White Australia Policy Essay

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The White Australia Policy

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by

Georgia Edwards

on 1 July 2014

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Transcript of The White Australia Policy

The White Australia Policy
The White Australia Policy was effective in shaping Australia’s society significantly during the 20th century.
Definitions
Immigration- moving from one place to another
Migrant- a person moving from one country to another
Migration- moving from one country to another to settle permanently
Monoculturalism- the practice of actively preserving a national culture via the exclusion of external influences

What was the White Australia Policy and why was it introduced?
The White Australia Policy was a series of policies created by the Australian Government after federation in 1901. The Policies were introduced to protect and limit the number of migrants to Australia. This was done by a compulsory dictation test. The test required the person to be able to correctly write at least 50 words dictated by the customs officer in any chosen language. One of these Policies was The Immigration Restriction Act, which ended the employment of Pacific Islanders, the Policy eliminated those who were thought to be ‘insane’, anyone who had contagious diseases, those who had a dangerous character and those who were though less of in societies i.e prostitutes and criminals.
Did the policy change or develop over time?
The White Australia Policy was a discriminatory act brought in by the Australian government in 1901. The racial discrimination began in the mid 19th century and ended in the 1970’s when it became illegal. The Policy meant only European (mainly British) migrants could live permanently in Australia. The aim of this policy was to keep Australia as a ‘white nation’ and a monoculture.

The White Australia Policy was introduced by the Australian PM, Edmund Barton; as it was wanted by the Australians. It eliminated Chinese migration during the gold rush and the migration of Pacific Islanders when jobs were needed. During the gold rush the Chinese were getting richer, this made the Australians jealous, the policy seemed like a valid way to prevent the problem.
What influenced the policy?
What was the effect of the policy in Australia and internationally?
Timeline of key events
References:
Fact Sheet 8 – Abolition of the ‘White Australia’ Policy. 2014. Fact Sheet 8 – Abolition of the ‘White Australia’ Policy. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/08abolition.htm. [Accessed 26 June 2014]

Timeline: Australia’s Immigration Policy | SBS News. 2014. Timeline: Australia’s Immigration Policy | SBS News. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/06/21/timeline-australias-immigration-policy. [Accessed 26 June 2014]

White Australia policy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 2014. White Australia policy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. [ONLINE] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Australia_policy. [Accessed 27 June 2014]

Racism. No Way.: Fact Sheets: White Australia Policy. 2014. Racism. No Way.: Fact Sheets: White Australia Policy. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.racismnoway.com.au/teaching-resources/factsheets/59.html. [Accessed 27 June 2014]

History of the White Australia Policy timeline | Timetoast timelines. 2014. History of the White Australia Policy timeline | Timetoast timelines. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/history-of-the-white-australia-policy–5. [Accessed 28 June 2014]

How The White Australia Policy Shaped Australia History Essay. 2014. How The White Australia Policy Shaped Australia History Essay. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ukessays.com/essays/history/how-the-white-australia-policy-shaped-australia-history-essay.php. [Accessed 28 June 2014]
By Georgia Edwards
1901- Immigration Restriction Act 1901, dictation test preventing non-whites from entering Australia. Legal foundation of The White Australia Policy
WW2- British migrants assisted into Australia as well as Jewish Germans. ‘Alien’ immigrants were interned
1945- Populate of perish, encouraging immigration after WW2
1947- Permanent residency granted for non-Europeans for business purposes
1950- 800 non-European refugees to remain in Australia
1958- The Revised Migration Act 1958, dictation test abolished
1963- Immigration: Control or Colour Bar? published, allowing immigrants from Asia
1966- The beginning of the end of The White Australia Policy
1972-The White Australia Policy abolished, thousands of Asians living in Australia
1975- The Racial Discrimination Act is adopted, racial discrimination is illegal
The White Australia Policy had both negative and positive effects of Australia and the world. The White Australia Policy was effective in providing a desired ‘White Australia’ for the Australian citizens, constructed by the Australian Federal Government leader Edmond Barton. During the beginning of the 20th century it was normal to have a monoculture. This was wanted by the Australians, they wanted to take pride in a national identity. The Policy had also had many negative effects. People of different cultural and racial backgrounds were not accepted; majority from the Pacific Islands and China. The Chinese were discriminated against by ‘special’ taxes and restricted entry and the Pacific Islanders by being forced to live under harsh conditions and the limited number of immigrants to Australia. The dictation test being only for non-Europeans was showing racism towards the other cultures and individuals who were ‘insane’, sufferers of infectious diseases and criminals. The history of The White Australia policy has made Australia one of the most diverse and multicultural societies.
The White Australia Policy was influenced by the migration of Chinese and Pacific Islanders. In the 1850’s Chineses men came to Australia to search for gold, this lead to anti-Chinese riot in the goldfields and them having to pay special taxes. By the end of the 19th century laws were passed to keep the Chinese people out. Pacific Islanders (mostly men) were brought to work in Queensland, this caused problems because they worked for very low wages, much lower than the Australians, the Federal Government put a stop to this in 1901.
‘Velvet Soap Washes Linen Snow White’ Velvet Soap was a popular brand advertised for making linen snow white around 1917. This alteration of the advertisement is a depiction of Edmund Barton’s role in formulating the White Australia Policy.
Source 1:
The Mongolian Octopus is a cartoon biased against migrants from Asian nations to Australia. The tentacles of the octopus describe negative aspects that will come to Australia with the Asians. The Australian Government and people presented xenophobic attitudes partly as a result of propaganda such as this.
Source 2:
Source 3:
‘Bringing together British Boys and Australian opportunities’ shows Australia’s relationship with Britain and their desire to create a white monoculture. It illustrates hidden racism towards non-Europeans/ Asians, it highlights that their not welcome
Source 4:
The Australian uses the dictation test as an excuse for keeping people non-whites out of Australia. Where he is actually a racist and is objecting to the fact that they are not white.
Source 5:
While federation of the commonwealth was being discussed, some states were against certain nationalities like the Chinese and Pacific Islanders. This caused resentment by Australians towards non-white foreigners.
PM Edmund Barton quotes Pearson’s view of world racial struggle in Parliament, 7 August 1901:
"We are struggling among ourselves for supremacy in a world which we thought of as destined to belong to the Aryan races and to the Christian faith…We shall wake to find ourselves elbowed and hustled, and perhaps even thrust aside by peoples whom we looked down upon as servile, and thought of as bound always to minister of our needs."
Source 6:
Edmund Barton was making a case for his White Australia Policy by saying the English were superior and the dominant nation across the world and especially across the nation. He was warning that if they let non-whites in they could soon be displaced. This is clearly a case of racism and xenophobia.
An early draft of The White Australia Policy had banned all non-European migrants to Australia, this restriction was eliminated as the British didn’t want to offend their Japanese allies. In place of this policy a ‘dictation test’ was brought in which was an effective way of excluding unwanted immigrants. The test could be dictated in any language of the customs officers choice, it was designed to be almost impossible to pass. In 1947 the policy changed, allowing non-Europeans to migrate to Australia for business purposes only. The in the 50’s non-Europeans were welcomed to stay after WW2, the dictation was then abolished. In the 60’s immigrants from Asia were being accepted into Australia and The White Australia Policy was starting to end. The White Australia was officially over in 1972, then in 1975 The Racial Discrimination Act was introduced. This mean all racial discrimination was now illegal.

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