Q:

Why did Australia become involved in World War I?

A:

Quick Answer

With the outbreak of war in 1914, the Australian government offered full support to the United Kingdom and its allies largely as a consequence of its common culture and political ties with Britain. Most Australians were of British extraction, spoke English and welcomed the chance to fight against Germany and its allies just as much as the British public did.

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Full Answer

In 1914, Australian Prime Minister Andrew Fisher responded to the declaration of war with a pledge of full support for the allied war effort. In this, he was joined by the majority of Australia's parliament as well as the bulk of popular opinion in Australia. Internal political factors were thus driving Australia to war just as strongly as the internal factors in Germany or Russia.

International factors that encouraged Australia's commitment to aid the British war effort revolved around Australia's place in the British Empire. Unlike subject countries, such as India or Burma, Australia's population felt a cultural kinship with the people of Britain, and many Australian families had close relations living in the United Kingdom. Britain was Australia's chief trading partner, and the Royal Navy defended Australia's coasts. It was in Australia's interest to see Britain victorious in its war against the Central Powers.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why did Britain join World War I?

    A:

    Britain entered World War I in 1914 to honor a treaty that promised to defend Belgium and to fulfill an alliance with France and Russia. The Germans attacked Liege, Belgium, in the first battle of World War I, and then marched on to attack France.

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  • Q:

    Why did Britain declare war on Germany?

    A:

    At the onset of the World War I, Britain declared war on Germany because of their move to force Belgium to give up its neutrality and allow German troops across its borders, even after Britain demanded the halt of their actions. Britain held back its declaration until Germany fully attacked Belgium, refusing to allow the country to remain neutral. England had agreements with Russia and France that did not make them official allies, but when the Central Powers invaded the two countries Britain moved to assist them along with Belgium.

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    Why did Great Britain get involved in World War I?

    A:

    When Britain entered World War I, it was primarily in reaction to Germany invading Belgium. Britain promised to defend Belgium in perpetuity under the Treaty of London, which it entered into in 1839. A secondary reason the country joined the war was too ensure that no European country became significantly larger or more powerful than the others.

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  • Q:

    Who fought in World War 1?

    A:

    The countries and empires that fought in World War I included the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. Other powers were Greece, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Portugal Romania, Russia and Serbia. The United States entered the war on April 6, 1917. Among the well-known soldiers who fought in World War I were the writer J.R.R. Tolkien, the poet Wilfred Owen and Fergus Bowes-Lyon.

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