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Introduction to transportation

The British in the late 18th century believed that they were in the midst of an overwhelming crime wave, and over the next 70 years attempted to address this by expelling what was seen as a ‘criminal class’.  More than 160,000 convicts were transported to Australia and Tasmania.

A sentence of transportation meant that criminals paid a huge price for their crimes – they suffered the loss of everything and everyone they had ever known, endured a perilous sea journey in often unimaginably harsh conditions, and struggled to survive in a terrifyingly strange and forbidding landscape. Yet many found that life on the far side of the world offered possibilities not available at home.

NEXT CHAPTER: A long history of banishment

Convicts Sydney
'Chain gang - convicts going to work near Sidney N.S. Wales' by Edward Backhouse (Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts : State Library of Tasmania. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)