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Nelson Modern History: Australia 1918 – 1950s

By | Copyright Year:2015 | ISBN-13: 9780170244084

Australia 1918 – 1950s has been developed for senior secondary students of History and is part of the Nelson Modern History series. Each book in the series is based on the understanding that History is an interpretive study of the past by which students also come to better appreciate the making of the modern world. Students will use historical skills, including research, evaluation, synthesis, analysis and communication. They will rely on their knowledge of the historical concepts such as evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, significance, empathy, perspectives and contestability, to understand and interpret societies from the past.

Australia 1918 – 1950s explores Australia’s modern history from 1918 and considers, at both the domestic and international level, how Australians responded to the rapid social, technological, economic and political changes that came in the aftermath of World War l. In exploring these themes particular attention is paid to:

- The ambitious agricultural and infrastructure development schemes of the 1920s and their successes and failures
- Everyday experiences of those who lived through global crises such as the economic depression of the 1930s and World War II
- The changing roles of women
- The political position of Indigenous Australians
- Australian foreign policy
- World War Two
- Post-war reconstruction, migration schemes and nation building programs
- The impact of the Cold War on Australian Labour Party politics and society.

Series Editor, Tony Taylor is the past Director of the National Inquiry into the Teaching and Learning of History and the National Centre for History Education. From 2006 to 2010 he was a senior consultant to federal government bodies responsible for the development of Australian Curriculum History, while researching and publishing extensively in various topics in education and History.


About the series
Series editor acknowledgements
Author acknowledgements


‘Something for the rising generation’: Australia 1900-17

‘The land of opportunity’: 1918-29

‘Would you give me two days work?’: 1929-38

‘A tiny drop in a coloured ocean’

‘Australia is also at way’: 1939-45

A new Australia



Sarah Mirams has taught history in secondary and tertiary settings, worked as an education officer for cultural and heritage institutions, and has contributed to numerous textbooks for secondary students. Sarah is the author of Nelson’s successful Twentieth Century History 1900–1945 for VCE Unit 1 and Twentieth Century History 1945–2000 for VCE Unit 2. She is also the author of Nelson Modern History titles, Civil Rights in the United States of America and co-author of Australia 1918-1950s, to be released next year. Sarah now works as an independent historian.

Merredith Southee has taught History in Western Australian government and private schools and also developed teaching and learning resources for the Department of Education, the Maritime Museum, Freemantle, and the National Trust of Australia. She currently lectures in the UWA Graduate School of Education.


The Nelson Modern History series is an extensive suite of full colour topic books developed for Australian senior students. Each title draws on recent scholarship, historiography and history specific pedagogy to ensure relevance and teachability. Providing flexibility for schools and students, Nelson Modern History is the up-to-date and relevant history education solution for senior students

The front cover of each title features a line drawing associated with the topic. Functioning as a topic starter, this iconic image is unpacked with a photograph and commentary with a link to a key individual and an illustrated timeline

The introduction to each book includes a brief overview of the topic and a handy reference sequence that includes profiles of major figures and organisations, definitions of key concepts and summaries of major documents

Each Chapter is structured around inquiry questions and includes age appropriate language, recent research in the field, diagrams, maps and illustrations, discussions of historians and schools of interpretation and biographical profiles that incorporate activities

Chapters close with a topic summary, suggestions for further reading and review activities that consolidate content knowledge and build historical skills

Each title closes with a brief summation and a set of activities that encourage students to draw on their learning and reflect on the topic as a whole.