Colonial translations: peasants and parsons in 19th-century Australia

J. M. Powell

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J.M. Powell reflects on the peasants and parsons in the 19th-Century Australia. The centennial might have been opportune for a more comprehensive recovery of context, given a coincidence of public interest and the maturation of diverse forms of historical scholarship, but it was less well met by recently contrived crises in the liberal arts and sciences. Progressive British governors introduced a number of experiments in small scale farming during the opening decades of the 19th century. The favored pioneers included former convicts, retired soldiers and sailors, and free immigrants. Although this policy addressed a range of economic and social difficulties in the remote imperial outposts, its civic component also prepared the ground for Edward Gibbon Wakefield's celebrated theory of Systematic Colonization. The allusions to patriotism and military worth bring on a convenient truncation. There can be no swift disentanglement of the translated peasantry/yeomanry from this rich social compound.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-176
Number of pages22
JournalHistorical Geography
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002

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