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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 development.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521035989
ISBN-10: 0521035988
Format: Paperback
(247mm x 174mm x 14mm)
Pages: 260
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 31-May-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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