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Menzies - Early life and the Empire
Year of production - 2008
Duration - 1min 18sec
Tags - Australian History, British Empire, international relations, Prime Ministers, World War 2, see all tags
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About the Video Cliptop
Menzies – Early life and the Empire is an excerpt from the film Menzies and Churchill at War (55 mins) produced in 2008.
Menzies and Churchill at War Using Robert Menzies’ World War II diaries and remarkable 16mm film, Menzies and Churchill at War lifts the lid on a bitter behind-the-scenes battle between Winston Churchill and the Australian Prime Minister as the fate of Australia hangs in the balance.
Menzies and Churchill at War is a Screen Australia Making History Production in association with 360 Degree Films. Produced with the assistance of Film Victoria. Developed and produced in association with the Australia Broadcasting Corporation.
Assess the impact of international events and relationships on Australia’s history
Why was Australia involved in World War 2?
Students learn to
Explain the reasons for Australia’s involvement in WW2
In 1941 Australia’s Prime Minister Robert Menzies, like most Australians would have thought of England as the ‘home country’. Most Australians were of Anglo-Saxon heritage. The 1901 Immigration Restriction Act, the notorious “White Australia” policy and subsequent deportations had ensured virtual ‘racial’ homogeneity. Australians were brought up on the folklore and literature of the British Empire. Most Australians were proud to be part of the British Empire and Australia had regularly demonstrated its willingness to defend that Empire and its interests.
Menzies’ personal struggle with Winston Churchill over the strategic direction of the war reveals a bitter behind-the-scenes battle between the British Prime Minister and the Australian Prime Minister as the fate of Australia apparently hung in the balance. Perhaps more importantly for many Australians it brought a realization that the vital interests of Australia and the ‘mother country’ did not always coincide.
Note the family background of Winston Churchill
Note the family background of Robert Menzies
Note Menzies’ attitude to/feelings about England
Note the attitude of most Australians to Britain
Note the description of Menzies’ upbringing
What part had Australia played in the British Empire before 1940?
How and why were Churchill and Menzies different ‘characters’?
Outline Australia’s contribution to defending the British Empire before 1940.
Explain why many Australians looked to Britain as the ‘home’ country in the 1940s.