Clashing Goals: Government and Personal Objectives for Assisted Emigration to Early Nineteenth-Century New South Wales

Melanie Burkett


As Great Britain faced great economic and social change in the early nineteenth century, emigration to the colonies (including New South Wales) was proposed as a solution to underemployment caused by overpopulation and the transition to an industrial economy. Based on an examination of public discourse in Britain surrounding emigration, this article argues that emigrants were lured to New South Wales by visions of self-sufficiency and access to land—both largely no longer available to them in Great Britain—while, paradoxically, the British and colonial governments aimed to establish abroad the wage-labour system that left emigrants dissatisfied with home.


emigration; nineteenth century; New South Wales; Great Britain

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