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The evolution of Commonwealth citizenship, 1945-48 in Canada, Britain and Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-313
Number of pages21
JournalCommonwealth and Comparative Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

King's Authors


The conventional wisdom has been that the Canadian Citizenship Act and the British Nationality and Australian Citizenship Act demonstrated the growth of a local nationalism after the Second World War. In reality, the situation was more complicated. Both English-speaking Canada and Australia still regarded themselves as British nations. The passage of the Canadian Act was an illustration of the bicultural nature of that country, which developments during the war had brought to the fore. The Australian Act was simply a reaction to the Canadian Act, as the latter had undermined the common code of British subject status across the Commonwealth. Meanwhile, the British Nationality Act was primarily an attempt to preserve the common status of British subjects throughout the Commonwealth and maintain the integrity of this organisation during a period when it was being rapidly transformed.

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