'Compelled by the circumstance of our time and situation': Alfred Deakin's 1907 defence statement as narrative of fin de siècle acceleration

Mark Hearn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Historians have focused on anxiety over the rise of Asia and concern over imperial rivalries as motivating factors in stimulating the development of Australian defence policy in the post-Federation period. Yet these factors cannot entirely explain the imperatives that shaped Prime Minister Alfred Deakin’s statement on defence policy in December 1907, and the key proposals Deakin outlined in his speech–to create an Australian naval squadron and the introduction of compulsory military training. Deakin’s defence statement responded to the accelerating global dynamics of fin de siècle industrial modernity, into which tensions of race and imperialism had been swept.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-524
Number of pages17
JournalHistory Australia
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Alfred Deakin
  • Australian nation building
  • defence policy
  • fin de siecle modernity
  • post-Federation

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