This is the first major collaborative reappraisal of Australia's experience of empire since the end of the British Empire itself. The volume examines the meaning and importance of empire in Australia across a broad spectrum of historical issues-ranging from the disinheritance of the Aborigines to the foundations of a new democratic state.
The overriding theme is the distinctive Australian perspective on empire. The country's adherence to imperial ideals and aspirations involved not merely the building of a 'new Britannia' but also the forging of a distinctive new culture and society. It was Australian interests and aspirations which ultimately shaped 'Australia's Empire'. While modern Australians have often played down the significance of their British imperial past, the contributors to this book argue that the legacies of empire continue to influence the temper and texture of Australian society today.