Vietnam War's Impact On Australia’s Relationship With The World

1156 words - 5 pages

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. ...view middle of the document...

Australia, led by the Curtin Government at the time, at last realized the limits of British powers, yet desperate in need of allies and protectors, looked up to the United States as the only support to assist Australia. This realization made a great impact in the changes of the relationships between Britain and Australia.

United States did come to rescue Australia in 1942 but the motive was for its self interest because Australia was the best place from which the Americans could apply its counter offenses against the Japanese, and when General MacArthur arrived in Australia he was greatly welcomed by the Australia government, seeing as they didn’t have much choice other than follow US military strategies due to the fall of British power.

This World War II played a major role in Australia’s beginning relationships with the United States and United States took over Britain’s place of being Australia’s great and powerful protector. United States also took away the Australian loyalties from Britain and this change of loyalty was a large influence to Australia’s involvement with the Korea and the Vietnam War.

Communism, responsible for the wars that occurred in Asia, was one of the major threats to Australia. There was a belief in the 1950’s and 1960’s, particularly in the United States and in Australia that if communism was not stopped then it would spread throughout the rest of South-East Asia. This popular belief was known as the Domino Theory, meaning that if one Asian country fell to communism, then the rest of Asia would soon follow, just like the falling dominoes. This theory did indeed influence Australia heavily in its involvement in South-East Asia and Vietnam War.

Australia’s relationship with the United States strengthened during the Korean War and many Australians believed that it was in Australia’s interest to maintain the close relationship with the Americans. When the Korean War began, Australia quickly declared its support for US and organized the military troops. As a result, this led to the formation of the ANZUS treaty which was set up in September 1951, representing the relationship of Australia, New Zealand and the United States

The communist threat in Malaya began in 1950 and Britain & Australia had sent increasing...

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