Independent Nation: The Evolution of Australian Foreign Policy 1901-1946: Australia, the British Empire and the Origins of Australian-Indonesian Relations

Adam Hughes Henry

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    Abstract

    This book traces the evolution of a new independence of thought displayed by the Australian government towards foreign policy, and in particular towards its relations with Indonesia, after the Second World War. During the period 1901-1941 two distinct ideologies had formed over Australian strategic policies: pro-Imperial and self reliance. The Second World War challenged previously sacrosanct expectations regarding Australia's military relationship with the United Kingdom. With the Fall of Singapore in 1942 Australia was forced to contemplate the implications of national selfdefence and its own regional interests. Shaped by the experiences of war, alternative foreign and strategic policies were explored that challenged previous assumptions. The emergence of widespread Indonesian nationalism after the Second World War meant that the possible regional security benefits of Dutch rule in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) diminished. Yet Dutch failure to provide security against Japanese aggression during the Second World War was exacerbated by their post-war misjudgements and inflexibility toward the Indonesian Republicans. These two factors greatly influenced Australian post-war policies toward the NEI. From an initial position of concerned neutrality, the Chifley government shifted to supporting the Indonesian nationalists. This new independence of thought was shaped by the failure of the pro-Imperial ideal in 1942, diplomatic reconstruction (1942-1945) and a post-war ambition of middle power diplomacy through the United Nations. This book is based on Adam's MA Hons thesis at Macquarie University, Sydney. Based at the Research School of Social Sciences (Department of History) at the Australian National University, Canberra, he is currently researching Australian foreign debates and attitudes in the 1950s and 1960s.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationDarwin
    PublisherCharles Darwin University Press
    Number of pages150
    Edition1
    ISBN (Print)9780980665000
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Independent Nation: The Evolution of Australian Foreign Policy 1901-1946: Australia, the British Empire and the Origins of Australian-Indonesian Relations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this