VII. The Contemporary Period, 1945–2000 > H. The Pacific Region, 1944–2000 > 3. Australia, 1944–2000
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
(See 1940–45)
 
3. Australia, 1944–2000
 
Large-scale immigration—until the 1970s chiefly from Europe, thereafter increasingly from Asia—transformed British Australia. New and old migrants shared expectations of material prosperity, but after the very prosperous 1950s and 1960s, living standards declined. In the 1990s, the challenges of multiculturalism, unemployment, environmental degradation, and an aging population have raised for Australians new questions about their future. U.S. investments in Australia have increased and, during the cold war alliance with the U.S., reduced traditional ties with Britain. Agricultural and mineral exports to Japan increasingly defined Australia as a major supplier of the Pacific Rim.  1
 
1944, Dec
 
The Liberal Party was formed, with R.G. Menzies as leader.  2
 
1945, July 5
 
Prime Minister John Curtin died, after holding office since Oct. 1941. Joseph B. Chifley was elected leader of the Federal Labour Party and became prime minister on July 12.  3
 
Sept. 23–Dec. 12
 
A strike of coal workers in New South Wales seriously crippled Australian industry before it was settled by arbitration. To counteract absenteeism and strikes, and to improve coal production in general, Parliament, in Aug. 1946, adopted the Coal Industry Act, setting up a coal board with wide powers of control over every aspect of the coal industry.  4
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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