The British Parliament passed the Transportation Act, commonly referred to as the Penal Transportation Act, in 1784. Convicted offenders might be transported from Great Britain to the colonies, including the recently founded colony of New South Wales in Australia. The statute was created in response to the growing issue of overcrowding in British jails and the requirement to find a solution for handling the rising number of criminally charged individuals.
Convicts could be sentenced to transportation for a term of seven, fourteen, or life under the Transportation Act. Convicts were to be used as a cheap labour force in the colonies after being moved, and it was anticipated that they would aid in developing their economies and infrastructure. In contrast to keeping them in prison in Great Britain, where it was expensive to upkeep and feed them, this was a more affordable option.
The “First Fleet,” the first fleet of ships carrying convicts, sailed for New South Wales in 1787 and landed there in January 1788. The majority of the 160,000 convicts who were transported to Australia over the following 80 years were sent to New South Wales. The Transportation Act was a crucial piece of legislation that had a big influence on the growth of Australia since it gave the colonies access to a lot of cheap labourers who helped establish the economy and infrastructure of the new colony.
The Transportation Act was repealed in 1867 because it was no longer required because the colony of New South Wales had grown to the point of independence.Australia’s history was significantly impacted by the contentious Transportation Act. It was beneficial to the colony’s construction and served as a source of inexpensive labour, but it was detrimental to the prisoners themselves, many of whom were subjected to terrible conditions and torture.