Australian Foreign Policy since World War Two.

Essay by ellyjeanHigh School, 12th grade July 2003

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The Australian/American Alliance has dominated Australian Foreign Policy since World War II

From discovery and colonisation to appeasement and blatant dependence, Australian Foreign Policy, for the initial part of our nation's existence, has been wholly reliant on Great Britain, the Mother Country. World War II and the pending threat of a Japanese invasion brought about a prompt change in focus of foreign policy, from Great Britain to the United States of America. This conversion occurred when Great Britain couldn't come to our defence when we were under threat and it became increasingly clear to the Australian Government and the Australian people that we had to look to new ways of ensuring our regional and national security. The United States, as the world's most technologically advanced, powerful and influential nation, fulfilled the criteria, and an alliance with the US became an imperative priority.

When WWII started, Australia automatically became involved as an ally of Great Britain.

As the focus of the warfare was in Europe, Australians were proud to be able to assist in defending the Mother Country. These attitudes drastically changed when Japan joined the war as an ally of Germany. On the 7th December 1941, the Japanese attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii and commenced their invasion south, towards Australia. Australians were now against allowing Great Britain decide where Australian troops would be placed and when the British Prime Minister Churchill called for Australian troops in Burma, he was faced with considerable resistance and finally, refusal. The newly elected Labor Prime Minister, John Curtin, in his New Years message, declared that although traditional ties were important, Great Britain was fighting for survival in Europe and could not come to our aid. He then proceeded to break emotional ties with the Mother Country by saying, "Australian...