between Britain and Australia was one of the issues that needed to
be resolved as part of the process of Federation. While many saw Australia's
identity in terms of its connection to Britain, others wanted to break
this link and place Australia on an independent path. The radical
press at the time saw Australia's colonial links to Britain as holding
Australia back and as the cause of many of the economic and social
problems. This is because they made a connection between imperialism
and capitalism. These two cartoons express an anti-British sentiment.
In the "British Lion", Australia is compared with a naive child who
blindly believes in the 'goodness' of Britain. In "The Same Old Tune"
the cartoonist, Phil May, points out how Australia continues to be
subservient to England, only this time through the webs of economic
dependence rather than through military control.
"The British Lion", Bulletin, 20 October 1894, p.5
ATTITUDES TOWARDS ASIA
The expectation that Australia would continue its special relationship
with Britain resulted in a belief that Australia needed to maintain
its distance from Asia. At the end of the nineteenth century, many
Australian settlers believed that if Asian people continued to migrate
to Australia, they would threaten not only our economic stability
by driving wages down but also that they would threaten the status
of Australia as a civilised country. These attitudes emerged from
the experience of the goldfields but they were supported by scientific
narratives which portrayed white people, and in particular Anglo-Saxon
people, as the most advanced culture. The potential of mixed blood
would, they argued, weaken Australian people and therefore Australian
culture. Such ideas have, of course, been completely disavowed and
are now seen as part of the ideologies necessary to maintain an Empire.
"The Same Old
Tune", Bulletin, 21 January 1888, p.10. By permission of the National
Library of Australia.
"Fish of one, Flesh of another", Bulletin, 22 July 1893, p. 5. By permission
of the National Library of Australia.
A.J. Fischer, "Australia for the Australians" Bulletin,
25 January, 1896, p. 13. By permission of the National Library of Australia.
"The Mongolian Octopus", Bulletin, 21 August 1886, p.
12,13. By permission of the National Library of Australia.
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