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The Second World War: Change and continuity

You should now be in a position to start developing ideas about the five questions set at the very start of this learning module:

  • What were the causes and the course of the Second World War?
  • What significant events occurred?
  • What were the experiences of Australians during the Second World War?
  • How did the Second World War change Australians?
  • What was the significance of the Second World War to Australia’s international relationships?

One way of thinking about this is to consider change and continuity — what was Australia like at the start of the Second World War? And what was it like at the end? What was similar (continuity) and what was different (change)?  

Consider the different aspects of Australian social and political life listed in the table below, and describe what they were like before and after the Second World War. You may need to do some further research to understand some of these aspects of Australian life more fully. 

Aspects Before the Second World War After the Second World War
Australia’s alliances
Its enemies
Its national independence
Role and place of women
The economy (Industry and Pastoral/Agricultural)
Place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Role of Commonwealth Government in people’s lives
Immigration policies
Trade partners
Australians’ view of their national identity
Australia’s role in the world
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