Why Britain Sent Its Convicts to Australia

Pages: 2 (431 words) Published: March 16, 2013
Brittan had many reasons to send convicts to Australia. Many people believe the main factor was the surplus of convicts in Brittan, but in truth the Industrial Revolution; the American War of Independence; the desire to expand the British Empire; and the Self-Sustainability of Australia were much more important in why the decision was made. The American War of Independence had a significant influence in the decision to settle Australia. Conditions in England in the 18th century were tough: the industrial revolution had removed many people's opportunities to earn an honest wage as simpler tasks were replaced by machine labour. As unemployment rose, so did crime, especially the theft of basic necessities such as food and clothing. For many years, Britain had sent convicts to the American colonies, but following the American war of Independence, the American colonies were no longer available, as America was now in a position to deny Britain the right to send convicts to North America. An alternative had to be found, and that alternative was Australia. Expanding the British Empire into the South Pacific would also prevent the French, with whom England was at war, from gaining a foothold in the region. The location would allow Britain the port it needed in the East to promote trade with China and to extend its naval and commercial power. The continent had natural resources which England wanted. As well, due to war, Britain needed to find an alternative supply of Flax and timber as her Baltic supply was under threat. It was believed that nearby Norfolk Island would provide this. So from Australia being colonised Brittan’s trading was greatly improved, Brittan had more world power and Brittan gained an advantage over France whom they were at war with. Another reason Australia was chosen was because it had the ability to grow crops and animals that could sustain a colony; in particular, New Zealand’s Flax plant. Because Australia could grow this plant the Settlers could...
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