianism and a focus of national
identity on the culture of the bush. The last decade of the century also brought major
industrial conﬂicts, a severe depression and a crippling drought. The achievement of
nationhood in 1901 fuelled new visions for life in Australia.
Many people believed that a new society was being created, free from the ills of the old world.
They identiﬁed some crucial tools for making Australia a safer and kinder place of opportunity,
including old age pensions and maternity beneﬁts, industrial arbitration and the ‘living
wage’, town planning, sanitation reform and the ‘New Education’.
Throughout the 1890s and during the ﬁrst decade of the new century Australians debated who
could and who couldn’t belong to this new society. On the one hand, this meant creating a white
Australia, excluding Indigenous Australians from citizenship and expelling non-Europeans
such as the Kanakas from the nation. On the other hand, Australians also debated the roles of
male and female citizens and their differing responsibilities to the new nation. Twentieth-century
ideas formed about who could be Australian, and, increasingly, ‘nationhood’ came to mean
those with a white British background. In the early years of the new nation, Indigenous
Australians, unskilled or poorly skilled workers, and non-European immigrants were denied
access to the full beneﬁts of this new nation.
On completion of this unit the student should
be able to analyse the vision of nationhood that
underpinned the concepts of citizenship,
and evaluate its implementation in the
early years of the new nation.
Frederick McCubbin - Down on His Luck
the bush and
1. The hopes and fears which helped create
the new nation and shaped ideas about citizenship,
belonging and responsibilities.
What were the hopes and fears of the colonists that
led them to unite in one nation and give up some of
their powers to a central government?
2.The processes of inclusion and exclusion
which formed a nation of Australian Citizens up to
Who was included in the new society and who
3.The beneﬁts and responsibilities extended
to those who belonged to the new nation,
including work, education and welfare
legislation, women and motherhood,
national defence and conscription.
Were the hopes different groups such as women,
the poor, the working class, the radical literary
groups and the politicians?
Between our areas of
study 1860 - 1888
- Improvement in the standard of living
- Gold Rushes pretty much ﬁnished.
- The Chinese were resented
- 1885 (September) 300 Chinese went on strike for
- higher wages - going against the belief that they
- would ‘take jobs’ and work under bad conditions.
Between the years 1860 -
Changes in Education, communication and transport.
Improvements in railways (becoming main mode of
transport for goods).
1866 - NSW education act - free compulsory education.
1872 - In Victoria.
1888 - Centenary of
*Festivities in the newly named Centennial Park
The Brisbane Courier summarised the achievements:
Gaining of self-government, the ending of
transportation of convicts, and the development of
other colonies separate from NSW.
The idea of uniting colonies was present.
Fear of invasion or annexation by external powers.
Need for security and a strong defence system.
This fear caused by:
- European imperialism
- The colonies’ distance from Britain
- The presence of large, unfamiliar Asian civilisations to the north
- The size of the Australian continent and the numerically small
- Australia’s rich resources
1853 French colonised New Caledonia
1882 - Russian ﬂeet marred of the coast of South
1884 - Germany proclaimed the northeast of New
Russia: a particularly strong fear
Distance from Britain
Once transportation of convicts ended, British
troops left Australia (last left in 1870) leaving each
colony to form its own defence forces.
Colonists felt isolated and vulnerable to attack
Leading to the idea that colonies should unify -
making the cost of building modern battleships and defence
1889 - Defence Report of Major General Edwards
recommended joint action should be taken by the
Speech made by Sir Henry Parkes at Tenterﬁeld in
NSW in favour of federation (October 1889)
The beginning of the movement for federation.
Fear of Asian Neighbours
1890’s - Focus moved from fear of European
Imperialism to the ‘teeming Asians’.
- Growth of Japanese military power (fears especially
- increased after Japan defeated Russia in 1904 - 1905)
- “yellow peril”
- “the awakening east”
A White Australia
Ofﬁcial stance on the inevitability
of the disappearance of Aborigines - The Age
1888 - The Bulletin - Anti Chinese editorial
Anti-Chinese protest (30,000 people)
Theory of racial hierarchy
the idea of “development”
British thought to be the most advanced of the
white societies.Theories of race and human