Australia and New Zealand
The failure of the Anzac legend
in Unfit for heroes
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Land settlement had always been an integral part of the Australian experience and a necessary feature of state politics. During World War I a new legend and tradition emerged which not only paralleled the agrarian myth and the yeoman ideal but shared some of their salient features. The 'Anzac' legend or 'digger' tradition was created during the unsuccessful Gallipoli campaign. The cross-fertilisation of the outback, yeoman and Anzac traditions had important political implications during the post-war era. The most patriotic and 'British' of the dominions, New Zealand was the first dominion to initiate and enact soldier settlement legislation in October 1915. The immigration agreement of 1920 was a victory for Hughes in his battle with the states over control of immigration policy. Land settlement was a prominent feature of party politics in New Zealand, and after World War I was seen as an indispensable component of its reconstruction strategy.

Unfit for heroes

Reconstruction and Soldier Settlement in the Empire Between the Wars


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