This is the last of my posts about the course on Australian National Identity, and the most tentative.
I have been thinking about the relations among the four or five nations of the "white commonwealth" as a sibling rivalry. In Sulloway's theory, siblings are competing for parental attention. First-born gets first choice. First-born usually takes the path of being most like the parents, leaving other ways of being distinctive to the later-borns, and the path of exceptionalism to the last. However, if the first chooses not to be like the parents, then that role is available for the laters, especially the second.
The USA is eldest. We chose to rebel. Canada, the second, is the most dutiful. Australia, the third, yearns to be like the eldest, but is not so rebellious. New Zealand, the fourth, is defined as the dutiful in relation to the third, whose attention it is always trying to get. South Africa is the wild child.
Let me take this speculation to a further length. The Hanover kings were famous for their terrible relations with their fathers, the previous king. Each of the Georges rebelled against the previous George.
USA rebelling against England :: George IV rebelling against George III.