Rethinking Australia after 1788: an island nation in a British world

Paul Pickering (Australian National University)
31 March 2016

Australia is often cited as one of the most successful democracies in the world. Many of the social and political reforms achieved in Australia before the First World War were implemented well before the Imperial metropole. Indeed, as early as the 1890s, Australia was widely regarded as a ‘workingman’s paradise’ and a ‘Better Britain'. The achievement of a comparatively progressive and democratic society however was tainted by racist views, which diverged markedly from the abstract notions of indigenous rights in the Empire. This paper will examine the relationship between Britain and the ‘Better Britain’ in the antipodes and question the value of telling stories of the British World.

Directeur de recherche à Australian National University, Paul Pickering est spécialiste d’histoire britannique et australienne. Il est l’auteur de nombreux ouvrages : Chartism and the Chartists in Manchester and Salford (1995); The People's Bread: A History of the Anti-Corn Law League (2000) (avec Alex Tyrrell); Friends of the People: Uneasy Radicals in the Age of the Chartists (London, 2003); Contested Sites: Commemoration, Memorial and Popular Politics in Nineteenth Century Britain (2004) and Unrespectable Radicals? Popular Politics in the Age of Reform (2007), Feargus O'Connor: A Political Life (2008) et Historical Reenactment: From Realism to the Affective Turn (2010). Il achève un ouvrage (avec Kate Bowan) sur les rapports entre la musique et la politique dans le monde anglophone entre 1790 et 1914.

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