Australia’s Response to Communism in the 1950’s
In the 1950’s the world had just come out of the greatest war in human history. In the aftermath of this war many countries turned to communism. It was against this threat of communism that the Australian government reacted in such a wide variety of ways. Although there were a wide variety of ways in which Australia reacted there were perhaps three that were the most prevalent and influential. Firstly Australia sent troops to fight in Korea to avoid and prevent the spread of communism and the start of the domino effect in South Asia. Secondly the Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies put forward the bill that would ban the communist party in Australia and make being communist illegal. Finally Australia also sought to establish treaties and relationships with other non-communist countries to provide Australia with an adequate defence, and also to help limit the spread of communism through. It was these strategies that made up Australia’s reaction to communism.
One of Australia’s main responses to communism was its participation in the Korean War. Australia got involved in this war for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons was to stop the “domino effect” that was believed would mean the fall of most of South East Asia and would put Australia under direct threat. Source A shows the potential consequences of not stopping the “red tide”. The source shows that if even one country in this region were lost to communism “the security of Australia itself would be imperiled”. This very clearly shows the attitudes towards communism at the time. Source E goes again to show how scared people were of communism and how controversial this topic was. Another huge reason troops were deployed into Korea was the idea of “forward defence”. It was believed that communism could be most effectively kept away from Australia by fighting it well away from Australian soil. This policy of forward defence justified the...
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