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Why Australia ProsperedThe Shifting Sources of Economic Growth$
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Ian W. McLean

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154671

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154671.001.0001

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Squatting, Colonial Autocracy, and Imperial Policies

Squatting, Colonial Autocracy, and Imperial Policies

Chapter:
(p.57) Chapter 4 Squatting, Colonial Autocracy, and Imperial Policies
Source:
Why Australia Prospered
Author(s):

Ian W. McLean

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691154671.003.0004

This chapter explores how the British military, convict workforce, and British government financial outlays laid the early foundations of a tiny local economy at the outer margins of a vast imperial project. From the 1820s, Australia's prosperity rested, initially, on the productivity of its labor force—convicts, emancipists, and free immigrants—and the occupation and exploratory utilization of a large area of natural grassland primarily for the production and export of wool. This geographical settlement and pastoral development occurred in a rapidly evolving institutional setting. Both in the economic and political spheres, institutional innovation and adaptation appears successfully to have underpinned the attainment of quite high incomes per capita even before the discovery of gold.

Keywords:   Australia, labor force, free immigrants, British government, financial outlays, prosperity, pastoral development, institutional innovation

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