AbstractThis thesis investigates the social, economic and political impact of the Great War (1914-1918) on the Northern Territory (NT), although for the most part the thesis concentrates on Darwin and the top end of the NT as that is where the
Commonwealth’s efforts at developing the so-called ‘empty north’ were mainly focussed. The thesis seeks to answer the question whether the war-related drain of labour resources had a detrimental impact on the NT’s community, economy and development during the period 1911 to 1919.
The thesis argues that the causes of the Territory’s failure to develop were not directly related to the Great War or the loss of so many men from such a small population base. Rather, the main reasons for the Territory’s stalled economy and
development were a mixture of the failure of the policy of ‘closer settlement’, the instability within the Commonwealth government and NT administration, the Commonwealth government’s failure to provide the required developmental
programmes and funding and, possibly, the Commonwealth losing interest in the NT. It will be seen that the NT’s economy and development also suffered from the lack of private investment, recurring industrial action, union demands and failed government initiatives. It is also argued hat the community bonded throughout the war years mainly due to the efforts of women in the Red Cross society in the NT in fundraising activities.
The research concludes that the men leaving for the war was not the main reason for the economic downturn and lack of development that the Territory suffered during and after the war.
|Date of Award
|Nathan Franklin (Supervisor) & Steven Farram (Supervisor)