Convict Slavery

Topics: Prison, Settler, American pioneer Pages: 2 (671 words) Published: July 13, 2013
Some historians refer to convict slavery. Do you think that this is an accurate description of the convicts transported to Australia?
Historians refer to convict slavery, which is the act of having people who are serving a prison sentence working as slaves. In this context, it means that historians referred to convicts from England coming to Australia to work as slaves. People would say that this is an accurate description of the convicts transported to Australia because they were treated like slaves and how they lived. However, this statement is arguable because they were cleared of their sentence, and were then free. They then had a chance at a new life or to return to England.

Convicts were treated as slaves, assigned jobs that were based on their professions in England, and given virtually no pay. For example, convicts who used to be builders and engineers build present day places, such as Port Arthur, Tasmania. Port Arthur was a timber station, but later turned into a penal colony. They were given the bare minimum of food and drink to stay alive, and punished if they made any noise or trouble. Convicts also cleared the land, removing vegetation and preparing it for tilling and planting. All convicts were put under some sort of labour. Therefore, it could be said that how the convicts were treated could be called convict slavery.

Life as a convict was hard. Male convicts were given a ration of 3kg beef, 3kg flour, and 0.9kg sugar every week(women were given less), since the crops did not grow and they had to rely on supplies from England. For the first few years, convicts often lived wearing their own clothes that they bought, although they received 2 jackets, a waistcoat, a pair of breeches, 2 shirts, a woollen cap, a hat and 2 pairs of shoes and stockings. Convicts would be punished at a moments notice, for minor things like swearing, having a poor attitude, being drunk, stealing things and not doing work. They would be punished by the...
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