Australian Economic History

This exercise is an in-depth historical study of a focussed topic and period,
demonstrating research, writing and analytical skills. It is based on Weeks 1-9.
Questions (Choose ONE):

  1. How did traditional Aboriginal societies manage their material resources and with
    what consequences for their economic and social life?
  2. ‘I split the rock;/ I felled the tree:/The nation was-/Because of me!’ How well does
    the poet Mary Gilmore’s description capture convicts’ economic contribution to
    Australia’s economy?
  3. Did the Australian economy ride on the sheep’s back in the nineteenth century?
  4. How did gold influence Australian economic development up to 1870?
  5. What can the depressions of the 1840s, 1890s and 1930s tell us about change and
    stability in the Australian economy?
  6. ‘The half-century 1890-1940 was, materially, a disappointment.’ (Geoffrey Blainey,
    The Story of Australia’s People: The Rise and Rise of a New Australia, p. 286). Discuss.
  7. How did the experience of world war (1914-18 and 1939-45) affect Australia’s
  8. What were the major economic characteristics of Australia’s version of the postWorld War 2 ‘affluent society’?
  9. How the mining boom change Australia’s economy in the 1960s and 1970s?
  10. How effectively did Australian policy-makers grapple with the end of the long boom
    between 1973 and 1982?
  11. What drove economic reform during the Hawke era (1983-91)?