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The Oxford History of Australia

Late 19th-century Australia claimed to have one of the world's highest living standards and was seen as one of the most successful examples of the transplantation of British culture. Under the surface prosperity, however, there lay a good deal of uncertainty and conflict. Churches of various beliefs clashed with each other and with sceptics. Bourgeois stability was seen as depending on the correct education of children and correct attitudes in women and the family, but these attitudes were challenged from within and openly defied by some. Energetic businessmen could not avert the crash of the 1890s and local loyalties were not strong enough to resist the pressures for a federated Australia. This volume takes a sceptical look at many of the received orthodoxies about Australia in the Victorian era, concentrating on human values rather than the rhetoric of national achievement.
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"[A] very interesting volume....A very solid contribution to the understanding of Australia's historical development."--Choice"Both her deft deployment of illustrative examples and her perceptive generalizations are impressive....Anyone wishing to know how far Australia lived up to its reputation as a working man's paradise in the late nineteenth century will find this a stimulating introduction."--History

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