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The Cold War Affected The State Of Politics In Australia Discuss

1220 words - 5 pages

The Cold War affected the state of politics in Australia- Discuss.

The Cold War was essentially a battle fought between The USSR (Russia) and The United States. On one side you had a communist state in the USSR; on the other was the capitalist US. While there was not much warfare between the two nations the war was unique because both sides were working on creating nuclear weapons, which sparked fears of a worldwide nuclear war. While Australia was not directly involved our links with the United States found us entangled in the fight against communism. When battles did break out we found ourselves sending troops, and the climate of politics all over the world had a direct impact on how we ...view middle of the document...

This was definitely a sign that the fear of communism was spreading across the world.

Another major conflict the cold war produced was the Vietnam War. Communism was spreading through Asia and had reached North Vietnam. Australian forces once again sided with the US, as well as South Vietnam, against communist nations such as Russia, China and North Vietnam. From when the first Australian troops arrived in 1962 they spent ten years there, the longest military involvement Australia has had in one conflict. The Vietnam War caused much debate among Australians, many of whom believed that our presence there was unnecessary. The sixties and seventies were a time of great revolution around the world and many anti-war protests were carried out by people who were angry that- in their eyes- the government had let 500 Australian men die for no reason.

On the 18th of August 1971, nearly ten years since the start of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, our troops began to be pulled out from Vietnam. It marked a significant point in the politics not only of Australia but around the world. People who had been protesting about the war had won. American troops pulled out soon afterwards. Although the communists won the war, and now have complete control of Vietnam, the protesters were generally not communist which is interesting to note. This shows that people, especially in Australia, were angry that we blindly followed America into this war not knowing what the cost might be.

The Petrov affair really brought the Cold War close to home. The use of spies and espionage was important in this war as it was not a physical combat but a battle of ideologies. In 1951 Vladimir and Evdokia Petrov entered Australia under the guise of being Russian diplomats. In reality they were communist spies, sent to infiltrate Government Departments and opposition political parties. They failed their tasks and Vladimir soon came to the attention of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, which had been formed not long before in 1949. Facing possible torture or death back in Russia for his failures, Vladimir chose to defect to Australia. The Soviet embassy found out about this and accused the government of kidnapping Petrov, at the same time Evdokia returned to Russia.

The Petrov Affair and the following enquiry into the events lead to another vitally important event in Australia’s history - The Labor Party Split. The Catholic Church, normally a great supporter of The Labor Party, were concerned that...

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