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date: 19 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Many societies have either transported convicted prisoners to a place of coerced labor or sold them as slaves. From the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries several European states made extensive use of penal transportation to supply labor to overseas colonies. A practice that operated in parallel to the Atlantic and Indian Ocean slave trades, penal transportation was applied to both prisoners sentenced in European courts and those convicted in the colonies. Emerging at the same time as galley service and the workhouse, transportation expanded the range of sentencing options available to early modern states. Although criticized by European penal reformers in the nineteenth century because of its close association with slavery and other exploitative labor extraction systems, penal transportation survived into the twentieth century, largely because it was comparatively cheap and provided a means of punishing both metropolitan and colonial offenders.

Keywords: convicts, penal labor, penal colony, galley service, presidiarios, Degredados, bagnes, katorga

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