“Rebel Irish and syndicalists would come into office!“ The Easter Rising, Climatic Conditions and the 1916 Australian Referendum on Conscription

Segesser, Daniel Marc (16 June 2016). “Rebel Irish and syndicalists would come into office!“ The Easter Rising, Climatic Conditions and the 1916 Australian Referendum on Conscription (Unpublished). In: 1916 in Global Context: Connections and Comparisons. Galway. 16.-17.06.2016.

1916 was a decisive year in regard to Australia’s contribution to the war. In the European spring of that year the country’s new prime minister, William Morris Hughes travelled to Great Britain for consultation with the Imperial Government in regard to the war. One of his main aims was to secure good conditions for the sale of Australian primary produce, which the government needed to sell to as high a price as possible, in order to continue to finance the Australian war effort. Although Hughes was met with sympathy he was not able to secure the deals he had hoped for. Nevertheless during his stay in Europe he became convinced that Australia would also have to introduce conscription, in order for the allies to win the war. When he returned to his country in mid-1916 this became one of his main obsessions and on October 28, 1916 he held a referendum, in which conscription was narrowly rejected. In this context the vote of the Australian Irish, which had been strongly influenced by the British reaction to the Easter Rising of 1916, finally caused the split of the Hughes’ Australian Labor Party, the prime minister clinging to power with the help of the opposition. The contribution tries to clarify the interdependences between the reactions to the Easter rising in Australia, Hughes’ negotiations to sell Australian primary produce to the Imperial government, the impact of climatic conditions in other parts of the world on these negotiations as well as the attempts to keep the Hughes government in power, in order to keep “rebel Irish and syndicalists“ from coming into office as consequence of the defeat of conscription in the 1916-referendum. The contribution will show how essential climatic conditions in other parts of the world were for the success Hughes had after the referendum to sell primary produce at such prices as to win back the farmers vote in the 1917 election, which kept him in government and Australia in the war.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Modern and Contemporary History
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Economic, Social and Environmental History

UniBE Contributor:

Segesser, Daniel

Subjects:

900 History
900 History > 940 History of Europe
900 History > 970 History of North America
900 History > 990 History of other areas

Language:

English

Submitter:

PD Dr. Daniel Marc Segesser

Date Deposited:

07 Dec 2016 16:40

Last Modified:

14 Mar 2017 08:27

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/85380

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