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The Captive Republic: A History of Republicanism in Australia 1788-1996 (Studies in Australian History) Paperback – January 28, 1998
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The Amazon Book Review
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"This is an excellent book. While it is essential reading for anyone who wishes to know the context of the current debate over republicanism in Australia, the book raises much broader issues about the development of self-government, political independence and national identity in settler societies. The book is written in a lively and informative style and combines wide historical knowledge with the ability to marshal information to illustrate specific themes and ideas. McKenna has produced one of the best things to have come out of Australia's current debate over republicanism." Campbell Sharman, Pacific Affairs
Top Customer Reviews
From the very inception of Sydney colony, there was a republican movement. Perhaps not unsurprising, if you recall that one reason for the colony's being was that Britain could no longer send convicts to the Carolinas, as the US had won its independence. Hence many in the early Sydney of convict origin or descent had little love of royal rule.
In later years, the book shows how other factors caused new republican movements to arise. Culminating in the recent kerfuffle about abolishing the Governor General's post and replacing him with an elected or appointed president. While republicanism has broad sentiment, it tends to fall apart on the details of the transitioning to a republic. Something that John Howard gleefully exploited to defeat the latest republican push. Though keep in mind that this latest event was after the book's timeframe.
What is also interesting is how in the post World War 2 period, waves of migrants arrived from outside Britain. This diminishing of a British cultural heritage might have been expected to drive a demand for a republic. Yet any such trend appears minimal, from book's discussion. Australians from other backgrounds tend to be content with the Crown and the current arrangement.