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Type: Thesis
Title: Formidable Rivals: Canada, Australia, and the Pursuit of British Agricultural Migrants, 1896-1914
Author: MacKenzie, Jill Allison
Issue Date: 2017
School/Discipline: School of Humanities : History
Abstract: This thesis examines relations between Canadian and Australian colonial and federal governments between 1896 and 1914 when these governments formally pursued British agricultural migrants to satisfy their respective population and land settlement needs. It asks to what extent their concurrent initiatives to attract and secure this group meant that Canadian and Australian government representatives possessed an informed appreciation of each other’s policies and practices. It evaluates the impact of this circulation of idea and charts when and how this information was used by Canadian and Australian officials as they assiduously debated the shape and scope of their own internal operations. This thesis argues that the timing and scale of Canada and Australia’s efforts to secure British agricultural migrants, coupled with their shared position and participation within the British Empire during this period, encouraged interactions and connections between their representatives working in this space. Far from quiet reconnaissance, this highly mobile and connected network of government officials actively and willingly sought and shared information in a spirit of colonial comradery as they attempted to work out the best means for capturing this highly desired group of skilled migrants. Here the bonds of Empire could simultaneously and often paradoxically create moments of cooperation and competition between dominion representatives, reinforcing a relationship based on friendly rivalry. I demonstrate that Canada’s expansive federal campaign to attract British agricultural migrants from the mid-1890s onwards weighed heavily on the minds of Australian state and Commonwealth representatives, and in many ways informed and influenced the shape of their recruitment programmes nearly a decade later. Further to this, I show that Canadian representatives were willing to share their experiences with their Australian contemporaries, in part out of a common sense of Britishness but also because of a perceived lack of threat. It will be contended that by the second decade of the twentieth century when Australian programmes had developed into a highly coordinated and sophisticated campaign, some Canadian officials began to express quiet concern that Australia’s ‘emulation’ of Canadian methods could potentially threaten their own continued success in this space. This thesis is innovative in showing how ideas and information concerning government-led efforts to attract and secure British agricultural migrants for land settlement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries flowed within this network of dominion personnel and also across the British Empire, and the effect of this exchange of knowledge and experiences at a time when Britain’s dominions were beginning to assert greater internal control over this space than previously seen. In doing so, this thesis offers both comparisons and connections between Canada and Australia’s government-led activities in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and contributes to the understanding of the dominions’ official encouragement of immigration and land settlement in this period.
Advisor: Sendziuk, Paul
Foster, Robert
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2017
Keywords: Immigration
British World
British Empire
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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