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Convicts : a global history

Anderson, Clare, 1969-2021
Books, Manuscripts
This chapter establishes the reach of punitive relocation across a range of imperial contexts, from the late Middle Ages into the twentieth century. It employs a series of case studies to stress its dual importance as a source of the unfree labour necessary for the expansion of empires and as a means of governing colonized populations. The first part of the chapter covers the American, African and Asian empires of Portugal, Spain, Scandinavia and the Netherlands, from the fifteenth century onwards. In these locations, punitive mobility supplied labour for public works, land clearance, mines, plantations and the army, and was a means of controlling labourers. The chapter will show that across the territories of the Iberian empires, Denmark-Norway and Sweden, and in the Netherlands East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, or VOC), sometimes convicts and their descendants became settlers, and when they did not, they laid the ground for free migration or satisfied wider imperial ambitions by clearing land and building basic infrastructure. In the meantime, convicts were able to work for their own profit, including through opening businesses, farming, or manufacturing goods and crafts.
Main title:
Convicts : a global history / by Clare Anderson.
Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2021.
476 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
9781108814942 (paperback)
Dewey class:
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