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The Rise and Fall of Penal Transportation


Maxwell-Stewart, H, The Rise and Fall of Penal Transportation, Oxford Handbook of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice, Oxford University Press, P Knepper and A Johansen (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 635-654. ISBN 978-0199352333 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Oxford University Press

DOI: doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199352333.013.33


Many societies have either transported convicted prisoners to a place of coerced labor or sold them as slaves. From the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries several European states made extensive use of penal transportation to supply labor to overseas colonies. A practice that operated in parallel to the Atlantic and Indian Ocean slave trades, penal transportation was applied to both prisoners sentenced in European courts and those convicted in the colonies. Emerging at the same time as galley service and the workhouse, transportation expanded the range of sentencing options available to early modern states. Although criticized by European penal reformers in the nineteenth century because of its close association with slavery and other exploitative labor extraction systems, penal transportation survived into the twentieth century, largely because it was comparatively cheap and provided a means of punishing both metropolitan and colonial offenders.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:history of crime, unfree labour, colonisation, convict transportation
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Australian history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Maxwell-Stewart, H (Professor Hamish Maxwell-Stewart)
ID Code:111476
Year Published:2016
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP140100623)
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2016-09-14
Last Modified:2017-12-14

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