Conscription thesis

After suffering a coronary occlusion in November 1944, Curtin was hospitalised in Melbourne. His daughter Elsie came to Melbourne to be with him as he slowly recovered and then his wife came to Canberra and stayed with him at The Lodge until he resumed official duties on 22 January 1945. Almost immediately he had to defend his government against charges that moves to nationalise Australia's internal airlines were part of a wider 'socialist agenda'. These moves were blocked by the High Court and subsequently the Chifley Government established Trans Australia Airlines in 1946 and acquired Qantas in 1947.

At the same time, in a speech to government and industry representatives, Curtin described government action to prevent rising unemployment as the necessity of an 'enlarged role' for government. On 28 February 1945 he made what might be described as his last major parliamentary speech, which dealt with the war effort (past and present) and canvassed the prospects for an international peacekeeping organisation, warning that 'countries cannot always have their own way, if they really wish to live in amity'. 57

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In his 1997 book For Cause and Comrades , which examines the motivations of the American Civil War's soldiers, historian James M. McPherson contrasts the views of Confederate soldiers regarding slavery to that of the colonial American revolutionaries of the 18th century. [27] He stated that while the American colonists of the 1770s saw an incongruity with slave ownership and proclaiming to be fighting for liberty, Confederacy's soldiers did not, as the Confederate ideology of white supremacy negated any contradiction between the two:

Conscription thesis

conscription thesis


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