Convicts And Australia


WHO WERE THE CONVICTS? WHAT SHORT AND LONG TERM CONTRIBUTION DID THEY MAKE TO AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY?"
During January 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip landed in New South Wales. Of the one thousand people who made the journey, roughly seven hundred were convicts, transported for various crimes, to aid in the establishment of the new colony. Despite conflicting accounts about the reasons behind transportation and the nature of the convicts themselves, there can be little doubt concerning the pivotal role they played in establishing the groundwork of not only the new colony, but of Australia as well. The convicts not only made a significant short term economic contribution they also played an ...

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The typical age of the British convict sent to Australia was 26, and single . The proportion of females transported was relatively low, initially compromising only 11 percent of those sent . Contrary to popular belief, most of the arriving convicts were healthy and fit with the majority of females categorized within a child bearing age. During the years of transportation between 1788 - 1868 approximately 160,000 men, women and children made the voyage to the new colony .
The nature and character of the convicts themselves, has been the cause of a great deal of confusion. Many early accounts of Australian history, typified by traditionalist ideology, viewed the convicts as the lowest form of society, the dregs of humanity. Women were commonly referred to as 'damned whores' and the men as useless criminals . Traditionalist descriptions of the convicts characterized them as those who drank excessively, engaged in bouts of gambling, were violent, abusive and there was an ...

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. They also see the convicts as the forefathers of Australian society and culture. Revisionists hoped to look beyond the use of statistical data to gain a more comprehensive look at the lives and circumstances of the first Australians.

Through an examination of both the nature of the crimes committed and circumstances involved it would appear that the majority of the crimes were not of a serious indictable nature . Nicholas, in his book 'Convict Workers', observed that some eighty six percent of crimes were work related, with convicts having stolen tools, foodstuffs, or goods from their employers. Directly challenging the traditionalist view that convicts were habitual ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 7/14/2006 08:17:09 PM
Category: English
Words: 1990
Pages: 8

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