Date of Award

5-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

History

Major Professor

G. Kurt Piehler

Committee Members

George White, Ernest Freeberg, Janice Harper

Abstract

American diplomatic historian’s consideration of the role of ideology in the formation of American foreign policy has only recently begun to receive more attention. Traditional focuses on economics and relations among great nation-states have predominated the historical literature. This work examines the powerful effect that ideology, particularly race and anti-communism, played in developing the U.S.’s relationship with a small power nation-state, Australia, between 1933 and 1953. This work is comparative in nature, relying on archival research in both American and Australian archives and examines the attitudes of both elite policymakers as well as common individuals in shaping the alliance between the two states. Theoretically, this work draws upon theories about whiteness that historians such as Theodore Allen and Matthew Frye Jacobson have formulated over the past twenty years. This dissertation concludes that a commitment to an ideology of race and anticommunism played a central role in the development of the American – Australian alliance contrary to standard historical interpretations that have placed economics or pragmatic national security interests at the center of the bond between the two states. The outcomes of this study offer new insights into the nature of alliance building by the U.S. in the twentieth century as well as a how ideology effects coalition warfare.

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