Discuss the Impact of the Cold War on Australian Society in the 1950’s and 1960’s
During the Cold War Era, Australian society was profoundly affected due to our involvement as a loyal ally to both America and Great Britain. As a result, a fear of communism in and around Australia developed and lead to a lot of tension around the country. As countries in both Europe and Asia were taken over by communist powers, the threat of communism became a genuine fear within Australian society. Many Australians were concerned that with communism spreading rapidly throughout the world, it would not be long before Australia would undergo the same fate. As if to reinforce the fear of communism, two spies working on behalf of the Soviet Embassy were discovered in an event known as the Petrov Affair and reignited the fear of communism which became stronger than ever before. The government’s seemingly desperate response to communism, such as sending Australian troops overseas in forward defence and in the hopes of displaying loyalty to America in return for support in a potential attack, also added to the fear of communism among citizens as they realised their own government saw communism as a menace. It is evident that events such as the Petrov Affair, a direct result of the Cold War, made Australian society extremely anxious about the threat of communism and this lead to substantial tension within the community. Unease within society became quite apparent as people became more concerned over national security and the government continued to send troops overseas to fight in wars against communist powers. During the 50’s and 60’s, there were many political and social protests within Australia and it was evident that the nation was split on many issues, especially those regarding war. As troops were sent into Vietnam War and conscription was introduced, it was quite clear that Australia was divided into groups that supported the government move and a strong anti-war movement...
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