In pursuit of victory : British-New Zealand relations during the First World War
The First World War of 1914-19 was the bloodiest in New Zealand's history. The official statistics reveal the human cost for New Zealand society. Out of a population of just over 1 million people, 59,483 New Zealanders were killed, wounded or captured. An estimated 18,166 New Zealanders were killed and 41,317 were wounded. Overall, New Zealand casualties in the First World War exceeded the combined total number of casualties suffered by New Zealand in all other wars of the twentieth century. It has been widely assumed that with this heavy sacrifice New Zealand had demonstrated its loyalty to Great Britain. This thesis reconsiders this interpretation in light of New Zealand's actual war experience and argues that New Zealand did not always live up to this reputation. Rather than proving New Zealand's loyalty, as is popularly believed, the First World War made Wellington and London acutely aware of their differences. This thesis will also illustrate that the so-called 'independent' foreign policy pursued by New Zealand's First Labour Government actually emerged much earlier. It will show that during the First World War, New Zealand's policy-makers had a keen appreciation of their country's own interests. The intensity and ferocity of the war made New Zealand and Great Britain extremely conscious of the reciprocal nature of their relationship. By the end of the First World War, both countries came to recognise that eternal imperial unity was a dream and that they enjoyed different interests within the imperial partnership.
Advisor: Brooking, Tom; Rabel, Roberto
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: History
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: World War, 1914-1918 New Zealand; New Zealand Relations Great Britain; Great Britain Relations New Zealand
Research Type: Thesis
xi, 357 leaves :ill., ports. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 315-357). Typescript (photocopy).