Convicts to Australia Essay

Submitted By sarahmatto
Words: 2426
Pages: 10

Our Convict Ancestors
Life in Australia wasn’t always as it is today. Many changes occurred throughout the 18th century. Europe hit its highest peaks as the industrial revolution changed society and everything else. The population grew rapidly, approximately by 27 million over a period of 150 years. This population rise catered for the extremely high demand for labourers needed at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Yet as the population increased, the crime rates increased greatly as well. This occurred greatly in Britain, and with the strict laws in place, many were sent to prisons, leaving all the prisons heavily overcrowded. The government had to respond to this dilemma quickly and began sending the prisoners abroad in order to colonise newly discovered regions, far from Britain, one of them being Australia. The convicts travelled harsh conditions; some not even surviving the journey. They travelled to establish new colonies on the other side of the world which eventually lead to the establishment of Australia and the significant nation it is.
The Industrial Revolution was a time in the 18th and 19th century when Britain transformed from a predominately agricultural nation, into the most manufacturing workshop of the world (Woolacott, 2012). For most it was generally a good thing, but for some they weren’t so lucky. Major changes in the industry and transportation occurred. It started in the mid-1700s in Great Britain when machinery began to replace manual labour. The first great change was to energy: human labour and animal labour were replaced by steam, then gas and electricity. Machinery was the next greatest change. A huge flow of inventions and ideas as well as new techniques that transformed the way important things such as coal and steel were made. The third great change was to size or scale of the production. Very few large factories existed before 1750, but as of around 1700 many industries converted from small workshops to larger factories hiring hundreds of people.
Political changes also occurred during the industrial revolution. 19th-century Britain experienced political unrest as the industrialization and urbanization of the country created a need for social and political change. There were increasing demands for improved social welfare, education, labour rights, political rights and equality, as well as for the abolition of the slave trade and changes in the electoral system. As a result, the slave trade was abolished in 1807.
The population grew rapidly, especially in Germany, England and America. The general population increase was aided by a greater supply of food made available by the Agricultural Revolution, and by the growth of medical science and public health measures which decreased the death rate and added to the population base. Until the Industrial Revolution, most of the people lived in rural areas. However, by mid-nineteenth century, half of the English people lived in cities, and by the end of the century, the same occurred in other European countries.
The Industrial Revolution had quite an impact on crime rates in Great Britain. Many people stopped working on farms and living in rural areas around Great Britain, and instead moved to the city. The city became quickly overcrowded and food became scarce and extremely expensive when accessible. Not many jobs were available compared to the numbers f people that were there at the time, therefore due to high numbers, many lost their job. Individual business owners who stated their own factories became very rich in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution, but the people working in factories before the Industrial Revolution became very poor. With many families not being able to get the sufficient funds to support them, many turned to a life or crime. The American and French Revolution also played a part in the transportation of convicts to Australia.
The American Revolution played quite a large role in the moving of people to