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The relationship 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.

Livingston Hopkins, "The British Lion", Bulletin, 20 October 1894, p.5

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.

Livingston Hopkins, "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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