• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Tragic choice for a national myth - Federation is worthy of greater glory than Gallipoli.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Tragic choice for a national myth Federation is worthy of greater glory than Gallipoli IT is heretical, I know. But, Australia's nationhood, was not forged at Gallipoli. Neither was Australia's identity. It was not a coming of age. Neither was it a baptism. Nor any of the other cliches we hear repeated at this time of the year. By Rade Kipic It was a moment of terrible tragedy, one particularly awful event in a war that changed the shape of the world and overturned the certainties upon which international relations and much domestic policy had hitherto been built. We can argue at length over what took place at Anzac Cove on April 25, 1915, and who should bear the blame. But, more important, we should ask ourselves what it means to turn this moment into our national myth a myth that is shaping our identity . It is especially disturbing to hear the myth repeated in the centenary of Federation. Yet Prime Minister John Howard had used centenary occasions to proclaim that our nationhood came about 14 years after Federation. ...read more.

Middle

That a country cannot have a true national identity without spilling blood? That a political process, rather than a war, is a bit sissy, not suited to a nation of heroes? That men have to die and women suffer before we can be satisfied with history? Anzac Day is not, we hear, a glorification of war. Yet to link it with nationhood and to write of it, as The Australian's editorial did on April 25th 2001, as ``a reference point in the searching for identity'', pushes into the shadows the building of Australia's federal democracy. There is a widespread related view that the centenary of Federation would be more exciting if the commonwealth had been created by a war of independence. If only Edmund Barton had led the charge against the English oppressors, tearing down the Union Jack, refusing at gunpoint to take the oath of allegiance, we would not have had to wait until 1915 for our moment of nationhood. Instead, Barton followed a peaceful path, one he anticipated in his maiden speech to the NSW parliament in 1879, quoting Homer: ``That man is bound by no social, religious and domestic tie who would court civil war with all its horrors.'' ...read more.

Conclusion

The only enduring identity all Australians share is that provided by our commitment to a democratic constitutional framework for resolving our differences. This was set down in 1901. To honour the memory of those who have died in the service of their country is a good thing. But it is another thing to say that this defines us as a nation. It is a myth that excludes many - not just women but all who are not personally nourished by its imagery. It is a myth that reinforces the regrettable view that law and democratic politics are not noble alternatives to war. Australia's founders should be role models, not historical rejects. They were as robust, strong-minded and stout-hearted as any could want. Some of the men were virile indeed. But they would turn over in their graves to learn that in 2003 we find our moment of nationhood in war rather than in their work. Rade Kipic The Sunday Mirror Word Count excluding (heading etc.) 897 words ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Canada's Defining Moments.

    This declaration, known as the Balfour Declaration marked the end of old-style British imperialism and the beginning of autonomous nations. In June 1926, when King asked the Governor General, Lord Byng to hold elections, Lord Byng, who had been appointed by the British government, refused.

  2. Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice is a tale of love and marriage in ...

    In the end, the lessons learned from the Bay of Pigs failure may have contributed to the successful handling of the Cuban missile crisis that followed. The long term ramifications of the Bay of Pigs invasion are a little harder to assess.

  1. American History.

    The Cherokees were the best example - they had a constitution and political structure, but the South refused to respect them. They appealed to the SC in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831) and the court ruled in their favor. Still, Georgia refused to comply.

  2. Anzacs and the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915. How useful are the views of the ...

    Whether this is achieved or not is a matter of opinion, because if you admire confidence over professionalism then the Anzacs are most assuredly made to look better. The source is also based during the time and so it is primary data, which is always more reliable than secondary data.

  1. Forrest Gump; the Modern Day Fairytale

    The important moments of American history are relived throughout the film. Robert Zemekis subtly puts across different messages in these scenes. The Vietnam War scene is the film making an antiwar statement? We arrive with Forrest at the base camp; we see the stereotypical image of Americans, food, sleep, beer!

  2. War Imagery.

    Saddam, then that would be sufficient grounds to state that 'YES', it was wrong to show these images. Also another assumption is that for some [Muslims] the pictures depicting acts of violence will strengthen their resolve and loyalty to Al Qaeda.

  1. The Aviation Centenary (1903-2003)

    This problem was solved when metal plates were put onto the propellers. Consequently a new problem arose because plate bounced the bullet back in the direction of the pilot towards the pilot. A man called Anthony Fokker solved this problem by developing the interrupter gear, which made sure that the

  2. Was it the technological or tactical changes which had the greater influence in determining ...

    to the advantage returning to the defender and as such open warfare was brought to an abrupt end. From 1530 onwards commanders were again locked in a static warfare dominated by sieges and counter sieges. Initially artillery favoured the offensive.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work