HomeIntroductionAustralian Relationship with Britain

Australian Relationship with Britain

The relationship between Australia and Britain is of categorical importance, due to the primarily British origins of the Australian population and the subsequent British legal, educational and governmental systems that were put into practice. Australia became part of the commonwealth in 1901, it was recognised as a dominion at the 1911 Imperial conference, was recognised as an independent nation through the Balfour Resolutions at the 1926 Imperial Conference and accorded formal authority through the 1931 Statute of Westminster.[1] Although the King of Britain declared war on behalf of the British Empire, and thus indirectly committed Australia to the war effort, the participation of Australia in the Great War was arguably the beginning of the nations foreign and defence policies. Throughout the period of the war and the League, Australia was very largely reliant upon the status of the British Empire. Similarly, this era marks a period of Australian politics that seemed to shadow the British movement, with regard popular education, civic ritual and political protest, among a number of other crusades.

[1] F.S. Northedge, The League of Nations: Its Life and Times 1920 – 1946 (New York: Leicester University Press, 1986), 47.