Explanations and characteristics
in Labour and the politics of Empire
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The newly born federal Australian Labour Party (ALP) loudly proclaimed itself to be the foremost representative of Australia as a 'new world' nation. The vital importance of 'the national' to Labour was clearly revealed during federal elections. In Australia the ALP's primary commitment to the unions was demonstrated by its programmatic support for 'White Australia' and compulsory arbitration. In Britain between 1906 and 1910 the Labour Party 'campaigned strongly for public programmes to remedy unemployment, and to establish the "right to work". Some historians, working within the discrete national frameworks of Britain and Australia, have argued that Labour's, albeit limited, success in appealing to working-class people was further enhanced by a renewed or new sense of class among workers. Australian labour historiography has, on balance, tended to adopt the view that class took precedence over nationalism in terms of the formation and subsequent twentieth-century development of the labour movement.

Labour and the politics of Empire

Britain and Australia 1900 to the present


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