Colonisation Of Australia

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by MissBritt
Last updated 8 years ago

Social Studies
World History

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Colonisation Of Australia

Living conditions for the convicts on the First Fleet were quite harsh. The convicts spent most of their time below decks, with a bucket for water and a bucket for waste, although they were also permitted up on the deck to dispose of waste. Conditions were very unsanitary, and dysentery and cholera were common, though less common than on subsequent fleets. The convicts shared ship space with rats. They were given small rations of basic flour and salted meat. Occasionally they were permitted to walk around the decks for exercise.The officers and marines had it far better, being given decent rations and living quarters. However, when food was readily available, Phillip saw to it that the convicts received sufficient food, because he certainly wanted them to be healthy enough to stand up to the rigours of building a new colony. Punishments were, surprisingly, not so harsh. Governor Arthur Phillip was a fair and just man, and he often protected the convicts from the officers, inflicting harsher punishments on his own men who did the wrong thing than upon the convicts themselves.


Conditions in England in the 18th century were tough: the industrial revolution had made it harder for people to earn an honest wage as simpler tasks were replaced by machine labour. Unemployment rose, and consequently, so did crime, especially the theft of basic necessities such as food and clothing. The authorities elected to clamp down heavily on people for minor penalties, hoping to stem the tide of rising crime. As a result, the British prison system was soon full to overflowing.

A Brief History of Australia

Map of First Fleet Route

The trip Over


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