Masters Thesis

The Great War: Colonialism, Native Peoples, and National Identity in Australia and New Zealand

The popular perception of the Gallipoli campaign, and the Great War as a whole, as the birthplace of Australia and New Zealand as distinct nations from Britain is not inaccurate. the stories of the ANZACs bravely storming the beaches in Turkey remain a sacred part of their national histories. While most historians recognize that the First World War shaped the two nations, the popular narratives of the war tend to come from a distinctly European perspective. the native peoples of both nations also had a major impact on the development of their national identities, as well as their views of each other. the exploits of the Maori at Gallipoli and the Western Front, as well as continued discrimination against Aboriginal Australians on the home front, had a much stronger influence on the national mythos of both nations than is commonly portrayed. Furthermore, the war’s impact eroded the “colonials’” opinion of Britain, the mother country, and served to only further exacerbate the growing divisions within the empire.

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