KidZone History: Australia

Life at War

World War One Soldier

Photographed by Stijn Swinnen on Unsplash

As a part of the British commonwealth and under the rule of the English monarchy, Australia was heavily involved in both World Wars. Troops were offered in large numbers to both war efforts. Heavy losses were sustained at Gallipoli in World War I and throughout the Pacific in World War II.

Alongside heavy losses and the terrible toll of war, the great depression also impacted Australia in a significant way. Early recovery was uneven but Australia’s economy eventually boomed thanks to the need for mined material and engineering during World War II. This economic boom lasted well into the 1970s and strengthened the Australian economy a great deal.

The social issues brought about by war also had a lating impact on Australian culture. Women became much more active in society after World War II while american cultural influences also became more apparent. This was due to the Americans using Australia as a base of operations in the Pacific in their fight against the Japanese. However, the 1942 Battle of Brisbane showed a more negative side to this arrangement. Australian and American troops clashed in riots across the city over various disagreements.