chapter  2
Historical Overview
WithChristopher Hubbard
Pages 17

The distortion of perceptions which temporal distance can create is relevant to any discussion of the historical background of the US/Australian relationship, and for one centrally important reason. As a small nation, and one certainly more geographically removed than Australia from the threat of military aggression, New Zealand's history of involvement in Australia New Zealand and the United States military alliance (ANZUS) is also more equivocal. This chapter considers in general terms the historical background against which the ANZUS alliance finally saw the light of day. The ANZUS Treaty had been signed with much ceremony by the United States, Australia and New Zealand at The Presidio, US Sixth Army Headquarters, San Francisco, on 1 September 1951. The principles of a trans-Pacific mutual defence pact, embodied in the subsequent ANZUS Treaty of 1951, were initially resisted by both Britain and the United States and the Treaty was by no means inevitable until shortly before its inception.