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Reconstruction and Soldier Settlement in the Empire Between the Wars

Research on soldier settlement has to be set within the wider history of emigration and immigration. This book examines two parallel but complementary themes: the settlement of British soldiers in the overseas or 'white' dominions, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, between 1915 and 1930. One must place soldier settlement within the larger context of imperial migration prior to 1914 in order to elicit the changes in attitude and policy which occurred after the armistice. The book discusses the changes to Anglo-dominion relations that were consequent upon the incorporation of British ex-service personnel into several overseas soldier settlement programmes, and unravels the responses of the dominion governments to such programmes. For instance, Canadians and Australians complained about the number of ex-imperials who arrived physically unfit and unable to undertake employment of any kind. The First World War made the British government to commit itself to a free passage scheme for its ex-service personnel between 1914 and 1922. The efforts of men such as L. S. Amery who attempted to establish a landed imperial yeomanry overseas is described. Anglicisation was revived in South Africa after the second Anglo-Boer War, and politicisation of the country's soldier settlement was an integral part of the larger debate on British immigration to South Africa. The Australian experience of resettling ex-servicemen on the land after World War I came at a great social and financial cost, and New Zealand's disappointing results demonstrated the nation's vulnerability to outside economic factors.

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within the larger context of imperial migration prior to 1914 in order to elicit the changes in attitude and policy which occurred after the armistice. Such an examination calls forth other questions which also must be addressed. We need, for example, to understand changes to Anglo-dominion relations that were consequent upon the incorporation of British ex-service personnel into a host of overseas

in Unfit for heroes
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Foredoomed to failure?

communities seems to offer much less risk of failure …’ 10 It was also recognised that migration should neither be used simply as a bargaining tool in Anglo-dominion relations nor be solely governed by the complementary issues of how to increase dominion productivity, expand markets for dominion produce and safeguard markets for British manufacturing. Imperial migration was a joint venture which required active

in Unfit for heroes
Empire, Nation Redux

1950s of the classic Chatham House series on Commonwealth Affairs written by Sir Keith Hancock and Nicholas Mansergh. 20 The subsequent updating of the historiography of Anglo-Dominion relations in the context of the recent interest in the British World, the focus of which is on the British diaspora in and beyond the formal empire, has expanded the scope of traditional Commonwealth history; but it still operates within the

in Writing imperial histories
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designation than had originally been proposed. 19 Much of the constitutional debate within the twentieth-century British Empire concerning the increasingly autonomous position of the dominions turned around bringing the legal and constitutional formalities of Anglo-dominion relations into line with the practical assumption of autonomy, especially by the more independent

in ‘An Irish Empire’?
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Mapping the contours of the British World

. Although still relevant, it has less to do with the military, political and constitutional legacies of Anglo-dominion relations; topics which have been examined by historians for decades. Rather, the British World is an idea based on the three broad themes of diaspora, culture and identity. It examines those elements which bound people together as part of what two Commonwealth-born historians, long

in Empire, migration and identity in the British world