Convict Workers

Convict Workers : Reinterpreting Australia's Past

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State and private employers in New South Wales recognised the convicts' previous occupations, and employed a large proportion of them in the same occupations they had held at home. The women convicts - often classified as prostitutes - in fact brought a range of occupational skills equally as important for the economic development of Australia as those of the male convicts. Once settled in Australia, the convicts consumed a diet, and experienced housing, superior to that received by free men and women at home. The organisation of their work was not very different from that in Britain and Ireland and, while cruel treatment did exist, the likelihood of numerous floggings during their term of sentence is shown to be a myth. Convict workers is a study in comparative history, noting the resemblances and the contrasts with indentured labour, slavery and punitive communities elsewhere. By illuminating the contribution of the convict workers to Australia's economic and social more

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Table of contents

List of tables and figures; Foreword; Preface; Part I. Revising The Past: 1. Unshackling the past Stephen Nicholas and Peter R. Shergold; 2. Full circle? Contemporary views on transportation David Meredith; 3. Transportation as global migration Stephen Nicholas and Peter R. Shergold; Part II. The Workers: 4. Convicts as migrants Stephen Nicholas and Peter R. Shergold; 5. Convicts as workers Stephen Nicholas and Peter R. Shergold; 6. Female convicts Deborah Oxley; 7. A labour aristocracy in chains Stephen Nicholas and Peter R. Shergold; Part III. The System: 8. The convict labour market Stephen Nicholas; 9. Public employment and assignment to private masters, 1788-1821 Barrie Dyster; 10. The organisation of public work Stephen Nicholas; 11. Convict labour and the Australian agricultural company John Perkins; 12. The care and feeding of convicts Stephen Nicholas; 13. A new past Stephen Nicholas; Statistical appendix Kris Corcoran and Stephen Nicholas; Bibliography; more