Magna Carta

Rediscovering the Britishness of Australia

As a Labor politician Dr Bert Evatt defeated the plan to ban the Communist Party in the early 1950s with an appeal to traditional British rights and liberties. As a historian he downplayed their role and elevated economic interests as the determining factor in Australian history. His work was hugely influential in the academy in the 1940s and 1950s when economic and Marxist interpretations were in favour. He exercised this influence through his book Rum Rebellion, which he researched and wrote in the leisure afforded to him as a judge on the High Court in the 1930s. It was first…

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