In 1931, the All for Australia League and other 'citizens movements' mounted a major challenge to the established conservative parties. Traditional views of the League saw it as a reflection of economic group interests, whether of the business establishment or dissident capitalists such as manufactures. More recent scholarship has stressed middle-class concerns with 'sound finance' as the inspiration of the League. This paper instead situates the League in the historical context of centre party projects in New South Wales, and of progressivism, in particular industrial psychology. The economic crisis and the rightward shift of the nationalists enabled a group of political entrepreneurs to transform the League from a front group for business into a populist movement. However, the shift of mainstream conservatism back to the political centre fatally undercut the League's support base.
Field of Research
210399 Historical Studies not elsewhere classified