Kirsty Reid
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‘A nation of Cyprians and Turks’
Convict transportation, colonial reform and the imperial body politic
in Gender, crime and empire
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Convict transportation, Edward Gibbon Wakefield agreed, had enabled 'the English' to create 'from their own loins a nation of Cyprians and Turks'. 'Like slavery', penal reformer Joseph Atkinson asserted, transportation had 'the effect of destroying all dignity in labour'. Transportation also appeared to have fostered a direct conflict between colonial interests and the British public good, placing a strain upon imperial relations. The reformers condemned the colonial economic system on the grounds that it stimulated an unnatural and demoralising reliance upon government. By the 1830s, the Colonial Reformers had acquired a marked and growing influence. Colonial conditions had equally unsettled the broader body politic. By the 1830s and 1840s, growing numbers of imperial theorists regarded the empire as a unitary state, a single body politic and the colonies as integral components of a greater British nation.

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Gender, crime and empire

Convicts, settlers and the state in early colonial Australia


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