Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


What if NZ had not fought in World War 1?

What if NZ had not fought in World War 1?
 
April 21, 2013
 
With Anzac Day approaching a University of Canterbury historian is asking what would have happened if New Zealand had not fought in World War 1.
 
``What if New Zealand hadn’t mobilised over 100,000 men to fight for Britain in the Great War? And what if 18,000 New Zealand soldiers hadn’t died during the conflict?’’ Dr Gwen Parsons asks.
 
Dr Parsons will give a public lecture on the issue at UC on April 24. See here for more details: http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/wiw/
 
``It is very difficult to know how New Zealand could not have entered the war in support of Britain, as at that time New Zealand identified so closely with the United Kingdom, seeing herself very much as the Britain of the south seas,’’ Dr Parsons says. 
 
``However, if New Zealand had already developed a much more independent sense of national identity, one in which she already saw herself as independent of Britain, then she might not have felt so obliged to go to war. 
 
``How would New Zealand national identity have developed if New Zealanders hadn’t fought and died on the slopes of Gallipoli and there was no Anzac Day? While the Great War is credited as a key event in the creation of nationhood, historians have traced the beginning of New Zealand national identity back to colonial days when, free from the vices of the Old World, young pioneers proved themselves to be self-sufficient, tough and egalitarian. 
 
``They have demonstrated how this colonial identity was developed and reinforced through participation in the Boer War and various rugby tours. The point is that before the Great War, young New Zealand men were already comparing themselves to the British and others and drawing conclusions about how they were different. 
 
``Historians haven’t really thought much about the impact of the war on New Zealand society.  Some who have, have argued that it didn’t really have much immediate impact – it just created glitches in longer-term social trends.  
 
``I think, however, that there are some areas where it had a great impact, including the development of social welfare and health provisions, both of which I think would have been stunted had New Zealand not participated in the war.  I would argue that the development of repatriation provisions for returned soldiers and the families of deceased soldiers positively affected the development of an early welfare state in New Zealand,’’ Dr Parsons says.
 
The experience of the war also meant that medical advances developed initially for soldiers became available to civilians by the early 1920s.
 
ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

August 4: Centenary Of New Zealand Entering The First World War

PM John Key: I move, that this House recognise that on the 4th of August 2014, we will mark the centenary of New Zealand entering the First World War... More>>

ALSO:

Cyclists Net First NZ Gold

New Zealand won a gold meal and two bronzes on the first day of the Commonwealth Games. There was joy and heartbreak in an incredibly full day of sport. Here's how the New Zealanders fared. More>>

Cap Bocage: Anti-Mining Campaign Doco Debuts At NZ Film Festival

Playing at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Cap Bocage is a close-up exploration of the forces that came into play when environmental issues and indigenous rights became intertwined in New Caledonia ... More>>

Film Fest:

More Film:

Sharon Ellis Review: A View From The Bridge

Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge is Circa’s latest big production, it opened on Saturday 19 July and it is a stunning triumph. More>>

Māori Language Week: He Karanga Kia Kaha Ake Te Tīhau Ki Te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission wishes to see social media swamped with Māori language tweets and messages for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori using the hashtag #tekupu. More>>

ALSO:

Book Vote: Kiwis Prefer Young Adult & Classics

To compile their Top 100 List for 2014, Whitcoulls again asked New Zealanders to vote for their favourite books and authors. And while classic novels continue to appeal to Kiwi readers, 2014 marks a significant new trend – the increasing popularity of novels for young adults. More>>

ALSO:

Five NZ Cities: Bill Bailey Back To The Southern Hemisphere

The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Book Television Is Coming

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news