Define – one of the features of capitalist
economy is that the level of economic activity
changes. Economists call this a trade cycle.
There are period of growth and decline in
demand and production.
When there is strong demand for products,
high profit levels and low employment the
However periods of continual growth cannot
be sustained continually. Eventually demand
and profits decline and unemployment rises.
This is known as a recession.
A Depression is severe downturn in
economic activity that lasts several years.
The Great Depression began on what is
known as Black Tuesday October 29th
The 1920s had been a period of strong
demand and production, and heavy
speculation on the stock market.
When investors lost confidence in the stock
market, a wave of selling wiped billions of
dollars of the US stock market.
Why did the Depression impact on Australia
There were basic weaknesses in the
Australian economy that developed in the
Much of Australia's prosperity during the
1920s rested on the Australian governments
ability to borrow overseas, especially from
1n 1928 alone the Australian government
borrowed 52 million pounds.
By 1929, Australia, after Germany had the
second highest debt in the world.
Much of this money
was spent on public
transport and ports and
building the new
national capital of
To meet this debt Australia depended on its
exports of primary products, especially wool
After 1929 –
International demand for Australian products
declines. Prices for these products also fell.
Australia still had to honour its debt
Think of examples from your primary
Which groups in society were most/least
Impact on males
Initially Governments reduced public
spending, wages and social welfare programs
This however increased rather than stopped
the downward cycle.
British economist John
Maynard Keynes came
up with a radical
solution to the
That instead of
their spending in order
to stimulate demand.
Keynes’ ideas of increasing
were first implemented in
the US under President
government also adopted
these policies and
financed many public
works schemes in order to
Unemployed men, including WWI veterans worked on Melbourne’s Shrine of
Remembrance and the Great Ocean Road in the 1930s as part of a
government scheme to reduce unemployment.
Growth of political
extremism on both left and
right sides of politics –
Communism and Fascism.
Australia – The New Guard
and the Australian
Communist Party. This
also occurs on an
international level –
growth of Fascism in
Germany, Spain and Italy.
Captain Francis de Groot, a member of the New
Guard, opens Sydney Harbour Bridge, before
the NSW Premier, Jack Lang. A new ribbon had
to be found for Lang to cut afterwards. 19
Causes ofWorldWar II and Hitler’s rise to power
Political upheaval in Weimar Germany –
street fights between Communists and right
Economic – chaos – Germany was the nation
that was the most adversely affected by the
In an attempt to pay
the repatriations the
increases the money
supply which causes
the Versailles Treaty.
A longing for order and
The Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles,
Paris, where the peace treaty to end WWI was
In January 1933 Hitler
became Chancellor of
Germany. Hitler was
the leader of the
German Workers’ Party
– better known as the
Hitler believed that –
The German people were superior racially and that
Germany needed to be cleansed of groups deemed to
threaten the purity of the racial stock i.e. Jews, Gypsies,
the mentally ill, Slavs etc.
It was Germany's destiny to end the restrictions of the
hated Versailles Treaty.
That Germany needed new territory if it were to become a
One month into Hitler's chancellorship, the
German Reichstag (Parliament) was set on fire in
an act of arson.
After the Reichstag fire, Hitler was able to
pass the Enabling Act 1933 which is seen as
pivotal to his establishment of the
dictatorship. The Enabling Act decreed that
the Communist Party was illegal as was all
opposition to the Nazi Party.
Hitler believed that the conquest and gain of
territory was crucial for Germany to become
a great power and realize its destiny.
In order to go this, against the stipulations of
the Versailles Treaty, Hitler began to build up
Germany’s armed forces – its warships, tanks,
ammunitions, and fighter aircraft to prepare
renowned autobahns -
the first modern
highways – were built
to facilitate modern
Hitler opens an autobahn, 1937
In order to gain territory Hitler originally negotiated with other
European powers. A war weary Europe initially adopted a policy of
appeasement in regards to German expansionism.
Europe’s leaders were so keen to avoid another war they allowed
Germany to take control of –
Austria – united with Germany under the Anschluss
Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland – an area of Czechoslovakia which
was predominantly inhabited by ethnic Germans.
The rest of Czechoslovakia under the Munich Agreement
It was Germany’s invasion of Poland on
1939, that lead Great Britain
and France to declare war on Germany as it
was finally obvious to Europe’s leader that
Germany’s aggression needed to be checked.
Australia’s sense of loyalty to Great Britain
was so strong, that there was never any
sense that Australia was not going to
follow Britain into the war.
On September 3rd
1939, Prime Minister
Robert Menzies read out in a speech his
‘Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy duty
to inform you that, in consequence of the
persistence of Germany in her invasion of
Poland, Great Britain has declared was, and
that, as a result, Australia is also at war’.
NORTH AFRICA POLITICAL
DETAIL OF MAJOR AREAS OF
FIGHTING FOR 2ND
It was in the deserts of North Africa that
Australian troops were first involved in World
Italy had come into the war in support of
Germany and attempted to follow Germany’s
example in the conquest of territory.
Italy wanted to conquer the British colony of
The Australian and the British however held
back the advances of Italy troops into Egypt,
and by September 1940 130,000 Italian
troops were forced to surrender.
To aid their ally, in March 1941, Hitler was
forced to send German troops under the
Command of General Rommel to Libya.
The Germans wanted to advance across to Egypt
but to do this they needed to capture the
important port of Tobruk.
This was in control of the Australians. The AIF
held Tobruk off from a German advance for 242
days in 1941.
During this time the
AIF had built dug outs
to protect them
propaganda called the
AIF ‘the rats of Tobruk’.
It became a name the
soldiers wore with
Like Germany and Italy, Japan also had
imperialist aspirations and wanted to
conquer foreign territory to build an empire.
In 1931 Japan invaded China. By 1933 Japan
controlled most of northern China. In 1937
Japan invaded the rest of China. Japan soon
controlled Shanghai, Nanjing and most of
Chian’s coast and inland areas.
As an occupying
force Japan was
brutal in its
treatment of the
Japan soon also
controlled most of
South East Asia –
Chinese victims of
invasion of Nanjing.
Known in history as
the ‘rape of Nanjing’
as Japanese troops
Chinese civilians in
a six week period
The USA, alarmed at Japan’s aggression,
imposed economic sanctions on Japan.
By 1941 Japan was down to a few month’s oil
supplies. If it had to accede to the USA’s
demands and withdraw it would suffer an
enormous loss of face.
Japan decided to capture the oil rich area of
In order to do this it needed to cripple the
USA’s naval fleet in the Pacific which was
based at Pearl Harbour.
On December 7th
, 1941, Japan launched a
surprise attack on the USA’s naval fleet in the
Pacific which was based in Pearl Harbour.
As a result the USA entered
Although the attack was
not as successful as the
Japanese had wished (most
of the USA’s ships were out
of the port on naval
exercises, Japan was still
able to sweep down
northwards and conquer
more territory.Pearl Harbour, December 7th
The British naval base at
Singapore was considered
‘impregnable’, and indeed
it would have been
impossible to capture
Singapore by sea.
However the Japanese
came to Singapore
overland through Malaysia,
many of them on bicycles.
Japanese troops move into Singapore ,
The fall of Singapore
had a major impact
upon Australia –
both during the war
and over its future
Japan was able to
south and for the
first time, threaten
The AIF were stationed in North Africa and Greece at
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill also wanted
the AIF to assist in fighting in Europe.
This lead to a conflict between Churchill and
Australian Prime Minister, John Curtin, who wanted
to recall the AIF back to defend Australia. Curtin
wrote of daily cable fights with Churchill on the issue.
John Curtin at work on a
Sunday morning in The
Ultimately John Curtin decided to recall the
AIF back to Australia to defend the
The AIF were sent to Papua
New Guinea.This was
because the Japanese had
landed at Buna and were
advancing along the
KokodaTrack, hoping to
gain control of the capital,
Port Moresby. From Port
Moresby, the Japanese
would be able to invade
Japanese land at Buna. They march overland to
Kokoda. The AIF land in Port Moresby, meeting
the Japanese and forcing them to withdraw,
The men of the AIF fought in some of the
most difficult and rugged terrain on earth.
Conditions were difficult –
The men were continually wet from the
tropical humidity, their sweat and the rains.
In the nights they were damp and freezing in
The troop battled tropical diseases and
insects as well. Malaria spread by insects was
a constant threat to the troops.
The track was
The men also
had to carry
of B Troop, 14th
dense jungle in
the vicinity of
Uberi on the
Some 22,000 Australians became prisoners of
war (POWs) captured by the Japanese.
Most of these were captured after the fall of
Singapore in February 1942.
At the end of the war, 34% of Australian
POWs were dead. IN contrast only 3% of
Australians taken prisoner by the Germans
The reasons for the high death rate were –
The lack of food given to POWs
The tropical climate and disease,
accompanied with a lack of medical care
The Japanese practice of forcing POWs to
work as slave labour.
Australian POWs of
lay tracks on the
How did the government its increase control
over daily life in the Second World War?
Australian Land Army girls do their bit to assist the war
effort. They are harvesting large crops of vegetables
which are being canned for the troops.
Members of the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air
Force cleaning and overhauling a plane of the
Women worked in many non traditional occupations
during the WWII due to the shortage of men available to
do these jobs. Some of these jobs included –
Factory work, especially in the ammunitions industries
(aircraft, artillery, guns) and textile industries
Women’s Land Army – many women joined the WLA to
help Australia’s farmers keep producing food
Train, tram and truck drivers
Construction and road workers
The Cold War began at the Yalta
Conference, at the end of WWII
in which the ‘Big Three’ –
Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin ,
carved up Europe into separate
spheres of influence.
Communist Russia now
indirectly controlled over half of
Intense fear of communism
became widespread in the 1950s
as people feared that the
influence of the Soviets would
spread and eventually take over
Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta
Fear of the spread of communism was compounded by the ‘Domino
Theory’. The ‘Domino Theory’ maintained that communism would spread
throughout the world like a set of dominos. This image from the 1960s
predicts that communism in China, Korea and Vietnam would impact on all
of South East Asia.
in the map
Prime Minister Ben
Chifley in office after
the death of John
Curtin (ALP) 1945-1949
in office in
1945 Ben Chifley
On the 15th
1949, Robert Menzies
began his term of what
would be the longest
Menzies was Prime
Minister until 1966.
Menzies won office by appealing to what he
deemed as Australia’s ‘forgotten people’ –
the middle classes and aspirational working
Menzies claimed the Labor Party was out of
touch and tired after 8 years of office.
Even though Prime Minister Ben Chifley was
personally popular, Menzies was able to use
the growing fear of communism that began
after 1945 successfully against Chifley and
the ALP to win government for the Liberal
Claims were made that the
ALP, as a party of the left,
was soft on Communism
and could not protect
Australia from its threat.
aggressively that the
Liberals would solve the
problem of the communist
Menzies also claimed that
the ALP was stuck in the
past – that its plan to
nationalise the banks – was
old school socialist
economics – and that
Labor would not be able to
manage a modern
economy and ensure
prosperity for all
The text on Chifley’s car reads – ‘Socialism 1921 Model Marx II’. There is
also a notes reading ‘Left Hand Drive’ and ‘Grab the Banks’
Due to widespread anti communist feeling
Menzies introduced a bill to ban the
Communist Party in Australia in 1950.
It was passed by parliament on October 1950.
However the Communist Party and ten trade
unions, mounted a challenge against the law
in the High Court.
Those who were
against the referendum
stated that it was
undemocratic to ban a
political party, and that
all individuals should
have the freedom to
express their political
These people believed that whilst they
personally may not agree with communism
they did not have the right to stop others
from doing so if they wished.
The United Nations Declaration of Human
Rights also declares in Article 20 that –
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful
assembly and association.
Those who supported the ban
on the Communist Party voted
yes because they were fearful
of the way in which communist
regimes had acted in Eastern
Europe in which religion was
outlawed, governments were
dominated by Russia and
freedom of choice in
professions and consumer
goods became extremely